Medieval Matters: Week 3

Spooky happenings to report this week – not only is it, terrifyingly, Week 3 already, but we are also approaching Allhallowtide, with Sunday being All Saints’ Eve / Halloween! For this scariest of weeks, some seasonal wisdom regarding hand-standing, head-walking witches from the Old English Durham Proverbs:

Ne swa þeah treowde þeah þu teala eode, cwæþ se þe geseah hægtessan æfter heafde geongan.
[“I wouldn’t trust you even if you walked properly!” said he who saw a witch walking on her head]

We have many wonderful events this week. In particular, may I draw your attention to the Church Monuments Society Lecture Series, which kicks off this Sunday 31st with a lecture by Dr Roger Bowdler, talking about charnel depictions on tombs. Spooky indeed! But don’t be afraid: we also have plenty of less scary medievalist treats to enjoy this week, all laid out below for your perusal.


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 25th October:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12.15-2pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Sofia Simões Coelho (Oxford) ‘Holy Fools in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Rus’. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk or visit the eventbrite page.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen to be added to the Teams call.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm on Teams and in the Wharton Room. Attendance at the Wharton Room is by advance booking only as the room has a strict Covid-19 capacity limit. Bookings can be made at https://medieval-history-seminar.reservio.com. This week’s speaker is Stephen Spencer (KCL) ‘Rewriting History: The Evolution and Impact of Ralph of Coggeshall’s Account of the Third Crusade

Tuesday 26th October:

  • The Islamicate Manuscripts and Texts Reading Colloquium 2021 meets at 3pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Jamie O’Connell, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, ‘Zoroastrian Calendar Controversies in the 17th and 18th centuries: Passages from the Persian Rivāyats and Related Texts’.
  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Ghosts and Revenants’.
  • The Early Slavonic Webinar meets at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Neven Isailović (The Institute of History Belgrade), ‘Identity and Identificationin Late Medieval Western Balkans‘.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Old Dining Hall, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Sumner Braund (Bodleian Library), ‘Martyred Princesses? Sanctity and monastic reform in 10thc. English nunneries
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar meets at 5pm at Maison française d’Oxford. This week’s speaker is Dr Henry Ravenhall (University of Cambridge), ‘Feeling Medieval French Literature: Touch, Experience, Materiality’.

Wednesday 27th October:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in New Powell Room, Somerville College. If you are interested to be added to the mailing list for the seminar, write to Linus Ubl.
  • The Oxford Numismatic Society Seminar meets at 5pm in the Outreach Room at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies. This week’s speaker is Dr. Martin Allen (Fitzwilliam Museum / Wolfson College, University of Cambridge): ‘Finding the Past: EMC and Early Medieval Coin Finds‘.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Kathleen Kennedy (Bristol), ‘On Killdeer and Codicology: The Provenance of the Corpus Troilus’. For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 7pm at Corpus Christi College for drinks. (Please note that there is no speaker this week).

Thursday 28th October:

  • The Archives de l’Athos reading group meets at 3-4pm at Corpus Christi College. All interested in Byzantine history, non-Latin diplomatics, Greek palaeography or diplomatic edition are welcome. Contact marek.jankowiak@history.ox.ac.uk or olivier.delouis@campion.ox.ac.uk to sign up and receive the texts in advance.
  • 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. This week’s text will be Virgil, Eclogue 4.4-52, 60-4.
  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music meets at 4.30pm on Zoom, with the presentation beginning at 5pm. If you are planning to attend, please register using this form: https://forms.gle/rL36rACrSEmuH4UC6. Those who have registered will receive an email with the Zoom invitation, instructions for joining the call, and further materials for the seminar. This week’s speaker is Margot Fassler (Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music and Liturgy, University of Notre Dame; Tangeman Professor of Music History Emerita, Yale University), ‘The Restoration of Anima in Hildegard of Bingen’s Sung Play the Ordo Virtutum‘, and the discussants are Alison Altstatt (University of Northern Iowa) and Barbara Newman (Northwestern University).
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5.15pm in the History of the Book Room, English Faculty and on Teams. For Teams link, contact David Willis. This week’s speaker is Georgia Henley (Saint Anselm College), ‘Reading Geoffrey of Monmouth in south Wales and the Marches‘.
  • The Old English Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm. For more information and to be added to the mailing list please email Eugenia Vorobeva.

