Dr Verena Krebs

Award-winning Historian. Medievalist. Ethiopia & the Horn of Africa. Transcultural Medieval & pre-Modern African & Global History. Material Culture. Art & Patronage. 

Author of Medieval Ethiopian Kingship, Craft, and Diplomacy with Latin Europe  (Palgrave-Macmillan 2021, paperback 2022) — named one of the Best Medieval Books of the Year 2021 by the Medieval Podcast & Medievalists.net. Media coverage and interviews in Smithsonian Magazine, BBC History Podcast, the Medieval PodcastAl Jazeera China, Spiegel Geschichte & the New York Review of Books.

2022 Dan David Prize Winner & 2022/23 Member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

News, Media & Talks

Interview — Gone Medieval

In this October 2023 episode of HistoryHit's popular podcast Gone Medieval, Dr. Eleanor Janega meets award-winning historian Dr. Verena Krebs, who challenges the conventional narratives of African-European relations, arguing that African exploration of Europe was driven by aesthetic curiosity rather than military ventures.

Article in Smithsonian Magazine

"A New History Changes the Balance of Power Between Ethiopia and Medieval Europe"

Verena Krebs talked to David Perry & Matt Gabriele for @SmithsonianMag
about her book, why she deleted a manuscript of 85k words & wrote 115k new (and, in her opinion, better) ones. Read full article here

Interview in Spiegel Geschichte (4/2021)

»Die Äthiopier behandelten Europa als exotischen Souvenirladen«

"Im späten Mittelalter reisten äthiopische Gesandte nach Venedig, Rom und an den Bodensee. Verena Krebs beschreibt, auf welchen Wegen die Afrikaner nach Europa kamen, was sie suchten und wie selbstbewusst sie auftraten."

 Read PDF of full interview here (in German). 

Video: Book Lunch

#Humabooklunch on May 24th, historian @KrebsVerena talked about her book "Medieval Ethiopian Kingship, Craft, and Diplomacy with Latin Europe" with historian Hewan Semon. Hosted by HUMA - Institute for Humanities in Africa.

A video recording is available here

Interview — BBC HistoryExtra

In HistoryExtra's Podcast episode "Medieval Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions", Verena Krebs reveals what diplomatic embassies sent by the Christian leaders of Ethiopia can tell us about the kingdom’s place in the medieval world. Hour-long interview with BBC History's content director David Musgrove.
Listen here, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Interview — The Medieval Podcast

Danièle Cybulskie of The Medieval Podcast  and Medievalists.net speaks with Verena Krebs about contact between Solomonic Ethiopia and Western Europe, how historians have misconstrued Ethiopian interests in the past, and what we can learn when we dig into primary sources.
45-minute interview, available here or wherever you listen to podcasts.