Professor Barbara Bombi FBA

Professor of Medieval History,
Course Lead, History
+44 (0)1227 823324
Professor Barbara Bombi FBA


Professor Barbara Bombi studied at the Catholic University in Milan, where she completed her PhD in 2000. In 2001 she was a research fellow at the German Historical Institute in Rome. Between 2002 and 2004 she had a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Padua before moving to Oxford where she took up the post of Lyell Research Fellow in Latin Palaeography at Corpus Christi College. In 2006 she moved to Canterbury after being appointed as a Lecturer in the School of History at the University of Kent. She was appointed Professor of Medieval History in 2018.

In 2019 Professor Bombi has been elected to the Council of the Royal Historical Society. In July 2022 she has been elected Fellow of the British Academy. Since 2019 she has been General Editor of the Canterbury and York Society and Member the Committee of the Internationale Historische Kommission zur Erforschung des Deutschen Ordens.


Research interests

Barbara's research interests cover ecclesiastical and religious history in the High Middle Ages (1200-1450) and she specialises in the medieval papacy and canon law. Barbara has worked on the Crusades of the early 13th century, writing a monograph on mission and Crusade in the Baltic area during the pontificate of Pope Innocent III. Her research also includes the history of the Military Orders, especially the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century. 

In the past few years, Barbara has edited the register of the representative at the papal curia of Edward II and Edward III and has started to compile a catalogue of the manuscripts of the Liber Extra (Decretals of Gregory IX), which are preserved in the British Libraries. She has recently completed a monograph on Anglo-papal relations in the 14th century, published by OUP.

Barbara is currently PI on a Leverhulme / British Academy Small Grant "Diplomacy and the Making of Europe in the Late Middle Ages (c. 1250-1450)" which sets to organise an international network of scholars and investigate the impact of diplomatic practice on state formation in Late Medieval Europe from a comparative perspective. All information can be found at:


At undergraduate level, Barbara teaches on later medieval Europe, religion and heresy, and the Crusades. At postgraduate level she teaches on ecclesiastical history, theology, medieval canon law and medieval political thought.

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