I completed my BA and PhD at the University of Cambridge, where I was subsequently a research fellow, and held a lectureship at the University of Sheffield from 1996.  I have been Professor of Medieval History at Swansea University since 2007.

My research concerns the history of France and the British Isles in the Central Middle Ages (especially the Anglo-Norman realm, the Angevin Empire, and Capetian France), and medieval frontier societies.  My earlier publications include The Norman Frontier in the Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), and I edited The Central Middle Ages (Short Oxford History of Europe)(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) and (with Naomi Standen) Frontiers in Question: Eurasian Borderlands 700-1700 (Basingstoke: Macmillan Press, 1999).

More recently, my research has concentrated upon the Anglo-Norman aristocracy after the collapse of the Anglo-Norman realm in 1204.  Between 2016 and 2018 I held a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for the project ‘The Separation of England and France, 1204-1259’, which investigated the disintegration of the political and social ties that had been established between England and Northern France during the Anglo-Norman period.  Alongside this research project I am also preparing a critical edition of the charters of the constables of Normandy in the 12th and 13th centuries.  Some of my other recent publications have concerned the aristocracy of the Welsh March, and the participants in the Albigensian Crusade (1209-29).  I have supervised doctoral students on a wide variety of topics relating to France and the British Isles between the 11th and early 14th centuries, including in joint supervision with French universities, and I would welcome applications from prospective research students wishing to work on this period.

I am a member and former director of MEMO, Swansea University’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (of London) and of the Royal Historical Society.


  1. Power, D. L’abbaye de Neath, fille galloise de l’Ordre de Savigny (Ed.), L’abbaye de Savigny (1112-2012): un chef d’ordre anglo-normand 177 191 Rennes Presses Universitaires de Rennes
  2. Power, D. La chute de la Normandie ducale (1202-4): un réexamen (Ed.), La guerre en Normandie (XIe - XVe siècle) 37 62 Caen Presses Universitaires de Caen
  3. Power, D. The transformation of Norman charters in the twelfth century (Ed.), People, Texts, and Artefacts. Cultural transmission in the medieval Norman worlds, ed. D. Bates and E. van Houts 193 212
  4. Power, D. Les Français en Normandie après 1204 (Ed.), 911-2011: Penser les Mondes Normands Médiévaux 245 261 Caen Presses Universitaires de Caen
  5. Power, D. The Briouze family in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries: inheritance strategies, lordship and identity Journal of Medieval History 41 3 341 361

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  • HI-M01 Historical Methods and Approaches

    This module provides training in advanced historical research. It is designed to introduce students to methods of historical investigation, writing, and presentation, and to important historical resources (including archives, collections of sources, and museums). Attention will be given to the use of IT in historical work work as well as more traditional paper-based methods.

  • HI-M22 Dissertation

    Students produce a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a historical topic, chosen in conjunction with their supervisor. This represents the culmination of the History MAs, and constitutes Part Two of the programme.

  • HI-M80 Directed Reading in History

    Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.

  • HIH117 Medieval Europe: an introduction

    The module is a basic introduction to the history of Europe c600-c1450, a period usually described as 'Medieval'. It outlines the political and economic structures of the period, and examines the medieval 'world view' by discussing attitudes to life, death and the afterlife. Its first theme, expansion, charts the growth of Europe as a major world power and includes topics such as the crusades against the Muslims and pagans, political and economic growth, and intellectual development in the foundation of the universities. Its second theme, crisis, focuses on the devastating impact of plague, famine and warfare, and the increasing persecution of heretics, lepers, homosexuals, and Jews.

  • HIH252 War and Society in the Anglo-Norman World

    This module will examine Anglo-Norman warfare in the two centuries between the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and the civil war between Henry III and rebel English barons in 1264-65. It will look at the methods of warfare as well as to their impact upon Anglo-Norman society. Themes include comparisons with Anglo-Saxon and `Celtic¿ warfare, rebellion, chivalry and tournaments, the place of the Church and women in Anglo-Norman warfare, and representations of conflict in manuscripts and the Bayeux Tapestry.

  • HIH3300 History Dissertation

    The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.

  • HIMM00 Reading Medieval Manuscripts

    Medieval manuscript sources are crucial to our understanding of the Middle Ages. Research across the disciplines of medieval studies is grounded in the study and use of medieval books and documentary sources. This module aims to give students the skills, knowledge and confidence to engage with original manuscript sources of various types, from early Anglo-Saxon Gospel books to medieval chronicles, from illustrated books of hours to critical legal documents. Students will engage with these sources via digital and printed images and full-scale printed facsimiles, learning to recognise and transcribe medieval hands from all periods. Students will be given the chance to read original manuscripts during visits to the West Glamorgan Archive Service (Swansea) and the National Library of Wales (Aberystwyth). This module assumes no prior knowledge of medieval manuscripts, nor any prior knowledge of the medieval languages featured in the manuscript samples, including Latin, Old English and Middle English.

  • HIMM01 Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches

    This module introduces students to recent and current trends in medieval studies, to the research skills required for MA-level research, and to the medieval heritage of South Wales and the surrounding region. Seminars will consider the nature of medieval sources and texts, and a selection of themes that have made a significant impact upon medieval studies in recent years.

  • HIMM06 Directed Reading in Medieval Studies

    Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and either historiography or literary criticism, relating to a topic in Medieval Studies which they choose from a wide range of options.


  • The Social and Economic Development of the Cities of Old Sarum and New Sarum (Salisbury) (1066-1450) (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Matthew Stevens
  • 'Cambria Scandinavica? A Reappraisal of the Evidence of Viking Influence in Wales. C. AD 800-1100' (awarded 2018)

    Other supervisor: Dr Simon Meecham-Jones