Jennifer R. Davis Headshot


  • History
  • School

  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Expertise

  • Early medieval Europe
  • Carolingian Empire
  • Cultural history of early medieval law
  • Jennifer Davis is an historian of early medieval western Europe. Her first book, Charlemagne’s Practice of Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2015), offered a new interpretation of this pivotal early medieval ruler and how he and his men attempted to control his vast empire. Her current project, Per capitularios nostros: Law and its Uses in the Frankish Kingdoms, examines how the Frankish kings produced law and how people in the Frankish orbit sought to put those laws to use. Based extensively on the surviving manuscripts of Frankish capitularies, the book examines how and why various communities copied and used royal law for their own purposes. She is also the editor, with Michael McCormick, of The Long Morning of Medieval Europe: New Directions in Early Medieval Studies (Ashgate, 2008). Dr. Davis has held fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study, the American Academy in Berlin, the American Academy in Rome, and the Fulbright Foundation, among others. She teaches a range of courses on early medieval history, including archaeology for historians and seminars on Carolingian history.

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    Selected Publications

    • Charlemagne's Practice of Empire

      Charlemagne's Practice of Empire

      Jennifer R. Davis, Charlemagne's Practice of Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

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    • The Long Morning of Medieval Europe

      The Long Morning of Medieval Europe

      Jennifer R. Davis and M. McCormick, ed., The Long Morning of Medieval Europe: New Directions in Early Medieval Studies (Ashgate, 2008)

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