Medieval Matters: Week 8

Somehow, we are already at Week 8, and the end of the term. What a busy and exciting term of medieval events it has been! We are incredibly lucky to have such a large and diverse community here at Oxford: afterall, the Durham Proverbs remind us that:

Nafað ænig mann freonda to fela.
[Nobody can have too many friends.]

Thank you so much to everyone who has organised events, given papers, or turned up to seminars this term: you have made the Oxford Medievalist community richer! Here’s our last week of events for Michaelmas 2021:


  • Save the date! Our OMS Lectures will take place on 8th February (Lucy Pick: title tbc) and 26th April (Caroline Danforth: Paper, Linen, Silk, and Parchment – Material Fragments from an Extinguished Convent). Full details to come shortly on our blog.
  • Announcing the publication of a new volume of essays co-edited by Laura Varnam (Oxford) and Laura Kalas (Swansea): Encountering The Book of Margery Kempe. The volume is published this month by MUP (and is currently 40% off with the discount code ‘Kempe21’). There will be an online launch with the volume contributors on Thursday 16th December at 5pm on Zoom. We’d be delighted if you wanted to join us! Sign up here:


Monday 29th November:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12.15-2pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is John-Francis Martin (Oxford), ‘Byzantine Catholics (exact title TBC)‘. To register, please contact the organiser at or visit the eventbrite page.
  • 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 Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm Online via Teams. This week’s speaker is Pieter-Jan Dekkers, ‘Metal-detector finds and Flemish coastal settlement, 600-1100.’
  • 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 John Blair (Oxford), ‘Anglo-Saxon Landholding: the Unimportance of Bookland’.
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.15pm on Teams. Please email Olivia Smith ( to be added to the mailing list and Teams group.

Tuesday 30th November:

  • The Islamicate Manuscripts and Texts Reading Colloquium 2021 meets at 3pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Arash Zeini, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute of Iranian Studies, FreieUniversität Berlin, ‘Is there a Middle Persian epistolary tradition? A survey‘.
  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Alchemy and the Philosopher’s Stone’.
  • The Continental Old French Reading Group meets at 3.30pm at St Hilda’s College. Anyone interested in joining should send an email to
  • The Early Slavonic Webinar meets at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Zofia Brzozowska (The University of Łódz), ‘The image of an Arab woman in medieval Rusliterature (11th–16th century)‘.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Old Dining Hall, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is David Addison (All Souls), ‘Isidore of Seville, the Carolingians, and the idea of the laity‘.
  • The Oxford University Numismatic Society Graduate and ECR Colloquium 2021: “Base Metal Coinage in Antiquity and Beyond” takes place at 5pm on Teams. To receive meeting links and further updates, please email the Secretary at
  • The Meet the Manuscripts Autumn Series takes place at 5.30, online. This week’s speakers will be Micah Mackay, doctoral student in the Publication Before Print Doctoral Centre and Andrew Dunning, R. W. Hunt Curator of Medieval Manuscripts, ‘Correcting Christmas Carols‘. Book online here.
  • The Women, Legends and Texts Talk takes place at 7pm at Jesus College Chapel. This week’s speaker is Laura Saetveit Miles, giving a short informal talk on ‘St. Birgitta of Sweden: late-medieval England’s favorite visionary[?]‘.

Wednesday 1st December:

  • 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 Workshop on Manuscript Description and Cataloguing: encoding in TEI xml takes place at 1-2pm in the Weston Weston Library Centre for Digital Scholarship. Places strictly limited: email or
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1-2pm in Mertze Tate Room, History Faculty, and Online. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock.
  • 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 Elisabetta Neri (Liège), ‘Glass in transition (4th-12th c.). Production, trade and networks in southern Italy’. This week’s seminar is in collaboration with the Maison Française d’Oxford.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speakers will be Rachel Burns (CLASP, Oxford), ‘Psalms and Psychogeography in the Old English Solomon and Saturn’, and Anthony Harris (CLASP, Oxford), ‘Science and Literature – a Marriage of Ideas: “The Sun in the South” Revisited’. For further information, contact

Thursday 2nd December:

  • The Middle High German Reading Group meets at 9-10.30am on Zoom. This week’s topic is ‘Der Renner: Ziegenschwank (Hugo von Trimberg) ‘. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to
  • The Archives de l’Athos reading group meets at 3-4pm at Campion Hall. All interested in Byzantine history, non-Latin diplomatics, Greek palaeography or diplomatic edition are welcome. Contact or to sign up and receive the texts in advance.
  • The Imaging Belief Seminar meets at 4pm on Zoom. The speakers will be Prof Boaz Huss, ‘“Martyr of the Word”: Imagining Abraham Abulafia in Modern Literature, Arts and Popular Culture’. and Prof Annette Volfing, ‘Misdirected Visions: Doubt and Confusion in the Middle High German Sister Books’. Further information on Oxford Talks.The seminar will take place on Zoom. For the link, please email either or
  • 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. This week’s text will be Homer, Iliad, 19.303-39.
  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music takes place at 5-6.45pm on Zoom. If you are planning to attend, please register online. This week’s speaker is Brianne Dolce (Fitzjames Research Fellow in Music, Merton College, Oxford), ‘The Confraternity of Jongleurs and Bourgeois of Arras: A Reappraisal‘. The Discussants are Catherine A. Bradley (University of Oslo) and Barbara Haggh-Huglo (University of Maryland, College Park).
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5pm on Zoom. For Zoom link, contact This week’s speaker is Michael Cronin (Trinity College Dublin), ‘Minority journeying in the Age of the Anthropocene‘.
  • The North Sea Crossings Virtual Panel takes place at 5pm, online. The discussion will be streamed on this page and on the YouTube channel.  

Friday 3rd December:

  • Pre-Modern Conversations meets at 11am-12pm on Teams. For more information and to be added the the PMC Teams Channel, email lena.vosding AT


Finally, some more wisdom on friendship from the Durham Proverbs:

Freond deah feor ge neah; byð near nyttra.
A friend is useful, whether far or near (near is better though).

I interpret this to mean: let’s make the most of the closeness of our friends and colleagues before we all scatter after the end of term!

A Medievalist enjoying a colleague’s research paper (complete with flashy powerpoint presentation!)
Merton College, MS 249, f. 10v.
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 *