Renowned historian Giles Constable has passed away at the age of 91. One of the leading medievalists of the last 60 years, Constable focused his research on the eleventh and twelfth centuries, covering topics such as monasticism, crusading, and religious and social thought.
After earning his PhD at Harvard University in 1957, Constable went on to teach at the University of Iowa, Harvard, and the Institute for Advanced Study. He authored over 25 books and about a hundred articles, including The Letters of Peter the Venerable (1967) and The Reformation of the Twelfth Century (1996).
“Giles will be remembered not only for a long history of field-shaping work, but also for his generosity and leadership in lifting up a new generation of researchers,” wrote Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study. “Naturally curious, his manner of leaving no stone unturned has enriched the study of medieval history in innumerable ways. He will be deeply missed.”
Over the years Giles Constable received numerous awards and accolades for his work, and many people have commented on social media about his passing:
So sorry to hear from @MedievalAcademy that Professor Giles Constable has died. He was my tutor for a while, and an all-round academic hero of mine. A wonderful, humane, kind, and brilliant scholar.
— Elaine Treharne (@ETreharne) January 22, 2021
Sad news: Giles Constable has passed away. He was a giant in the field of medieval history who substantially influenced my own training and research.
— John D. Hosler (@medievalist1) January 18, 2021
I'm very said to hear it, and I second this, although I can't claim to have known Giles Constable personally (I only met him once). But he has a huge influence on my research, since my work on the letters of Peter the Venerable for my BA until now. https://t.co/4Tx9eUPrWF
— Micol Long (@micol_long) January 18, 2021
Greatly saddened to learn of the death of Giles Constable. A true giant in the field who offered great generosity to his colleagues. Rest In Peace.
— Paul M. Cobb (@cobbpasha) January 18, 2021
Click here to read his article Recent Trends in the Study of the Middle Ages, published in 2009.
Click here to read his article A living past: The historical environment of the Middle Ages, published in 1990
Click here to read his article The Historiography of the Crusades, published in 2001
Top Image: Giles Constable when he served as the Director of Dumbarton Oaks (1977-1984). Photo courtesy Dumbarton Oaks / Wikimedia Commons