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Congratulations to/Félicitations à Alessia Berardi, Winner/Lauréate, 2024 Prix Boyle Prize!

The Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize annually to an outstanding dissertation in any field of medieval studies that was successfully defended in 2023 by a Canadian or by an international student at a Canadian institution. The 2024 Boyle Prize was awarded  to Dr. Alessia Berardi, for her dissertation “Vita, scientia, doctrina: Stephen Langton and the biblical model of the “good master” in the twelfth-century schools” (Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, 2023). 

The Prize Committee citation reads as follows:

Dr. Berardi's thesis argues “for the existence of a ‘magisterial model’ for twelfth-century masters of theology based on the image of the ‘good bishop’ provided by Gregory the Great in his Pastoral Rule.” Making a distinction between masters of the arts and masters of theology, it analyzes, and provides transcriptions of, previously unpublished material by Stephen Langton (lectures on the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lamentations). It demonstrates that “the triad scientia, uita, and doctrina…is found for the first time in the Ordinary Gloss, and it is used in reference to good preachers and masters in works authored by some of Langton’s contemporaries.” Finally, it situates Langton in historical context, noting the relationship between his views and those of preceding masters (Anselm of Laon, Gilbert of Poitiers, Peter Lombard, and Peter Comestor) and arguing that Peter Abelard represented, rather than a new model for masters of theology, a significant exception to the model of a good master.

Dr. Berardi should be praised for her contributions to medieval studies and her thesis is a “remarkable contribution” to the fields of medieval history, political history, and social history. It is a “tour de force in how meticulously transcribed and deciphered medieval manuscript material can provide new knowledge of a field.” Dr. Berardi methodology for placing “the main subject of the thesis, Langton, in a long-term perspective” is especially appreciated. Indeed, this thesis is “of significant importance” for our understanding of the creation of the university in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

The committee further notes the important contribution to scholarship of the transcribed primary texts included in the Appendix to Chapter 1, and the Conclusion’s discussion of potential future paths of investigation. The committee wishes to congratulate Dr Berardi for this rigorous work that exemplifies a high level of knowledge and skills in Medieval Studies.


Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize for Medieval Studies


Leonard E. BoyleThe Canadian Society of Medievalist/Société canadienne des médiévistes (CSM/SCM) awards the Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize annually to an outstanding dissertation in any field of medieval studies that was successfully defended in 2023 by a Canadian or by an international student at a Canadian institution. 

Our annual dissertation prize honours the memory of Fr. Leonard E. Boyle (1923-1999). Fr. Boyle, an Irish Dominican friar, commenced work for a B. Litt. degree at Oxford, but the quality of his project allowed him to transfer to the D.Phil., which he completed in 1956. His particular research expertise was in Latin paleography and in the history of canon law, philosophy, theology, clerical education, and pastoral care. Fr. Boyle taught graduate students at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto from 1961 to 1984. His courses prepared scholars to read and investigate medieval manuscript books and documents. As Prefect of the Vatican Library from 1984 to 1997, he helped to modernize the library and to make it more accessible to researchers. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1987. He is buried in Rome’s Basilica of San Clemente. The call for submissions for the 2025 prize will begin in late fall 2024.

Past Winners of the Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize

2023 - Arnaud MontreuilÉcrire, décrire, saisir l’adoubement chevaleresque : une histoire de l’hippotogenèse dans l’Europe du Nord-Ouest, le Midi de la France et l’Italie centro-septentrionale (v.1175- v.1300), Université d'Ottawa.

2022 - Stephanie Lahey, "Offcut Zone Parchment in Manuscript Codices from Later Medieval England" (University of Victoria, 2021). Honourable mentionHannah Kirby Wood, "Intersections of Voluntary and Involuntary Poverty: The Friars and the Lay Indigent in Late Medieval England, 1221-c. 1430" (University of Toronto, 2021).

2021- Amélie Marineau-Pelletier, "Écrire, traduire et conserver les lettres missives à Metz: enjeux documentaires et domination sociale des paraiges (XIVe-XVIe siècles)" (Université d'Ottawa, 2020)

2020 - Atri Hatef Naiemi, "A Dialogue between Friends and Foes: Transcultural Interactions in Ilkhanid Capital Cities (1256-1335 AD)" (University of Victoria, 2019).

2019 - Ronald Lvovski. “Building Context: the Church of San Julián de los Prados and Medieval Architecture in the Kingdom of Asturias (718-910).” (Toronto: Art History and Visual Culture, York University, 2018)

2018 - Kenneth F. Duggan, "“Communal Justice in Thirteenth-Century England”  (Kings College London, 2017)

2017 - Amanda McVitty, “Treason, Manhood, and the English State: Shaping Constitutional Ideas and Political Subjects through the Laws of Treason, 1397-1424” (Massey University, New Zealand, 2016)

2016 - Rowan Dorin, “Banishing Usury: The Expulsion of Foreign Moneylenders in Medieval Europe, 1200-1450” (Harvard, 2015)

2015 - Magda Hayton, "Inflections of Prophetic Vision: The Reshaping of Hildegard of Bingen's Apocalypticism as Represented by Abridgments of the Pentachronon" (University of Toronto, 2014)

2014 - Lucie Laumonier, "Vivre seul à Montpellier à la fin du Moyen Âge" (Université de Sherbrooke and Université Montpellier, 2013)

2013 - Ariella Elema, "Trial by Battle in France and England" (University of Toronto, 2012)

2012 - Giselle Gos, "Constructing the Female Subject in Anglo-Norman, Middle English, and Medieval Irish Romance" (University of Toronto, 2011)

2011 - Martin Gravel, "Distances, recontres, communications: Les defis de la concorde dans l'Empire carolingien" (Université de Montréal and the Université de Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne 2010)

2010 - Richard Matthew Pollard, "Literary Culture in Ninth-Century Northern Italy" (University of Cambridge, 2009)

2009 - Laura Marchiori, “Art and Reform in Eleventh-Century Rome: The Paintings of S. Maria in Pallara” (Queen’s University at Kingston, 2008)

2008 - No Prize Awarded

2007 - Marica C. Cassis, “Mensa, Thusiasterion, and Madebha: The Evolution of the Permanent Altar in the Early Christian Church” (University of Toronto, 2006)

2006 - Caroline Boucher, “La mise en scène de la vulgarisation. Les traductions d’autorités en langue vulgaire aux XIIIe et XIVe siècles” (Université de Paris, CNRS, 2005)

2005 - Robin Vose, “Converting the Faithful: Dominican Mission in the Medieval Crown of Aragon” (Notre Dame University, 2004)

2004 - Harriet Sonne de Torrens, "De Fontibus Salvatoris: A Liturgical and Ecclesiological Reading of the Representation of the Childhood of Christ on the Medieval Fonts from Scandinavia" (Copenhagen University, 2003)

2003 - Oren Falk, “The Cultural Construction of Violence in Medieval Western Scandinavia” (University of Toronto, 2002)

2002 - Maidi Hilmo, “Images, Icons, and Texts: Illustrated English Literature from the Ruthwell Cross to Ellesmere Chaucer” (University of Victoria, 2001)

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