Steven Biddlecombe

My early research experience was in archives in Paris, Rome, Madrid, Burgo de Osma (Central Spain), and London, looking for manuscripts that contained versions of the Historia Ierosolimitana by Baldric of Bourgueil – a Latin prose narrative of the First Crusade. As part of an AHRC- funded research project, that work resulted in a new edition of this primary source and an expansion of the manuscript tradition for it, from a meagre seven surviving medieval books to an abundant twenty four. This has significantly raised the profile of Baldric of Bourgueil’s Historia Ierosolimitana.

Alongside Dr Sue Edgington, i am currently working on a translation into English of the Historia – the first ever into a modern language – making this newly important text much more accessible to an international audience.

I am also writing a book about ‘Risk, Reward and Trust in the Middle Ages’ – this examines stories of risky ventures in the Middle Ages and the understanding that the narrators of those ventures had of how men – usually men – weighed up the risks they were taking, assessed the rewards that would accrue from success and how they were able to place their trust in a leader. The study encompasses narratives concerning the crusades, the career of El Cid, the Norman conquest of Anglo-Saxon England and the lives of men such as Robert Guiscard and William the Marshal. I am especially interested in the interaction of risk (physical, monetary and spiritual) and Christian faith.