Medieval Matters: Week 8 TT2021

Dear all,

Unbelievably, here we are at the end of Trinity Term! The end of the year always flies by. Best wishes to all the Masters students turning in dissertations in the next few weeks.

There is only one announcement today: at the end of term, I’m departing my post as Communications Officer for Oxford Medieval Studies, as I’ll be headed off on postdoctoral adventures starting this autumn. I am, however, leaving you in the most capable of hands: the wonderful and brilliant Luisa Ostacchini will be taking over this job for the next academic year alongside her new role as Stipendiary Lecturer in Medieval English at St Edmund Hall.

It’s been an honour cluttering up your Monday inboxes. I’ve loved this job, and have deeply appreciated your hard work and enthusiasm in organizing these events and seminars; your promptness with announcements and reminders; your friendly corrections; and your kind missives about my relentless butchering of medieval texts for laughs. In the words of dear old Geoffrey: Min be the travaille, and thin be the glorie.

Hwæt, we Oxnaforda in ær-dagum / leorning-cnihta ond lareowa cræft gefrunon, / hu þa searo-monnas seminara fremedon. [Lo, we have heard of the skill of students and teachers of Oxford in the current times, how those clever people made seminars.] – A recently discovered Old English poem that will no doubt revolutionize the field

Onward to the seminars!

MONDAY 14 JUNE

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance by contacting james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. This week’s speaker is Kyriakos Fragkoulis (University of Birmingham), ‘(Re)contextualising a Late Antique City Through the Ceramic Record: The Case of Dion in Macedonia (Pieria, Greece)’.
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group meets 1-2 pm on Teams. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams. This week we hear from another exciting panel of speakers: Tom McAuliffe, Richard Schlag, Ellie Birch, and Laura Rosenheim on ‘Politics and Power Plays, c. 1000-1500’.
  • Forgotten Christianities meets at 5 pm on Zoom. This week’s speakers are Joseph Glynias (Princeton), ‘Ibrahim the Protospatharios, the Melkites of Antioch, and Local Autonomy under Byzantine Rule’, and Kyle Brunner (NYU/ISAW), ‘Creation and Maintenance of Communal Boundaries Real and Imagined in Syriac Hagiography during the Early Islamic Period’. Register here.

TUESDAY 15 JUNE

  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3:30 pm on Google Meet. Contact oxfordmedievalbookclub@gmail.com to receive notices. This week’s theme is ‘Image and Legend’, an exploration of visual sources.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom. Register here. This week’s speaker is Kati Parppei (University of Eastern Finland), ‘Between East and West: Assumptions and Interpretations Concerning Medieval Karelia’.

WEDNESDAY 16 JUNE

  • Digital Editions Live returns from 3-5 pm on Teams (join the meeting here). This week’s seminar is a book launch; Edmund Wareham presents the newest book in the Reformation Pamphlet series, speaking on ‘500 Years Passional Christi und Antichristi’.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5 pm on Google Meet (link here). This week’s speaker is Michiel Op de Coul (Tilburg), ‘Theodore Prodromos: Towards an Edition of his Letters and Speeches’.

THURSDAY 17 JUNE

  • The Early Text Cultures Astronomy and Astrology Seminar meets at 3 pm on Zoom. Fill out this Google form to receive the link. This week’s speakers are Vilius Bartninkas (Vilnius) and Federico Valenti (Independent Scholar), on ‘Naming and Nomenclature: Ancient Greek and Early Chinese Astronomical Terminology’.
  • In place of the Aquinas Seminar Series, Bernd Goebel (Faculty of Theology, Fulda) will offer a reading session on Ralph of Battle at 4:30 pm on Zoom, focusing on an extract (§§37-46) from Meditatio cuiusdam Christiani de fide. Register here
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. Contact david.willis@ling-phil.ox.ac.uk for the link. This week’s speaker is Joshua Byron Smith (University of Arkansas), ‘Madog of Edeirnion’s Strenua cunctorum: A Welsh-Latin Poem in Praise of Geoffrey of Monmouth’.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group also returns this week at 7 pm on Teams. To be added to the team and have access to the reading materials, email annabel.hancock@history.ox.ac.uk.

