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Adam Simmons

Research Fellow

School of Arts & Humanities


Leverhulme Early Career Fellow researching pre-1600 African connectivity.

Career overview

Received his PhD from the University of Lancaster in 2019 and has since undertaken various research and teaching roles at the University of Manchester, Ruhr Universität Bochum, and Nottingham Trent University before starting the Leverhulme ECF project in 2020.

Research areas

Current project is entitled 'Africa, Africans, and Portuguese Knowledge Strategies, c.1415-c.1550', which is analysing the engagement strategies and control of knowledge of various African groups and the Portuguese across Africa and how each interaction informed others, both regionally and across the continent. It builds upon my previous work focusing on the roles of Nubia and Ethiopia during the Crusades and how this provided the basis for Portuguese understanding of their engagement with Africa, whilst various African groups were able to benefit from remaining in control of these situations.

I also work on the roles of African diasporas in disseminating and controlling knowledge in Africa, Europe, and Asia between c.400-c.1600 and retracing such, often undocumented, networks.


Forthcoming: Simmons, A., Nubia, Ethiopia, and the Crusading World, c1095-c1402 (Routledge, under contract).

Forthcoming: Simmons, A., The Nubian King in Constantinople (1203): Interactions Between Nubia and the Mediterranean’, Medieval Encounters.

2021: 'The African Adoption of the Portuguese Crusade during the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries', The Historical Journal,

2021: Simmons, A., ‘Red Sea Entanglement: Initial Latin European Intellectual Development Regarding Nubia and Ethiopia during the Twelfth Century’, Entangled Religions, 11.5,

2021: Simmons, A., Desire, Myth, and Necessity: Latin Attempts at Integrating Nubians into the Orbis Christianorum of the Holy Land During the Twelfth to Fifteenth Centuries’, in K. V. Jensen and T. K. Nielsen (eds.), Legacies of the Crusades: Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East, Odense, 27 June – 1 July 2016, vol. I (Brepols), pp. 137-56.

2019: Simmons, A., ‘A Note Towards Quantifying the Medieval Nubian Diaspora, Dotawo: A Journal of Nubian Studies 6, pp. 23-39,

2019: Simmons, A., The Changing Depiction of the Nubian King in Crusader Songs in an Age of Expanding Knowledge’, in B. Weber (ed.), Les Croisades en Afrique (Universitaire Presse du Midi), pp. 25-48.