The legacy of Oxford Palaeographers

The Legacy of Oxford Palaeographers is a one-day workshop that will focus on the palaeographic terminology used by key Oxford palaeographers, organised by Colleen Curran and David Rundle. Register here

About this event

This one-day workshop on 21 March 2022 at the MBI Al Jaber Building, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, will focus on E. A. Lowe, Neil Ker, Malcolm Parkes and A. C. de la Mare. The intention is not to be biographical but to discuss each person’s contribution to the discipline of palaeography, with specific emphasis on the varying terminology they used. Our speakers will focus on these palaeographers’ larger research outputs and the methodologies contained within, how these resources are still fundamental within the field, and what aspects, if any, need to be updated, questioned, or challenged. Therefore, this event will not only be retrospective but will also encourage participants to think about the future directions of the field. We further anticipate that the workshop will facilitate conversations about how we employ palaeography terminology ourselves.


10.45–11.15: Coffee/Registration (Rainolds Room, Corpus Christi College)

11.15–11.30: Introduction (Colleen Curran & David Rundle)

11.30–1: Panel 1: E.A. Lowe

  • Chair: Stephen Harrison  
  • David Ganz 
  • Giovanni Varelli 
  • Jo Story

1–2: Lunch (Rainolds Room, Corpus Christi College)

2–3.30: Panel 2: N.R. Ker

  • Chair: Christopher de Hamel
  • Julia Crick
  • Elaine Treharne
  • James Willoughby 

3.30–4: Tea/Coffee Break (Rainolds Room, Corpus Christi College)

4–5: Panel 3: M.B. Parkes

  • Chair: Pam Robinson
  • Tessa Webber
  • Daniel Wakelin

5–5.15: Comfort Break

5.15–6: Panel 4: A. C. de la Mare

  • Chair: Laura Nuvoloni
  • David Rundle
  • Martin Kauffmann

6–6.30: Respondent: Dáibhí Ó Cróinín

6.30: Drinks Reception (Rainolds Room, Corpus Christi College)

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Indian Ocean Figures that Sailed Away

A range of archaeological finds of South Asian manufacture from sites in the Horn of Africa, and in the Italian and Arabian peninsulas—some long known and some newly excavated—can expand our knowledge of the Indian Ocean cultural milieu.  ISAW is pleased to announce an online seminar series in Spring 2022 to reconvene an international conversation on these figures that sailed out of India to points west during the early first millennium CE.  The series is open to advanced research students, scholars, and academics; please note that this event is not intended for the general public. 

By hosting the conversation online, we hope to include regional specialists knowledgeable about and from different parts of the world. Advanced registration is required, and the number of participants will be limited to facilitate discussion, which will be led by participants who have written about the specific object or its context.  We will closely consider the Pompeii Yakshi, formerly “Lakshmi” (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli), the Khor Rori Yakshi (Smithsonian, National Museum of Asian Art), a stone head from Berenike, a stone torso from Adulis, several ivory combs from, e.g., Dibba, as well as representations of ships. 

The reception history of these objects both in antiquity and in museums has led to the association of only certain meanings with these objects in their afterlife. By looking again at these objects, we can distinguish other meanings: they hint at the identities of people who moved such objects overseas during the first millennium CE, thereby shedding light on the hybridity of both artifacts and their cultural context(s). This material record offers a complementary reading to literary accounts and historiographies of Indian Ocean trade routes.  

The online “lunchtime” roundtable series will include a total of five 1-hour Friday ‘lunchtime’ (in New York) talks, conducted via zoom, from February 25th to April 25th, 2022 (see schedule below).  We will reconsider individual figurines as types and as part of a collection of interrogated objects with very specific afterlives.  Through our discussions, formerly occluded layers of reception will offer insight on larger questions of the first millennium Indian Ocean, its people, its cultures, its complexities, and its hybridities, Through such close looking at these and similar objects and their contexts, the series and culminating public lecture seek to integrate archaeological finds with ongoing studies of Indian Ocean travel, trade, and the broader cultural milieu of the Indian Ocean World with a special focus on religious attitudes, merchant identities, and material culture.  We plan to develop an edited volume based on the discussions as well as initiate longer-term scholarly communities with this event.

If your area of research interest overlaps with this project, we invite you to join us by filling out this registration form (  Please include a short abstract describing your research interests and key conference papers and/or publications.  We will be in touch with a confirmation and more details during the first week of February.  

