Teresa Shawcross

Associate Professor of History and Hellenic Studies
Office Phone
112 Dickinson Hall

Teresa Shawcross is a historian of the Byzantine Empire and the Mediterranean World in the Middle Ages. Her first book (The Chronicle of Morea: Historiography in Crusader Greece) focused on the Crusader States, and discussed the evolution of the representation of identity in medieval historical narratives composed within a volatile region where different ethnicities were obliged to live alongside each other and outside political interests frequently intruded. Currently interested in medieval theories and practices of empire, she is completing a book on the late Byzantine Empire (Nightmares of Empire: Memory, Legitimation and Power in the Eastern Mediterranean, 13th-15th Centuries). She is also working on an edition and translation of the writings of the Italo-Byzantine political theorist and statesman Theodore Palaeologus, and conducting preliminary research for a monograph, tentatively entitled Cosmopolitan Networks in an Age of Revolutions: Ruling the Mediterranean World at the End of Empire, that seeks, by comparing the Byzantine and Holy Roman Empires, to analyse the collapse of imperial authority and the transformation of transregional power networks. The recent award of a New Directions Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation will enable her to explore in the future the interaction of Mediterranean with Central Asiatic history.

Professor Shawcross received an interdisciplinary education, earning her B.A., M.Phil. and D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, and her Maîtrise from the Université de Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle. She held a Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Fellowship at Princeton University and a Research Fellowship at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, while her last position was that of Assistant Professor of Medieval European and Mediterranean History at Amherst College. She returned to Princeton in 2012, joining the faculty of the History Department and the Center for the Hellenic Studies. At present, she is on sabbatical leave as a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at Cambridge.


Professor Shawcross has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on Medieval Europe of the Central and Late Middle Ages; the Byzantine Empire; the Crusades and the Crusader States; and Venice and the Mediterranean World. Other offerings have included seminars on the reading and writing of history, as well as seminars providing instruction in palaeography and related skills.

Selected Articles

“Mediterranean Encounters before the Renaissance: Byzantine and Italian Political Thought Concerning the Rise of Cities.” In Renaissance Encounters: Greek East and Latin West [Medieval and Renaissance Authors and Texts 8], ed. M. Brownlee and D. Gondicas. Leiden: Brill, 2013.

“A New Lycurgus for a New Sparta: George Gemistos Plethon and the Despotate of Mistra.” In Viewing the Morea: Land and People in the Late Medieval Peloponnese, ed. S. Gerstel, 418-52. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2012.

“Conquest Legitimised: The Making of a Byzantine Emperor in Crusader Constantinople (1204-1261).” In Between Byzantines and Turks: Understanding the Late Medieval Eastern Mediterranean World, ed J. Harris, C. Holmes and E. Russell, 181-219. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

“Greeks and Franks after the Fourth Crusade: Identity in the Chronicle of Morea.” In Languages of Love and Hate: Conflict, Communication, and Identity in the Medieval Mediterranean, ed. S. Lambert and H. Nicholson, 141-57. Turnhout: Brepols, 2012. h

“The Lost Generation (c.1204-c.1222): Political Allegiance and Local Interests in the Crusader Lands.” In Identities and Allegiances in the Eastern Mediterranean after 1204, ed. J. Herrin and G. Saint-Guillain, 9-46. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010.

“ ‘Listen, All of You, Both Franks and Romans’: The Narrator in the Chronicle of Morea.” In Byzantine History as Literature, ed. R. Macrides, 91-109. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010.

“ ‘Do Thou Nothing without Counsel’: Political Assemblies and the Ideal of Good Government in the Thought of Theodore Palaeologus and Theodore Metochites”. Al-Masãq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean [Themed Issue: Counsel and Advice in the Medieval World] 20: 1 (2008): 90-118.

“In the Name of the True Emperor: Politics of Resistance after the Palaiologan Usurpation”. Byzantinoslavica 66 (2008): 203-227.

“Oral Residue and Narrative Structure in the Chronicle of Morea”. Byzantion 75 (2005): 310-333.

“Re-inventing the Homeland in the Historiography of Frankish Greece: The Fourth Crusade and the Legend of the Trojan War”. Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 27 (2003): 120-152.

Area of Interest
(In alphabetical order)
Cultural History
Economic History
Imperial History
Intellectual History
Political History
Urban History
Home Department & Other Affiliations
6th through 14th Centuries
15th & 16th Centuries
Middle East and North Africa