Jeffrey A. Bowman joined the history department in 1997. He teaches courses related to Europe and the Mediterranean between 300 and 1500 C.E., the history of Spain and Portugal, medieval travel narratives and food. His research interests lie in three areas: (1) Iberia and the Mediterranean from late antiquity to around the year 1200 C.E., (2) law and conflict in the pre-modern world, and (3) sanctity, hagiography and the cult of saints.
Bowman is currently pursuing two research projects. The first examines women who administered justice (mostly countesses and viscountesses) in Europe between 800 and 1200 C.E.. The second, cult and community in early medieval Spain, explores the interpenetration of ritual and politics. Relying on diplomatic, archaeological and hagiographic evidence, he is examining how saints' cults provide a valuable window onto the articulation of communities and the exercise of power. From the poet Prudentius' account of how the blood of martyrs remade late antique cities like Tarragona and Mérida, to the administrative sanctity of eleventh-century bishops, who opened markets and minted coins, saints' cults on the Iberian peninsula followed a distinctive logic. Understandings of holy and earthly power implicit in sources like these allow us to understand how people created and maintained communities.
Areas of Expertise
Europe and the Mediterranean between 300 and 1500 C.E., Spain and Portugal, medieval travel narratives.
1997 — Doctor of Philosophy from Yale University
1994 — Master of Philosophy from Yale University
1992 — Master of Arts from Yale University
1988 — Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College