E  A  Lowe Lectures in Palaeography 2023: Professor Niels Gaul 

Manuscripts of Character: Codex, Ethos, and Authority in Byzantium and Beyond

Professor Niels Gaul will deliver the E A Lowe Lectures at 5pm on the following days in the MBI Al Jaber Auditorium, Corpus Christi College. Niels Gaul is A G Leventis Professor of Byzantine Studies and Director of the Centre for Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies at the University of Edinburgh; from 2005 to 2007 he held the inaugural Dilts-Lyell Research Fellowship in Greek Palaeography at Lincoln College and in the Faculty of Classics.  His research interests include the socio-historical dynamics of schools, learning, and the classical tradition in Byzantium; since 2017 he has been co-directing an ERC-funded comparative project on classicising learning in the Byzantine and middle-period Chinese imperial systems.

Tuesday 28 February  –  “Codex” – explores the phenomenon of Byzantine literati curating their own writings in codex format and possible ancient and patristic models; with glances at similar practices in other medieval manuscript cultures

Thursday 2 March – “Ethos” – examines the ways in which such codices were thought to display the author’s character, and what the concept entailed in this context

Tuesday 7 March –  “Authority” – relates expressions of authorial ethos to matters of mise-en-page, with particular attention to marginal spaces

All welcome!

Corpus Christi College MS 30 (fol. 114r), from the Commentary on the Gospels by Theophylact of Ohrid (late 12th century), a significant Byzantine biblical scholar (ca. 1050/60 – ca. 1108).

Header image: Gospel Lectionary with Marginal Illuminations, second half of 11th century, Dumbarton Oaks MS 1, BZ.1939.12 f.4v (See the manuscript online via Dumbarton Oaks on the Web)

CfP: Postgraduate Conference 2023 (University of Bristol): Identities, Communities and ‘Imagined Communities’

When: 14-15 April 2023

Abstracts and enquiries: cms-conference-enquiries@bristol.ac.uk
Deadline: 10 February 2023

After the success of the 2022 ‘Transitions’ Conference, we invite you to the next instalment of the longest-standing medievalist PGR conference series. This year’s theme of Identities, Communities, and ‘Imagined Communities’ marks the 40-year anniversary of the publication of Benedict Anderson’s book on national identity. Observing all the uses medievalists have made of his theories in subsequent years, the conference celebrates the interdisciplinary currents that have benefitted academia in recent decades – Anderson, after all, did not initially believe his theories were suitable for the medieval world. We welcome respondents and delegates to reflect on how we use concepts of identity and community more broadly across medieval history. Society’s interest in its identities is arguably more topical today than it was in 1983 when Imagined Communities was first published. How did medieval communities see and perform their identities, how did this change over time, and why? What role did identities play – be they political, linguistic, or religious – in the consolidation of some communities and the subjugation of others?

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
• National Identities
• Religious Identities
• Sexuality and Gender Identities
• Ethnoreligious Communities
• Marcher Identities
• Urban Communities
• County Communities
• Frontiers, Conquest, and Expansion
• Law and Custom
• Migration and Xenophobia
• Ethnic Origins and Contemporary Myths
• Art and Architecture
• Seals and Heraldry
• Patronage and Memory
• Sovereignty
• Local Autonomy
• Archaeology
• Nationalism
• Concepts in History-writing

We welcome abstracts from postgraduates and early-career researchers, exploring all the aspects and
approaches to concepts of identity and communities, in all relevant disciplines pertaining to the medieval
period, broadly construed c.500-c.1500. Abstracts are 300 words for 20-minute papers. This year’s
conference will be a hybrid event online and on the campus of the University of Bristol.

CfP: Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference 2023

The Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference committee are very excited to announce that the theme for the 2023 conference will be: ‘Names and Naming’

The conference will be held in person (with limited measures for online papers) at Ertegun House, Oxford, on the 20th and 21st of April, 2023. We are thrilled to announce this call for papers relating to all aspects of the broad topic of ‘names and naming’ in the medieval world. We are welcoming papers in any discipline, be it literary; historical; archaeological; linguistic; interdisciplinary; or anything else. There are no limitations on geographical region or time period, as long as the topic falls within the medieval period.