For any additional information, or if you have any questions, please email:

Dates and Sessions:

February 25, 2022: 11am EST “Comparanda as context?” — The Pompeii Figurine and Indian Yakshis
March 4, 2022: 11am EST“Cultural milieu as context”? — The Khor Rori Bronze, a Dancing Yakshi
March 11, 2022: 11am EST“What other contexts?” — Liquescent Bodies and Coiffed Heads
March 25, 2022: 11am EDT“What do images of ships tell us?” — (Re)presenting Shipping 
April 1, 2022: 11am EDT “How did we receive these objects into our mental world?”  — Curation and Conclusions


Divya Kumar-Dumas, PhD, Visiting Research Scholar, ISAW

Valentina A. Grasso, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, ISAW

Lylaah Bhalerao, PhD Student, ISAW

Priya Barchi, PhD Student, ISAW

Spriha Gupta, PhD Student, IFA NYU

Seminars in Medieval and Renaissance Music

All Souls College, Oxford

Hilary Term, 2022
Convenor: Dr Margaret Bent

The seminars in 2021-22 will continue on Zoom. The seminars are all on Thursdays at 5 p.m. UK time (GMT). The first (individual) presentation will be about half an hour, followed by invited discussants who will engage the speaker in conversation about the paper. The two joint presentations will have no additional discussants. In all cases, the floor will be opened for comments and questions by others after about an hour. We hope you will join us.

If you are planning to attend a seminar this term, please register using this form. For each seminar, those who have registered will receive an email with the Zoom invitation and any further materials a couple of days before the seminar. If you have questions, please email (

Seminar programme

Thursday 27 January, 5pm GMT

Lachlan Hughes (University of Oxford)

Laude and Lyric Poetry in Dante’s Florence

Discussants: Elena Abramov-Van Rijk (independent scholar, Jerusalem) and Blake Wilson (Dickinson College (PA))

The lauda, a form of vernacular song which flourished in the Marian confraternities of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Italy, has much in common with the lyric poetry written by Dante and his peers: the adoption of the ballata form, the development of a religiously inflected poetics of praise, the elevation of the vernacular, etc. Despite having much in common, however, the two traditions have typically been read as unrelated, in no small part due to an entrenched critical narrative, perpetuated by literary scholars and musicologists alike, which sees the poetry of medieval Italy as essentially ‘divorced’ from any possible musical execution, in stark contrast tothe hybrid model of the troubadours. If the medieval Italian poetic tradition is characterised by a conspicuous absence of (notated) music, then the lauda, preserved in the earliest extant collections of musically notated Italian poetry, seemingly has no place in it.

This paper will begin by exploring the origins, consequences, and limitations of such a critical framing, drawing on a historical overview of early (and largely unsuccessful) efforts at assembling a corpus of laude, beginning in the late nineteenth century. It will then present the principal musical sources of the thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century lauda and reflect on their problems and possibilities, before moving to a consideration of what might be gained by reading the secular poetry of Dante and his peers against the contemporary tradition of the lauda. In a broader sense, the paper will also reflect on the advantages of reading a single repertoire through different disciplinary lenses, and what this might tell us about the scholarly traditions in which we work.

Thursday 17 February, 5pm GMT

Antonio Calvia (Università di Pavia) and Anne Stone (CUNY Graduate Center)

Two Fragments, One Manuscript: Introducing a Newly-Discovered Italian Source of Ars Nova Polyphony

In 2019 and 2020 two largely intact parchment bifolios containing Ars nova polyphony were found independently in Milan-area libraries: one at the Biblioteca Universitaria in Pavia by Giuseppe Mascherpa (independent scholar) and Federico Saviotti (University of Pavia) and the other at the Biblioteca Trivulziana in Milan by Anne Stone. In May 2021, Saviotti, Stone, and Antonio Calvia realized that the two bifolios belonged to the same original manuscript, and began a joint project to study them together. This talk presents findings from our initial research into the origins, provenance, and contents of the “Codice San Fedele-Belgioioso,” a compilation of mass ordinary movements and secular songs whose internal evidence points strongly to a provenance in the Milan area c. 1400. The 12 compositions that survive appear to be unica: three mass ordinary compositions and nine French-texted songs with two surviving voices. The measurements of these bifolios (approximately 465×620 mm, with a page size of approximately 465 mm tall and 310 wide) are larger than any surviving manuscripts of polyphony contemporary with them, and the quality of the parchment and the elegance of the hand make it clear that the manuscript was professionally copied for an institution that had considerable resources. These finds thus have the potential to significantly expand our scanty knowledge of cultivated polyphony in late medieval Lombardy.