FRIDAY 18 JUNE

A few seminars this term will continue into WEEK 9:

  • The Medieval History seminar will meet on Monday 21 June at 5 pm on Teams, as usual. Another exciting panel: Mary Hitchman, John Merrington, James Miller, and Elena Rossi, speaking on ‘Minds, Morals, and Martyrs in Medieval Communities’ (you have to love that alliteration).
  • Forgotten Christianities will meet on both Monday 21 June and Monday 28 June at 5 pm on Zoom. On the 21st, the speakers will be Augustine Dickinson (Hamburg), ‘Martyrs of God and Pillars of Faith: Literature and Identity in the Stephanite Movement’, and Nevsky Everett (SOAS), ‘The Ark of the Covenant and the Cross in Isaac of Nineveh and the Adversus Judaeos Tradition’. Register here. On the 28th, the speakers will be Emily Chesley (Princeton), ‘“I am going to go beyond the bounds”: Creating Miaphysite Community through a Woman’s Biographical Mimro’, and Samuel Noble (KU Leuven), ‘Abdallāh ibn al-Faḍl’s Conception of Philosophy: Byzantine Falsafa’. Register here.
  • The Early Text Cultures Astronomy and Astrology Seminar will meet on FRIDAY (note the time change) 25 June at 3 pm on Zoom. Fill out this Google form to receive the link. Massimiliano Franci (CAMNES, Firenze) and Cristian Tolsa (Barcelona) will speak on ‘Cultural Vistas: Ancient Egyptian and Graeco-Roman Culture’.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group will meet on Friday of Week 9 at its usual time of Friday 5 pm.

Thanks to you all for brightening a trying year with such an incredible array of events, and maintaining our academic community even in times of plague. With all best wishes for a lovely end to term and a (hopefully) covid-free summer,

Caroline

A Puzzle of Fragments from Late Medieval Catalonia

Our understanding of medieval culture vastly relies on fragmentary sources. Musicologists are especially well-acquainted with this —most historians working on pre-1500 music rely to a significant extent on ‘waste’ parchment as a source of information about lost musical cultures. Working with fragments is challenging; however, it can also yield extremely rewarding results when we are able to reconstruct a wider picture.

In a recent publication, I re-examined a group of musical fragments preserved in Catalan archives. They transmit a highly sophisticated repertory inspired by the musical practices of late fourteenth-century cardinals and popes in Avignon, alongside northern French aristocratic and royal households. My essay traces the provenance of these fragments, recalibrating the way we think about the connection between the original manuscripts, local ecclesiastic and courtly institutions, and individual clerics. To make a long story short, most of the manuscripts converge with the itineraries of King John I of Aragon (b. 1350, r. 1387-1396) —who was an enthusiastic lover of music— and his court. The rather concrete picture emerging from my study confirms the long-held hypothesis that the royal court of Aragon was a major force behind the dissemination of this refined musical repertory throughout late medieval Catalonia.

In order to make the results of my research accessible to non-specialists, I have put together this ten-minute video. I couldn’t resist including footage of some of my favourite medieval towns and buildings. I Hope you’ll enjoy watching it.


David Catalunya is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford, and a member of the ERC-funded project ‘Music and Late Medieval European Court Cultures’. Earlier he has worked at the University of Würzburg, where he served as an editor of Corpus Monodicum. He has been an Associate Director of DIAMM, and a member of the research board of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. His scholarly research embraces a wide range of topics in music, history and culture from the early Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. He is currently completing his book project Music, Space and Ceremony at the Royal Abbey of Las Huelgas in Burgos, 1200-1350.

Mortimer History Society Essay Prize 2021

The Mortimer History Society is proud to announce in 2021 the sixth round of its annual essay prize

With the continued difficult circumstances, the scope of the prize has once again been extended. This year, essays will be accepted on:

✓ Any aspect relating to the history, geopolitics, topography, laws, economy, society and culture of medieval borderlands, including comparative studies, between 1066-1542, or:

✓ Any aspect of the medieval Mortimer family of Wigmore including its cadet branches and its impact on the history and culture of the British Isles

The prize

✓ first prize £750, runner-up prize £300, third-place £200

The conditions

✓ the essay must contain original research not published previously elsewhere and the prize is open to everyone who can meet the assessment criteria

The chair of the judging panel

✓ Emeritus Professor Chris Given-Wilson, University of St. Andrews

The closing date

✓ essays must be submitted by 1st March 2022

Publication

✓ prizewinning essays will be published in The Mortimer History Society Journal as may other commended entries

Click here for more details about the prize
Click here to see the rules of the competition
Click here for full details & conditions

Medieval Matters: Week 5 TT2021

Dear all,

Week 5 and perhaps we’ll see some sun again in the next few days! Fortunately, medieval seminars are appropriate for all weather.

No announcements this week, aside from a note for those of you who are interested in fantasy literature to follow the Oxford Fantasy research cluster (and podcast!) on Twitter @OxFantasyLit. Onward to the seminars!

