Historical Digital Theses: British Library

This collection is comprised of theses digitised from the University of Cambridge collection held on microfilm at the British Library. The thesis files themselves are not openly available but may be ordered directly from the thesis page on the Apollo repository. Digitisation of these theses was sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.​


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 1283
  • ItemControlled Access
    Citizenship and social status in the western Mediterranean from the later Roman Empire to the early Middle Ages : the case of Spain
    (2003-01-01) Nero, Carolina Lo
    My doctoral thesis concerns the evolution of citizenship and social distinction between the later Antiquity and early Middle Ages in the Iberian peninsula: broadly from the fifth to the early twelfth centuries. Its focus is broad, and it seeks to highlight how social and legal distinctions which characterised the later Roman society survived within the early Middle Ages. Two key elements receive a particular attention in this study: first, the evolution of the Roman concept of dignitas, seen as a major source of social privilege, from Roman-pagan to Christian society; second, the relationship between citizenship and social status in early medieval society. Dealing with the latter point I concentrate on the legal distinction between upper and lower classes in early medieval Spain. I argue that, while in early medieval Iberian society the value of citizenship underwent deep transformations (or even disappeared), the honestiores/{uaniliores distinction, or other related forms of social distinction between upper and lower classes, survived. The criteria of social and legal prestige were not to be found in citizenship, but in other sources of privilege such as wealth, birth, status, and favour of the ruling authority. Privileges and disqualifications continued to characterise members of the higher and lower ranks in both Christian and Islamic societies. The first chapter opens the dissertation with the analysis of a new legal language that reflected the increasing influence of Christian Church in the later Roman idea of citizen. The elaboration of the concept of dignitas both in later Roman legislation and in Christian literature is investigated. The second chapter examines the influence of the later Roman law in defining social status and citizenship, in the Visigothic kingdom. The analysis of the relationship between dignitas and citizenship in Visigothic society is offered. The third considers the concept of `citizenship' in Muslim Spain. It focuses on the social differentiation which characterised Islamic society. Finally the fourth chapter explores the relationship between higher and lower classes in the Christian kingdoms of Asturias and Leon.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Extending the geological calibration of the geological time scale
    (2002-01-01) Pälike, Heiko
    This thesis arises from the fact that changes in the geometry of the Earth-Sun system, due to the gravitational interaction among the planets, cause quasi-cyclic climatic variations that are imprinted in the geological record. A speech-recognition method is adapted to provide an automated procedure to calibrate cyclic geological data to astronomical calculations. Synthetic data are used to test the performance of the new method. The new algorithm is then applied to lithological data. Results show that the method iswell suited to objectively match geological data to astronomical calculations of the Earth?s orbit. The calibration of the geological time scale is extended into the late Paleogene. This is achieved by generating a lithological proxy record employing an X-ray fluorescence Core Scanner that non-destructively determines elemental concentrations of calcium and iron on split sediment cores. These data exhibit cyclic variations that are shown to be of astronomical origin, and are then used to calibrate the relative duration of magnetochrons C16 through C18. Advanced time series analysis methods are used to extract the astronomical signal. It is shown that the most recent published astronomical solution is not compatible with geological data from the late Paleogene. This new late Eocene time scale is independently confirmed by measurements of stable isotope ratios of oxygen and carbon, obtained from the same material, providing a high-resolution record of climatic variations over intervals of the lateMiddle and Late Eocene for the first time. Astronomically calibrated geological data are analysed to extract parameters that are required for the calculation of detailed astronomical models. Very small changes in the precession constant of the Earth are extracted by developing a new interference method. This leads to the extraction of the long-term evolution of the tidal dissipation and dynamical ellipticity parameters of the Earth. Geological data spanning the last ~37 million years are used to extract long term amplitude modulation patterns of the climatic signal. A comparison of the long term amplitude modulation derived from published astronomical calculations on the one hand, and those derived from a new calculation on the other hand (J. Laskar, 2001, unpublished) shows that the geological record supports the validity of the new solution. This study forms the basis for a further extension of the astronomical calibration of the geological time scale into earlier parts of the Paleogene.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Tourism and Islam in Cappadocia
    (1997-01-01) Bezmen, Cemil
  • ItemControlled Access
    Holocene landscape history of southern Portugal
    (2005-01-01) Fletcher, William J.
