Medieval Matters: Week 1

Week 1 is finally here, which means that it is time for our first proper Medieval Matters of the year! Contained within you’ll find details of the week’s upcoming medieval events. There is also a list of opportunities which features CFPs, essay prizes, job opportunities, and an invitation to apply for the Medieval Mystery Cycle! Of course, the most important event in the calendar this week is the Medieval Roadshow, on Tuesday, 4pm at Harris Manchester. We look forward to seeing many of you there!

Without further ado, here are the events for the week. Like Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica V.24, this is intended to be a brief account of events ‘ob memoriam conservandam’ (‘so that they might be better kept in memory’): for full details, please refer to the Medieval Booklet, a pdf copy of which is attached to this week’s email.


Monday 11th October:

  • Script vs print vs code: the information revolution in one afternoon take places at 1 – 3.30pm in Blackwell Hall (public foyer), Weston Library. Members of the Oxford Scribes and printers from the Bodleian Bibliographical Press race to produce a page of text. Settle the 500-year-old question – which is faster?’.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen to be added to the Teams call.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm on Teams and in the Wharton Room. Attendance at the Wharton Room is by advance booking only as the room has a strict Covid-19 capacity limit. Bookings can be made at This week’s speaker is Roy Flechner (UCD/All Souls) ‘From Bible to Law in the Early Middle Ages: Adaptations of the Old Testament from the Collectio Hibernensis to King Alfred’s Law-Book’.
  • The first Lyell Lecture takes place at 5pm online and at the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. Registration is essential for in-person attendance. This lecture will be ‘The Christian Latin Bible from its origins to the 13th-century Paris Bible’.

Tuesday 12th October:

  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Witches’.
  • The Medieval Roadshow takes place at 4-5pm in Harris Manchester College,
  • The Early Slavonic Webinar meets at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Oleksiy Tolochko (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), ‘When were the relics of St. Clement brought to Kiev and who brought them?
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Old Dining Hall, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Andrew Dunning (Bodleian Library), ‘Collecting Frideswide’s miracles at Oxford in the early 1180s:  Bodleian Library, MS. Digby 177
  • The Islamicate Manuscripts and Texts Reading Colloquium 2021 meets at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Adam Benkato, Department of Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley, ‘The Sogdian epistolary tradition in the early 8th century‘.
  • The Music Faculty’s colloquia series meets at 5.15pm at the Faculty of Music and via live stream. This week’s speaker will be Barbara Eichner (Oxford Brookes), ‘Infirm singers and dyslexic Dominicans: disability, liturgy and music in late-medieval and early-modern nunneries and monasteries

Wednesday 13th October:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in New Powell Room, Somerville College. If you are interested to be added to the mailing list for the seminar, write to Linus Ubl.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm on Google Meet, followed by drinks at 7pm at Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker is Anne McCabe (Oxford) and Bryan Ward-Perkins (Oxford), ‘Cyril Mango and Constantinople: forthcoming works‘.
  • The second Lyell Lecture takes place at 5pm online and at the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. Registration is essential for in-person attendance. This year’s lectures will be given by Paul Needham (Princeton). This lecture will be ‘Latin Bible-writing in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; the Gutenberg Bible workshop’
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Sebastian Sobecki (Groningen), ‘Hoccleve’s Community of Practice: Clerks, Scripts, and London Literature’.

Thursday 14th October:

  • The Greek and Latin Reading Group meets at 4pm in St Edmund Hall. Room TBC: contact John Colley or Jenyth Evans to be added to the mailing list.
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5.15pm in the History of the Book Room, English Faculty and on Teams. For Teams link, contact David Willis. This week’s speaker is William Lamb (University of Edinburgh), ‘Nouns by numbers: New insights from a dialectometrical study of Gaelic nominal morphology’.
  • The Old English Reading Groups meets at 5.30-7pm. For more information and to be added to the mailing list please email Eugenia Vorobeva.

Friday 15th October:

  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5pm on Zoom. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.
  • The third Lyell Lecture takes place at 5pm online and at the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. Registration is essential for in-person attendance. This year’s lectures will be given by Paul Needham (Princeton). This lecture will be ‘The Texts of the Gutenberg Bible; the case of 4 Ezra’


  • CFP: Emotion and Exemplarity in Medieval Insular Texts, c.700-c.1400: Please send abstracts of approximately 200 words for a twenty-minute paper and a short bio to Dr Niamh Kehoe (Heinrich Heine Universität) ( by the 10th December 2021. If you have any queries, please email Niamh. While we currently anticipate that this will be an in-person event at Heinrich Heine University, we may decide to switch to an online event
  • Post-doc vacancy for people with skills in classical Persian reading and translation into English, and Digital Humanities. Details can be found on the Invisible East website here (application deadline: 22 October 2021 at 12 noon UK time).
  • 2022 Medium Ævum Essay prize: postgraduates and those recently graduated with a higher degree are invited to submit an essay on a topic that falls within the range of the interests of Medium Ævum in the medieval period (up to c. 1500). The winner of the Essay Prize will receive a cash prize of £500, together with £250 for any books available from Bennett & Kerr Booksellers (including any from the Society’s own catalogue) & £250 of funding towards conference attendance. The winning article will also be considered for publication in Medium Ævum, subject to the usual editorial procedures of the journal. The deadline for submissions is 1st December
  • The Medieval Mystery Cycle is back, by popular demand! We’re once again producing a mini-cycle of medieval plays, each performed by a different group.  If you’d like to get involved, taking charge of a play, directing, acting or making costumes and props, email us:, Please see the flyer attached to this week’s email for futher info!

I started this email with Bede’s HE V.24 so I’ll finish with it too for our weekly wisdom:

semper aut discere, aut docere, aut scribere dulce habui
[I have always taken delight to learn, or to teach, or to write]

May your week be filled with productive learning, teaching and writing!

A senior medievalist takes some confused new postgraduates under her wing and shepherds them to a research seminar: Merton College, MS 249, f. 10r. [view image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *