Medieval Matters: Week 6

Somehow we are now in Week 6! If it feels that Christmas happened just moments ago and that the term is passing by very quickly, have no fear: the Old English Andreas reassures us that:

ofost is selost.
[haste is best]

With haste, then, here are all of our events this week – be hasty in adding them to your diary to make sure that you don’t miss them!:


  • Highlight of the week: The Oxford Medieval Society 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.
  • It’s not too late to register for Opening the Sacred Text: Meaning, Materiality, Historiography, a conference starting today (21 February) 2:15pm via Zoom, with a focus on carpet pages, Book of Kells and Durrow and more, organised by Stewart J. Brookes and Julie Harris!
  • The Medieval Book Club is cancelled this week, and will meet again in week 7 at the usual time and place.


Monday 21st February:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12.30-2pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Benjamin Sharkey (Oxford), ‘The Minority Experience of a Central Asian Christian Community, Explored Through Syriac Gravestone Inscriptions (c. 1201-1345) from the Chu Valley, Kyrgyzstan‘. 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. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm on Teams and in the Institute of Archaeology Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Gabor Thomas (U. of Reading): ‘Holy Waters Floweth: New Archaeological Insights on the Non-Tidal Thames as an Early Medieval Monastic Nexus‘. 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 Felicity Hill (St Andrews), ‘Excommunication: collective action and communal knowledge’. 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 22nd February:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 11.30pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speakers will be Peter Buchanan (Lady Margaret Hall), ‘Light metaphysics and contingent poetics in Chaucer’s House of Fame’, and Pamela Kask (Mansfield College), ‘The mythology of trauma in Chaucer’s Anelida and Arcite’. For further information, contact’
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Elizabeth Crabtree (Blackfriars), ‘“This happened by the will of God”:  Divine Providence in Nicholas of Lyra’s commentary on the Book of Esther‘.
  • The Medieval Manuscripts Seminar meets at 5.30pm on Zoom. This week’s speakers are Carlotta Barranu (University of Cambridge ), Multilingualism and the organisation of knowledge in fourteenth-century English books; and Philippa de Sissis (Universität Hamburg), Facets of a SchriftBild (script as image) concept – the three scribes of BML Plut 76.1. To attend, and to see the abstracts, please book here.

Wednesday 23rd February:

  • The Medieval German Seminar on Reinbot von Durne’s “Georg” meets at meets at 11.15-12.45 in Oriel College, Harris Room. This week’s speakers are Carolin Gluchowski and Luise Morawetz, discussing Peter Strohschneider’s article Georius miles-Georius martyr. 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 Olivier Gengler (Tübingen): ‘Building Stories: Constantinople in Malalas and Procopius.’ Register in advance for this on-line series: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Thursday 24th February:

  • Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This week’s text is Das Donaueschinger Passionsspiel. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to
  • 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 German Research Seminar will have a medieval theme this week, with Carolin Gluchowski, Henrike Lähnemann, and Lena Vosding jointly presenting on The Nuns’ Network, letters and manuscripts written by women in late medieval North Germany. Click here to join the meeting at 2pm on teams.
  • The ETC Seminar on Gender Identities meets at 4.30-6.00 in the Dickson Poon Building (China Centre, Oxford), Lucina Ho Seminar Room and on Zoom. This week’s speakers are Fayaz Ahmad (University of Kashmir), Sufism, Gender and Literature: Rishi Silsila and the female Sufis of Kashmir; and Frederique Darragon (Sichuan University), Re-visiting the primary textual sources about the ancient ‘Nüguo’ matriarchal queendoms of the Chinese borderlands. To sign up to the mailing list and receive Zoom links, please click here.
  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at location TBA at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker is Karolina Rosiak (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), ‘title tba‘. Please contact for further details.

Friday 25th 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 and in the Weston Lecture Theatre at 2.15pm. You must be registered to attend: if you wish to attend online, you must register 24 hours before the seminar. This week’s speaker is Katarzyna Kapitan, Junior Research Fellow, Linacre College; Visiting Scholar The Arnamagnæan Institute, University of Copenhagen: ‘The Virtual Library of Thormodus Torfæus, reconstructed from Danish and Icelandic collections‘. Register here:

Even though the term seems to be progressing quickly, we still have a whole three weeks of exciting Medieval events in store, including classes on Medieval Chronology by Prof. Anna Sapir Abulafia; the Palaeography Seminar: Medieval Manuscripts Masterclass; and a lecture by ffiona Perigrinor on ‘Two free-spirited East Anglian women in the later Middle Ages’. You can take a sneak peek at upcoming events on our blog, on our calendar or in the Medieval Booklet. But if you’re feeling impatient for these upcoming events, here is some wisdom from Maxims 1:

Mon sceal […] gebidan þæs he gebædan ne mæg.
[One must wait for what cannot be hastened]

In other words: good things come to those who wait…

[A Medievalist stunned by the fact that it is already Week 6]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 10v
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller

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