Medieval Matters: Week 4

This Tuesday we have our long-awaited guest lecture by Lucy Pick on ‘Maimonides Latinus and a Thirteenth-Century Textual Community of Jewish and Christian Readers’. It will be live-streamed from St Edmund Hall on Tuesday 5pm – come in person or tune in for what is sure to be a wonderful evening. Lucy’s paper will explore the multilingual, multicultural Middle Ages, so it seems fitting to have some wisdom about language-learning from the Old English Pastoral Care:

ðy mara wisdom on londe wære ðy we ma geðeoda cuðon.
[The more languages we knew, the more wisdom would be in the land]

We certainly have a wide range of languages on offer in this week’s schedule, with events on Celtic, Norse, Latin, Middle High German, and Middle English – to name just a few! Please peruse the listings below to see what a wonderful range of events we have on this week:


  • The Oxford Medieval Society is very pleased to announce the details of our Relaunch Party. The event will take place at 5pm on Thursday 24th February (6th Week) in the Kendrew Café at St. John’s College. Please enter by the Kendrew Porter’s Lodge, rather than the main Lodge. The party will offer the opportunity to meet members of Oxford’s medieval community over drinks, snacks and a medieval-themed quiz. All students and staff interested in medieval studies are welcome, especially those who are new to Oxford. In celebration of our relaunch, membership fees have been waived for 2021/2022 academic year. If you would like to join the Society, you can do so by completing this short Google Form.


Monday 7th February:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12.30-2pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Becca Grose (Royal Holloway), ‘Avitus of Vienne and Roman Approaches to Burgundian Royal Women: Ascetics, Virgins and Heretics‘. To register, please contact the organiser at Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list. 
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions. Matthew Holford writes: We’ll read from an early manuscript at Solothurn of Petrus Lombard on marriage, beginning with the rubric de errore qui euacuat consensum. There are more abbreviations than we’ve been used to in earlier texts so you may want to have your Cappelli (online database or digitized version) and the Enigma tool for identifying Latin words when you only have a few letters.
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm on Teams and in the Institute of Archaeology Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Caroline Smith (U. of Durham): ‘Recent Excavations at Bishop Auckland Castle‘. Please note: Attendance in person is by advance booking only as the room has a strict Covid-19 capacity limit. Bookings can be made by contacting: For the Teams’ link click here.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at The Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Julie Barrau (Cambridge), Compiling, creating, innovating: looking again at twelfth-century authorial practices’. Attendance at the Wharton Room is by advance booking only as the room has a strict Covid-19 capacity limit. Seats will be released 1 week before each seminar. Bookings can be made at The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email:
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30pm on Teams. Please email Olivia Smith ( to be added to the mailing list and Teams group.

Tuesday 8th February:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 11.30pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Katarzyna Anna Kapitan (Linacre College), ‘Collecting and annotating Old Norse texts: on the library of Thormodus Torfæus’. For further information, contact
  • CMTC postgraduate lunchtime colloquium 12:30–2:00pm with Eleanor Baker (St John’s College, Oxford): “Lydgate’s Defamiliarizing Material Texts” and Thomas Laver (St John’s College, Cambridge) “Commercially active monasticism in the papyrus archives from Byzantine Aphrodito”. Abstracts and link to the sign-up form. Attendance is free of charge but sign-up is mandatory. A Zoom link will be sent to all participants the day before the talk.
  • The Late Medieval Europe Seminar meets at 2pm at Saint John’s College, seminar room 21 St Giles. This week’s speaker is Rachel Moss (Northampton), ‘Trans-forming identities: Menarche from St Wilgefortis to Charlotte Church’.
  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Joy’. If you want to join us, or would like more information, please contact Option to join virtually via Google Meet as well, please send your contact details.
  • The OMS Lecture Hilary 2022: Lucy Pick, ‘Maimonides Latinus and a Thirteenth-Century Textual Community of Jewish and Christian Readers’ takes place at 5pm at St Edmund Hall Old Dining Hall followed by drinks. Lucy Pick is a historian of medieval thought and culture. She is currently studying the earliest translation of part of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed into Latin and what it tells us about intellectual cooperation and conflict across religions in Toledo, Naples, Provence, and Paris in the early thirteenth century. The youtube stream is available live and after the event without registration at, so spread the word! If you want to join the discussion online, either post questions in the youtube chat which Tom Revell will monitor or tweet them mentioning the Oxford Medieval Studies twitter account @OxMedStud.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Scott Moynihan (Pembroke), ‘Diplomacy between Christians and Muslims during the Crusades‘.

Wednesday 9th February:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in Oriel College, Harris Room, discussing Reinbot von Durne: Georg. If you are interested in being added to the mailing list for the seminar, email Henrike Lähnemann For further information, follow MedGermOx on Twitter.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1-2pm in the Mertze Tate room of the History Faculty and online on Teams. Anyone interested in any element of medieval trade and its study are very welcome to join, from any department. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock at
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5:30pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Jim Crow (Edinburgh): ‘Procopius, De Aedificiis and Eastern Thrace: Is absence the highest form of presence?‘. Register in advance for this on-line series: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Thursday 10th February:

  • Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This week’s text is Das Redentiner Osterspiel. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to
  • A #Nuntastic Achievement: Celebrating Eileen Power 100 Years On will take place at 2pm–5pm, in Griffiths Room, 11 Norham Gardens, St. Benet’s Hall. This workshop will commemorate the centenary publication of Eileen Power’s Medieval English Nunneries and her influence on convent studies in England and beyond. Please register in advance at, and send any questions to Diana Myers ( or Edmund Wareham (
  • 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 will take place at location TBA at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker is Matthew Frank Stevens (Swansea University), ‘Segregation and integration in the towns of medieval Wales‘. Please contact for further information.
  • The Oxford Bibliographical Society meets at Balliol Historic Collections Centre, St Cross Church and on Zoom at 5.30pm. This week’s speaker is Hannah Ryley (Oxford), ‘Re-using manuscripts in late Medieval England‘. There will also be a small display of some of the manuscripts Hannah will be discussing. For the Zoom link please contact

Friday 11th February:

  • 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
  • The Seminar in the History of the Book will meet online at 2.15pm. You must be registered 24 hours before the seminar to receive a link to attend online. This week’s speaker is Riccardo Olocco, Bolzano: ‘The trade in type in Venice in the early decades of printing‘. Register here:


  • Masterclass: Medieval Iberia in Global Perspective. A masterclass with two leading scholars of medieval Iberian history: Eduardo Manzano Moreno (British Academy Global Professor, Univeristy of St. Andrews/Research Professor, Instituto de Historia, CSIC) and Wendy Davies (Professor Emerita, UCL). All members of the University are welcome; graduate students and ECRs are particularly encouraged. 2-4pm, Tuesday 15 February, Wharton Room, All Souls College, Oxford. The event will be held in a hybrid format. For in-person attendance (limited capacity), please sign up here. For online attendance, please click here.
  • Postdoc Position in the ERC-funded project APOCRYPHA in Oslo: The Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo invites applications for a 3-year position as Postdoctoral Fellow in the ERC-funded research project Storyworlds in Transition: Coptic Apocrypha in Changing Contexts in the Byzantine and Early Islamic Periods (APOCRYPHA). For full details, please click here.

Finally, some advice from Maxims I about the importance of wise words, whatever language they happen to be in:

wæra gehwylcum wislicu word gerisað
[Wise words are seemly in everyone]

May your week be filled with an abundance of wislicu word / wise words / verba sapientes / parole sagge in many languages!

[Medievalists, dressed in their finest clothes, hurry to the OMS lecture to hear some wise words]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 3r.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller

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