Thursday 10 March, 5pm GMT

John Milsom (Liverpool Hope University) and Jessie Ann Owens (University of California at Davis)

Thomas Morley’s A plaine and easie introduction to practicall musicke (London, 1597): new observations and discoveries

As we complete our research into England’s first major printed music treatise, we take this opportunity to share our current thoughts about Morley’s A plaine and easie introduction, and explain our strategy for publication. Underlying our work is a focus on ‘making’ – the processes of making a manuscript for the printer, and of making a printed book from that manuscript. Morley’s manuscript does not survive, so must be inferred from the finished book; but an investigation of its text does draw us into the materiality of his working methods, as he ‘tombles and tosses’ his various sources, whether acknowledged or not, and transforms them both to reflect his own understanding and priorities, and to make them conform to his design and purpose. The identification of Morley’s extensive ‘library’ of sources reveals a complex and multi-layered text, created in part from pre-existing materials and in part from his own experience and training as a musician. His distinctive voice emerges from the tantalizing accounts of musical practice evident in action verbs like foist, shift, stir, hang. Our investigation of the 1597 edition itself – the book qua book – has led to unexpected discoveries. We now believe that Morley, quite exceptionally, may have devised his treatise largely as a sequence of double-page spreads, and hence composed its literary content, music examples, tables and diagrams to fit into two-page openings. If our theory is correct, then layout is in effect an integral element of Morley’s text: pedagogy and design proceed hand in hand. Initially we had planned to publish a three-volume study in which our new edition of Morley’s text (vol. 1) is accompanied by a critical apparatus (vol. 2) and a set of essays by a distinguished cohort of musicologists (vol. 3). Our approach, however, has been transformed by the decision to add a full colour facsimile of a copy of the 1597 edition itself (vol. 4), allowing the book’s remarkable properties to be fully savoured and appreciated.

OMS Lecture Hilary 2022: Lucy Pick, ‘Maimonides Latinus and a Thirteenth-Century Textual Community of Jewish and Christian Readers’

Tuesday 8 February, 5pm

St Edmund Hall, Old Dining Hall, recorded (introduction of the speaker

Moses Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed landed in the Latin scholastic world of the thirteenth century like a stick of dynamite. Christian scholastics of the mid to late-thirteenth century — Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, Albert the Great, Meister Eckhardt — knew the Guide through the Latin translation called the Dux neutrorum, and its extensive and influential network of scholastic readers have used up most of the scholarly oxygen dedicated to Maimonides Latinus. I will identify another community of readers of the Guide, an earlier one, of Jews and Christians reading together. Identifiable as a community in Toledo in the first two decades of the thirteenth century, this community would eventually spread to Rome, Provence, Naples, and Paris. I will focus here on four members: Samuel ibn Tibbon, who wrote the first Hebrew translation of the Guide; Michael Scot, first a master in Toledo and later Emperor Frederick II’s court astrologer;  Jacob Anatoli, Samuel’s son-in law and Michael’s colleague in Naples; and Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada, archbishop of Toledo, in whose cathedral Michael and Samuel may have met and in whose writings we can trace the earliest evidence of Maimonides’ impact on the Latin world.

Lucy Pick is a historian of medieval thought and culture. Her research interests include the relationships between gender, power, and religion; the translation of science and philosophy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and its impact on relations between religious groups; and the development of monastic thought and practice. Her first book, Conflict and Coexistence: Archbishop Rodrigo and the Muslims and Jews of Thirteenth-Century Spain (University of Michigan 2004), discusses Jewish, Christian, and Muslim relations in thirteenth-century Toledo. Her second, Her Father’s Daughter: Gender, Power, and Religion in Early the Spanish Kingdoms (Cornell 2017) examines the careers of royal women in early medieval Spain. She is also the author of the novel, Pilgrimage (Cuidono 2014), a story about the Middle Ages that explores betrayal, friendship, illness, miracles, healing, and redemption on the road to Compostela. She is currently studying the earliest translation of part of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed into Latin and what it tells us about intellectual cooperation and conflict across religions in Toledo, Naples, Provence, and Paris in the early thirteenth century.

Drinks at St Edmund Hall after the lecture.
Please contact Luisa Ostacchini by 31 January if you would like to come to dinner with the speaker at your own cost. We have reserved eight places for graduate students at a discounted price of 10GBP.
First come, first served!

Header image: Biblioteca Nacional de España ms 10087 fol. 22r

A #Nuntastic Achievement: Celebrating Eileen Power 100 Years On

2pm–5pm, 10 February 2022 (Feast of St. Scholastica)

Griffiths Room, 11 Norham Gardens, St. Benet’s Hall

This workshop will commemorate the centenary publication of Eileen Power’s Medieval English Nunneries and her influence on convent studies in England and beyond. The workshop will begin with talks by Professor Maxine Berg, the author of Power’s biography, and Francesca Wade, author of Square Haunting: Five Lives in London Between the Wars. It will include roundtable discussions with Oxford scholars about their current research on nuns and the future of convent studies.

