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Matthew R Gabriele

Associate Professor

  • Coordinator, Medieval & Early Modern Studies
  • PhD in History from the University of California, Berkeley, 2005

Matthew Gabriele is an associate professor and Coordinator of Medieval & Early Modern Studies in the Department of Religion and Culture.  He is also the faculty principal of the Residential College at West Ambler Johnston.


See a Full Curriculum Vitae (December 2014)



He teaches on the European Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Discovery, and modern perceptions of the "medieval." Specific courses include:

  • The Medieval World
  • Age of the Crusades
  • Theories of Prophecy and History
  • Memory, History, & Legend: The Case of Charlemagne
  • Christians, Jews, & the Idea of Judeo-Christianity
  • The Medieval Hero: Warriors & Saints
  • The Language of Religious Violence
  • Love: An Introduction to College

Past Research

In Summer 2008, he attended a NEH Institute on "Holy Land & Holy City in Classical Judaism, Christianity, and Islam." In Spring 2010, he was a visiting professor in the Religion und Politik Exzellenzcluster at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.

He has also published articles on the apocalypticism and emperor Otto III, the image of Charlemagne in the Oxford Chanson de Roland, the genesis of the anti-Jewish violence of the First Crusade, the memory of the Carolingians around King Philip I (1060-1108) of Francia, and the intellectual formation of Pope Urban II (1088-99).

Click here for free PDFs of his articles
(click the title for the PDF)

His books include An Empire of Memory: The Legend of Charlemagne, the Franks, and Jerusalem before the First Crusade (Oxford UP, 2011), an edited collection entitled The Legend of Charlemagne in the Middle Ages: Power, Faith, and Crusade (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), another edited collection entitled Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Essays on Medieval Europe in Honor of Daniel F. Callahan (Brill, 2014), and a special issue of the journal Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception entitled "Revisiting the 'Judeo-Christian' Tradition."

    Where Heaven and Earth Meet


Current Research

Gabriele is currently working on several projects, all related to points of intersection between religion and violence.

Articles in progress include:

  • The use of exegesis in the diplomas of King Philip I (1060-1108) of Francia
  • The understanding of sacred history in the First Crusade history of Robert the Monk (ca. 1110)
  • The violent rhetoric in Seung-Hui Cho's manifesto
  • English translation of Pseudo-Alcuin's version of Adso Dervensis' De antichristo
  • English translation of the Descriptio qualiter Karolus Magnus

Book projects include:

  • Prophecy, Apocalypse, and the Intellectual Transformation of the Medieval West (under contract with Oxford UP)
  • The Many Latin Lives of Charlemagne, ed. William Purkis and Matthew Gabriele (Boydell & Brewer, forthcoming).
  • Untitled project on the use of the term "Judeo-Christianity" in modern American culture and it's historical roots. With Benjamin E. Sax.

Outreach, Tweeting, & Blogging

Prof. Gabriele attempts to fulfill Virginia Tech's land grant mission by committing to the life of a publicly-engaged intellectual. He served on the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Libraries' Board of Trustees from 2010-2012 and now serves as an elected member of the Montgomery County, VA Board of Supervisors (2011-2015), representing District G.

In addition, each year he puts on numerous events open to the public on topics related to Medieval Studies, and religion and culture. He also regularly tweets and maintains a blog at Medium

    Matthew Gabriele

  • (540) 231-2207
  • Residential College at West Ambler Johnston (0920)
    1319 East Ambler Johnston Hall, Virginia Tech
    700 Washington St SW
    Blacksburg, VA 24061-9521
    United States

Contact Us

Department of Religion and Culture
Lane Hall 112, Virginia Tech (0227)
280 Alumni Mall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: 540-231-6551
Fax: 540-231-7013
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Chair, Department of Religion and Culture

Prof. Brian Britt
111 Lane Hall (0227)
Phone: 540-231-6551