Friday 29th October:

  • The MedievalWiki: Training Workshop and Social Editing Session takes place at 1.30-3.30pm on Zoom. This workshop is for brand new and experienced Wikipedia editors who are interested in improving Wikipedia according to the aims of MedievalWiki, which is specifically dedicated to making and editing articles with citations to medieval scholars whose work is indebted to or develops feminist, queer, and critical race studies methods and theories. The event is free, but booking is required: please sign up 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.
  • The Reformation Pamphlets Launch will take place at 5pm with a Presentation of the pamphlets at the Weston Library, Horton Room, followed, at 6:15pm, by Reformation Evensong in St Edmund Hall Chapel. Anybody welcome to without the need to book!

Sunday 31st October:

  • The Church Monuments Society Lecture Series: Whose Dead in Vaulted Arches Lie kicks off at 5pm on Zoom with macabre tombs expert, Dr Roger Bowdler, talking about grisly depictions of charnel on tombs! This series of five lectures will cover macabre monuments, death depictions in churchyards, what lies in burial vaults, inside the world of gravedigging and curious cadaver effigies and macabre art…! Attendance is free, but places must be booked via Eventbrite.



OPPORTUNITIES:

  • The Oxford Medieval Society is looking for people to join their committee! If you would like to get involved in organising medieval-centric events (from friendly community-building events to talks with high profile speakers) please register your interest with eleanor.baker@sjc.ox.ac.uk. No prior experience on committees is required.
  • The Faculty of English Language and Literature at Oxford University, in association with Pembroke College, is seeking to appoint a fixed-term Lecturer in English Language. For full details, please see here. Applications, which should include a CV and supporting statement, should be made online via the link above by 12 noon on Monday 8 November 2021.


Finally, some more Halloween-themed Old English wisdom from the Durham Proverbs:

Ne sceal man to ær forht ne to ær fægen.
[One should not be too soon fearful nor too soon joyful]


In other words, do not rejoice too quickly at treats, nor be over-fearful of tricks! That said, I hope that your week contains more treats than tricks!

A manuscript illumination of monkeys acting like humans

Medievalists examine and commend a colleague’s Halloween costume: Merton College, MS 249, f. 7v. [view image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Singe

Medieval Matters: Week 2

Week 2 is here, which means that term is officially in full swing! Thank you to everyone who came to the Medieval Roadshow – we loved seeing you all and hearing about your plans for the year.

This week I’d particularly like to draw your attention to the fact that OMS Small Grants are now taking applications for Michaelmas Term. The Small Grants are a great way for postgraduates and ECRs to fund conferences, workshops etc. Further details below.

I would also like to highlight that there has been a minor correction to the booklet: the Oxford Numismatic society talk by Dr. Martin Allen on ‘Finding the Past: EMC and Early Medieval Coin Finds’ will now take place on Wednesday 27th October.

Please find below a summary of the week’s news:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 18th October:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen to be added to the Teams call.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm on Teams and in the Wharton Room. Attendance at the Wharton Room is by advance booking only as the room has a strict Covid-19 capacity limit. Bookings can be made at https://medieval-history-seminar.reservio.com. This week’s speaker is Lesley Smith (Harris Manchester) ‘The Weak, the Poor, and the Landed: reading the Sermons of William of Auvergne (d. 1249)’
  • The fourth Lyell Lecture takes place at 5pm online and at the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. Registration is essential for in-person attendance. This lecture will be ‘Fifteenth-century Latin Bible printing and distribution’.
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.15pm on Teams. Please email Olivia Smith (olivia.smith2@linacre.ox.ac.uk) to be added to the mailing list and Teams group.

Tuesday 19th October:

