Medieval Matters: Week 8

Somehow we are now at the final week of the academic year! It seems to have flown by – it feels like only yesterday that I met many of you at the Michaelmas Term Medieval Roadshow. This year we’ve enjoyed the return of in-person seminars, covering topics from late Byzantine Arabic and Persian poetry to St Birgitta of Sweden; a whole range of OMS events ranging from special lectures by Caroline Danforth and Lucy Pick to the Medieval Mystery Plays; and a whole host of exciting events and conferences. A very short but very appropriate piece of wisdom today, taken from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

Wurðe ðe god se ende
[May the end be good]

To ensure that this term has a good end, here is the roundup of events that you can enjoy:


  • Release of Oxford Research in English Issue 13: Masks. The committee for Oxford Research in English (ORE), the journal of the Faculty of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, is pleased to announce the release of its latest issue! This issue has been slightly delayed from Autumn 2021, but we are happy to announce it is now fully published. Its theme was ‘Masks’, and the committee were excited to have so many submissions of such high quality. Please find a copy available for download or online reading at this link


Monday 13th June:

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Stephanie Forrest (Cambridge), Byzantine-Armenian Doctrinal Discourse in the Period of the Early Islamic Conquests, c. 630-720. 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 History Seminar meets at 5pm at the Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Alice Taylor (KCL), ‘The Problem of Politics in C12 Europe’. 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 Forgotten Christianities Seminar meets at 5pm online. Booking is essential so that you receive the link for the seminar: please click here. This week’s speakers are Dr Peter Miller (Iowa), ‘Learning Ascesis in Three Steps: Training Novices in the Reform Monastic Tradition of the Church of the East‘ and David Gyllenhaal (Princeton), ‘The Rebuke Homily: Collective Trauma and the Christianization of the Syriac Speaking Peasantry‘.

Tuesday 14th June:

  • The Oxford Numismatic Society meets at 5pm. This week is the McKenzie Lecture. For further information please contact the secretary:
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Ian McDole (Keble), ‘Bruno of Toul or Leo IX? Progressing from bishop to pope‘.

Wednesday 15th June:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in St Edmund Hall in the Principal’s Drawing Room for a presentation by Linus Möllenbrink on his project of Reading Practices. For more information, please email
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1pm in the Mertze Tate room of the History Faculty and online. 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 Iberian History Seminar takes place at 4.30pm at Rector’s Drawing Room, Exeter College. Today’s speaker will be Rosa Vidal Doval – ‘Tracing the Medieval Genealogies of ‘Limpieza de Sangre’.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Ugo Mondini (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften) – ‘John Mauropous: verse, structure, and poetry book‘.
  • The LIPS: Manuscript Studies Lecture takes place at 5pm at The Senate Room, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. The speaker will be Sonja Drimmer (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), on “Witness/Copy/Record: Towards an Expansive Manuscript Studies“.

Thursday 16th June:

  • Choral Eucharist for Corpus Christi takes place at 12pm at St Edmund Hall. This lunchtime service in the Crypt of St Peter’s-in-the-East celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi, instituted in the late Middle Ages to give thanks for the gift of Holy Communion. A consort will sing John Taverner’s Mean Mass for five voices and William Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus. The service will conclude with a procession from the Crypt to the Chapel and with final Benediction hymns there.
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place Online. This week’s speaker is Barbara Roggema (CERES), ‘The Abbasid translation movement on the move: Qusta ibn Luqa’s refutation of the inimitability of the Qur’an and his move to Armenia’. Zoom meeting link.

Friday 17th June:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10.30pm in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!). This week, Andrew Dunning and Henrike Lähnemann will present the Bavarian prayerbook manuscript left by Nigel Palmer to the Bodleian Library (which used to have the shelfmark Utopia Armarium codicum bibliophilorum Cod. 1!).


  • Call for papers: Thematic issue “Memory and truthfulness in narratives of conflicts: England and France in the Middle Ages” We invite submissions of articles, translations and reviews. For more information, reach us at or ( Don’t forget to have a look at Brathair (Journal of Celtic and Germanic Studies) (ISSN: 1519-9053) website:…/bra…/announcement/view/72. Call for papers postponed until July, 30th.
  • Job Opening: Editorial Assistant for Studies in Late Antiquity. Studies in Late Antiquity (SLA) is a journal that provides a forum for scholarly research on global Late Antiquity (150 – 750 CE). This field-leading, international journal is published quarterly by University of California Press and is currently operated at Princeton University. We seek an editorial assistant for SLA who will oversee editorial management of the day-to-day operations of the journal. To apply, click: <> To learn more about the journal, click: <>.

Finally, some timely wisdom from Beowulf about endings:

Ure æghwylc sceal ende gebidan
worolde lifes; wyrce se þe mote
domes ær deaþe.

[Each of us must await the end of life in this world; let him who can achieve glory before death.]

I interpret this to mean that, though term will inevitably end on Friday, we can nonetheless achieve medievalist glory in the meantime by enjoying seminars and events and catching up with our colleagues before we all go our separate ways for the summer! I’ll be back briefly next week with some final announcements / exciting opportunities happening over the summer, but for now, I wish you an enjoyable and ‘glorious’ last week of term.

[A Medievalist shocked and horrified to discover they have reached the end of the term]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 5v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller

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