ISSEME Publication Awards 2021

Best Book

Chris Fern, Tania Dickinson & Leslie Webster, ed., The Staffordshire Hoard: An Anglo-Saxon Treasure, London, Society of Antiquaries of London, 2019

A very detailed and scholarly yet accessible publication, suitable for specialist scholars and anyone simply interested in the Hoard. Three strands (book, specialist reports and surveys and catalogue) follow a balanced and varied approach. A complex task has been extremely well mastered.

Best 1st Monograph

Emily Kesling, Medical Texts in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture, Cambridge, D. S. Brewer, 2020

A well-structured, extensively referenced book which meticulously explores the four important extant medical texts of Early England. The author shows the importance of manuscript context for textual studies of any kind and is setting an example of how to do so in extremely readable scholarly prose.

Best Article

Nicole Marafioti, “Secular and Ecclesiastical Justice in Late Anglo-Saxon England” Speculum 94/3 (2019) 774-805

A thorough and careful examination of the tension in Wulfstan of York’s legislative agenda regarding the correct division between secular and ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Marafioti’s prose is clear, her reasoning sound and her argument very well explored, presenting vital context and precedent for the separation of ecclesiastical and secular courts shortly after the Norman Conquest.


Rory Naismith and Francesca Tinti, “The Origins of Peter’s Pence”, English Historical Review 134/568 (2019), 521-552

A very convincing case, buttressed by a wide range of evidence, for the tradition of Peter’s Pence (as a centrally administered tithe of all Catholics to Rome) having begun as a uniquely English tradition, whereas monetary gifts from kingdoms such as Poland were far more sporadic.

Best Article by an Early-Career Researcher

Yuta Uchikawa, “Core and Periphery in Anglo-Saxon England: The Mercian Assemblies in the Kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons and the Formation of the English Kingdom”, East Asian Journal of British History (2019)

An exemplary study in the meticulous but creative analysis of primary sources in Early Medieval English history, tracing the gradual subordination of Mercian political autonomy to the West Saxon Kingdom through the activities of their ruling assemblies. Rarely is the formation of a unified English state discussed with such nuance and subtlety.

Best Edition or Translation

Roy Flechner, ed. and trans., The Hibernensis; Book 1: A study and edition; Book 2: Translation, commentary, and indexes, Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2019

A massive undertaking, which finally makes accessible in a modern edition and translation one of the most important legal texts from early medieval Ireland and beyond. The editor’s choices are presented in a particularly transparent and lucid manner and the critical apparatus is most helpful. This will undoubtedly be an indispensable reference book for decades to come.

Best Teaching Aid

Megan Cavell, with Matthias Ammon, Neville Mogford and Victoria Symons, ed. and trans., The Riddle Ages: Early Medieval Riddles, Translations and Commentaries, (2013; redeveloped 2020),

The blog, now refashioned into a website, has already proven useful to many teachers across the globe. It presents Old English and Latin riddles in an engaging manner that makes it readily accessible to anyone, and provides very useful lists of references and suggested reading for those keen on going further.

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