  • The CMTC Work in Progress Colloquium meets at 12:30-2pm on Zoom. Attendance is free of charge, but sign-up is mandatory: you can sign-up here. The speakers this week will be Laura Banella (Mediaeval & Modern Languages, Wolfson College, Oxford), ‘The Materiality and Textuality of Medieval Italian Lyric Poetry’ and Zhan Zhang (Oriental Studies, St Antony’s College, Oxford), ‘Form, Format, and formulae. Scribal conventions in first-millennium central Asia’.
  • The Islamicate Manuscripts and Texts Reading Colloquium 2021 meets at 3pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Marina Rustow, Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, ‘An Unpublished Letter from the Cairo Geniza Complaining aboutthe Hardships of Travel to India: Taylor-Schechter (T-S) 12.392’ 
  • The RaceB4Race Coffee Talk takes place at 3-4pm via livestream. Today’s talk will be ‘Presenting on Race for Public Audiences’ with Ayanna Thompson. Places are limited: please register here.
  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Trials by Nature’.
  • The Early Slavonic Webinar meets at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Aleksander Paroń (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology Polish Academy of Sciences) How to deal with Steppe Fauna? Remarks on the Byzantine perception of the nomads and on the Byzantinepolicy towards them (10th-12th centuries)
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Old Dining Hall, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Alice Raw (St John’s), ‘The virtues of secrecy and sexual knowledge in a late medieval English dream vision
  • Bibitura Dantis Oxoniensis meets at 5.30pm on Zoom. This week’s focus will be Purgatorio 1. For more information email Lachlan Hughes.
  • The RaceB4Race Symposium takes place at 8-10pm via livestream. Today’s topic will be ‘Enmity at the Edge of Empire’. Places are limited: please register here.

Wednesday 20th October:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in New Powell Room, Somerville College. If you are interested to be added to the mailing list for the seminar, write to Linus Ubl.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1-2pm in Mertze Tate Room, History Faculty, and Online. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock. This week’s theme will be Merchant Identities.
  • The RaceB4Race Coffee Talk takes place at 3-4pm via livestream. Today’s talk will be ‘Parenting while Researching and Teaching’ with Patricia Akhimie. Places are limited: please register here.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm on Google Meet, followed by drinks at 7pm at Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker is Georgi Parpulov (Birmingham), ‘Catena Manuscripts of the Greek New Testament‘.
  • The fifth and final Lyell Lecture takes place at 5pm online and at the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. Registration is essential for in-person attendance. This lecture will be ‘The Serpentine Text of the Gutenberg Bible’
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Laura Saetveit Miles (Bergen), ‘Richard Methley’s “new Manner of Writing – to the Moment”: Narrative Time and Mystical Theology in Late Fifteenth-Century England’.
  • The RaceB4Race Symposium takes place at 8-10pm via livestream. Today’s topic will be ‘Song and Silence’. Places are limited: please register here.

Thursday 21st October:

  • The first Lyell Seminar takes place at 11am-12pm, in the Horton Room, Weston Library. The topic of the seminar will be ‘The Gutenberg Bible and earlier manuscript bibles’. To register, visit: https://forms.office.com/r/iHJ0WCuTCd  or email bookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.
  • The second Lyell Seminar takes place at 2-3pm, in the Horton Room, Weston Library. The topic of the seminar will be ‘The Gutenberg Bible and later printed bibles’. To register, visit: https://forms.office.com/r/iHJ0WCuTCd  or email bookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk
  • The Early Text Cultures Seminar meets at 2.30-4pm at the Dickson Poon Building, China Centre, Oxford, and on Zoom. This week’s seminar will be led by Franco D. Rossi (John Hopkins) and Armin Selbitschka (LMU Munich), who will be speaking about scribal self-representation in Late Classical Period Maya culture and early China, and the combination of epigraphical and archaeological approaches. For Zoom links sign up in advance here.
  • The RaceB4Race Coffee Talk takes place at 3-4pm via livestream. Today’s talk will be ‘Activism in Academia’ with Carol Mejia LaPerle. Places are limited: please register here.
  • 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 Celtic Seminar meets at 5pm on Zoom. For Zoom link, contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk. This week’s speaker is Ian Stewart (QMUL), ‘Celticism: An intellectual and cultural history’.
  • The RaceB4Race Symposium takes place at 8-10pm via livestream. Today’s topic will be ‘Exceptions: Justice, Sovereignty, Slavery’. Places are limited: please register here.

Friday 22nd October:

  • 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 mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5pm on Zoom. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.
  • The RaceB4Race Editor Rountable takes place at 3-4pm via livestream. Places are limited: please register here
  • The RaceB4Race Symposium takes place at 8-10pm via livestream. Today’s topic will be ‘Contextual Migration’. Places are limited: please register here.



