Medieval Matters: Week 2 HT21

Dear all,

Term is officially in full swing! Before you peruse our bountiful buffet of seminar options, be sure to get the following announcements in your calendars:

  • Tomorrow, 26 January, we have a hugely exciting book presentation, hosted by Wadham at 6:30 pm on Zoom. Come learn more about Karl Kügle’s new edited volume Sounding the Past: Music as History and Memory from Karl himself and fellow speakers Antonio Chemotti, Manon Louviot and Adam Mathias. The open-access volume can be downloaded here, and you can register for the Zoom event here.
  • This Thursday and Friday (28-29 January, 4-7:30 pm), Oxford’s Iberian History research cluster will be hosting an online postgraduate and ECR conference, ‘Polyphonic Communities: Ways of Belonging in the Medieval and Early Modern Iberian World’. See full details here, and register for the conference here.
  • This year’s Aquinas Lecture will be held on Thursday 28 January at 5 pm on Zoom (register here). Prof. Mark Wynn (Nolloth Professor of the Christian Religion, University of Oxford) will be speaking on ‘Christian Narratives and the Well-Lived Life: Thomistic Reflections’.

‘Nothing is sweeter than a seminar, nothing higher, nothing stronger, nothing larger, nothing more joyful, nothing fuller, and nothing better in heaven or on earth’ – Thomas à Kempis, nearly


  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm on Teams. To join and for information, please contact the organiser at This week’s speaker is Chloé Agar (St Cross College), ‘Analysing Visions Experienced by Saints and Supplicants in Coptic Sources: What, How, and Why?’.
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group meets at 1 pm on Teams. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • The reading group GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) meets at 5 pm on Teams. Email and to be added to the mailing list. This week’s text is Cicero’s In Catilinam.
  • Also on Teams at 5 pm is the Medieval History Seminar (search for the seminar in Teams with code rmppucs and then click ‘join’). This week’s speaker is Sara McDougall (City University of New York), ‘Judging Sex in Late Medieval France’.


  • Remember to register for Old Irish and Middle Welsh classes! They meet at 10:15 and 11:20 respectively, on Teams.
  • The Late Medieval Seminar meets at 2 pm on Zoom (Meeting ID: 962 7053 8553, passcode: 078931). This week’s speaker is Eiren Shea (Grinnell), ‘Hammered, Gilt, and Spun: Innovations in Gold Thread Technology During the Yuan Dynasty’.
  • At 3:30 pm on Teams we have the Medieval Book Club (for more information, get in touch at This week’s theme is ‘Healthy Eating’, reading the Vita Karoli Magni. Charlemagne: the secret to clean living?
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom (link here). This week’s speaker is Emir O. Filipović (University of Sarajevo), speaking on ‘Hersekzade Ahmed Pasha (1459-1517): From Bosnian Prince to Ottoman Vizier’.
  • Also at 5 pm, but on Teams, is the meeting of the Oxford University Numismatic Society. This week’s speaker is Rebecca Darley (Birkbeck), ‘Numismatic Perspectives on the Western Indian Ocean in Late Antiquity’. Email to receive meeting links.
  • The Oxford Pre-Modern Middle Eastern History Seminar meets at 5:30 pm on Zoom (you can register here). This week’s speaker is Christopher Melchert (Oxford), ‘Before Sufism: Early Islamic Renunciant Piety’, with respondent Michael Cooperson (UCLA).


  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11:15 am on Teams, with the graduate reading group meeting at 11, reading Arnold von Harff. Email for details.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5 pm on Google Meet (link here). This week’s speaker is Nadine Viermann (Heidelberg), ‘Imperial Piety, Warfare, and Eschatology in the age of Heraclius’.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Michael Fox (University of Western Ontario), ‘Where’s the Point? Beowulf, Analogues, and Örvar-Oddr’. 
  • The Hebrew Bible in Medieval Manuscripts reading group will meet at 7 pm on Zoom; email for further information.


  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music will meet at 5 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Grantley McDonald (Oxford), ‘Emperor Frederick III as Patron of Music’, with discussants Reinhard Strohm (Oxford), Andreas Zajic (Vienna) and Catherine Saucier (Arizona State). 
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. Contact for a link. This week’s speaker is Kate Leach (Harvard), ‘Vernacularity in Premodern Welsh Healing Charms’.
  • The OCHJS David Patterson lectures commence at 6 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speakers are Alison Salvesen (OCHJS), Sarah Pearce (Southampton) and Miriam Frankel (Hebrew University), on ‘Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period’.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 7 pm. To be added to the team and have access to the materials and meetings, email Annabel Hancock at


  • The work in progress workshop Pre-Modern Conversations meets at 11 am on Teams. Email for further information.
  • The Seminar in the History of the Book will have a special session at 5 pm today (note the time change), featuring speakers Henrike Lähnemann (Oxford), Kathryn James (Beinecke Library, Yale), Matthew Shaw (Oxford), and Sarah Wheale (Bodleian Libraries, Oxford), discussing ‘Goostly Psalmes in Oxford and New Haven: The Queen’s College Sammelband with Myles Coverdale’s Goostly Psalmes’, with a showing (a shewing, even?) of the Queen’s College copy and the Bodleian and Beinecke fragments. Email for the link.

Enjoy the bounty!

All best wishes,


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