Medieval Matters: Week 3 HT21

Dear all,

January feels like it lasted forever, but we’re already in Week 3 of term, if you can believe it! Two announcements to kick off your medieval week:

  • Tomorrow, Tuesday 2 February, from 3-5:30 pm, we have the latest in the ‘Anthropocene Histories’ seminar at UCL’s Institute of Historical Research. The speaker is Sylvain Piron (EHESS), speaking on ‘Original Sin and the Anthropocene’. You can register here.
  • On 5 and 6 February, we have the Medieval and Modern Languages Graduate Network Conference, with several exciting medieval speakers! The conference begins at 1:15 pm both days and lasts until 7:10 pm. The flyer, with link to register, is attached to this email.

‘Do there exist many [seminars], or is there but a single [seminar]? This is one of the most noble and exalted questions in the study of Nature.’ – Albertus Magnus, mostly


  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm; to join and for information, contact This week’s speaker is Alberto Ravani (Exeter College), ‘John Tzetzes’ Allegories of the Iliad’.
  • At 1 pm we have the Medieval Latin Reading Group on Teams. They’re currently reading the Life of St Frideswide, and we at OMS support all Frideswide content. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • The Seminar in Palaeography and Manuscript Studies meets at 2:15 pm on Zoom. Registration required; email Today you’ll hear from the Bodleian and John Rylands curators on ‘Newly Acquired Medieval Book Coffers at the Bodleian and John Rylands Libraries’. 
  • GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) meets at 5 pm on Teams. For info, email and This week’s reading is Euripides, Iphigenia at Aulis.
  • The Medieval History Seminar is at 5 pm on Teams (code rmppucs). This week’s speaker is Ruth Mostern (University of Pittsburgh), ‘Settler Colonialism, Shatterzones of State Power, and the Exploitation of Cheap Nature in Song Era China (960–1276 CE)’.
  • Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5:30 pm on Teams to press on with Hervarar saga; email for details.


Remember to sign up for Old Irish and Middle Welsh!

  • The Late Medieval Seminar meets at 2 pm on Zoom (Meeting ID: 962 7053 8553, passcode: 078931). In keeping with this term’s textiles theme, this week’s speaker is Nick Amor (University of East Anglia), ‘The Worsted Cloth Industry in Late Medieval Norfolk’.
  • At 3:30 pm on Google Meet (note the new online location) we have the Medieval Book Club (for more information, email This week’s theme is ‘Heart Eating’, reading the Ninth Tale of the Fourth Day of Boccaccio’s Decameron.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Guzel’ Valeeva-Suleymanova (Tatarstan Academy of Sciences), on ‘The Art of the Khanate of Kazan and Its Influence on Russian Court Culture, 16th-17th Century’.
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams, papers commencing 5:15 pm. This week’s speaker is Dr Liam Lewis, ‘Dogs to the Rescue: The Hue and Cry Soundscapes of Marie de France’s Fables’.
  • The Oxford Pre-Modern Middle Eastern History Seminar is at 5:30 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Ahab Bdaiwi (Leiden/Cambridge), on ‘Explorations into the Origins of Islam: Religious and Philosophical Worldviews of the Quranic Mushrikūn’, with respondent Nicola Sinai (Oxford). 


  • The Medieval German Seminar, continuing with Arnold von Harff, meets at 11:15 am, with the Graduate Reading Group meeting at 11, on Teams (link here). 
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar convenes at 5 pm on Google Meet (link here). This week’s speaker is Jonathan Shea (Dumbarton Oaks), ‘Changing Times and Shifting Priorities: Reconstructing Byzantium’s Government in the Late Tenth and Eleventh Centuries’.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Tristan Major (Qatar University), ‘Frithegod and Form’.
  • The Hebrew Bible in Medieval Manuscripts Reading Group meets at 7 pm on Zoom. Email for further information.


  • This term’s Aquinas Seminar Series ‘De Magistro: Aquinas and the Education of the Whole Person’, convenes at 4:30 pm (register here). This week’s speaker is Zena Hitz (St John’s College, Annapolis), ‘The Spontaneity of the Mind and the Desire to Learn’.
  • The Old English Reading Group forges ahead with Bede on Teams at 5:30 pm. Email or for details.
  • The OCHJS David Patterson lectures continue at 6 pm on Zoom (register here), with this week’s speaker Javier del Barco (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid) on ‘Narcissus Marsh’s Hebrew Books from the Oxford Period at Marsh’s Library in Dublin’. On a side note, Narcissus Marsh: what a name, no?


  • The Seminar in the History of the Book meets at 2:15 pm, back to its normal time; to register, email This week’s speaker is Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli (University of Florence), ‘The Borromei’s Trade Unveiled: Digging for Information in Fifteenth-Century Account Books’.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group continues with the Life of Godric at 5 pm on Zoom. Contact for details.

February: the shortest month, though it never feels that way. Keep hanging in there, everyone, and may these seminars be bright spots in your week!

All best wishes,


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