‘All the world’s a seminar, and all the men and women merely invited speakers; they have their questions and their comments, and one man in his time attends many papers.’ – As You Like It, if I recall correctly

MONDAY 24 MAY

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance by contacting james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. This week’s speaker is Grace Stafford (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz), ‘Between the Living and the Dead: Use, Reuse, and Imitation of Painted Portraits in Late Antiquity’.
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group meets 1-2 pm on Teams. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • At 4 pm we have the Germanic Reading Group on Zoom, which will explore alliterative verse in a different Germanic language each week; this week, Eugenia Vorobeva will lead a session on Old Norse. To be added to the list, contact howard.jones@sbs.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Antonio Marson Franchini (St Cross), ‘The de festis Model Sermon Collection of Nicolas de Biard: Toward a Critical Edition’, with respondent Jessalynn L. Bird (Notre Dame University).
  • Old Norse Reading Group continues its journey through Hervarar saga at 5:30 pm on Teams. Email bond.west@lincoln.ox.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list.

TUESDAY 25 MAY

  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3:30 pm on Google Meet. Contact oxfordmedievalbookclub@gmail.com to receive notices.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom. Register here. This week’s speaker is Janet Martin (University of Miami, emerita), ‘Looking at the Bright Side: Some Benefits of the Pomest’e System in 16th c. Muscovy’.
  • Medieval Church and Culture also meets at 5 pm on Teams, on the MCC channel. Papers start at 5:15. This week’s speakers will be Arielle Jasiewicz-Gill (Oriel), ‘Lay Devotion and Performative Identity in the Fifteenth Century’ and Florence Swan (Wolfson), ‘The devel of helle sette his foot therin! A Literary Historical Analysis of the Cook in Late Medieval England’.
  • A third seminar at 5 pm on Teams: The Medieval French Research Seminar hears this week from three graduate students about their work-in-progress: Sebastian Dows-Miller, Alice Hawkins, and Mara-Elena Ciuntu. To be added to the mailing list, contact sarah.bridge@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk.

WEDNESDAY 26 MAY

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets at 11:15 am on Teams, to continue discussing a variety of short texts.
  • Digital Editions Live returns from 3-5 pm on Teams (join the meeting here). This week’s speakers, on illustrated Italian manuscripts, are Katie Bastiman & Holly Abrahamson, ‘Dane Ante-Purgatorio (MS. Canon.Ital. 108)’ and Giuseppe Nanfitò, ‘Boccaccio, Filocolo (MS. Canon.Ital. 85)’.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar, also on Teams, meets at 4:30 pm; contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk if you need the link. This week’s speakers are Gareth Evans and Siân Grønlie (Oxford), ‘Old Norse: Trees and Sons, Tears and Time’.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5 pm on Google Meet (link here). This week’s speakers are Krystina Kubina (Vienna) and Nathanael Aschenbrenner (Princeton), ‘Word as Bond in an Age of Division: John Eugenikos as Orator, Partisan, and Poet’.

THURSDAY 27 MAY

  • The Early Text Cultures Astronomy and Astrology Seminar meets at 3 pm on Zoom. Fill out this Google form to receive the link. This week’s speakers are Caterina Franchi (Bologna) and Katherine Olley (Oxford) on ‘Literary Narratives: The Alexander Romance and the Adonias saga’.
  • GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) Reading Group meets at 4 pm on Teams. Email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk to be added to the list. This week’s reading will be Homer’s Iliad, VI.429-81.
  • The Aquinas Seminar Series continues on the theme of De Magistro: Aquinas and the Education of the Whole Person, at 4:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance here. This week’s speaker is Andrea Aldo Robiglio (K U Leuven), ‘Learning Failures and Scholarly Vices’.
  • The Old English Reading Group meets at 5:30 pm on Teams, continuing with Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica. Contact eugenia.vorobeva@jesus.ox.ac.uk for details.

FRIDAY 28 MAY

Get thee to a seminar, go!

Medieval Matters: Week 4 TT21

Dear all,

We’ve made it to the halfway point! Now if only it would stop raining. Take shelter from the weather in a seminar or two.

Only one announcement this week – the University Bulletin is looking for research staff, especially ECRs, to write posts for the weekly Bulletin blog in which they introduce their research area and share their perspective on their field in an informal, personal way. Learn more and get in touch with the Public Affairs Directorate here.

‘Moreover, how [were seminars] created? I’m not sure if you realize this, but it was in God’s image. How can anybody dare to speak ill of something which bears such a noble imprint?’ – Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies

MONDAY 17 MAY

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance by contacting james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. This week’s speaker is Ben Kybett (Cambridge), ‘Themistius and the Muses: Religion, Rhetoric, and Classical Statuary in Fourth-Century Constantinople’. 
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group meets 1-2 pm on Teams. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Alice Spiers (St Anne’s), ‘Mechthild of Magdeburg: Mystic Writer, Political Commentator’.

