With great sadness, the Department of History at the University of Central Florida announces the passing of Simon Fraser Barton, Professor of History. The renowned historian of medieval Iberia passed away in Orlando on Friday, December 15, 2017 at the age of 55.
Before coming to the University of Central Florida, Dr. Barton was a faculty member at the University of Exeter, where he also served as Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies from 2010-2012 and as co-Director from 2001-2004.
A graduate of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1983 with a BA (Hons) in History, Dr. Barton pursued his postgraduate studies at the University of York with Professor Richard Fletcher, taking his D.Phil. in 1990. He came to UCF in 2017 after nearly twenty-four years at Exeter, teaching undergraduate and graduate classes on the Crusades and Medieval Iberia. Dr. Barton quickly established himself as a beloved teacher and mentor here at UCF, and his enthusiasm for the subject gained him a loyal following of students. Although a member of the Department for only a year, his cheerful and supportive nature endeared him to the faculty and staff and made us feel like he had been here much longer.
Dr. Barton’s research focused on the politics, society, and culture in Medieval Iberia. His first book, The Aristocracy in Twelfth-Century León and Castile (Cambridge, 1997) won the 1998 Premio del Rey Prize from the American Historical Association. His most recent book is Conquerors, Brides, and Concubines: Interfaith Relations and Social Power in Medieval Iberia (University of Pennsylvania, 2015) and recently he had begun a new project on the concept of leadership in medieval Western Europe. A leader in his field, Dr. Barton was the President of the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean and served as a Councilor of the Royal Historical Society from 2008 to 2012.
His loss is keenly felt by his family, friends, colleagues, and students around the globe. Always generous and seeking to help others, he chose to be an organ donor and so lives on in our community.
A memorial service will be held at 4:00pm on Thursday, February 1, in the Live Oak Event Center located at 4115 Pyxis Lane Orlando, FL 32816, University of Central Florida.
*Please note new location of the Live Oak Event Center. The service was previously scheduled to be held at the Cypress Room.