Medieval Matters: Week 7

Where did the term go? Welcome to seventh week, and to the last day of February! Unfortunately this isn’t quite the end of winter, nor of the terrible stormy weather that we’ve been having. I’m aware that my British side is showing in opening this week’s email with weather chat, but I’m not alone: the obsession with the weather holds true in the Early Medieval period too! Here’s some wisdom on storms from the Old English Maxims II:

Wind byð on lyfte swiftust, þunar byð þragum hludast.
[Wind is swiftest in the air, thunder is at times the loudest.]

If you want to avoid the swift winds (or talk of them!) this week, please see below for an excellent range of seminars and reading groups, where the welcome sound of academic discussion will be hludast:


  • The first event of the newly revived Oxford Medieval Society is a Panel on Medieval Plagues. It takes place in the North Lecture Room of St. John’s College on Wednesday, 2nd March, 5pm. Professor Mark Bailey (University of East Anglia) will give a talk entitled What did the Black Death do for us? Some answers from England, 1350 to 1400, and Professor Samuel Cohn (University of Glasgow) will speak on Plagues of the Central Middle Ages: The dog that didn’t bark.
  • The International Conference “Still ‘Caput Mundi’? The Role of Rome between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages in the Western Mediterranean“, organized by the RomanIslam – Center for Comparative Empire and Transcultural Studies, University of Hamburg, and headed by Prof. Dr. Sabine Panzram and Dr. Rocco Selvaggi. The workshop will take place on 3-5 March 2022 (in person and on Zoom). For full details and to get the links to attend via Zoom, visit the website here.
  • A Webinar, After the Book of Kells: Insular Art in Scotland and Ireland 900-1900, organised by Rachel Moss, Trinity College Dublin, & Heather Pulliam, University of Edinburgh, takes place on March 4th-5th. To attend, and for futher details, visit the eventbrite page. Full programme of talks, speakers and roundtables can be found here.


Monday 28th February:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12.30-2pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Carolyn Tyler La Rocco (St. Andrews), ‘Christianising Elites and the Religious Topography of Late Roman and Visigothic Iberia‘. 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 Palaeography Seminar: Medieval Manuscripts Masterclass 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 Colleen Curran, ‘The History of Script and the Scripting of History in 10th/11th-Century Canterbury‘. Register here.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at The Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Edith Chen (Exeter College), Under the Tatar Yoke: Persian Local Courts Under the Mongols in the 13th Century’. 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 here. 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:
  • Henrike Lähnemann presents on Nuns and Their Texts. Religious Writing from North German Medieval Convents at the Columbia Research Seminar on Religion and Writing 7pm (= 2pm EST), meeting information on the seminar blog.

Tuesday 1st March:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 11.30pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Jane Griffiths (Wadham College), ‘This word in Latyn: late-medieval religious macaronic lyric’. For further information, contact
  • The Class on Medieval Chronology by Prof. Anna Sapir Abulafia will take place 1.30-3.30 at the Faculty of Theology and Religion, Lecture Room, Gibson Building, ROQ site. The first class will give a broad, hands-on practical overview of the material which includes, Julian and Gregorian calendar, calculation of the Easter date in the West, epact, concurrent, days of the month, days of the week, moveable feasts, different starting days of the year, indiction, eras. Students will be given a practice sheet with medieval dates in different styles and containing a variety of dating methods and asked to solve them in preparation for the second class next week. Students interested in attending should contact
  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Jealousy and Disgust’. 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 Medieval French Research Seminar meets at 5pm at Maison française d’Oxford and Online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Giulia Boitani (King’s College, Cambridge): ‘Edenic Entanglements: the Ship of Solomon in MS Bodmer 147‘. To join a session remotely via Teams, please contact to receive the link.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is David Addison (All Souls), ‘Isidore of Seville, the Carolingians, and the idea of the laity‘.
  • The Late Medieval Europe Seminar meets at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Jutta Sperling (Hampshire College), ‘Queering the maternal body: same-sex lactations in late medieval and early modern art and literature’. To join the zoom meeting click here: Join Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 987 7500 2179 / Passcode: 032874.

Wednesday 2nd March:

  • No Medieval German Seminar this week. The presentation on Reinbot of Durne’s Georg by Melina Schmidt is postponed to week 8. If you are interested in attending, email Henrike Lähnemann. For further information, follow MedGermOx on Twitter.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5:30pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Kerim Altuğ (Istanbul): ‘Re-building Byzantium: Archaeological evidence on the construction activities under Justinian in Constantinople and its neighbourhoods‘. Register in advance for this on-line series: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
  • Oxford Medieval Society‘s Panel on Medieval Plagues (see above / link for more information) in the North Lecture Room of St. John’s College at 5pm.

Thursday 3rd March:

  • 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 email
  • 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 Early Text Cultures Reading Group meets at 4.40-5.30pm at the Dickson Poon Building (China Centre, Oxford), Lucina Ho Seminar Room, and on Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Nora Schmid (University of Oxford), Legal Paraenesis in Muḥammad’s Farewell Sermon. To join online, please click here. For full details and abstract, please click here.
  • Mary Boyle: Imagining Pilgrimage. This talk follows the paths of four medieval pilgrims from the real world, on to the page, and into the imagination, looking at the virtual Jerusalem pilgrimage at the end of the Middle Ages. Update: the seminar had to be postponed. Read instead about it in her book on pilgrimage (or in its previous form in her Oxford doctoral thesis).
  • The Celtic Seminar will take place on Zoom at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Geraldine Lublin (Swansea University), ‘Settler colonialism and Welsh Patagonia‘. Please contact for the link.
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30pm. For more information and to receive the text in advance email
  • A lecture by ffiona Perigrinor will be held at 6pm at St Edmund Hall, Chough Room: ‘Two free-spirited East Anglian women in the later Middle Ages: Alice de Bryene and Margery Kempe’. ffiona Perigrinor is an independent medieval scholar and the author of Reluctant Pilgrim: The Book of Margery Kempe’s Maidservant (2021).

Friday 4th March:

  • 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 Lisa Barber (Lisa Jefferson), Oxford: ‘The Goldsmiths’ Register and other record books of various London Livery Companies‘. Register here.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5pm on Zoom. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.


  • CFP: Living in Late Antique Mediterranean. The Scientific Committee of CISEM (Inter-University Centre for Studies on Late Antique Housing in the Mediterranean) invites you to submit proposals for the 4th CISEM International Congress “Living in Late Antique Mediterranean”, that will be held in Cuenca (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, España) on November 7th-9th 2022. The Congress will last three days with sessions dedicated to the presentation and the discussion of general topics regarding Late Antique Housing in the Mediterranean, with special insights on particular contexts. For full details, visit the CISEM website.
  • Merton College proposes to elect a Career Development Fellow in Medieval English Language and Literature. The successful candidate will be appointed from 1 October 2022 (or as soon as possible thereafter) for a period terminating no later than 30 September 2026. This is a prestigious career development post which will provide a promising academic with opportunities to develop as a researcher and university teacher. For full details, see here.
  • Rehearsals are well under-way for the Medieval Mystery Cycle which will take place on Saturday 23 April 2022, 12noon to 5:30pm, in the grounds of St Edmund Hall. It’s not too late to get involved acting, making music or props – contact Eleanor Baker to be added to the list!

Finally, some more windy wisdom, this time from Maxims I:

Werig sceal se wiþ winde roweþ.
[He will be weary who rows against the wind.]

I’m sure many people are feeling weary right now: I wish you all a peaceful week of smooth sailing.

[A group of Medievalists, rowing against the wind, bump into the looming figure of seventh week]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 7r.
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 *