Dr Aengus Ward MA (University College Dublin, National University of Ireland), PhD (Birmingham)

Department of Modern Languages
Professor in Medieval Iberian Studies

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I have been a lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages (Hispanic Studies) since 1994. I teach medieval Spanish literature and Spanish language and linguistics. My research interests lie in the fields of medieval Spanish history and historiography, textual editing, diachronic phonology and syntax.

My research project the Estoria de Espanna Digital (estoria.bham.ac.uk) is the first major digital edition of a sustained text in medieval Spanish prose. To coincide with the launch of the edition we collaborated with the Biblioteca Nacional de España and other archives in a series of physical and digital exhibitions. 


  • PhD, University of Birmingham
  • MA (Spanish) University College Dublin
  • BA (Spanish and French) University College Dublin


I completed my first degree and Masters at University College Dublin. I won a National University of Ireland Travelling Scholarship, and took advantage of this to move to the University of Birmingham, which was, and is, one of the most important centres of scholarship on medieval Spain. I completed my Phd at the University of Birmingham in 1995. I have worked in the University of Birmingham as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader since 1994.

I led the AHRC-funded Estoria de Espanna Digital research project at the University of Birmingham between 2013 and 2017. I have been a member of, or contributed to, research projects at the École Normale Supérieure (Lyon), the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Universidad de Sevilla and the Universidad de Buenos Aires. I have given invited talks or plenary lectures at the Universidad de Salamanca, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Universidad de Sevilla, the Sorbonne, the University of Oxford, Queen Mary London, the Universidad de Buenos Aires, the ENS Lyon, Georgetown University, the University of Minnesota, University College Dublin and University College Galway, to name the most significant. I have also organized research events of varying kinds which have brought scholars from these institutions  and others to the University of Birmingham. The University of Birmingham has a lengthy tradition of excellence in medieval studies generally and ibero-medievalism more specifically; thanks to my research the University of Birmingham has, amongst Russell Group institutions, unique name recognition in many parts of this academic community. As a result of this, I have supervised here in Birmingham a series of doctoral and post-doctoral visitors from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela and the Universidad de Sevilla.


I have taught on a wide range of modules covering aspects of medieval and early-modern culture and history, and also linguistics.

My final year module The Digital Past is an innovative module which trains students to use digital tools to engage with medieval manuscripts. We have designed an on-line course to prepare students, and anyone interested, in how to encode text. Students also reflect on their own learning and can do this in a variety of ways – here is an example of one student reflecting on learning through a blog.

I also teach on second year courses covering themes of tolerance and intolerance in the context of the Spanish Inquisition and I contribute to Core modules in the first year on similar themes of inclusion and exclusion.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome applications for postgraduate study on an aspect of medieval Iberia, on history and historiography in particular and also on textual editing. I particularly welcome suggestions for digital editing of medieval Iberian texts. I am especially interested in collaborating with Distance Learning projects.

I currently supervise three PhD projects: Holly Kashin Brown’s digital edition and study of three texts written by women authors in the late Middle Ages (with Dr. Cat Smith); Elena Caetano Álvarez’s study of the imperial ambitions of Alfonso el Sabio as realised in the Estoria de Espanna (with Dr. Simon Yarrow); and James Kawalek’s study of the Historia Compostelana (with Dr. William Purkis).

In the past I have supervised, or co-supervised, to a successful conclusion doctoral and Masters theses on Alfonso el Sabio, (digital) editing and medieval historiography by Christian Kusi Obodum, Polly Duxfield, Carol Ann van der Walt, Manolo Hijano Villegas, Patrick Quinn and Lauren Brinsdon.

I have also co-supervised postgraduate research on aspects of linguistics, including language policy in Gibraltar (Eddie Picardo), Galicia (Stewart Bayliss) Aragon (Rosa Bercero) and the Basque Country (Rosie Critchlow), and on aspects of discourse analysis (Nuria Guerra Bernal and Ángel Garralda).