Please register in advance at, and send any questions to Diana Myers ( or Edmund Wareham (

CFP: Adapting Violence in/from Classic Texts

A 2-day online workshop to be held 24–25 March 2022, organised by Amy Brown (University of Bern) and Lucy Fleming (University of Oxford). This interdisciplinary event brings together specialists in literature, retelling, and feminist practice to consider how adaptations address various forms of violence in and from their canonical source-texts. Sources and adaptations examined may be in any language, though the workshop will be conducted primarily in English. Please submit proposals for 20-minute conference papers and/or text workshops online or via The deadline for submissions is 15 December 2021; we welcome papers from faculty members as well as postgraduates and early-career researchers. The workshop is supported by the University of Bern Fund for Promotion of Young Researchers. Attendance is free.

Plenary Sessions:

  • Urvashi Chakravarty (University of Toronto), Keynote Speaker
  • Maria Sachiko Cecire (Bard College), Plenary Respondent
  • Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (University of Houston), Author Talk
  • Round Table on violence in adaptations (TBA)

Proposal Portal:

Due by 15 Dec 2021. For proposals we ask for a title, a 200 word abstract, and for ‘Text explorations’ an excerpt or description of the media you’ll share. Please submit online through our proposal portal – but if you have any problems, email us ( ). Do note that the responses cannot be saved to return to later – you’ll want to draft your abstract somewhere else and paste it in.


Jyotika Virdi (2006) described the feminist creator seeking to represent rape in film as caught between a ‘rock and a hard place’’—that is, between the ethical call to represent oppressive reality, and the risk that representing violence may perpetuate harm. Similar concerns underlie the representation—in film, literary retellings, and other forms of adaptation—of racial violence, homophobia and transpohbia, and graphic physical violence, all of which are common in works held in high esteem for their literary and/or cultural value. Violence in these ‘classic’ works thus becomes a flashpoint for social, political, and creative tensions. In response, adaptations may reify violence in these texts, or critique it; they may represent violence in the name of fidelity, or seek to reclaim the text. Both adaptors and scholars must grapple with difficult questions: When is violence in adaptation important or useful? When is it negligent or even harmful? What uses does violence serve when adapting culturally prestigious texts, and how is these texts’ very prestige linked to the violence they contain?  

This two-day, online workshop will bring together specialists in the contemporary adaptation of ‘classic texts’ and adaptation as a premodern cultural practice to consider what concerns shape the reception and re-visioning of violence. We will explore the stakes involved in adaptation, and the uses and abuses of violence in adapting texts of high cultural value.  

We define ‘violence’ broadly, including both physical violence and social oppressions, and are interested in considering adaptation strategies across and in reaction to different axes of power, including but not limited to race, gender, and sexuality. In this workshop we seek to bring together scholars working on adaptations (any period) of ‘high status cultural texts’, where the source texts predate 1865. Those texts religious, mythological, artistic and historical source-texts as well as literary forms, and adaptations may be in widely varying media. These source-texts need not derive from any particular language, region, or literary tradition; rather, we aim to feature studies from a wide range of cultural contexts and time periods, to approach our central questions from many varied perspectives. In asking what it means to (re-)write violence, potential papers could address:  

  • Case studies grappling with the ethics of rewritten violence; 
  • Applying a lens of feminist theory, queer studies, violence studies, trauma studies or other interdisciplinary modes to ‘classic’ texts; 
  • Retellings or adaptations that challenge contemporary/contemporaneous ideas of violence; 
  • Retellings for particular or unusual audiences or readerships;  
  • The canonization of works containing violence;  
  • How adaptations and retellings relate to ‘real-world’ violence; 
  • The act of adaptation as a form of violence; 
  • Rewritings of violence that are radical, liberating, and even empowering acts. 

Workshop Format:

This workshop will be entirely online, with both synchronous and asynchronous participation options possible. Given the nature of global online conferences we anticipate that many participants will alternate between synchronous and asynchronous participation depending on their location, work and/or family commitments, accessibility needs, and other considerations. Some material will be uploaded and professionally captioned in advance; plenary sessions will be recorded, professionally captioned, and uploaded after the fact. Still other sessions will be unrecorded.

Further Information:

For full details, please visit the workshop website.

Medieval Matters: Week 9 HT21

Dear all,

You haven’t seen the last of me yet! Every time I sign off on a Week 8 email, a slew of exciting opportunities and events immediately comes to my attention, and so I must bring these delights to your attention as well.