Examples of areas of interest may include but are not limited to:

♦ Naming and shaming
♦ Authorship; pseudonyms
♦ Classifications
♦ Etymology
♦ Place names
♦ Historiographical groups
♦ Ethnonyms
♦ Insults
♦ Nicknames
♦ Seals, identity
♦ Translation
♦ Trades
♦ Lineage
♦ Genres
♦ Graffiti; marginalia
♦ Saints’ names; cults

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes. We intend to provide bursaries to help with travel costs, and we are welcoming applications from graduate students at any university.

Please email abstracts of 250 words to oxgradconf@gmail.com by 15th January, 2023.

The Latin Works of Piccolomini (PP Pius II): A Colloquium

When: Thursday 23 and Friday 24 March 2023

Where: Ioannou Centre for Classical & Byzantine Studies, Faculty of Classics, 66, St. Giles’ Oxford OX1 3LU

This colloquium is the first in a collaboration on medieval and early modern Latin between the Faculty of Classics at the University of Oxford and the Abteilung für Griechische und Lateinische Philologie at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn. There will be eleven papers on the Latin works of the fifteenth-century humanist, Enea Silvio Piccolomini (later Pope Pius II). The draft timetable is available here.

The colloquium begins on Thursday afternoon and runs until Friday evening. The registration fee of £10:- contributes toward the subsidised cost of refreshments (incl. lunch on the full day). To register, please follow this link to the University Stores: https://www.oxforduniversitystores.co.uk/product-catalogue/classics/classics-events/the-latin-works-of-piccolomini-pp-pius-ii-a-colloquium

Please direct any queries to Dr Tristan Franklinos tristan.franklinos@classics.ox.ac.uk 

‘The iconography of the Mass of St Gregory in England’: Prof. Julian Luxford at Oxford Medieval Visual Culture Seminar

When: Thursday 1 December at 5 pm 

Where: St Catherine’s college, Bernard Sunley Building Room D (It is better to ask the St Catherine’s lodge porters for directions because this room is at the other end of the college!)

Julian Luxford, Professor at the School of Art History, University of St Andrews, will present on The iconography of the Mass of St Gregory in England .

The talk will be followed by drinks reception and a communal dinner at Gino’s (at attendee’s own expense). Everyone is welcome!

With any questions, please write to Elena Lichmanova elena.lichmanova@merton.ox.ac.uk

Digital Humanities and Sensory Heritage (DHSH): Jean-Philippe Échard (Paris)

Materiality-driven digital approaches to music museum artefacts: from spectro-imaging and CT scans, to photogrammetry

When: Thursday 1 December 2022, 4.30pm

Where: Linbury Room, Worcester College, Oxford

Speaker: Jean-Philippe Échard (Paris)

In the last three decades, the digitalisation of techniques for the analysis of cultural heritage artefacts has profoundly modified the ways of working with and interpreting data. Through a series of examples of projects conducted on the collection of historical musical instruments at the Musée de la Musique (Cité de la Musique – Philharmonie de Paris, Paris France), this talk will explore this major change, and highlight the value of these new approaches today. The characterisation of pigments in paintings decorating 17th-c. Flemish harpsichords sheds light on the painting techniques used and on the smalt trade. X-ray spectro-imaging proves to be key for identifying royal coats of arms, in painted emblems on 16th-century violins made by Andrea Amati, and to identify parchments from a single 14th-c. book of hours that were found in three instruments by Antonio Stradivari. CT-scans and photogrammetry techniques produce 3D digital models of musical instruments, used to better understand their material history or their vibrational behaviour, or to 3D-print instruments. The potentials of such techniques to improve the readability of these material historical sources can be hugely valuable stimulating for historians.

Jean-Philippe Échard is Curator of Stringed Instruments at the Musée de la Musique in Paris (Cité de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris, France) since 2014. He trained as a chemist, with a degree from the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie, Paris (1998) and a doctorate from the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (2010) on 16th-18th-c. varnishing techniques in instrument-making. He conducted research as conservation scientist on musical instruments in the laboratory of the Musée de la Musique (1999-2004 ; 2006-2013) and on easel paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA (2004-2005). He is the author of two books Le violon Sarasate, stradivarius des virtuoses (2018), and Stradivarius et la lutherie de Crémone (2022) as well as numerous papers and articles.

Find out more about the Digital Humanities and Sensory Heritage Network here. 

Book At Lunchtime: All Men Must Die

When: 12.30pm (Lunch), 1-2pm (Discussion) on Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Where: Radcliffe Humanities Seminar Room

Winter is indeed coming and Book at Lunchtime focuses on Professor Carolyne Larrington’s All Men Must Die.

