Michael Lower

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Department of History
1122 HellerH

271 19th Ave S


Michael Lower writes about the crusades, mercenaries, medieval Mediterranean history, and soccer. He grew up in Toronto and went to UTS for high school, then to Victoria College in the University of Toronto for a B.A. in history. He received a Ph.D. in medieval history in 1999 from Cambridge University, where he worked with David Abulafia and Jonathan Riley-Smith. Since 2000 he has taught in the history department at the University of Minnesota. In 2010-11, thanks to a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship, he was fortunate enough to spend a year studying classical Arabic and early Islamic history at the University of Chicago. His more recent research on the crusades tries to bring together Arabic and European-language sources to tell the story of these complex multi-lateral conflicts from multiple perspectives. He is the author of "The Barons' Crusade of 1239: A Call to Arms and Its Consequences" (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) and "The Tunis Crusade of 1270: A Mediterranean History" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: History, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, 1999.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Medieval Mediterranean
  • the Crusades
  • Christian-Muslim Relations
  • North Africa
Courses Taught
  • Hist3412 -- Soccer: Around the World with the Beautiful Game
  • Hist5900 -- Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Middle Ages
  • Hist 1031W -- Europe and the World: Expansion, Encounter, and Exchange to 1500
  • Hsem 3070 -- European Lives
  • Hist 3608W / Mest 3610 – History of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages
  • Hist 3613 -- History of the Crusades
  • Hist 3618 / Mest 3610 – The Dark Ages Illumined: Medieval Europe to 1050
  • Hist 3619 / Mest 3610 – Chivalry, Crisis, and Revival: Medieval History, 1050-1500.
  • Hist 5612 -- Proseminar in Medieval History
  • Hist 5614 / Mest 5610 – The Medieval Church
Research & Professional Activities


  • Mercenaries, States, and Organized Violence in Comparative Perspective: Book Project, 2018
  • Lower, Michael. The Tunis Crusade of 1270: A Mediterranean History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). Image
  • Lower, Michael. The Barons' Crusade: A Call to Arms and Its Consequences (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press). Image
  • Lower, Michael. “New Wars, Old Wars, and Medieval Wars: European Mercenaries as State Actors in Europe and North Africa, ca. 1100-1500,”Mediterranean Studies 25 (2017): 33-52.
  • Lower, Michael “Medieval European Mercenaries in North Africa: The Value of Difference,”Journal of Medieval Military History 14 (2016): 105-21.
  • Lower, Michael “Christian Mercenaries in Muslim Lands: Their Status in Medieval Islamic and Canon Law,” in The Crusader World ed. Adrian Boas (London: Routledge, 2015), 419-33.
  • Lower, Michael. "The Papacy and Christian Mercenaries of Thirteenth-Century North Africa," Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies 89 (2014): 601-31. Download
  • Lower, Michael T. “Louis IX, Charles of Anjou, and the Tunis Crusade of 1270,“ in The Crusades: Medieval Worlds in Conflict, ed. Thomas F. Madden, James L. Naus, and Vincent Ryan (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2011), 173-93.
  • Lower, Michael T. “Urban II’s Call to Crusade,“ in Milestone Documents of World History: Exploring the Primary Sources that Shaped the World, ed. Brian Bonhomme, 4 vols. (Dallas: Schlager Press, 2010), 2: 497-512. Download
  • Lower, Michael T. "Ibn al-Lihyani: sultan of Tunis and would-be Christian convert." Mediterranean Historical Review 24 (2009): 17-27. Download
  • Lower, Michael T. "Conversion and St Louis's Last Crusade." The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 58 (2007): 211-231. Download
  • Lower, Michael T. "Tunis in 1270: A Case Study of Interfaith Relations in the Late Thirteenth Century." The International History Review 28 (2006): 504-514.
  • Lower, Michael T. ""Negotiating Interfaith Relations in Eastern Christendom: Pope Gregory IX, Bela IV of Hungary, and the Latin Empire"." Essays in Medieval Studies 21 (2004): 49-62. Download
  • Lower, Michael T. "'The Burning at Mont-Aimé: Thibaut IV of Champagne's Preparations for the Barons' Crusade"." Journal of Medieval History 29 (2003): 95-108. Download
  • Lower, Michael. “Tribute, Islamic Law, and Diplomacy: The Legal Background to the Tunis Crusade of 1270,” in Papacy, Crusade, and Christian-Muslim Relations, ed. Jessalynn Bird (Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, 2018), 225-45.
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship Graduate School University of Minnesota, 2014 - 2015
  • Single-Semester Research Leave, University of Minnesota, 2014 - 2014
  • Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship Supplemental Award, 2012 - 2012
  • Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship, 2010 - 2011
  • Imagine Fund SIngle Course Release, 2009 - 2010
  • Imagine Fund Research Grant, 2009 - 2009
  • Solmsen Residential Fellowship, Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006 - 2007
  • Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship, Graduate School, University of Minnesota, 2006 - 2008
  • Sabbatical Supplement, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, 2006 - 2007
  • Single Semester Leave, Graduate School, University of Minnesota, 2002 - 2003
  • McKnight Summer Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2001, 2008.
  • Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, Graduate School, 2001, 2008.

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