Find out more - our PhD Hispanic Studies  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My career trajectory has seen me build up a sustained level of research excellence, initially in (i) the field of medieval Iberian historiography and textual editing and subsequently branching out into (ii) the interdisciplinary study of discursive practices with a resolutely materialist and contextual focus. More recently, I have built on these foundations to provide (iii) cutting edge insights into the theory and practice of digital editing and digital cultures, without discarding the advantages provided by philological analysis

The centrepiece of my research outputs is the Estoria de Espanna Digital: the first major digital edition of a medieval Spanish prose text. The Estoria de Espanna is the most important medieval Iberian chronicle, originally composed around 1272 under the direction of King Alfonso X, known as el Sabio (the Learned). The edition comprises TEI-5 compliant xml transcriptions of five manuscripts of the (approximately 2,500 folios of text), presented in a variety of innovative ways and accompanied by a fully collated edited text and (where permissions allow) manuscript images.

My current research focuses on two diverse themes: (i) digital editing of medieval texts and the way in which digital forms of editing and textual organization can affect the way in which we interact with our cultural artefacts  and, (ii) the nature of manuscript culture and the manner in which reading was guided by the physical disposition of the text on the page.


In the context of the Estoria de Espanna Digital, I led a team which prepared exhibitions of manuscripts of the Estoria at the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the Universidad de Salamanca, the Biblioteca de Menédez Pelayo in Santander and the University of Minnesota. We also prepared a digital exhibition about the Estoria, which is accompanied by teaching materials freely available for any schools.

You can see an overview of the exhibition here.

In the near future we will launch a crowdsourcing trial, in which we invite members of the public to join with us in transcribing medieval manuscripts.



  • Estoria de Espanna Digital, Aengus Ward (general editor), Editors: Fiona Maguire, Enrique Jerez Cabrero, Bárbara Bordalejo, Polly Duxfield, Christian Kusi Obodum and Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez, Software Developers: Cat Smith and Zeth Green (Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 2016)
  • History and Chronicles in Late Medieval Iberia Representations of Wamba in Late Medieval Narrative Histories (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2011). pp.220 Sole-authored monograph which comprises detailed analysis of the discursive techniques of medieval Iberian historiographers by means of a comparison of fifteen late medieval chronicles.
  • Estoria delos Godos, critical edition and contextual introduction by Aengus Ward, Medium Aevum Monographs, New Series xxiv (Oxford: Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature/Oxbow Books, 2006). 200 pp. The first critical edition of a foundational chronicle for Iberian medieval historiography. The edition comprises a contextual introduction and comparative analysis of manuscripts.
  • Sumario Analístico de la Historia Gothica, critical edition by Aengus Ward, Papers of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar (London, /Queen Mary College, University of London, 2007). pp.118. Critical edition of hitherto unedited late thirteenth-century annalistic chronicle, comprising contextual introduction and philological analysis of the manuscript.
  • Crónica d’Espayña de García de Eugui (Pamplona: Gobierno de Navarra. Departamento de Educación y Cultura, 1999) 500pp.

Edited books

  • Actas del XII Congreso de la Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas, Tomo I: Medieval y Lingüística (Birmingham: Department of Hispanic Studies, University of Birmingham, 1998)
  • Teoría y práctica de la historiografía medieval ibérica, ed. y introducción de Aengus Ward (Birmingham: University Press, 2000)
  • Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle General Editor Graeme Dunphy, (Iberian Chronicles editor Aengus Ward) 2 vols. (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2010)


  • “The –ra form in the conditional sentences of the Estoria de Espanna”, Verba. Anuario Galego de Filoloxía, volume 25 (1998), 127-141
  • “Manuscript Culture in Medieval Spain”, La corónica, volume 27:1 (Fall 1998), 225-228
  • “Inventing a Tradition: The Crónica d’Espayña de García de Eugui and the beginnings of Navarrese historiography”, Medium Aevum, LXVIII (1999), pp.73-80.
  • “La Estoria de los godos: ¿la primera crónica castellana?”, Revista de Poética Medieval  (2002), 181-198
  • “Iberian historiography and the Alfonsine legacy”, Hispanic Research Journal, 4.3 (2003), 195-205.
  • Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada: Auteur et Acteur à Castile du fin du treizième siècle”, Actes du Colloque sur Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada/Cahiers de linguistique et de Civilisation Médiévales Hispaniques 26 (2003), 283-94. Videorecording of paper given
  • La Corónica, 32.3 (Summer 2004), Guest editor Aengus Ward, Introduction Aengus Ward, 4-12.
  • “On editing two medieval chronicles”, ehumanista 2006, 207-212.
  • «Yo uno solo non ualo mas que otro omne»: el rey Wamba en la historiografía de la Baja Edad Media, e-spania 5 (2008), 7,000 words.
  • “Past and present in Iberian historiography”, Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies 1, (2009), 147-62.
  • “Images of Rodrigo: the Construction of Past and Present in Late Medieval Iberian Chronicles”, Edad Media Revista de Historia, 12 (2011), 98-119.
  • “El prólogo historiográfico medieval”, Cahiers d’études hispaniques médiévales 35 (2013). 7,000 words.
  • “Editing the Estoria de Espanna”, Ecdotica 11, pp. 185-204
  • “Editar la Estoria de Espanna Digital: Retos y problemas de la edición digital”, Incipit, 37 (2017)
  • “The Estoria de Espanna Digital: collating medieval prose - challenges... and more challenges” Digital Philology 7.1 (2018), 65-92.