OPPORTUNITIES:

  • The Medieval Mystery Cycle is still recruiting! If you’d like to get involved, taking charge of a play, directing, acting or making costumes and props, email us: henrike.laehnemann@seh.ox.ac.uk, lesley.smith@hmc.ox.ac.uk.
  • OMS Small Grants Call. The TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies Programme invites applications for small grants to support conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity organised by researchers at postgraduate (whether MSt or DPhil) or early-career level from across the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford. The activity should take place between November 2021 and April 2022. The closing date for applications is Friday of Week 4 of Michaelmas Term 2021. For full details, please see here or the flyer attached to this week’s email.

Finally, some medieval wisdom for those of us who teach. The Old English translation of the Disticha Catonis provides the following instruction:

Leorna a hwæthwugu æt ðam wisran, þæt þu mæge læran þone unwisran.
[Learn something from the wise, so that you might teach the ignorant]

How fortunate we are, to have so many seminars and reading groups in which to receive such wisdom!

A manuscript illumination of	a partridge and its young

A medievalist introducing the joys of pre-1500 literature to some eager first year undergraduates: Merton College, MS 249, f. 8r. [view image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Perdix

OMS Small Grants MT 2021

The TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies Programme invites applications for small grants to support conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity organised by researchers at postgraduate (whether MSt or DPhil) or early-career level from across the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford.

The activity should take place between November 2021 and April 2022. The closing date for applications is Friday of Week 4 of Michaelmas Term 2021.

Grants are normally in the region of £100–250. Recipients will be required to supply a report after the event for the TORCH Medieval Studies blog. Recipients of awards will also be invited to present on their events at the next Medieval Roadshow.

Applicants will be responsible for all administrative aspects of the activity, including formulating the theme and intellectual rationale, devising the format, and, depending on the type of event, inviting speakers and/or issuing a Call for Papers, organising the schedule, and managing the budget, promotion and advertising. Some administrative and organisational support may be available through TORCH subject to availability.

Applications should be submitted to  lesley.smith@history.ox.ac.uk  using the grant application form. Applications submitted in other formats or after the deadline will not be considered.

Informal enquiries may be directed to lesley.smith@history.ox.ac.uk

The Oxford Medieval Studies Programme is sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

NB: Given COVID-19, we will also consider applications for online or virtual projects, e.g., costs of hosting and/or designing a website, digital recording equipment, purchasing image rights and digitisation.

For more medieval matters from Oxford, have a look at the website of the Oxford Medieval Studies TORCH Programme and the OMS blog!

Medieval Matters: Week 1

Week 1 is finally here, which means that it is time for our first proper Medieval Matters of the year! Contained within you’ll find details of the week’s upcoming medieval events. There is also a list of opportunities which features CFPs, essay prizes, job opportunities, and an invitation to apply for the Medieval Mystery Cycle! Of course, the most important event in the calendar this week is the Medieval Roadshow, on Tuesday, 4pm at Harris Manchester. We look forward to seeing many of you there!

Without further ado, here are the events for the week. Like Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica V.24, this is intended to be a brief account of events ‘ob memoriam conservandam’ (‘so that they might be better kept in memory’): for full details, please refer to the Medieval Booklet, a pdf copy of which is attached to this week’s email.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 11th October:

  • Script vs print vs code: the information revolution in one afternoon take places at 1 – 3.30pm in Blackwell Hall (public foyer), Weston Library. Members of the Oxford Scribes and printers from the Bodleian Bibliographical Press race to produce a page of text. Settle the 500-year-old question – which is faster?’.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen to be added to the Teams call.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm on Teams and in the Wharton Room. Attendance at the Wharton Room is by advance booking only as the room has a strict Covid-19 capacity limit. Bookings can be made at https://medieval-history-seminar.reservio.com. This week’s speaker is Roy Flechner (UCD/All Souls) ‘From Bible to Law in the Early Middle Ages: Adaptations of the Old Testament from the Collectio Hibernensis to King Alfred’s Law-Book’.
  • The first Lyell Lecture takes place at 5pm online and at the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. Registration is essential for in-person attendance. This lecture will be ‘The Christian Latin Bible from its origins to the 13th-century Paris Bible’.

