Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Larry J. Simon

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


For my thesis I proposed to study the registered charters of James I (1208-1276), King of Aragon, to examine how castles were distributed and utilized in the Crusader Kingdom of Valencia for the period 1257-1276. A little over two thousand register charters were issued for Valencia during this period. Around 250 of the two thousand charters mention castles indicating the importance of castles in the administration of the Crusader Kingdom of Valencia. Although there are many works on Western European castles the majority focus on castles in France, Britain and the Crusader States in the Middle East and rely on archaeological not primary source material because their interest is on the form not function of castles. The purpose of this thesis is not to present a revolutionary new idea or to challenge existing works or theories but to study untapped primary source material to better understand royal administration of castles in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The thesis is divided into four chapters: Introduction, Security, Administrative and Financial, and Conclusion.