First and foremost: The Oxford Medieval Studies Trinity Term Seminar, long awaited, often imitated but never duplicated, will be on Tuesday of Week 1 (27 April) at 5 pm, live-streamed on the OMS YouTube channel! The speaker will be our very own Jim Harris, Teaching Curator at the Ashmolean Museum, taking us through some of the Ashmolean’s fascinating medieval holdings. Mark your calendars now!

Looking for your vacation Byzantine fix? Look no further than the latest event from the New Critical Approaches to the Byzantine World Network, presenting ‘Our Daily Byzantium: Medieval Heritage, Nation-Building, and Politics in Serbia’, bringing together an international group of historians, art historians, and cultural theorists to discuss cultural heritage and nationalism in Serbia and the wider Balkans. The seminar will be held on 25 March, 4-6 pm, on Zoom. Full details, further reading, and registration here.

Calling all graduate students of Old Norse: the annual Norse in the North Conference, hosted online this year by Durham University on 12 June, has opened its call for papers. The theme is ‘Transformation and Preservation in Old Norse Studies’, with keynote speaker Ármann Jakobsson (Háskoli Íslands). 300-word abstract submissions from postgraduates at any level and discipline are welcome by Friday 16 April. For further details, see their website here.

And another graduate opportunity: Oklahoma State University is hosting a Graduate Workshop on Diversity in the Medieval Middle East. This workshop invites early graduate students (considering their options for research topics) to discuss the place of various forms of diversity in the region and consider topics which cross the communal and linguistic boundaries imposed on premodern history by most graduate education today. The workshop will take place May 17-21, 2021 via Zoom. Masters or early PhD students interested in any part of the Middle East (from Cairo to Samarqand and the Black Sea to Yemen) between the seventh and fifteenth centuries CE are welcome to apply by March 26. Inquiries and applications should be sent to, and must include a cover letter explaining the applicant’s interest in medieval Middle Eastern diversity and current state of thinking about future research projects (two double-spaced pages maximum), a CV mentioning language skills (two pages maximum) and a current graduate transcript (official or unofficial).

A conference to register for at Fordham University: ‘Medieval French Without Borders’, the 40th Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval Studies, 20-21 March. This digital conference addresses the multilingual contact zones and social, cultural and literary contexts of exchange in which French featured between the ninth and the sixteenth centuries. For the full program and registration, check out the conference website.

And another: the launch of a new project and the inaugural event of the Medieval World Seminar at Johns Hopkins University, ‘Crusading Things and the Material Outremer: The Account-Inventory of Eudes of Nevers, 1266’, on 26 March, 5:30-7 pm GMT. Project website here, and registration link here.

Closer to home, the Anglo-Norman Reading Group is have an extra session this Friday, the 19th, at their usual time of 5-6:30 pm.

And finally, if you’ve been missing last term’s troubadour content, the Voices from Oxford documentary has been selected for Luchon’s International Film Festival! Read more here.

Until next time!

Medieval Matters: Week 8 HT21

Dear all,

Here we are in Week 8! The last official Monday email of Hilary Term 2021! We made it, mostly intact, to the finish line, and the joys of the Easter vac beckon. Before that, though, we have wonderful seminars for you to enjoy, to sustain you over the break.

A few announcements:

  • The TORCH OMS Small Grants are now accepting Trinity Term applications! Get grants in the region of £100-250 to support your conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity that take place between April and October 2021! Use the grant application form and submit to by Friday of Week 0 of Trinity.
  • Registration is now open for the Cambridge Colloquium in Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic (CCASNC) 2021, a great graduate conference on the languages, literature, history, and material culture of early medieval northern Europe. The conference takes place on 8 May 2021, and registration will be open here until 7 May.
  • A reminder that your applications for the SOAS University of London ‘Medieval Eastern Mediterranean Cities as Places of Artistic Interchange’ are due today by 5 pm. Research students at an advanced stage of their studies and early-career academic researchers and tutors working in historical research institutes (such as archaeology centres, museums, and government and non-governmental agencies dealing with history, art or archaeology) are invited to join a collaborative online learning programme comprising eight seminar discussions taking place between March and May 2021, with £2000 awarded to each participant to be used for research purposes. Full details here.

Wel bið þam þe him seminares seceð, / frofre to læreowes on Oxnaforda, þær us eal seo fæstnung stondeð [It will be well for him who seeks seminars, consolation from teachers in Oxford, where for us all true security stands]. – The Wanderer, undoubtedly


  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm on Teams. To join and for information, please contact This week’s speaker is Paul Ulishney (Christ Church, Oxford), ‘The Hexaemeron Commentaries of Anastasius of Sinai and Jacob of Edessa’.
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group meets at 1 pm on Teams, continuing with Abelard. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • The reading group GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) meets at 5 pm on Teams. Email and to be added to the mailing list. This week readers will return to Horace’s Ars poetica.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets on Teams at 5 pm (search for the seminar in Teams with code rmppucs and then click ‘join’). This week’s speaker is Maryanne Kowaleski (Fordham University), ‘Seamen and the Realm: Were Medieval Mariners “Political”?’