Tuesday 12th October:

  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Witches’.
  • The Medieval Roadshow takes place at 4-5pm in Harris Manchester College,
  • The Early Slavonic Webinar meets at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Oleksiy Tolochko (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), ‘When were the relics of St. Clement brought to Kiev and who brought them?
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Old Dining Hall, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Andrew Dunning (Bodleian Library), ‘Collecting Frideswide’s miracles at Oxford in the early 1180s:  Bodleian Library, MS. Digby 177
  • The Islamicate Manuscripts and Texts Reading Colloquium 2021 meets at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Adam Benkato, Department of Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley, ‘The Sogdian epistolary tradition in the early 8th century‘.
  • The Music Faculty’s colloquia series meets at 5.15pm at the Faculty of Music and via live stream. This week’s speaker will be Barbara Eichner (Oxford Brookes), ‘Infirm singers and dyslexic Dominicans: disability, liturgy and music in late-medieval and early-modern nunneries and monasteries

Wednesday 13th October:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in New Powell Room, Somerville College. If you are interested to be added to the mailing list for the seminar, write to Linus Ubl.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm on Google Meet, followed by drinks at 7pm at Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker is Anne McCabe (Oxford) and Bryan Ward-Perkins (Oxford), ‘Cyril Mango and Constantinople: forthcoming works‘.
  • The second Lyell Lecture takes place at 5pm online and at the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. Registration is essential for in-person attendance. This year’s lectures will be given by Paul Needham (Princeton). This lecture will be ‘Latin Bible-writing in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; the Gutenberg Bible workshop’
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Sebastian Sobecki (Groningen), ‘Hoccleve’s Community of Practice: Clerks, Scripts, and London Literature’.

Thursday 14th October:

  • 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 Celtic Seminar meets at 5.15pm in the History of the Book Room, English Faculty and on Teams. For Teams link, contact David Willis. This week’s speaker is William Lamb (University of Edinburgh), ‘Nouns by numbers: New insights from a dialectometrical study of Gaelic nominal morphology’.
  • The Old English Reading Groups meets at 5.30-7pm. For more information and to be added to the mailing list please email Eugenia Vorobeva.

Friday 15th October:

  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5pm on Zoom. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.
  • The third Lyell Lecture takes place at 5pm online and at the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. Registration is essential for in-person attendance. This year’s lectures will be given by Paul Needham (Princeton). This lecture will be ‘The Texts of the Gutenberg Bible; the case of 4 Ezra’



OPPORTUNITIES:

  • CFP: Emotion and Exemplarity in Medieval Insular Texts, c.700-c.1400: Please send abstracts of approximately 200 words for a twenty-minute paper and a short bio to Dr Niamh Kehoe (Heinrich Heine Universität) (niamh.kehoe@hhu.de) by the 10th December 2021. If you have any queries, please email Niamh. While we currently anticipate that this will be an in-person event at Heinrich Heine University, we may decide to switch to an online event
  • Post-doc vacancy for people with skills in classical Persian reading and translation into English, and Digital Humanities. Details can be found on the Invisible East website here (application deadline: 22 October 2021 at 12 noon UK time).
  • 2022 Medium Ævum Essay prize: postgraduates and those recently graduated with a higher degree are invited to submit an essay on a topic that falls within the range of the interests of Medium Ævum in the medieval period (up to c. 1500). The winner of the Essay Prize will receive a cash prize of £500, together with £250 for any books available from Bennett & Kerr Booksellers (including any from the Society’s own catalogue) & £250 of funding towards conference attendance. The winning article will also be considered for publication in Medium Ævum, subject to the usual editorial procedures of the journal. The deadline for submissions is 1st December
  • The Medieval Mystery Cycle is back, by popular demand! We’re once again producing a mini-cycle of medieval plays, each performed by a different group.  If you’d like to get involved, taking charge of a play, directing, acting or making costumes and props, email us: henrike.laehnemann@seh.ox.ac.uk, lesley.smith@hmc.ox.ac.uk. Please see the flyer attached to this week’s email for futher info!



I started this email with Bede’s HE V.24 so I’ll finish with it too for our weekly wisdom:

semper aut discere, aut docere, aut scribere dulce habui
[I have always taken delight to learn, or to teach, or to write]

May your week be filled with productive learning, teaching and writing!

A senior medievalist takes some confused new postgraduates under her wing and shepherds them to a research seminar: Merton College, MS 249, f. 10r. [view image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Huppe

New Book by Oxford Medievalist Deborah Grice

Calling all medievalists interested in the history of the early universities or the development of doctrine….

Deborah Grice’s ‘Church, Society and University: the Paris Condemnation of 1241/4’ was originally published in hardback by Routledge in August 2019. But it is now in paperback at £36.99 (available direct from them or on Amazon).

