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Dr Roy Flechner


Roy Flechner

Lecturer/Assistant Professor
School of History
01 716 8353
University College Dublin, School of History, Newman Building Belfield Dublin 4


My research explores contacts between Continental Europe and the islands of Britain and Ireland in the early medieval period. I am especially interested in questions relating to conversion to Christianity, historiography, the emergence of ecclesiastical law, the circulation of texts and what this circulation can tell us about international contacts between scholars. In investigating the workings of law I am particularly concerned with such fundamental questions as how legal compilations were first codified, what were the philosophical preambles on which laws were founded and how early medieval jurists perceived the concept of law itself. In order to shed light on these issues I have been exploring in my most recent publications the potential that modern legal theory has to offer to historians of the early middle ages. My work also examines the way in which the perception and formulation of law was affected by conversion to Christianity and, on the other hand, the way in which laws themselves might serve as a window onto the process of conversion itself. Recently I began to turn my attention to the social, economic and cultural context of conversion to Christianity through an international research network that I founded, on which more here: A continuing project, Becoming Christian in Early Medieval Ireland and Britain: Examining the Textual and Material Evidence , is underway. It examines hagiographical episodes of conversion in the landscape and features digital maps with corresponding textual references. A beta version of the project website can be accessed here: Research Projects Sponsor : The Leverhulme Trust Title : Converting the Isles: An International Research Network for the Study of Conversion to Christianity in the Insular World Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-12 / 30-SEP-14