TUESDAY 18 MAY

  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3:30 pm on Google Meet. Contact oxfordmedievalbookclub@gmail.com to be added to the mailing list. This week, Nicola Carotenuto will lead the club out onto Legendary Seas and talk through a selection of medieval maritime texts spanning Russia, China, Persia, and Venice.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom. Register here. This week’s speaker is Panos Sophoulis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), ‘“They sweep down from the mountains to despoil and ravage the land”: The Problem fo Banditry in its Medieval Balkan Context’.
  • Medieval Church and Culture returns this week on Teams, on the MCC channel in the OMS Team. The meeting begins at 5 pm and papers start at 5:15. This week’s speakers will be James Tomlinson (Magdalen), ‘The Relationship Between Music and Architecture in Late Medieval Creativity: Structure, Allegory, and Memory’ and Irina Boeru (Wadham), ‘At the Frontier of the Known World: Cartographic and Heraldic Encounters in Libro del Conosçimiento de todos los Regons et Tierras et Señorios que son por el mundo, et de las señales et armasque han’.
  • Bibitura Dantis Oxoniensis meets at 5:30 pm on Zoom (link here). This week, Nicolò Crisafi reads Paradiso 20.

WEDNESDAY 19 MAY

  • Digital Editions Live returns from 3-5 pm on Teams (join the meeting here). This week’s speakers are Mary Newman, ‘The Oldest Tupi Manuscript (MS. Bodley 617)’ and Lois Williams, ‘Cân o Senn iw Hên Feistr TOBACCO (1718), NLW. North PRINT W.s. 156’.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar, also on Teams, meets at 4:30 pm; contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk if you need the link. This week’s speaker is Tamara Atkin (Queen Mary University of London), ‘Error in the Printing House: Sixteenth-Century Scribes, Compositors, and Correctors’. 
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5 pm on Google Meet (link here). This week’s speaker is Daria Resh (NYU/Athens), ‘What is in the Bath: Pilgrims, Brides, and Baptism in the Early Byzantine Passion of Barbara’.

THURSDAY 20 MAY

  • The Early Text Cultures Astronomy and Astrology Seminar meets at 3 pm on Zoom. Fill out this Google form to receive the link. This week’s speakers are Claire Hall & Liam Shaw (Oxford) and Vanishri Bhat (Independent Scholar), discussing ‘Computational Methods’ in Ptolemy, Vettius Valens, and the Aryabhatiya.
  • GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) Reading Group meets at 4 pm on Teams. Email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk to be added to the list. This week’s reading will be Sallust, The War with Catiline, 52.36-54.
  • The Aquinas Seminar Series continues on the theme of De Magistro: Aquinas and the Education of the Whole Person, at 4:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance here. This week’s speaker is Adam Eitel (Yale Divinity School), ‘“Lift up your voice with strength”: The Idea of the Preacher in Thomas Aquinas’ Super Isaiam and In Jeremiam’. 
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group also returns this week at 7 pm on Teams. To be added to the team and have access to the reading materials, email annabel.hancock@history.ox.ac.uk.

FRIDAY 21 MAY

In the hope that May showers bring June flowers (and plague-free picnics) –

Medieval Matters: Week 3 TT21

Dear all,

Week 3 already! Term is picking up steam and hopefully the weather will involve a little bit less hail and sleet going forward.

A few announcements:

This week, on Friday 14 May at 5 pm, we have the annual O’Donnell Lecture in Celtic Studies. This year’s speaker will be John Carey, ‘The Kindred of a Child Without a Father: Merlin’s British Forebears and Irish Cousins’. Join the lecture here.

Dartmouth’s annual Zantop Memorial Lecture will be given this year by Mary Carruthers, on ‘Dante’s Intent Geometer: ‘Alta fantasia’, Vision, and Creation in Medieval Poetry’. Register for the Zoom link in advance here; the lecture will be on 18 May at 5:30 pm BST.

The History of Domestic Violence and Abuse Seminar returns this Thursday, 13 May, at 10 am on Zoom. Speakers include Jane Gilbert, Trevor Dean, Emma Whipday, Lewis Webb, and Julia Bolton Holloway. Register in advance here.

