Medieval Matters: Week 8 TT2021

Dear all,

Unbelievably, here we are at the end of Trinity Term! The end of the year always flies by. Best wishes to all the Masters students turning in dissertations in the next few weeks.

There is only one announcement today: at the end of term, I’m departing my post as Communications Officer for Oxford Medieval Studies, as I’ll be headed off on postdoctoral adventures starting this autumn. I am, however, leaving you in the most capable of hands: the wonderful and brilliant Luisa Ostacchini will be taking over this job for the next academic year alongside her new role as Stipendiary Lecturer in Medieval English at St Edmund Hall.

It’s been an honour cluttering up your Monday inboxes. I’ve loved this job, and have deeply appreciated your hard work and enthusiasm in organizing these events and seminars; your promptness with announcements and reminders; your friendly corrections; and your kind missives about my relentless butchering of medieval texts for laughs. In the words of dear old Geoffrey: Min be the travaille, and thin be the glorie.

Hwæt, we Oxnaforda in ær-dagum / leorning-cnihta ond lareowa cræft gefrunon, / hu þa searo-monnas seminara fremedon. [Lo, we have heard of the skill of students and teachers of Oxford in the current times, how those clever people made seminars.] – A recently discovered Old English poem that will no doubt revolutionize the field

Onward to the seminars!


  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance by contacting This week’s speaker is Kyriakos Fragkoulis (University of Birmingham), ‘(Re)contextualising a Late Antique City Through the Ceramic Record: The Case of Dion in Macedonia (Pieria, Greece)’.
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group meets 1-2 pm on Teams. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams. This week we hear from another exciting panel of speakers: Tom McAuliffe, Richard Schlag, Ellie Birch, and Laura Rosenheim on ‘Politics and Power Plays, c. 1000-1500’.
  • Forgotten Christianities meets at 5 pm on Zoom. This week’s speakers are Joseph Glynias (Princeton), ‘Ibrahim the Protospatharios, the Melkites of Antioch, and Local Autonomy under Byzantine Rule’, and Kyle Brunner (NYU/ISAW), ‘Creation and Maintenance of Communal Boundaries Real and Imagined in Syriac Hagiography during the Early Islamic Period’. Register here.


  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3:30 pm on Google Meet. Contact to receive notices. This week’s theme is ‘Image and Legend’, an exploration of visual sources.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom. Register here. This week’s speaker is Kati Parppei (University of Eastern Finland), ‘Between East and West: Assumptions and Interpretations Concerning Medieval Karelia’.


  • Digital Editions Live returns from 3-5 pm on Teams (join the meeting here). This week’s seminar is a book launch; Edmund Wareham presents the newest book in the Reformation Pamphlet series, speaking on ‘500 Years Passional Christi und Antichristi’.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5 pm on Google Meet (link here). This week’s speaker is Michiel Op de Coul (Tilburg), ‘Theodore Prodromos: Towards an Edition of his Letters and Speeches’.


  • 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 Vilius Bartninkas (Vilnius) and Federico Valenti (Independent Scholar), on ‘Naming and Nomenclature: Ancient Greek and Early Chinese Astronomical Terminology’.
  • In place of the Aquinas Seminar Series, Bernd Goebel (Faculty of Theology, Fulda) will offer a reading session on Ralph of Battle at 4:30 pm on Zoom, focusing on an extract (§§37-46) from Meditatio cuiusdam Christiani de fide. Register here
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. Contact for the link. This week’s speaker is Joshua Byron Smith (University of Arkansas), ‘Madog of Edeirnion’s Strenua cunctorum: A Welsh-Latin Poem in Praise of Geoffrey of Monmouth’.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group also returns this week at 7 pm on Teams. To be added to the team and have access to the reading materials, email


A few seminars this term will continue into WEEK 9:

  • The Medieval History seminar will meet on Monday 21 June at 5 pm on Teams, as usual. Another exciting panel: Mary Hitchman, John Merrington, James Miller, and Elena Rossi, speaking on ‘Minds, Morals, and Martyrs in Medieval Communities’ (you have to love that alliteration).
  • Forgotten Christianities will meet on both Monday 21 June and Monday 28 June at 5 pm on Zoom. On the 21st, the speakers will be Augustine Dickinson (Hamburg), ‘Martyrs of God and Pillars of Faith: Literature and Identity in the Stephanite Movement’, and Nevsky Everett (SOAS), ‘The Ark of the Covenant and the Cross in Isaac of Nineveh and the Adversus Judaeos Tradition’. Register here. On the 28th, the speakers will be Emily Chesley (Princeton), ‘“I am going to go beyond the bounds”: Creating Miaphysite Community through a Woman’s Biographical Mimro’, and Samuel Noble (KU Leuven), ‘Abdallāh ibn al-Faḍl’s Conception of Philosophy: Byzantine Falsafa’. Register here.
  • The Early Text Cultures Astronomy and Astrology Seminar will meet on FRIDAY (note the time change) 25 June at 3 pm on Zoom. Fill out this Google form to receive the link. Massimiliano Franci (CAMNES, Firenze) and Cristian Tolsa (Barcelona) will speak on ‘Cultural Vistas: Ancient Egyptian and Graeco-Roman Culture’.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group will meet on Friday of Week 9 at its usual time of Friday 5 pm.

Thanks to you all for brightening a trying year with such an incredible array of events, and maintaining our academic community even in times of plague. With all best wishes for a lovely end to term and a (hopefully) covid-free summer,


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