Moreover, there is a promotional code of 30% if buying it from Routledge, PBC30, valid until 31st October.

Church, Society and University: The Paris Condemnation of 1241/4 (Studies  in Medieval History and Culture): Amazon.co.uk: Grice, Deborah:  9780367194383: Books

The book examines the list of condemned theological propositions issued in 1241/4 by the theology masters at the university at Paris with their chancellor, Odo of Chateauroux, mandated by their bishop, William of Auvergne. It represents the first comprehensive examination of what hitherto has been a largely ignored instrument in a crucial period of the university’s early maturation, and it provides a window through which to view the wider doctrinal, intellectual, institutional and historical developments within the emerging university. These include the advent of the Dominicans and Franciscans at the university; and the developing focus of Paris theologians on using their learning for preaching at a time of a rapid and sometimes divergent development of doctrine and concerns over the newly-translated Aristotelian and associated Arab and Jewish works, heresy, the Greek Church and the Jews.

Medieval Matters: Week 0 and Booklet

Michaelmas Term is finally here, which means that our Medieval Booklet has now arrived! Inside you will find details of all of the seminars, events and reading groups happening this term, as well as some CFPs and save the dates for future events. Please do peruse and fill your calendars up!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you of our blog, which not only includes an archive of the Medieval Matters newsletters, but also CFPs, posts from Oxford Medievalists, and a handy calendar so that you can always keep an eye on upcoming events and copy the details to your own online calendar. We would love to receive submissions for blog posts, whether these are events, reports on ongoing projects or conferences. If you have an idea for a blog post, please email luisa.ostacchini@ell.ox.ac.uk or lesley.smith@history.ox.ac.uk.

A new term means new faces around Oxford. If this is your first Medieval Matters email, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the Oxford Medievalist community on behalf of the OMS team! If you are a course convenor for a medieval MSt, please block-enrol your students for the newsletter (or send me names for block enrolling) so that we catch all new MSt and doctoral students in medieval subjects and ensure that everyone receives all of the latest Oxford Medieval updates. If you know of any new medievalists who have joined Oxford and wish to have them added to the mailing list, please do contact me on luisa.ostacchini@ell.ox.uk. Alternatively, anybody can subscribe themselves to the Medieval Matters newsletter via the ‘About’ section of the blog – please do share the link with your incoming students.

Onto the announcements for this week:

  • Medieval Roadshow: We are still taking submissions for this year’s Medieval Roadshow, which is a great way for all seminar/reading group/medieval event convenors to publicise their wares. Come and give a two-minute in-person advert at this term’s Roadshow: Tuesday 12th October, 5-7 pm, at Teddy Hall. Please email luisa.ostacchini@ell.ox.ac.uk so she can get an idea of who’ll be talking — but if you haven’t ‘booked’ don’t worry – turn up anyway and we’ll fit you in. The Roadshow is an excellent way re-connect with our medieval community after so many months of virtual events. We are also happy to host virtual speakers via a Teams link: if you would like to present, but would prefer to do so remotely, please just let Luisa know so that arrangements can be made.
  • Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference: We are delighted to announce that the theme of the Eighteenth annual Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference will be Medicine and Healing, and that we are looking for new committee members! Please email oxgradconf@gmail.com, if you are interested!
  • Oxford Medieval Commentary Network: The first workshop and initial meeting of the Medieval Commentary Network will take place on 9th October, Christ Church, Research Centre., 8:30-5:30pm. Please email medievalcommentarynetwork@gmail.com with any questions and for further information.

Finally, a little wisdom from Alcuin to inspire you this week:

o quam dulcis vita fuit, dum sedebamus quieti inter sapientis scrinia, inter librorum copias

[‘Oh, how sweet life was, when we sat at leasure amongst the stacks of a learned man, amongst an abundance of books’ Ep. 281 ]

May your Michaelmas term be filled with such joys as these!

A manuscript illumination of a coot making its nest on water and on a rock
A coot kindly delivers the Michaelmas Term booklet to the email inbox of Oxford’s Medievalists: Merton College, MS 249, f. 10v. [view image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Fullica

Medieval Matters: Is It Term Yet?