  • The Late Medieval Seminar meets at 2 pm on Zoom (Meeting ID: 962 7053 8553, passcode: 078931). This week’s speaker is Neta Bodner (Open University of Israel), ‘“…And he changes into a white shirt and receives his new name”: Changing and Washing of Clothes in Jewish Medieval Religious Ceremonies’.
  • At 3:30 pm on Google Meet  we have the Medieval Book Club (for more information, get in touch at This week’s theme is Recipes, exploring a variety of texts.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Kirił Marinow (University of Łódź), ‘Turnovo: Capital of the Second Bulgarian Tsardom’.
  • The Oxford Numismatic Society Seminar will have its Graduate Circus at 5 pm on Teams. Email for the link.
  • The Oxford Pre-Modern Middle Eastern History Seminar meets at 5:30 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is AliAydın Karamustafa (Oxford), ‘Tribes, Bandits, and Minstrels: A Shared Popular Culture as a Response to Ottoman and Safavid Power’, with respondent Edmund Herzig (Oxford).


  • The Medieval German Seminar on Arnold von Harff is now finished but from 3-4 pm on Teams, there will be a joint special session with the History of the Book Seminar with a viewing of Oxford’s copy of the travelogue (crocodile and all!), Bodleian Library MS. Bodley 972. Join on teams
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5 pm on Google Meet (link here). This week’s speakers are Kristoffel Demoen and Floris Bernard (Ghent), ‘Collected From All Kinds of Places: Building and Exploring a Corpus of Byzantine Book Epigrams’.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Emily Thornbury (Yale), ‘The Old English Daniel’s Baroque Design’.
  • The Hebrew Bible in Medieval Manuscripts reading group will meet at 7 pm on Zoom; email for further information.


  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. Contact for a link. This week’s speaker is Wilson McLeod (University of Edinburgh), ‘The Influence of Wales on Gaelic Language Policy in Scotland’.
  • The OCHJS David Patterson lectures will be held at 6 pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Elena Lolli (OCHJS), ‘Scribal Habits and Codicological Features of the Oldest Hebrew Account Book in Italy’. Register here.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 7 pm. To be added to the team and have access to the materials and meetings, email Annabel Hancock at


  • The work in progress workshop Pre-Modern Conversations meets at 11 am on Teams. Email for further information.
  • The Seminar in the History of the Book meets at 2:15 pm. To register, email This week’s speaker is William Stoneman (Cambridge, MA) ‘Buying Incunabula at Gimbel Brothers Department Store: A Curious Chapter in the History of American Book Collecting’.

Have wonderful vacations, all. Get some R&R, as the Americans say; revel in the good weather; snag that day-after half-price Easter chocolate; and start looking forward to all of the thrilling seminar events that Trinity has to offer. As always, it’s my honour to fill up your inboxes on a Monday. Until 0th week!

Medieval Matters: Week 7 HT21

Dear all,

Week 7 commences on the Kalends of March! I hope you all got to enjoy the sunshine this weekend; I for one was out in Port Meadow, where I will now remain ensconced for the entirety of the spring. Please address all post to ‘that spot with the good view by Burgess Fields’. I’ll have to arrange for an internet connection, though, because as usual we have an incredible bounty of seminars this week to enjoy.

Some announcements first:

  • Another Oxford Bibliographical Society Lecture, on Thursday 4 March at 5:15 pm on Zoom! Paul W. Nash will be speaking on ‘The Mystery of the Catholicon: Did Gutenberg Invent Stereotyping?’ Contact to attend.
  • Henrike Lähnemann will be hosting Joachim Hamm and Michael Rupp from Würzburg talking about their ‘Narragonia Digital’ project during the History of the Book seminar, on Wednesday 3 March, 3-4 pm. The session will explore the European distribution of the early modern bestseller of the ‘Narrenschiff’ in German, Latin, French, and English, and offer some remote viewings of manuscripts. The session will be partly in German, partly in English; all welcome; Teams link here.
  • The IHR Earlier Middle Ages Seminar returns with more spring dates. Wednesday 10 March at 5:30 pm is Leslie Dossey (Loyola), ‘“Why all this zeal about light for a sleeping city?” (Libanius, Orationes 33, 35): The Puzzling Invention of Street Lighting in Late Antiquity’. Register for this first seminar here. Wednesday 24 March at 5:30 pm is Steffen Patzold (Tübingen), ‘Beyond Eigenkirchen: Local Priests and their Churches in the Carolingian World’. Register for this second seminar here.
  • The Early Text Cultures Research Group invites contributions for its online seminar series for Trinity Term 2021! The theme is ‘Astronomy and Astrology in Early Text Cultures’ (topics include but are not limited to: origins, forms, and functions of astronomical and astrological texts; cross-cultural and cross-generic reception of such texts; astronomy as system of cultural symbols; portents and prognostications; constellations, catasterisms, and mythology), and postgraduates and early career researchers working on such themes in any culture can submit informal expressions of interest of no more than 250 words using this Google form by 25 March. Get in touch with with any queries. 

