Mr Philip James

Supervised by

Research interests


In the broadest sense, my research investigates the continued resonance of the idea of crusading from the Early Modern period through to the present day.


Doctoral Research:

My PhD research explores the survival of the crusading movement and its associated ideals and practices into the Early Modern period, with a particular focus upon the question of whether the Polish expedition to relieve the Ottoman Siege of Vienna in 1683 was envisaged and conducted as a crusade. 

Working from a wide range of sources, including the personal letters of King Jan III Sobieski, diaries of participants, papal nunciature reports and contemporary Polish histories of the expedition, many of which have been underutilised in Anglophone studies of the expedition, my project will provide a reassessment of the depth of engagement with crusading ideas and practices, both amongst the participants of the expedition itself, as well as those who remained behind in Poland.


Other Research:

I have also conducted research exploring the influence of the medieval Knights Templar upon the ideology of the contemporary Mexican criminal organisation, Los Caballeros Templarios de Michoacán, which has recently been published by Routledge as part of the second volume of Engaging the Crusades.

Personal profile



'Los Caballeros Templarios de Michoacán: Knights Templar identity as a tool for legitimisation and internal discipline' in The Crusades in the Modern World: Engaging the Crusades, Volume Two, ed. by Mike Horswell and Akil N. Awan (London: Routledge, 2019), pp. 25-40.


Talks and Conferences

'The Battle of Párkány, 1683: Polish Acts of Spiritual Rededication and the First Crusade', Leeds International Medieval Conference, University of Leeds (04/07/2018)

'The Crusading Context of the Polish Relief of Vienna, 1683', Crusades and the Latin East Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, London (19/02/2018)

'The Relief of Vienna, 1683: A Polish Crusade?', Leeds International Medieval Conference, University of Leeds (03/07/2017)

'"What's in a Name?": A Twenty-First Century Drug Cartel's Borrowed Identity as a Military Order', Engaging the Crusades: Reflected, Refracted, Invented, Institute of Historical Research, London (18/09/2015)


Scholarships and Awards

RHUL Matched Funded Scholarship with the Friendly Hand (2015-2018)

MA Crusader Studies Prize (2014)



Killing the King: England in an Age of Revolutions, 1603-1714 (RHUL, HS2019, 2018-2019)

Educational background


MA Crusader Studies, Royal Holloway, University of London (2013-2014)

BA Ancient & Medieval History, University of Birmingham (2006-2009)

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