‘All men must die’: or ‘Valar Morghulis’, as the traditional Essos greeting is rendered in High Valyrian. And die they do – in prodigious numbers; in imaginatively varied and gruesome ways; and often in terror within the viciously unpredictable world that is HBO’s sensational evocation of Game of Thrones. Epic in scope and in imaginative breadth, the stories that are brought to life tell of the dramatic rise and fall of nations, the brutal sweeping away of old orders and the advent of new autarchs in the eternal quest for dominion.

Yet, as this book reveals, many potent and intimate narratives of love and passion can be found within these grand landscapes of heroism, honour and death. They focus on strong relationships between women and family, as well as among the anti-heroes, the ‘cripples, bastards and broken things’. In this vital follow-up to Winter Is Coming (2015), acclaimed medievalist Professor Carolyne Larrington (St John’s College) explores themes of power, blood-kin, lust and sex in order to draw entirely fresh meanings out of the show of the century.

Professor Larrington is joined by panellists Dr Katherine Olley (English) and Dr Laura Varnam (English) discuss the themes and narratives of her latest book.

Book your place here.

Lecture: ‘Old Frisian, a Gem of Old Germanic Studies’ by Dr Anne Popkema

In his lecture on Wednesday 9th November, 5.15 pm, at the Taylor Institution Library Room 2, Dr Anne Popkema, Groningen University, covered linguistic aspects of Old Frisian in comparison with other Old Germanic Languages, especially Old English, an overview of Old Frisian manuscript sources, and the history of Frisia after the Anglo-Saxon conquest.

Header image: A map and an image of the First Hunsingo Manuscript (ca.1300).

P.S. The lecture is also a taster session for the Old Frisian Summer School which will run in July 2023 in St Edmund Hall:

Old French Reading Group

When: Wednesdays at 4 pm. Weeks 4, 6, 8

Where: St Hilda’s College

The Old French Reading Group will meet fortnightly to read aloud and discuss Old French texts together. Readers of Old French of all abilities are invited to attend; the group will provide an opportunity to collaboratively enhance reading proficiency in a relaxed environment (with refreshments provided)!

Our first meeting will take place at St Hilda’s College, 4pm Thursday 3rd November. We hope to see you there.

Please direct any questions about the group to Alice (alice.hawkins@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk) or Irina (irina.boeru@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk).

Header image: La Chanson de Roland, Bodleian Library MS. Digby 23, Part 2, fol. 12r

OMS Lecture: Prof. Ardis Butterfield (Yale), ‘Do We Mean Lyric or Song?’

When: Monday 31 October, 5.15pm

Where: Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty (St Cross Building)

What: Michaelmas Medieval Studies Lecture by Professor Ardis Butterfield (Yale University) as Astor Visiting Lecturer

Ardis Butterfield is Marie Boroff Professor of English and (by courtesy) Professor of French and Music at Yale University. Her many published works investigate medieval literature and music across languages and national boundaries. Her books include Poetry and Music in Medieval France, and The Familiar Enemy: Chaucer, Language and the Nation in the Hundred Years War. She is currently completing a major new edition of medieval English lyrics.

Do we mean lyric or song? Modern lyric theory in history

 Is ‘lyric’ something that has always existed as a category of poetry or music, or has it been created through a process of study and academic debate from the nineteenth century onwards – a process that Virginia Jackson has called ‘lyricization’? If that’s the case, where does medieval lyric fit in?

This lecture argued that medieval lyric is not on the edge of that debate, but at its centre. It does this by investigating the missing ingredient in many literary discussions of lyrics: their music. Thinking about the music for medieval lyrics (which in so many cases has not survived) can have an impact on modern theoretical discussions of poetry, requiring all of us to rethink our categories and assumptions.

Featured manuscripts (in order of appearance):
Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson C. 670, f.148v
British Library, Harley MS 978, f.11v
British Library, Arundel MS 248, f.154r
Oxford, Bodleian Library, Douce 302, f.24r (John Audelay’s book)
Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates MS 18.7.21,ff. 116r-121v (John of Grimestone’s preaching book)

Professor Butterfield also gave a manuscripts masterclass in the Weston Library’s Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, 2–4pm on Tuesday 1 November: ‘Manuscripts of medieval lyric and song in the Bodleian Library’