Medieval Matters: Week 5 HT21

Dear all,

Week 5 already, if you can believe it! Informal straw polls of medievalists suggest time is doing that ‘middle of term thing’ again, where it seems to be moving both very fast and very slowly. Fill up your week and stave off the fifth week blues with our delectable selection of seminars and reading groups. The days are getting longer and lighter, vaccines are proceeding apace, and Scito te ipsum still demands to be read.

A few announcements:

  • The second History of Domestic Violence Seminar will be held on Monday 22 February at 2 pm on Zoom. Once again there will be exciting speakers covering the medieval period, from England to France to Flanders. You can register here, and email Anu Lahtinen ( or Julie Dresvina ( for further details.
  • For those of you who speak French, the Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne is hosting a seminar this Thursday, 18 February from 8:30-10:30 am and 12 pm to 5 pm GMT on ‘Lieux monastiques dans le haut Moyen Âge’. Register for the morning here and the afternoon here
  • Our own Simon Gilson (Oxford) will be speaking at University College Cork’s Dante in Ireland Seminar today at 7 pm, on ‘Ingegno in Dante: Ingenuity and Creativity in the Commedia’. Email for the link.
  • Looking for some Shrove Tuesday excitement? Check out the Gregorian Chant Workshop ‘Singing Together, Apart’ tomorrow, Tuesday 16 February, at 5:30 pm, rescheduled from 2 February. Book your tickets here. Deadline for registration is 2 pm today!

‘What is better than wisdom? A good [seminar]. And what is better than a good [seminar]? Nothing.’ – Geoffrey Chaucer, allegedly


  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm; to join and for information, contact This week’s speaker is Rachael Helen Banes (University of Birmingham), ‘The Sociology of Graffiti in Late Antiquity’. 
  • At 1 pm we have the Medieval Latin Reading Group on Teams. They’re beginning Peter Abelard’s Scito te ipsum this week. 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’s speaker is Adam Whittaker (Birmingham City University), ‘Medieval Music Theory in Bodleian Manuscripts’.
  • GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) meets at 5 pm on Teams. For info, email and This week’s reading is Xenophon’s Anabasis, Book III.
  • The Medieval History Seminar is at 5 pm on Teams (code rmppucs). This week’s speaker is Yusen Yu (Corpus Christi, Oxford), ‘Gold on the Move in Medieval Afro-Eurasia’.
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5:30 pm on Teams to continue with Hervarar saga; email for details.


  • The Late Medieval Seminar meets at 2 pm on Zoom (Meeting ID: 962 7053 8553, passcode: 078931). This week’s speaker is Katherine Wilson (University of Chester), ‘The Fabric of Social Relations: Burgundian Tapestry’. 
  • At 3:30 pm on Google Meet we have the Medieval Book Club (for more information, email This week’s theme is ‘Fasting and Fame’, and to find out which exciting texts will be discussed, you’ll have to attend!
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Milena Repajić (University of Belgrade), ‘Overcoming the Nation(s): Ways of Approaching the Medieval Balkans’. 
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams, papers commencing 5:15 pm. This week’s speaker is Sarah Bridge, ‘“…et cetera transtulit in anglicum”: Middle English Translations of Nicole Bozon’s Anglo-Norman Lyrics’.
  • The Oxford University Numismatic Society also meets at 5 pm on Teams (email for further information). This week’s speaker is Prof. François de Callataÿ (Royal Library of Belgium / École Pratique des Hautes Études), ‘Fontes Inedites Numismaticae Antiquae (FINA): A Website with Already 4,000 Letters Written before 1800 and Dealing with Greek and Roman Coinages’.
  • The Oxford Pre-Modern Middle Eastern History Seminar is at 5:30 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is David Zakarian (Oxford), ‘Redeeming Books: Christian-Muslim Relations through the Colophons of Medieval Armenian Manuscripts’, with respondent Heghnar Watenpaugh (UC Davis). 


  • 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 Dirk Krausmüller (Vienna), ‘Fasting in Eleventh-Century Byzantium: A Crisis of Authority’. 
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Francis Leneghan (Oxford), ‘Everything’s Ending Here: Reading The Death of Edward in its Manuscript Context’.
  • The Hebrew Bible in Medieval Manuscripts Reading Group meets at 7 pm on Zoom. Email for further information.


  • The Aquinas Seminar Series ‘De Magistro: Aquinas and the Education of the Whole Person’, meets at 4:30 pm (register here). This week’s speaker is Rev Dr David Goodill, OP (Blackfriars, Oxford), ‘Wittgenstein, Training, and Habits’.
  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music meets at 5 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Charles M. Atkinson (Ohio State University / Universität Würzburg), ‘On Modulation in Eastern and Western Chant: Techniques, Texts, and Rhetoric’. 
  • The Old English Reading Group continues 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 Danielle Drori (OCHJS), ‘Benjamin Disraeli in the Hebrew Imagination (1880s-1920s)’.


  • The Seminar in the History of the Book meets at 2:15 pm. To register, email This week’s speaker is Alessandro Bianchi (Bodleian Libraries, Oxford), ‘Hidden in Plain Sight: Printed Books from the Japanese Mission Press in the Bodleian Collections’.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group continues with the Life of Godric at 5 pm on Zoom. Contact for details.

Onwards and upwards! Wishing you all many pancakes this week, if you are pancake-inclined. (I for oen am always pancake-inclined; it’s just nice to have a holiday to validate it.)

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