Contributions to edited books

  • “Las fuentes de la Genealogía de los reyes de Navarra”, in Actas del XII Congreso de la Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas, VII Tomos (Birmingham: Birmingham University Press, 1998), I, pp.328-338
  • “The Kingdom of Navarre in Early Peninsular Historiography”, in A Lifetime's Reading. Hispanic Essays  for Patrick Gallagher, edited by Don W. Cruickshank (Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 1999), 191-202
  • “Tradiciones antiguas y nuevos usos: el Arreglo toledano de la Crónica de 1344”, in Teoría y práctica, 59-79.
  • “Crónica de García de Eugui” in Carlos Alvar y José Mauel Lucía (eds.), Diccionario Filológico de Literatura Medieval Española. Textos medievales y transmisión (Madrid: Castalia, 2002), 579-585
  • “Posturas ideológicas en la Versión leonesa del Toledanoin Actas de las VIII Jornadas Medievales (México: UNAM/UAM/Colegio de México, 2003), 441-456.
  • “Sancho el Mayor, la reina calumniada y los orígenes del reinado de Castilla”, Construir la identidad en la Edad Media. Poder y memoria en la Castilla de los siglos VII a XV (2010), 209-224
  • “Hacia una poética de la crónica medieval”, in Actas del XVII Congreso de la Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas, (Rome, 2013). 3,000 words.
  • “El buen gobierno en la Estoria de Espanna: el ejemplo de la historia romana”, Homenaje a Georges Martin. (2018) Éditions Classiques Garnier, 14 p.


  • Proceedings of Eighth Colloquium, edited by Andrew Beresford and Alan Deyermond, MLR;
  • The Lyrics of the Historia Troyana, Louise Haywood, MLR;
  • Diego Rodríguez de Almela, Compendio Historial, edición de Concepción Armenteros Lizana, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies;
  • Three Fifteenth-century Valencian Poets, Arthur Terry, MLR
  • The heterotextual body of the Mora Morilla, Louise O. Vasvári, MLR.
  • Literatura cetrera de la edad media y el renacimiento español, José Manuel Fradrejas Rueda, MLR.
  • Antonio Cortijo Ocaña, La Fernán Núñez Collection de la Bancroft Library, Berkeley: Estudio y Catálogo de los Fondos Castellanos (Parte Histórica), Medium Aevum;
  • La Garcineida Estudio y edición crítica con traducción de Maurilio Pérez González, Medium Aevum.
  • Mocedades de Rodrigo, estudio y edición de los tres estados del texto. By Leonardo Funes with Felipe Tenenbaum. Hispanic Research Journal
  • Coloquio entre un cristiano y un judío. Edición crítica y estudio preliminar de Aitor García Moreno. Hispanic Research Journal.
  • Rodericus Toletanus, Diego Catalán and Enrique Jerez, (Review article ca 4000 words), ehumanista.
  • Clio and the Crown, Richard Kagan, Bryn Mawr Review
  • Libro de Alexandre, ed. Peter Such, Bulletin of Spanish Studies
  • Death in Babylon, Vincent Barletta, Bulletin of Spanish Studies


  • Text and Concordance of the crónica d'Espanya  of García de Eugui. Escorial MS. X.II.22. Transcr. Aengus Ward (Madison: Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1995)
  • Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies, 2000: Sociolinguistics and Dialectology
  • Constance Mary Storrs, Jacobean pilgrims from England to St. James of Compostella. from the early twelfth to the late fifteenth century edited by Brian Tate, with David Mackenzie and Aengus Ward (Santiago de Compostela: Xunta de Galicia, 1994)

View all publications in research portal


Medieval Spanish history; writing of history in medieval times; textual editing and electronic editing of medieval manuscripts.