    To date, southern Portugal has been the focus of only limited palaeoecological research. In particular, the scarcity of dated pollen studies has meant that inferences regarding the vegetation history of the Algarve and related aspects of landscape evolution have had to be drawn from distant sites. Palaeoecological research has been hindered by the lack of suitable sites for pollen analysis. This thesis contributes to the understanding of Holocene palaeoenvironmental change in the Algarve region with new palynological data from intertidal, estuarine sediments. In a region without natural lakes, estuarine sediments deposited during the post-glacial marine transgression represent a valuable resource for pollen analysis. Presented in the thesis are the methods and results of sedimentary and palynological analyses of AMS radiocarbon dated sediment sequences from the estuaries of the Guadiana, Arade and Boina rivers. Sediment analyses, including loss-on-ignition, particle-size analysis and magnetic susceptibility, are used to characterise sedimentary units within the sequences and permit an interpretation of changing environments of deposition during the Holocene. The sedimentary analyses contribute to the understanding of the evolution of the Arade/Boina and Guadiana estuaries and changes in the littoral zone, and are critical to the interpretation of palynological material preserved in within the cores. Pollen analyses of the estuarine sediments provide detailed palaeoecological information regarding changes in local and wetland environments within the estuarine settings, and vegetation events in the wider landscape between c. 13,000 and 2000 cal BP. Critical to the analysis are both taxonomic precision and the rigorous discrimination of wetland and non-wetland taxa. Based on the new pollen records, this thesis provides the first account of Holocene vegetation history for the Algarve. Identified at the three sites is an early and mid-Holocene woodland vegetation characterised by Pinus, evergreen and deciduous oaks (Quercus spp.) and associated understorey shrubs and herbs. After c. 5000 cal BP, dramatic declines in arboreal pollen are recorded, associated with an increase in moor and heath taxa, notably Ericaceae and Cistaceae. The results permit a re-evaluation of the debated role of anthropogenic impact on the Algarve landscape. Finally, the results of both sedimentary and pollen analyses are placed in the wider regional context of the Iberian peninsula. Considered in the thesis are: a) the timing and nature of changes in coastal environments during the Holocene transgression, b) the impact of sea-level change on wetland environments, c) the characteristics of the early and mid-Holocene vegetation, and d) the evidence for major deforestation during prehistoric times.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Tactical behaviour and decision making in wild chimpanzees
    (1997-01-01) Newton-Fisher, Nicholas Edward
    The mind of the chimpanzee poses something of a paradox. In captivity, chimpanzees show cognitive abilities which seem only rarely used in the wild. The contention of this thesis is that the added complexity which a fission-fusion social system imposes on a Machiavellian primate requires complex decision-making, and that it is in making these decisions that wild chimpanzees use their cognitive abilities. The extent of social complexity in the relationships between male chimpanzees was investigated in an unprovisioned community in the Budongo Forest, Uganda. Statistical modelling and the construction of mutually exclusive hypotheses were used to determine the extent of tactical behaviour and decision-making in the social lives of these animals. Male chimpanzees were found to live in a highly dynamic social milieu, showing complex patterns of associations which appeared to be tactical. Chimpanzee males changed their associates frequently every day, and it is argued that each change represents a decision. In pursuit of association strategies, each decision is tactical, and requires cognitive representations of strategic goals and the relationships between individuals. Individual males appeared to deliberately select their association partners. Over time, the tendency a dyad had to associate changed, as individuals sought to alter their relationships, in pursuit of association, and broader social, strategies. Two such association strategies were distinguished; one in which individuals maintained an even level of association with other males, another where males concentrated on associating with only a few others. Individuals switched from one strategy to another as their social status changed, although both strategies could lead to increased status. A preference for higher status males as nearest neighbours lead to competition for proximity partners, and individuals, particularly the middle to high status males, appeared to use proximity tactically. In choosing between grooming partners, male chimpanzees appeared to to select the individual with whom they had the stronger association relationship. This implied a cognitive comparison of the value of each relationship. Male ranging patterns were examined, and the majority of time was spent within small core areas which were both partially overlapping and distinct. Each male?s core area had a similar habitat composition, and overlap between core areas was positively related to dyadic association tendencies. It is hypothesised that these core areas function to enable the location of individuals to be predicted by other members of the community. The cognitive demands of decision-making by wild chimpanzees is discussed in relation to the demonstrated abilities of captive individuals, as are the implications for an understanding of the evolution of the chimpanzee mind
  • ItemControlled Access
    A social history of Southeast Tanzania, ca. 1890-1950
    (2001-01-01) Becker, Felicitas
  • ItemControlled Access
    Fiscal policy and economic management in the 1930s
    (1981-01-01) Middleton, Roger Andrew Harris
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    The aesthetics of colonial modernism: Klee, Camus, Bowles, Tournier
    (2004-01-01) Howell, Catherine Mary Louise
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    Crusade and pilgrimage spirituality, c.1095 - c.1187
    (2006-01-01) Purkis, William John
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    Urbanisation at Kilwa, Tanzania, AD800-1400
    (2005-01-01) Wynne-Jones, Stephanie Anne
  • ItemControlled Access
    The cultural genealogy of anarchy in the Persian Gulf
    (2004-01-01) Adib-Moghaddam, Arshin
  • ItemControlled Access
    Pirqe Mashiah: a translation, commentary and introduction
    (2004-01-01) Spurling, Helen Susan