Medieval Matters: Week 7 HT21

Dear all,

Week 7 commences on the Kalends of March! I hope you all got to enjoy the sunshine this weekend; I for one was out in Port Meadow, where I will now remain ensconced for the entirety of the spring. Please address all post to ‘that spot with the good view by Burgess Fields’. I’ll have to arrange for an internet connection, though, because as usual we have an incredible bounty of seminars this week to enjoy.

Some announcements first:

  • Another Oxford Bibliographical Society Lecture, on Thursday 4 March at 5:15 pm on Zoom! Paul W. Nash will be speaking on ‘The Mystery of the Catholicon: Did Gutenberg Invent Stereotyping?’ Contact to attend.
  • Henrike Lähnemann will be hosting Joachim Hamm and Michael Rupp from Würzburg talking about their ‘Narragonia Digital’ project during the History of the Book seminar, on Wednesday 3 March, 3-4 pm. The session will explore the European distribution of the early modern bestseller of the ‘Narrenschiff’ in German, Latin, French, and English, and offer some remote viewings of manuscripts. The session will be partly in German, partly in English; all welcome; Teams link here.
  • The IHR Earlier Middle Ages Seminar returns with more spring dates. Wednesday 10 March at 5:30 pm is Leslie Dossey (Loyola), ‘“Why all this zeal about light for a sleeping city?” (Libanius, Orationes 33, 35): The Puzzling Invention of Street Lighting in Late Antiquity’. Register for this first seminar here. Wednesday 24 March at 5:30 pm is Steffen Patzold (Tübingen), ‘Beyond Eigenkirchen: Local Priests and their Churches in the Carolingian World’. Register for this second seminar here.
  • The Early Text Cultures Research Group invites contributions for its online seminar series for Trinity Term 2021! The theme is ‘Astronomy and Astrology in Early Text Cultures’ (topics include but are not limited to: origins, forms, and functions of astronomical and astrological texts; cross-cultural and cross-generic reception of such texts; astronomy as system of cultural symbols; portents and prognostications; constellations, catasterisms, and mythology), and postgraduates and early career researchers working on such themes in any culture can submit informal expressions of interest of no more than 250 words using this Google form by 25 March. Get in touch with with any queries. 

‘[Seminars] halt he heorte hal, hwet-se þe flesch drehe; as me seið, ‘Ȝef [seminars] nere, heorte tobreke.’ – Ancrene Wisse, which I’m definitely remembering correctly


  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm; to join and for information, contact This week’s speaker is Ewan Short (Cardiff), ‘Imperial Women and Political Legitimacy in Byzantium, 976-1103’. 
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group continues with Scito te ipsum on Teams at 1 pm. 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 Marc Smith (École des chartes), ‘Latin Medieval Writing Models: Contextualizing MS Ashmole 789’.
  • GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) meets at 5 pm on Teams. For info and queries, email and This week continues on with Xenophon’s Anabasis, Book III.
  • The Medieval History Seminar is at 5 pm on Teams (code rmppucs). This week’s speaker is Henry Tann (Balliol), ‘Measure Endures: Merchants in Late Medieval Italy and the Virtue of “Misura”’. 
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5:30 pm on Teams to plough ahead 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 Maria Feliciano (Independent Scholar), ‘Iberian Silks for a Mediterranean Market: A Commercial Approach to the Study of Nasrid Textiles’.
  • At 3:30 pm on Google Meet we have the Medieval Book Club (for more information, email This week’s theme is ‘The Eucharist’, exploring a variety of exciting medieval texts.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Yulia Mikhailova (New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology), ‘Religion and Warfare in Pre-Mongol Rus’. 
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams, papers commencing 5:15 pm. This week will feature graduate students’ work-in-progress presentations, with speakers Elizabeth Cullinane and Ramani Chandramohan. Email for information.
  • The Oxford Pre-Modern Middle Eastern History Seminar is at 5:30 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Neguin Yavari (Columbia/Oxford), on ‘The Language of Politics in Wā’iẓ Kāshifī’s Futuwwatnāma-i sulṭānī’, with respondent Alan Strathern (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 Warren Treadgold (St Louis), ‘George Pachymeres and the Decline of the Restored Byzantine Empire’. 
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Christine Rauer (University of St Andrews), ‘Fontes Anglo-Saxonici: Source Study in the Twenty-First Century’. Email for information.
  • The Hebrew Bible in Medieval Manuscripts Reading Group meets at 7 pm on Zoom. Email for further information.


  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music meets at 5 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Cristina Alis Raurich (Schola Cantorum, Basel and Universität Würzburg), ‘Flos vernalis and Robertsbridge Intabulation Style: Ornamentation, Diminution, and Intabulation in the 14th Century’.
  • 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 Jodi Eichler-Levine (Lehigh University), ‘Painted Pomegranates and Needlepoint Rabbis: Crafting and Material Religion Among Contemporary Jewish Americans’.


  • The Seminar in the History of the Book meets at 2:15 pm. To register, email This week’s speaker is Benjamin Wardhaugh (Oxford), ‘Hunting for Readers in Sixteenth-Century Editions of the Works of Euclid’.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group continues with the Life of Godric at 5 pm on Zoom. Contact for details.

‘March is the Month of Expectation’, according to Emily Dickinson. I think we can expect good things.

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