Matthias Becher
Prof. Dr. Matthias Becher

Prof. Dr. Matthias Becher

University of Bonn
Institute of History
Department of Medieval History
Konviktstraße 11
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)228 / 73 5160
matthias.becher[at]uni-bonn.de


Current Position

  • Professor for Medieval and Modern History
  • Spokesperson for the Bonn Center of Medieval Studies
  • Spokesperson for the DFG Collaborative Research Center (SFB 1167) "Macht und Herrschaft: Vormoderne Konfigurationen in transkultureller Perspektive"
    ["Macht" and "Herrschaft": Premodern Configurations in a Transcultural Perspective)]

Research

Matthias Becher focuses on the problem of loyalty in the Carolingian Empire (750–900). For the first time in European history, Charlemagne made use of the oath as an instrument of government. The objective of the oath was to create a strong personal bond between the subjects and the ruler. Thus, a relationship of obligation was formed in order to reduce the agency of the common people. Unfree persons were also obliged to give the oath. For them, however, the oath meant an improvement of their social status. This was a crucial element in the emergence of high and late medieval chivalry.

7 books, 3 edited volumes, 90 scientific papers and 80 reviews. 80 international lectures and presentations, 20 completed as well as 20 ongoing Ph.D. theses as first and second supervisor, 80 Magister, exam and Master theses, 15 Bacherlor theses as supervisor/first reviewer.

Education

  • 1995                            Habilitation and Venia Legendi in Medieval History, University of Paderborn, Germany
  • 1990                            Ph.D. in Medieval History, University of Constance, Germany
  • 1980–1986                M.A. in History and Political Sciences, University of Constance, Germany

Academic Positions

  • 2006                            Professor, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1998–present            Professor for Medieval and Modern History, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 1989–1998                Research Associate, University of Paderborn, Germany

Awards

  • 1995                             Ignaz-Theodor-Liborius-Meyer-Prize for habilitation by the Association for History and Classical Studies of Westphalia, Paderborn Division 
  • 1991                             Dissertation prize from the Constance County Council for the promotion of young academics at the University of Constance 1990

Participation in Centers and Collaborative Projects

  • 2013–present            Member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts, Class for Humanities
  • 2013–present            Member of the Central Directorate of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica
  • 2008–present            Member of the Constance Working Group for Medieval History
  • 2005–present            Member of the Medieval Studies Center Bonn University (Spokesperson since 2008)
  • 2005–2007                Member of the German Research Foundation (DFG) Priority Program (SPP 1173) "Disintegration and Integration of Medieval Cultures in Europe”
  • 2003–present            Corresponding member of the Historical Commission for Westphalia

Additional Academic Activities

  • 2009–present            Co-editor of "Historische Studien" (editor-in-chief)
  • 2008–2012                Member of the DFG Expert Commission 102 "History" of the DFG
  • 2006–present            Comparative and external commissioner in approximately 15 medievalist appointment procedures at German and international universities
  • 2001–present            Co-editor of "Bonner Historische Forschungen"
  •                                      Member of scientific advisory boards of numerous major exhibitions and project
  •                                      Expert for various research funding institutions, in particular for the DFG, the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research and the Alexander von
                                         Humboldt Foundation

Third-Party Funding

  • DFG Collaborative Research Center (SFB 1167) 2016–2020
  • 4 individual projects (since 2005) 
    total sum of approximately 9 million euros

Selected Publications

  • Stephan Conermann, Florian Hartmann, and Hendrik Hess, eds. 2015. (Be-)Gründung von Herrschaft. Strategien zur Bewältigung von Kontingenzerfahrung. Das Mittelalter 20(1). Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

  • 2012. Otto der Große. Kaiser und Reich. Eine Biographie. Munich: C.H. Beck.

  • and Alheydis Plassmann, eds. 2011. Streit am Hof im frühen Mittelalter. Super Alta Perennis 11. Göttingen: V&R unipress.

  • 2011. Chlodwig I. Der Aufstieg der Merowinger und das Ende der antiken Welt. Munich: C.H. Beck.

  • and Stefanie Dick, eds. 2010. Völker, Reiche und Namen im frühen Mittelalter. Mittelalterstudien 22. Munich: Wilhelm Fink.

  • 2009. Merowinger und Karolinger. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

  • ed. 2007. Quellen zur Geschichte der Welfen und die Chronik Burchards von Ursberg. Ausgewählte Quellen zur deutschen Geschichte des Mittelalters. Freiherr vom Stein-Gedächtnisausgabe 18b. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

  • 1999. Karl der Große. Munich: C.H. Beck. Engl. translation [Charlemagne. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003].

  • 1996. Rex, Dux und Gens. Untersuchungen zur Entstehung des sächsischen Herzogtums im 9. und 10. Jahrhundert. Historische Studien 444. Husum: Matthiesen Verlag.

  • 1993. Eid und Herrschaft. Untersuchungen zum Herrscherethos Karls des Großen. Vorträge und Forschungen. Konstanzer Arbeitskreis für Mittelalterliche Geschichte 39. Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag.

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