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Lucy Sackville
Senior Lecturer in Medieval History



BA (Newcastle) MA, PhD (York)

Lucy Sackville is a senior lecturer in the history of the central Middle Ages in the Department of History.  She was a Rome Fellow at the British School at Rome, and a Junior Research Fellow at Exeter College, Oxford, before joining the department in 2012.  Her research is focused on the religious and intellectual history of the central Middle Ages, principally that of Italy and southern France.



Dr Sackville's research interests are broadly concerned with the conflicts between different systems of medieval thought and belief, and the cultural transfer and encounters that those conflicts generate. Her work explores these questions in the context of medieval heresy and its repression, and is concentrated on the histories of Italy and southern France.

The fact that nearly all the source material for the study of medieval heresy is produced by those who sought to suppress and eliminate it presents obvious difficulties to the historian, and much of the historiography, particularly in recent decades, has been concerned with the implications of that methodological problem. Dr Sackville’s first book, Heresy and Heretics in the Thirteenth Century, is in part a response to that tradition. A survey of all the principal orthodox treatments of heresy in the mid-thirteenth century, it reads the texts as part of broader culture of anti-heretical thought, and explores the ideas underlying the different texts.

Dr Sackville is currently writing a book on inquisitors' manuals from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. These texts are a key location for the exchange and ordering of ideas about heresy, and lie at the heart of the network of inquisitors working between Languedoc and northern Italy. They also provide a crucial point of contact between the individual experience of the inquisitor and his broader institutional context. The Inquisitor’s Handbook will be published with York Medieval Press.



  •  (first year Period Topic module)
  • (second year Histories & Contexts module)
  • (second year Explorations module)


  •  (MA Option module)

Contact details

Dr Lucy Sackville
Vanbrugh College V/A/211
Department of History
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: Internal 4880, External (01904) 324880

Student hours

Semester 1 2023/4