Department of History
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117320
Gainesville, FL 32611-7320
Professor Florin Curta researches the written and archaeological evidence of medieval history on the European continent. His recent studies dealt with such diverse topics as the role and significance of child burials in the earliest church graveyards; culinary practices in early medieval Eastern Europe; coins and commercial exchanges in the sixth and seventh centuries; the image of the Vlachs in the French crusade chronicles; early medieval burials in prehistoric mounds; ethnicity in the Black Sea region in early Byzantine times; the economic and funerary uses of early medieval coin imitations; and cities in Dark-Age Byzantium. An important research theme in his recent work is ethnicity. This is particularly reflected in Professor Curta’s first book, The Making of the Slavs. History and Archaeology of the Lower Danube Region, A.D. 500-700, which was named a 2002 Choice Outstanding Academic Title and won the Herbert Baxter Adams Award of the American Historical Association in 2003. The book was translated into Romanian and Bulgarian. Curta’s second book, Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250 reflects his interest in the European interaction with the “periphery” and addresses the impact the Carolingian conquest in the late ninth and the Byzantine conquest in the late tenth and early eleventh century both had on creating a constellation of client states, the political and religious identity of which were defined by Carolingian, as well as Byzantine forms of representation. A third book, The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, ca. 500 to 1050. The Early Middle Ages, published in 2011, further explores the relation between the establishment of trans-Mediterranean trade routes and the rise of a landed aristocracy in early medieval Greece. The Velestino Hoard. Casting Light on the Byzantine ‘Dark Ages’ (2019), written together with Bartłomiej Szymon Szmoniewski, examines a remarkable collection of bronze and leaden plaque, found in Thessaly in the 1920s. Finally, Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1300 (2019) offers an overview of the current state of research on Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages and a basic route map for navigating an abundant historiography available in more than ten different languages. The book was awarded the Verbruggen Prize of the De Re Militari Society (2020).
Curta has edited five collections of studies: The Steppe Lands and the Worlds Beyond Them (2013); Neglected Barbarians (2011); The Other Europe in the Middle Ages. Avars, Bulgars, Khazars, and Cumans (2007); Borders, Barriers, and Ethnogenesis. Frontiers in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (2005); and East Central and Eastern Europe in the Early Middle Ages (2005). The latter volume was named a 2006 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. He has a compiled the Bibliography of the History and Archaeology of Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, published online by Brill in 2019, and updated annually. He has also published extensively in such journals as Speculum, Early Medieval Europe, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, Revue des études byzantines, Post-Classical Archaeologies, and Medieval Encounters. For 25 years between 1993 and 2018, he has organized annually sessions on the history and archaeology of Eastern Europe for the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo. He is the co-editor of the Brill series “East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 450-1450” and of the Palgrave series “New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture,” as well as a member of the Advisory Board of the Cursor Mundi series of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Professor Curta is the director of the certificate program in Medieval Archaeology and a founding member of the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Florida.