‘[Seminars] halt he heorte hal, hwet-se þe flesch drehe; as me seið, ‘Ȝef [seminars] nere, heorte tobreke.’ – Ancrene Wisse, which I’m definitely remembering correctly


  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm; to join and for information, contact This week’s speaker is Ewan Short (Cardiff), ‘Imperial Women and Political Legitimacy in Byzantium, 976-1103’. 
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group continues with Scito te ipsum on Teams at 1 pm. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • The Seminar in Palaeography and Manuscript Studies meets at 2:15 pm on Zoom. Registration required; email Today’s speaker is Marc Smith (École des chartes), ‘Latin Medieval Writing Models: Contextualizing MS Ashmole 789’.
  • GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) meets at 5 pm on Teams. For info and queries, email and This week continues on with Xenophon’s Anabasis, Book III.
  • The Medieval History Seminar is at 5 pm on Teams (code rmppucs). This week’s speaker is Henry Tann (Balliol), ‘Measure Endures: Merchants in Late Medieval Italy and the Virtue of “Misura”’. 
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5:30 pm on Teams to plough ahead with Hervarar saga; email for details.


  • The Late Medieval Seminar meets at 2 pm on Zoom (Meeting ID: 962 7053 8553, passcode: 078931). This week’s speaker is Maria Feliciano (Independent Scholar), ‘Iberian Silks for a Mediterranean Market: A Commercial Approach to the Study of Nasrid Textiles’.
  • At 3:30 pm on Google Meet we have the Medieval Book Club (for more information, email This week’s theme is ‘The Eucharist’, exploring a variety of exciting medieval texts.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Yulia Mikhailova (New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology), ‘Religion and Warfare in Pre-Mongol Rus’. 
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams, papers commencing 5:15 pm. This week will feature graduate students’ work-in-progress presentations, with speakers Elizabeth Cullinane and Ramani Chandramohan. Email for information.
  • The Oxford Pre-Modern Middle Eastern History Seminar is at 5:30 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Neguin Yavari (Columbia/Oxford), on ‘The Language of Politics in Wā’iẓ Kāshifī’s Futuwwatnāma-i sulṭānī’, with respondent Alan Strathern (Oxford).


  • The Medieval German Seminar, continuing with Arnold von Harff, meets at 11:15 am, with the Graduate Reading Group meeting at 11, on Teams (link here).
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar convenes at 5 pm on Google Meet (link here). This week’s speaker is Warren Treadgold (St Louis), ‘George Pachymeres and the Decline of the Restored Byzantine Empire’. 
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Christine Rauer (University of St Andrews), ‘Fontes Anglo-Saxonici: Source Study in the Twenty-First Century’. Email for information.
  • The Hebrew Bible in Medieval Manuscripts Reading Group meets at 7 pm on Zoom. Email for further information.


  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music meets at 5 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Cristina Alis Raurich (Schola Cantorum, Basel and Universität Würzburg), ‘Flos vernalis and Robertsbridge Intabulation Style: Ornamentation, Diminution, and Intabulation in the 14th Century’.
  • The Old English Reading Group continues with Bede on Teams at 5:30 pm. Email or for details.
  • The OCHJS David Patterson lectures continue at 6 pm on Zoom (register here), with this week’s speaker Jodi Eichler-Levine (Lehigh University), ‘Painted Pomegranates and Needlepoint Rabbis: Crafting and Material Religion Among Contemporary Jewish Americans’.


  • The Seminar in the History of the Book meets at 2:15 pm. To register, email This week’s speaker is Benjamin Wardhaugh (Oxford), ‘Hunting for Readers in Sixteenth-Century Editions of the Works of Euclid’.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group continues with the Life of Godric at 5 pm on Zoom. Contact for details.

‘March is the Month of Expectation’, according to Emily Dickinson. I think we can expect good things.