A call for papers: the brand new Oxford Medieval Commentary Network aims to establish a multi-disciplinary network for research and discussion of medieval texts concerned with the interpretation of the Bible, bringing together research on traditional commentaries as well as research on interpretations of the biblical text in a broader sense. A one-day workshop at Christ Church on 9 October 2021 will launch the network and lay out pathways for future collaboration and interchange. Proposals for presentations of 15 minutes on aspects of medieval biblical interpretation, including post-medieval responses, are welcome. Please submit your title and abstract (150-200 words) by 4 June 2021. Expressions of interest are also invited from those who wish to get involved with the network more generally. The workshop will take place in person in Oxford if circumstances permit (but may move online if necessary), and is free for all participants. To submit your proposal, express your interest, and for further information, please contact cosima.gillhammer@chch.ox.ac.uk.

Another call for papers: the Sylloge of Coins in the British Isles is running its annual Symposium on Money and Coinage on 26 July 2021, on the theme ‘The Sincerest Form of Flattery? Imitative Coinage in Britain, Ireland, and Europe’. The Symposium invites contributions of 20 minute papers exploring aspects of the imitation of coins in Europe from late antiquity to the early modern period. Submit your titles and abstracts of no more than 150 words to Murray Andrews and Fraser McNair at SCBIcoinagesymposium@gmail.com by 31 May.

Deyr fé, deyja frændr, / deyr sjalfr it sama, / ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: / seminarir hinn Oxnaforda. [Cattle die, kin die, the self must also die, but I know one thing that never dies: seminars in Oxford.] – Hávamál, I’m pretty sure

MONDAY 10 MAY

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance by contacting james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. This week’s speaker is Cristina Cocola (Universiteit Gent & Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), ‘Feeling Repentance in Byzantium: A Study on the Literary Sources of Katanyktic Poetry’,
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group meets 1-2 pm on Teams. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • The Bodleian will hold a special seminar this week on Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools in German and English Collections to mark the 500th anniversary of the author’s death, on Zoom at 3 pm. Register here.
  • At 4 pm we have the Germanic Reading Group on Zoom, which will explore alliterative verse in a different Germanic language each week; this week, Howard Jones will lead a session on Old High German. To be added to the list, contact howard.jones@sbs.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Helen Flatley (St Cross), ‘The Mozarabs and their Neighbours: Mapping Communities in Medieval Toledo’.
  • Old Norse Reading Group continues its journey through Hervarar saga at 5:30 pm on Teams. Email bond.west@lincoln.ox.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list.
  • The Decentring Dante Series returns at 6 pm on Zoom with speaker Suzanne Conklin Akbari (Princeton), on the topic ‘What Ground Do We Read On?’, celebrating the publication of The Oxford Handbook of Dante. Further information and registration here.

TUESDAY 11 MAY

  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3:30 pm on Google Meet. Contact oxfordmedievalbookclub@gmail.com to receive notices. This week’s theme is Hagiography, with selections from the Legenda Aurea.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom. Register here. This week’s speaker is Liliana Simeonova (Institute for Balkan Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Science), ‘Amalfitans in Byzantium’s Cultural and Religious Life, 10-13th c.’
  • Medieval Church and Culture also meets at 5 pm on Teams, on the MCC channel. Papers start at 5:15. This week’s speakers will be Jennifer Coulton (Wolfson), ‘Tongue-Tied and Legal Loopholes: Binding Motifs in Early Medieval England’, and Florence Eccleston (Jesus), ‘The Emotional and Embodied Experience of the Seven Deadly Sins, c. 1350-c. 1500’.
  • A third seminar at 5 pm on Teams! The Medieval French Research Seminar returns for the term, with speaker Edward Mills (Exeter), ‘Why Write the Calendar in French? Computus Texts and the Languages of Medieval England’. To be added to the mailing list, contact sarah.bridge@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk.

WEDNESDAY 12 MAY

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets at 11:15 am on Teams, to continue discussing a variety of short texts.
  • Digital Editions Live returns from 3-5 pm on Teams (join the meeting here). This week’s speakers, on early printed holdings in the Taylorian and the Bodleian, are Agnes Hilger & Alyssa Steiner, ‘Pfaffennarr (Taylor ARCH.8o.G.1521(27) & Tr.Luth. 16 (78)’, Alexandra Hertlein, ‘Jacob Locher’s Panegyricus (Inc. e.G7.1497.2./Douce 73)’, and Sam Griffiths & Christian Tofte, ‘Marginalia in Plutarch’s Vidas Paralelas (1491)’.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar, also on Teams, meets at 4:30 pm; contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk if you need the link. This week’s speaker is Paul Schaffner (Editor, MED, University of Michigan), ‘Quidels and Crotels and Glossing Tails: Attractions and Distractions of Middle English Lexicography’.
  • The Decentring Dante Series continues at 6 pm on Zoom, with speaker Lorna Goodison (Poet Laureate of Jamaica; University of Michigan), on the topic ‘Going Through Hell’. Further information and registration here.

