Rita Costa-Gomes joined the History Department in 2005. She earned her PhD in Medieval History at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal with a dissertation titled, "A Corte dos Reis Portugueses no final da Idade Média." Her research focuses on the history of Portugal, Iberia, the Mediterranean, and the Early Atlantic, 1000-1500 AD, particularly social, cultural, urban, and environmental history, the history of court societies, the history of landscapes, the history of the late medieval nobility, and the history of historiography.
Dr. Costa-Gomes's curiosity about the Middles Ages was piqued as an undergaduate. As she recalls, "I was working as a research assistant for the Portuguese historian Joel Serrão on his new edition of the essays of the nineteenth-century author and medievalist Alexandre Herculano (1810-1877).. More than three decades later, my curiosity remains, and I keep trying to answer all my questions. I would like to provide to Towson students similar opportunities to cultivate their curiosity." Her motto is "sapiens ubicumque peregrinatur.”
Dr. Costa-Gomes published the first study of the royal court of Portugal in a book entitled The Making of a Court Society: Kings and Nobles in Late Medieval Portugal (Cambridge University Press, 2003). Two volumnes of her ongoing series about medieval frontier castles, A Ring of Castles, have now been published in English. She is currently writing a book-length study of the impact of royal itinerance in the emergence of political territories and in the landscapes of Iberia between the thirteenth and the sixteenth centuries.
Dr. Costa-Gomes has developed a webpage called “Medieval Baltimore” resulting from a collaborative writing project of Towson students that explores how the Middle Ages is visible and alive in the Baltimore metropolitan area in buildings, museum artifacts and the lives and work of people who devote themselves to the study and appreciation of all things medieval. Medieval Baltimore can be found at www.medievalbaltimore.net
Recent Book Reviews
Recent Lectures and Presentations
Awards and Honors