The days are getting colder, the leaves are getting crisper and Bodleian is getting busier… Michaelmas term is almost here! 0th week is just on the horizon, and I’m sure you can’t wait for the medieval events that lie in store. The Durham proverbs advise us that ‘geþyld byþ middes eades’ (‘patience is half of happiness’), so we must wait patiently for all of our seminars, reading groups and opportunities, but today I bring you some pre-term announcements to tide you over:

  • Network for new postdoctoral researchers: New postdoctoral Medievalists and Early Modernists from all disciplines are warmly invited to join a friendly network of new postdocs to help support the transition from doctoral to postdoctoral research. If you would like to get involved, please email Rebecca Menmuir at r.menmuir@qmul.ac.uk

  • Call for Papers: Spirits and Spirituality in Medieval Britain and Ireland C. 600-1400. The organisers invite papers which explore representations of spirits and spirituality in the medieval period from c. 600-1400 in Britain and Ireland, including, but not limited to the influence of Eastern and / or Western patristics; representations of spirits and demons; approaches to spirituality; how spirits and spirituality are represented in medieval texts, artefacts, art and material culture; or alternative spiritualities. Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to eleni.ponirakis3@nottingham.ac.uk by the 30th November 2021.

  • Job opportunity: The BnF are recruiting an Editorial content editor for The Art of Reading in the Middle-Ages, on a six-month contract starting 1/11/2011. For further information, see the job posting here

  • Medieval Roadshow: a great way for all seminar/reading group/medieval event convenors to publicise their wares. Come and give a two-minute in-person advert at this term’s Roadshow: Tuesday 12th October, 5-7 pm, at Teddy Hall. Please email luisa.ostacchini@ell.ox.ac.uk so she can get an idea of who’ll be talking — but if you haven’t ‘booked’ don’t worry – turn up anyway and we’ll fit you in. The Roadshow is an excellent way re-connect with our medieval community after so many months of virtual events.

  • Future Philology: Digitization and Beyond: A two-day online symposium organised by the Invisible East Programme. This is a fantasic opportunity for scholars working on digital corpora of documents from the ancient and medieval world to share their experiences and insights. Thursday 30th September – Friday, October 1st 2021. To register, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/future-philology-digitization-and-beyond-tickets-170156072393

Finally, I’d like to remind you to make sure to send your submissions for the Medieval Booklet to luisa.ostacchini@ell.ox.ac.uk before October 1st. Many thanks to everyone who has already sent me their entries. The Booklet will arrive in the first Monday email of 0th Week! Until then, I hope everyone is patiently but excitedly looking forward to the start of term.

A medievalist, eager for seminars and sick of waiting for the start of term, is visited by a caladrius and advised to be patient: Merton College, MS 249, f. 8v. [view image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Caladrius]

Medieval Matters: Pre-Term

It brings me great joy to welcome you to the start of a new academic year at Oxford! I’m honoured to be taking over the role of OMS Communications Officer from Caroline Batten, the wonderful scribe and would-be-medieval-poet of last year’s Monday emails. I’m looking forward to bringing you all the latest Oxford Medieval news and keeping you up to date on the many exciting seminars and events that lie in store for us this year. If you would like your events to be promoted by OMS or have pitches for posts for the OMS blog, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at luisa.ostacchini@ell.ox.ac.uk.

As Michaelmas approaches, so too does the arrival of this term’s Medieval Booklet. If you are running a seminar, event or reading group that you wish to appear in the booklet, please email me your submission before October 1st.

Term may not yet have begun, but we already have some events to bring to your attention:

  • Save the Date! Our first big event of the year is the Oxford Medieval Studies Roadshow, Tuesday 12th October, 5-7 pm, where you can promote your research seminars, conferences, projects and workshops. More details to follow shortly…

  • Seminar on the History of Domestic Violence. The 5th Seminar in History of Domestic Violence and Abuse series, organized by Juliana Dresvina & Anu Lahtinen, University of Oxford & University of Helsinki, will take place on Friday 1st October, 10am.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all back in Oxford in October, and to tentatively resuming in-person events. For now, I leave you with a little snippet of medieval wisdom, to whet your appetites for the term ahead:

Ælc man, ðe wisdom lufað, bið gesælig
[‘Everyone who loves wisdom is blessed’, Ælfric, preface to the Grammar]

A manuscript illumination of an asp and a man
A vacationing serpent is shocked by the arrival of the term’s first Medieval Matters email: Merton College, MS 249, f. 7r

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.