THURSDAY 13 MAY

  • The Early Text Cultures Astronomy and Astrology Seminar meets at 3 pm on Zoom. Fill out this Google form to receive the link. This week’s speakers are Luca Beisel (Berlin/Tel Aviv) and Gonzalo Recio (Quilmes) on ‘Our Science and Theirs: Reconstructing Ancient Greek Models’.
  • GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) Reading Group meets at 4 pm on Teams. Email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk to be added to the list. This week’s reading will be Herodotus’ The Persian Wars, VIII.84-6, 96.
  • The Aquinas Seminar Series continues on the theme of De Magistro: Aquinas and the Education of the Whole Person, at 4:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance here. This week’s speaker is Rev. Prof. Michael Sherwin (Fribourg), ‘Integrated Humanities Programmes and the Renewal of Catholic Education: Thomistic Reflections’.
  • The Old English Reading Group meets at 5:30 pm on Teams, continuing with Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica. Contact eugenia.vorobeva@jesus.ox.ac.uk for details.

FRIDAY 14 MAY

Remember: contribute to an Oxford seminar, secure the glory of your deathless reputation. Have a great week!

Medieval Matters: Week 2 TT21

Dear all,

Happy May Day! Fun fact: the first recorded use of maypoles in Britain dates to the 14th century. Meanwhile, in the present day, it’s second week already and the seminar offerings are just getting more numerous. If you want to catch up with what happened last week, here’s the link to Jim Harris’ fabulous OMS Lecture ‘Museum in the Middle’. Anybody interested in writing a post about it or any other Oxford medieval topic for our revamped website medieval.ox.ac.uk, do get in touch! 

Announcements first:

Tomorrow, Tuesday 4 May, from 2-4 pm, the Bodleian will be hosting a special online event on ‘Dante 1481: the Comedia, illustrated by Botticelli’. Gervase Rosser (Oxford), Cristina Dondi (Oxford), and Tabitha Tuckett (UCL) will give talks on Botticelli’s engraved illustrations of the 1481 edition of La Comedia, on the surviving copies, and o the context of the book’s production. Book tickets here.

The Oxford Fantasy podcast is still taking pitches! Our line-up for the term already includes The Silmarillion, interviews with a variety of exciting authors, and explorations of Oxford’s fantasy archives (with visuals), but we want your ideas!

May, with alle thy floures and thy grene, / Welcome be thou, faire fresshe May, / In hope that I som [Trinity Term seminars] gete may’. – Chaucer, The Knight’s Tale, one can only imagine

MONDAY 3 MAY

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance by contacting james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. This week’s speaker is Alessandro Carabia (University of Birmingham), ‘Defining the “Byzantine Variable” in Early Byzantine Italy: The Case of Liguria (500-700 CE)’.
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group meets 1-2 pm on Teams. Improve your Latin, learn palaeographical skills, and engage first-hand with medieval texts by reading reproductions of manuscripts. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is José Andres Porras (St Hugh’s), ‘Is Love in One’s Blood? Establishing Solidarities via Common Descent in Late Medieval Thought, 1250-1400’, with respondent David D’Avray (UCL).

TUESDAY 4 MAY

  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3:30 pm on Google Meet. Contact oxfordmedievalbookclub@gmail.com for the link and to be added to the mailing list. This week’s theme is Urban Legends, featuring Giovanni Villani’s Chronicle.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar is back this week, meeting at 5 pm on Zoom. Register here. This week’s speaker is Petar Todorov (Institute of National History, Skopje), ‘History as a Source of Conflict Between Nations: Recent Macedonian-Bulgarian Controversies’. 
  • Medieval Church and Culture also makes a triumphant return this week on Teams, on the MCC channel in the OMS Team. The meeting begins at 5 pm and papers start at 5:15. This week’s speakers will be Pilar Bertuzzi Rivett (Lincoln), ‘Ten Names, One God: Exploring Christian-Kabbalistic Affinity in a Christian Hymn of the Twelfth Century’ and Samuel Heywood (St Peter’s), ‘The Finnish Product: Translation and Transmission of Luther’s Hymns in Finland and Sweden’. Special commendation for the pun.
  • Bibitura Dantis Oxoniensis meets at 5:30 pm on Zoom (link here). This week, Katie Bastiman reads Purgatorio 25. 

