Frassetto, Michael 1961-

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FRASSETTO, Michael 1961-


Born December 3, 1961, in Allentown, PA; son of Eugene (a computer programmer) and Joy Frassetto; married Jill R. Allen, September 8, 1984; children: Olivia Anne. Education: LaSalle University, B.A. (cum laude), 1983; Michigan State University, M.A., 1985; University of Delaware, Ph.D., 1993. Religion: Roman Catholic.


Home—2908 Beth Lane, Naperville, IL 60564. Office—Encyclopædia Britannica, 610 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604. E-mail—[email protected]


Widener University, Chester, PA, instructor in history, 1989-90; LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA, assistant professor of history, 1990-98; Encyclopædia Britannica, Chicago, IL, religion editor, 1999—. Benedictine University, Lisle, IL, adjunct instructor, 2000—; guest speaker at Maryville College, 1997.


Southeastern Medieval Association (member of executive council, 1998-2000).


Fulbright fellow in Germany, 1989-90; grant from National Endowment for the Humanities, 1993.


(Editor and contributor) Purity and Piety: Essays on Medieval Clerical Celibacy and Religious Reform, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1998.

(Editor, with David R. Blanks, and contributor) Perceptions of the Other: Western Views of Islam in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor, with Ed Haymes, John Jeep, and others, and contributor) Medieval Germany: An Encyclopedia, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 2001.

(Editor and contributor) The Year 1000: Religious and Social Response to the Turning of the First Millennium, Palgrave (New York, NY), 2002.

Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe: Society in Transformation, American Bibliographical Center-Clio Press (Santa Barbara, CA), 2003.

Lives of the Heretics, Profile Books (London, England), in press.

Contributor to books, including The Final Argument: The Imprint of Violence on Society in Medieval and Early Modern Society, edited by Donald J. Kargay, Boydell & Brewer (Rochester, NY), 1998; Companion to Middle High German Literature to 1350, edited by Francis G. Gentry, E. J. Brill (New York, NY), 2002; and Misconceptions about the Middle Ages, edited by Stephen J. Harris and Byron L. Grigsby, Routledge (New York, NY), in press. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Church History, Journal of Medieval History, Revue Bénédictine, Catholic Historical Review, Comitatus, and Journal of Religious History. Member of editorial board, Medieval Perspectives, 1998-2000.


Michael Frassetto told CA: "I began my writing career as a result of my work as a practicing scholar and because of my belief that I was obligated to continue my own scholarship after completing my doctorate. It seems to me that a failure to continue researching and writing diminishes the effort a person put into completing the Ph.D. and is also a breach of faith with one's teachers. I felt an obligation to myself to continue researching and writing, but I also felt that I owed a debt to my teachers who had faith enough in me to accept me as their student. It is, in part, as a tribute to them that I have pursued an active writing career.

"Along with my sense of obligation to myself and my teachers, I have a desire to impart what I have learned to a larger audience. My writing thus far has been aimed at two different audiences. I have written a number of articles and edited several books that have been aimed at a scholarly audience. As a trained academic I have attempted to bring my own studies to other professional scholars. As a consequence I have written articles for scholarly journals whose audience is my peers. I have addressed particular matters and, although the audience is relatively small, I hope to shape the way historians understand the past and, in turn, the way they teach the past to their students. I have also written for a general educated audience. My encyclopedia of the early Middle Ages was written for just such an audience. Writing that book allowed me to pursue my scholarly investigations into the past and also allowed me to introduce a larger audience to that period of history. It is the function of writer as teacher that most interests me. If my writing helps someone better understand or appreciate the past, I will feel as if I have succeeded as an author. In writing the book on barbarian Europe I hoped to communicate to a non-scholarly audience the importance of that period and the fascinating figures that populated it."



Booklist, November 15, 2003, review of Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe: Society in Transformation, p. 19.

Choice, November, 2003, S. F. Roberts, review of Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe.

History: Review of New Books, spring, 2003, Christopher M. Bellitto, review of The Year 1000: Religious and Social Response to the Turning of the First Millennium, p. 121.

School Library Journal, December, 2003, Ann W. Moore, review of Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe, p. 94.

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Frassetto, Michael 1961-

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