Oxford Medieval Studies, Week 6, HT21

Dear all,

Another Monday, another opportunity to fill your week with exciting medieval events and seminars! In a few weeks we’ll be able to drink coffee outdoors again, so the future looks bright. Remember you can see all medieval events in the booklet here.

A few announcements:

  • The Oxford Bibliographical Society will be hosting a seminar tomorrow, Tuesday 23 February, at 5 pm on Zoom. The speaker is Anna Contadini, on ‘Book Culture in the Arab World: An Illustrated Herbal of the Thirteenth Century’. Contact for the link.
  • DALME (Documentary Archaeology of Late Medieval Europe) recently launched its new website on material culture in documentary archives. The website is here.
  • As advertised last week, the History of Domestic Violence seminar will be held today at 2 pm. You can still register here.

Soð bið swicolost, seminares deorost. [Truth is most treacherous, seminars most beloved.] – Old English Maxims II, I’m pretty sure


  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm on Teams. To join and for information, please contact the organiser at This week’s speaker is Stephanie Novasio (University of Birmingham), ‘The Sociology of Graffiti in Late Antiquity’.
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group meets at 1 pm on Teams, continuing with Abelard. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • The reading group GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) meets at 5 pm on Teams. Email and to be added to the mailing list. This week readers will tackle Horace’s Ars poetica.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets on Teams at 5 pm (search for the seminar in Teams with code rmppucs and then click ‘join’). This week’s speaker is Marek Jankowiak (Corpus Christi, Oxford), ‘What If Our Chronological Framework is Wrong? Misdated Popes, the Mission to Northumbria, and a Puzzling Merovingian Charter’.


  • The Late Medieval Seminar meets at 2 pm on Zoom (Meeting ID: 962 7053 8553, passcode: 078931). This week’s speaker is Ulinka Rublack (Cambridge), ‘Renaissance Clothes and Colour’.
  • At 3:30 pm on Google Meet  we have the Medieval Book Club (for more information, get in touch at This week’s theme is Gluttony and Drunkness, getting to grips with Dante’s ever-exciting Inferno VI and Purgatorio XXII.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar meets at 5 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Florin Curta (University of Florida), ‘The Early Slavs and their Ethnogenesis in Soviet and Post-Soviet Archaeology’. 
  • The Oxford Pre-Modern Middle Eastern History Seminar meets at 5:30 pm on Zoom (register here). This week’s speaker is Zeynep Yürekli (Oxford), ‘Ottoman Historiography and Topographical Illustration in Manuscripts Attributed to Matrakçı Nasuh’, with respondent Serpil Bağcı (Hacettepe).


  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11:15 am on Teams, with the graduate reading group meeting at 11, reading Arnold von Harff. Email for details.
  • Remember that the In via Dante Network Colloquium (Dante and Conceptions of Space and Architecture) will be held on Zoom at 3 pm. Register here.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5 pm on Google Meet (link here). This week’s speaker is Rei Hakamada (Okayama/Oxford), ‘Deification for All: Rethinking the Role of Palamas in the History of Hesychasm’.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Claudia di Sciacca (University of Udine), ‘Wolfing it Down: the Motif of the Swallowing Dragon in Early Medieval England and Scandinavia’.
  • The Hebrew Bible in Medieval Manuscripts reading group will meet at 7 pm on Zoom; email for further information. 


  • The Aquinas Seminar Series (De Magistro: Aquinas and the Education of the Whole Person) meets at 4:30 pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Rev Prof Vivian Boland, OP (Angelicum), ‘Can Aquinas’ sana doctrina on Learning and Teaching Be Extracted from its Place in sacra doctrina?’ Register here.
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5:15 pm on Teams. Contact for a link. This week’s speaker is Paul Widmer (University of Zürich), ‘Socio-Cultural History in the Language Change: Celtic and its Neighbours since the Late Middle Ages’.
  • The OCHJS David Patterson lectures will be held at 6 pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Ron Tappy (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary), ‘Letters from Tel Zayit: The Hebrew Alphabet Carved in Stone’. Register here.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 7 pm. To be added to the team and have access to the materials and meetings, email Annabel Hancock at


  • The work in progress workshop Pre-Modern Conversations meets at 11 am on Teams. Email for further information.
  • The Seminar in the History of the Book meets at 2:15 pm. To register, email This week’s speaker is Kanupriya Dhingra (SOAS, University of London), ‘Streets and Serendipity: “Locating” Daryaganj Sunday Patri Kitab Bazar’. 

It’s been a long winter, but spring is on its way. Take an evening walk now that the sun doesn’t set until 5:30! Get a head start on Tesco Easter candy! Dream of the socially distanced picnic you’ll have with someone on 9 March! Just think of all the possibilities.