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Thomas Madden

Thomas F. Madden
Madden, 2012
Born 1960
Residence St. Louis, Missouri
Nationality USA
Alma mater University of New Mexico, University of Illinois
Occupation Historian
Employer Saint Louis University
Known for Crusades historian, Venice historian
Title Professor of History, Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, SLU

Thomas F. Madden (born 1960) is an American historian, a former Chair of the History Department at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Director of Saint Louis University's Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.[1] He is considered one of the foremost medieval scholars and experts on the Crusades, and was often called upon as a historical consultant after the events of September 11, to discuss the connections between Jihad, the medieval Crusades and modern Islamic terrorism.[2][3][4][5] He has frequently appeared in the media, as a consultant for various programs on the History Channel and National Public Radio.[6] In 2007, he was awarded the Haskins Medal from the Medieval Academy of America, for his book Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice, which was also a "Book of the Month" selection by the BBC History magazine. In 2012 he was named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.



Madden received his Bachelor's Degree from the University of New Mexico in 1986, and his Masters (1990) and PhD (1993) degrees in History from the University of Illinois.

Madden is active in the Society for the Study of the Crusades in the Latin East,[7] and organizes panels for the Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Saint Louis, Missouri.[8] He is the Director of the Crusades Studies Forum and the Medieval Italy Prosopographical Database Project, both housed at Saint Louis University.



Madden has written numerous books and journal articles, including the "Crusades" entry for the Encyclopædia Britannica. His research specialties are ancient and medieval history, including the Fourth Crusade, as well as ancient and medieval Italian history. His 1997 book The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople was a selection of the History Book Club. He is also known for speaking about the ways that the history of the Crusades is often used for manipulation of modern political agendas.[12] His book, The New Concise History of the Crusades has been translated into seven foreign languages.

His book Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice won multiple awards, including the 2007 Haskins Medal from the Medieval Academy of America and the Otto Gründler Prize from the Medieval Institute.[9][10] It was also selected as Book of the Month by the BBC History Magazine. According to the Medieval Review, with this book "Madden more than ever stakes out his place as one of the most important medievalists in America at present."[13]

His 2008 book, Empires of Trust, was a comparative study that sought elements in historic republics that led to the development of empires. In the case of Rome, he argued that their citizens and leaders acquired a level of trust among allies and potential enemies that was based upon an unusual rejection of hegemonic power. His most recent book, Venice: A New History is the culmination of decades of work in the archives and libraries of Venice.


  • Venice: A New History, 2012, Viking
  • Crusades: Medieval Worlds in Conflict, 2010 Ashgate
  • Empires of Trust, 2008, Dutton/Penguin
  • The Fourth Crusade: Event, Aftermath, and Perceptions, 2008, Ashgate
  • Crusades: The Illustrated History, 2005, University of Michigan Press
  • Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice, 2003, Johns Hopkins University Press
  • The Crusades: The Essential Readings, 2002, Blackwell
  • The New Concise History of the Crusades, 1999, Rowman & Littlefield
  • Medieval and Renaissance Venice, 1999, University of Illinois Press
  • The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople, 1997, University of Pennsylvania Press

Select popular articles

  • "The Pope Joins a Fine but Rarely Seen Tradition", Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2013.
  • "The Real History of the Crusades", ARMA, March 19, 2011 (updated 2005 piece)
  • "America's Days Aren't Numbered", The Wall Street Journal, July 4, 2008.
  • -- One Year Later"The Lost Tomb of Jesus"Not Dead Yet: , NRO, March 21, 2008.
  • "Unreasonable Response: Benedict XVI Hasn't Revived the Crusades", NRO, September 18, 2006.
  • "Crusaders and Historians", First Things, June/July 2005.
  • Kingdom of Heaven"Onward P.C. Soldiers: Ridley Scott's , NRO, May 27, 2005.
  • "The Real Inquisition: Investigating the Popular Myth,", NRO, June 18, 2004.

Select scholarly articles

  • "The Venetian Version of the Fourth Crusade: Memory and the Conquest of Constantinople in Medieval Venice," Speculum 87 (2012): 311-44.
  • "The Latin Empire of Constantinople’s Fractured Foundation: The Rift Between Boniface of Montferrat and Baldwin of Flanders," in The Fourth Crusade: Event, Aftermath, and Perceptions (Brookfield: Ashgate Publishing, 2008): 45-52.
  • "Food and the Fourth Crusade: A New Approach to the 'Diversion Question,'" in Logistics of Warfare in the Age of the Crusades, John H. Pryor, ed. (Brookfield: Ashgate Publishing, 2006): 209-28.
  • "Venice, the Papacy, and the Crusades before 1204," in The Medieval Crusade, Susan J. Ridyard, ed. (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2004): 85-95.
  • "The Enduring Myths of the Fourth Crusade," World History Bulletin 20 (2004): 11-14.
  • "The Chrysobull of Alexius I Comnenus to the Venetians: The Date and the Debate," Journal of Medieval History 28 (2002): 23-41.
  • "Venice's Hostage Crisis: Diplomatic Efforts to Secure Peace with Byzantium between 1171 and 1184," in Ellen E. Kittell and Thomas F. Madden, eds., Medieval and Renaissance Venice (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999): 96-108.
  • "Outside and Inside the Fourth Crusade," The International History Review 17 (1995): 726-43.
  • "Venice and Constantinople in 1171 and 1172: Enrico Dandolo’s Attitude towards Byzantium," Mediterranean Historical Review 8 (1993): 166-85.
  • "Vows and Contracts in the Fourth Crusade: The Treaty of Zara and the Attack on Constantinople in 1204," The International History Review 15 (1993): 441-68.
  • "Father of the Bride: Fathers, Daughters, and Dowries in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Venice," Renaissance Quarterly 46 (1993): 685-711. (with Donald E. Queller)
  • "The Fires of the Fourth Crusade in Constantinople, 1203-1204: A Damage Assessment," Byzantinische Zeitschrift 84/85 (1992): 72-93.
  • "The Serpent Column of Delphi in Constantinople: Placement, Purposes, and Mutilations," Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 16 (1992): 111-45.

Recorded lectures

  • "God Wills It!" Understanding the Crusades
  • The Decline and Fall of Rome
  • From Jesus to Christianity: The History of the Early Church
  • Upon This Rock: A History of the Papacy from Peter to John Paul II
  • Empire of Gold: A History of the Byzantine Empire
  • One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic: A History of the Church in the Middle Ages
  • Christianity and the Crossroads: The Reformations of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
  • Heaven or Heresy: A History of the Inquisition
  • The Catholic Church in the Modern Age

History Channel documentaries


  1. ^ Townsend, Tim (December 1, 2007). "Louis IX's spirit of charity lives on in work of a city church".  
  2. ^ Thompson, Bob (May 9, 2005). "How Muslims View the Crusades".  
  3. ^ Mahoney, Dennis M. (May 6, 2005). "New view of Crusades abandons simple stereotypes".  
  4. ^ Derbyshire, John (November 25, 2001). "For all their crimes, medieval Crusaders were our spiritual kin".  
  5. ^ Davis, Bob (September 23, 2001). "A war that began 1,000 years ago".  
  6. ^ Media | Thomas F. Madden
  7. ^
  8. ^ Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  9. ^ a b WMU News - Grundler Prize awarded for book on Venetian leader
  10. ^ a b MAA Haskins Medal Winner
  11. ^ Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America
  12. ^ Madden, Thomas F. (November 2, 2001). "Crusade Propaganda".  
  13. ^ Johns Hopkins University Press | Books | Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice


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