WEDNESDAY 5 MAY

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets at 11:15 am on Teams, to continue discussing a variety of short texts.
  • Digital Editions Live returns from 3-5 pm on Teams (join the meeting here). This week’s project features Arnold von Harff’s travel manuscript MS. Bodley 972 presented by four generations of History of the Book students. The editors Eva Neufeind and Agnes Hilger are joined by Mary Boyle, Aysha Strachan and Jasmin Leuchtenberg. Sneak preview on Taylor Editions, including links to several blog posts. The recording of the launch of the fabulous beasts from Merton by Seb Dows-Miller and Julia Walworth is now online on the OMS Youtube channel.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar, also on Teams, meets at 4:30 pm; contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk if you need the link. This week’s speaker is Eric Weiskott (Boston College), ‘William Langland’s Apophatic Poetics’.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5 pm on Google Meet (link here). This week’s speaker is Christophe Erismann (Vienna), ‘Why Do Methods Change? On the Significance of 815 for Byzantine Thought’.

THURSDAY 6 MAY

  • The Early Text Cultures research cluster is offering another seminar series on Astronomy and Astrology this term, at 3 pm on Zoom. Fill out this Google form to receive the link. This week’s speakers are Yossra Ibrahim (Mainz) and Peter John Williams (Cambridge), discussing ‘Text and Image’ in Egyptian and Hellenistic Greek astronomy.
  • GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) Reading Group meets at 4 pm on Teams. Email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk to be added to the list. This week’s reading will be Ovid’s Amores, III.2.1-42, 59-84.
  • The Aquinas Seminar Series continues on the theme of De Magistro: Aquinas and the Education of the Whole Person, at 4:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance here. This week’s speaker is Fáinche Ryan (Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin), ‘The Role of Intelligence in Good Human Living: Aquinas and the Teachability of Prudentia’.
  • This term’s Celtic Seminar kicks off this week at 5:15 pm on Teams. Contact david.willis@ling-phil.ox.ac.uk if you need the link. This week’s speaker is Amy Mulligan (University of Notre Dame), ‘Moving into Chicago’s “White City”: Race, Celtic Iconography and the Construction of Irishness at the 1893 World’s Fair’.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group also returns this week at 7 pm on Teams. To be added to the team and have access to the reading materials, email annabel.hancock@history.ox.ac.uk.

FRIDAY 7 MAY

Doon your observaunce to May, and enjoy the bank holiday!

22nd / 23rd April: The Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference *Memory*

The Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference is taking place on Thursday and Friday this week!

To register; https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/memory-17th-oxford-medieval-graduate-conference-tickets-149951710603
To register; email: oxgradconf@gmail.com

OMGC Twitter Handle @OxMedGradConf #OMGC21

Medieval Matters: Booklet and Week 0

Welcome back to Trinity Term! As usual, it’s going to be a splendid term of seminars, events, and reading groups to keep you entertained and informed.

Without further ado, I present this term’s Medieval Booklet. Peruse and enjoy! Please take particular note of this term’s OMS Lecture, given by our own Jim Harris, Mellon Foundation Teaching Curator at the Ashmolean Museum. Jim will be speaking on ‘Museum in the Middle: Medieval Things in a (Still) Medieval University’ and presenting from the Ashmolean’s collections. You don’t want to miss this, so be sure to hop on the OMS YouTube channel on Tuesday 27 April at 5 pm! The direct link is here.

A few important announcements:

The Invisible East Project is hosting three (3!) amazing events this week. Tomorrow, Tuesday 20 April, at 5 pm on Zoom, will be the book launch for Faḍā’il-i Balkh or the Merits of Balkh, an annotated translation of the oldest surviving history of Balkh in Afghanistan. Register here. On Wednesday 21 April at 5 pm, the Marburg Museum of Religions is holding a special exhibition on the scholar Annemarie Schimmel; the flyer with the QR code to register is attached. And on Thursday 22 April at 5 pm, Oxford’s Arezou Azad will be speaking on ‘The Unheard Voices from Eastern Iran and the Eastern Islamicate World’ as part of the British Institute of Persian Studies’ 2021 webinar series. Register here.

The Bodleian Libraries would like to remind you that Bodleian acquisitions for 2020–21 must be delivered by the end of the financial year in July, and they aim to conclude their orders for the year by mid-May. If you have missed any books in the libraries this year, please complete the purchase request form or contact the relevant subject librarian. The librarians also welcome donations of any titles that the Bodleian does not currently hold.

The upcoming Communities and Networks in Late Medieval Europe (c. 1300-1500) Conference seeks your papers. Hosted at St Catharine’s College Cambridge on 9-10 September, the conference aims to build on and contribute to the expanding field of ‘networks’ research by investigating the internal and external dynamics of communities in the last two centuries of the European Middle Ages. Junior researchers (doctoral and postdoctoral) are especially welcome. Topics include but are not limited to: networks and the development of communities; networks in conflict and conflict resolution; oral and written communication networks; literacy and bureaucratization; development of infrastructure; warfare; possibilities and drawbacks of social network analysis as a methodological approach to medieval studies. Send your 300-word abstracts, along with a short author biography, to commsandnetworks21@gmail.com by 7 June.

