Julia Smith

Julia Smith teaches medieval history at Oxford. She is working on a new book, Christianity in Fragments: Relic Cults from Constantine to the Carolingians.

Thomas Becket​ was not the first archbishop of Canterbury to meet a violent end – Archbishop Alphege was killed by Vikings in 1012 – but he was unique in other ways. Unlike his predecessors, he was not particularly learned and wrote nothing except letters (the 12th-century equivalent of texting), of which 189 survive. He preferred hunting, hawking and fine clothes to the...

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