Dr John Sabapathy

John Sabapathy is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History and works on the comparative history of Europe/Christendom in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. His monograph Officers and Accountability in Medieval England, 1170-1300, a study of English officers in a European context, won the Royal Historical Society's Whitfield Prize for 2015. He is interested in processes of institutionalization and his major current project is a wide-ranging study of thirteenth-century Europe, a volume in the new Oxford History of Medieval Europe series. He is also co-editing a volume on Individuals and Institutions in Medieval Scholasticism with Dr Antonia Fitzpatrick.

Before returning to UCL (where he took his PhD), he was a Junior Research Fellow at St John's College, Oxford. Between his BA and graduate degrees, John worked in public policy on sustainable development and corporate accountability with a range of international think tanks, NGOs, corporations, and British and European governmental bodies.

PhD supervision

John is interested in receiving research proposals from prospective students on topics addressing the political, intellectual and/or cultural history of Europe (including Britain) in the 'long' thirteenth century (c.1150-1350), including comparative ones.

Current supervisees: John currently supervises, co-supervises or second supervises Jacqueline Derrick (Marino Sanudo's maps), Anaïs Waag (thirteenth-century queens' letters), Benedict Wiedemann (papal lordship 1000-1300), and Agata Zielinska (Polish ecclesiastical institutions in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries).

Recent PhDs: John was the second supervisor for Drs Emily Corran (lying in medieval thought) and Louisa Taylor (ideals of elite male conduct in medieval England, Norway and Denmark).

Major publications

  • Officers and Accountability in Medieval England 1170-1300 (OUP, 2014)

For a full list of publications, see John's Iris profile.


Individuals and Institutions in Medieval Scholasticism is a project with Dr Antonia Fitzpatrick (Oxford University) exploring those phenomena and their interrelationships. A volume - the product of a UCL-Oxford supported European conference in 2015 - is forthcoming.

Media appearances

  • Financial Times video on parallels between the 'gig' (e.g. Uber/Deliveroo) and 'feudal' economies, 2016
  • Wrote and presented a documentary (Inside Job Productions) marking the 2012 millennium of St Alfege's Church, Greenwich (St Alfege/Ælfheah was an archbishop of Canterbury, possibly martyred in 1012 by being battered to death by ox bones at a drunken Viking banquet)