Speaking of CfPs, the annual Norse in the North Conference has extended its deadline until 26 April. Durham University will host the conference online on Saturday 12 June, on the theme ‘Transformation and Preservation in Old Norse Studies’. This year’s keynote will be Ármann Jakobsson, ‘Till Undeath Do Us Part: Some Norse Non-Transformations’. Learn more here and email your 300-word abstract to norseinthenorthofficial@gmail.com.

As you will see from the booklet, the Oxford Medieval Book Club wants your input! This friendly and informal group is inviting members of the OMS community to guide the group through readings they’ve discovered on the topic of Medieval Legends in weeks 4-7. Possible topics include but are not limited to folk legends, founding myths, legendary places and creatures, the Grail legend, tall tales, false identities, and imposters. Send your suggestions to oxfordmedievalbookclub@gmail.com.

Go forth, check out the medieval booklet, and get your calendars filled! It looks to be a brilliant term. This time last year we were embarking on our first term in lockdown, our first term of digital seminars. This year has been longer and harder than we were told to expect, but the difference between Trinity Term 2020 and Trinity Term 2021 — the number and range of exciting seminars, the quality, ease, and attendance levels of our online events — is something we should be collectively proud of. And now we can, quite genuinely, look forward to being back in lecture theatres and seminar rooms with one another soon.

‘Digital Editions Live’ – Workshop 25 June 2021, 3-5pm (tbc)

Methodology Workshop in cooperation with OCTET and Dark Archives

  • Insights from the Series of ‘Digital Editions Live’ launches  
  • Developing a framework for digital editing and exploring manuscripts online   
  • Reflections on preparing digital editions in times of lockdown  
  • Development of new digital methods for teaching History of the Book 
  • Further Perspectives in conjunction with the Oxford Centre for Textual Editing and Theory and initiatives at Trinity College Dublin 

In line with the previous Dark Archives conferences, the presentations (in this case: the digital edition launch events) will be accessible via http://darkarchiv.es. They will be linked in to the Taylor Editions https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/ and archived via OCTET https://octet.web.ox.ac.uk/

At four thematic panels, the graduate students will discuss with international guests and Oxford-based editors from OCTET and Digital Humanities methodological issues arising from the digital launches and the digital public engagement they undertook for their projects.  

3:00pm – Expanding Unicode: Challenges of non-standardised features (A) 

3:30pm – Expanding Taylor Editions: Making advanced use of the platform’s functionalities (B) 

4:00pm – Expanding Versions: Challenges of linking up with existing editions and translations (C) 

4:30pm – Expanding Access: Challenges of Digital Public Engagement (D) 

6pm – Open Air Drinks for Oxford participants in St Edmund Hall  

Panelists for A (abbreviations / unicode / encoding damage): 

  • Katie Bastiman and Holly Abrahamson: Dante Ante-Purgatorio (MS. Canon.Ital. 108) 
  • Josephine Bewerunge, Molly Ford, Sam Heywood, Caroline Lehnert, Molly Lewis, Marlene Schilling: A collective edition of a German devotional miscellany (MS. Germ. e. 5) [or split the group across different panels] 

Panelists for B (Taylor editions): 

  • Eva Neufeind and Agnes Hilger: Arnold von Harff (MS. Bodley 972)  
  • Alexandra Hertlein & Dennis Pulina: Jacob Locher Panegyricus (Inc. e. G7.1497.2./Douce 73) 
  • Edmund Wareham and Alyssa Steiner: Reformation Pamphlets 
  • Sam Griffiths and Christian Tofte: Marginalia in Plutarch’s Vidas Paralelas (1491)  

Panelists for C (other editions): 

  • Sebastian Dows-Miller: Re-awakening Merton’s Beasts (Merton College, MS. 249)  
  • Gabriel O’Regan: Le Roman de Renart (Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 360) 
  • Javaria Abbasi: Pedro de Medina’s Libro de cosmographia (1538), (MS. Canon. Ital. 243) 
  • Giuseppe Nanfitò: Boccaccio, Filocolo (MS. Canon. Ital. 85) 

Panelists for D (digital engagement): 

  • Mary Newman: The oldest Tupi manuscript (MS. Bodley 617) 
  • Lois Williams: Cân o Senn iw Hên Feistr TOBACCO (1718), NLW. North PRINT W.s. 156 
  • Danielle Apodaca: Le Roman de Flamenca DH project across editions and translations 
  • Carrie Heusinkveld: Reconsidering the Metamorphoses by Clément Marot (MS. Douce 117)