Medieval Matters: Week 3 TT21

Dear all,

Week 3 already! Term is picking up steam and hopefully the weather will involve a little bit less hail and sleet going forward.

A few announcements:

This week, on Friday 14 May at 5 pm, we have the annual O’Donnell Lecture in Celtic Studies. This year’s speaker will be John Carey, ‘The Kindred of a Child Without a Father: Merlin’s British Forebears and Irish Cousins’. Join the lecture here.

Dartmouth’s annual Zantop Memorial Lecture will be given this year by Mary Carruthers, on ‘Dante’s Intent Geometer: ‘Alta fantasia’, Vision, and Creation in Medieval Poetry’. Register for the Zoom link in advance here; the lecture will be on 18 May at 5:30 pm BST.

The History of Domestic Violence and Abuse Seminar returns this Thursday, 13 May, at 10 am on Zoom. Speakers include Jane Gilbert, Trevor Dean, Emma Whipday, Lewis Webb, and Julia Bolton Holloway. Register in advance here.

A call for papers: the brand new Oxford Medieval Commentary Network aims to establish a multi-disciplinary network for research and discussion of medieval texts concerned with the interpretation of the Bible, bringing together research on traditional commentaries as well as research on interpretations of the biblical text in a broader sense. A one-day workshop at Christ Church on 9 October 2021 will launch the network and lay out pathways for future collaboration and interchange. Proposals for presentations of 15 minutes on aspects of medieval biblical interpretation, including post-medieval responses, are welcome. Please submit your title and abstract (150-200 words) by 4 June 2021. Expressions of interest are also invited from those who wish to get involved with the network more generally. The workshop will take place in person in Oxford if circumstances permit (but may move online if necessary), and is free for all participants. To submit your proposal, express your interest, and for further information, please contact

Another call for papers: the Sylloge of Coins in the British Isles is running its annual Symposium on Money and Coinage on 26 July 2021, on the theme ‘The Sincerest Form of Flattery? Imitative Coinage in Britain, Ireland, and Europe’. The Symposium invites contributions of 20 minute papers exploring aspects of the imitation of coins in Europe from late antiquity to the early modern period. Submit your titles and abstracts of no more than 150 words to Murray Andrews and Fraser McNair at by 31 May.

Deyr fé, deyja frændr, / deyr sjalfr it sama, / ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: / seminarir hinn Oxnaforda. [Cattle die, kin die, the self must also die, but I know one thing that never dies: seminars in Oxford.] – Hávamál, I’m pretty sure


  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance by contacting This week’s speaker is Cristina Cocola (Universiteit Gent & Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), ‘Feeling Repentance in Byzantium: A Study on the Literary Sources of Katanyktic Poetry’,
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group meets 1-2 pm on Teams. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • The Bodleian will hold a special seminar this week on Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools in German and English Collections to mark the 500th anniversary of the author’s death, on Zoom at 3 pm. Register here.
  • At 4 pm we have the Germanic Reading Group on Zoom, which will explore alliterative verse in a different Germanic language each week; this week, Howard Jones will lead a session on Old High German. To be added to the list, contact
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Helen Flatley (St Cross), ‘The Mozarabs and their Neighbours: Mapping Communities in Medieval Toledo’.
  • Old Norse Reading Group continues its journey through Hervarar saga at 5:30 pm on Teams. Email to be added to the mailing list.
  • The Decentring Dante Series returns at 6 pm on Zoom with speaker Suzanne Conklin Akbari (Princeton), on the topic ‘What Ground Do We Read On?’, celebrating the publication of The Oxford Handbook of Dante. Further information and registration here.


  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3:30 pm on Google Meet. Contact to receive notices. This week’s theme is Hagiography, with selections from the Legenda Aurea.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom. Register here. This week’s speaker is Liliana Simeonova (Institute for Balkan Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Science), ‘Amalfitans in Byzantium’s Cultural and Religious Life, 10-13th c.’
  • Medieval Church and Culture also meets at 5 pm on Teams, on the MCC channel. Papers start at 5:15. This week’s speakers will be Jennifer Coulton (Wolfson), ‘Tongue-Tied and Legal Loopholes: Binding Motifs in Early Medieval England’, and Florence Eccleston (Jesus), ‘The Emotional and Embodied Experience of the Seven Deadly Sins, c. 1350-c. 1500’.
  • A third seminar at 5 pm on Teams! The Medieval French Research Seminar returns for the term, with speaker Edward Mills (Exeter), ‘Why Write the Calendar in French? Computus Texts and the Languages of Medieval England’. To be added to the mailing list, contact


  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets at 11:15 am on Teams, to continue discussing a variety of short texts.
  • Digital Editions Live returns from 3-5 pm on Teams (join the meeting here). This week’s speakers, on early printed holdings in the Taylorian and the Bodleian, are Agnes Hilger & Alyssa Steiner, ‘Pfaffennarr (Taylor ARCH.8o.G.1521(27) & Tr.Luth. 16 (78)’, Alexandra Hertlein, ‘Jacob Locher’s Panegyricus (Inc. e.G7.1497.2./Douce 73)’, and Sam Griffiths & Christian Tofte, ‘Marginalia in Plutarch’s Vidas Paralelas (1491)’.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar, also on Teams, meets at 4:30 pm; contact if you need the link. This week’s speaker is Paul Schaffner (Editor, MED, University of Michigan), ‘Quidels and Crotels and Glossing Tails: Attractions and Distractions of Middle English Lexicography’.
  • The Decentring Dante Series continues at 6 pm on Zoom, with speaker Lorna Goodison (Poet Laureate of Jamaica; University of Michigan), on the topic ‘Going Through Hell’. Further information and registration here.


  • The Early Text Cultures Astronomy and Astrology Seminar meets at 3 pm on Zoom. Fill out this Google form to receive the link. This week’s speakers are Luca Beisel (Berlin/Tel Aviv) and Gonzalo Recio (Quilmes) on ‘Our Science and Theirs: Reconstructing Ancient Greek Models’.
  • GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) Reading Group meets at 4 pm on Teams. Email or to be added to the list. This week’s reading will be Herodotus’ The Persian Wars, VIII.84-6, 96.
  • The Aquinas Seminar Series continues on the theme of De Magistro: Aquinas and the Education of the Whole Person, at 4:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance here. This week’s speaker is Rev. Prof. Michael Sherwin (Fribourg), ‘Integrated Humanities Programmes and the Renewal of Catholic Education: Thomistic Reflections’.
  • The Old English Reading Group meets at 5:30 pm on Teams, continuing with Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica. Contact for details.


Remember: contribute to an Oxford seminar, secure the glory of your deathless reputation. Have a great week!

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