Medieval Matters: Week 4

This Tuesday we have our long-awaited guest lecture by Lucy Pick on ‘Maimonides Latinus and a Thirteenth-Century Textual Community of Jewish and Christian Readers’. It will be live-streamed from St Edmund Hall on Tuesday 5pm https://youtu.be/XAQlVmpw8Zw – come in person or tune in for what is sure to be a wonderful evening. Lucy’s paper will explore the multilingual, multicultural Middle Ages, so it seems fitting to have some wisdom about language-learning from the Old English Pastoral Care:

ðy mara wisdom on londe wære ðy we ma geðeoda cuðon.
[The more languages we knew, the more wisdom would be in the land]

We certainly have a wide range of languages on offer in this week’s schedule, with events on Celtic, Norse, Latin, Middle High German, and Middle English – to name just a few! Please peruse the listings below to see what a wonderful range of events we have on this week:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • The Oxford Medieval Society is very pleased to announce the details of our Relaunch Party. The event will take place at 5pm on Thursday 24th February (6th Week) in the Kendrew Café at St. John’s College. Please enter by the Kendrew Porter’s Lodge, rather than the main Lodge. The party will offer the opportunity to meet members of Oxford’s medieval community over drinks, snacks and a medieval-themed quiz. All students and staff interested in medieval studies are welcome, especially those who are new to Oxford. In celebration of our relaunch, membership fees have been waived for 2021/2022 academic year. If you would like to join the Society, you can do so by completing this short Google Form.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 7th February:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12.30-2pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Becca Grose (Royal Holloway), ‘Avitus of Vienne and Roman Approaches to Burgundian Royal Women: Ascetics, Virgins and Heretics‘. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list. 
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions. Matthew Holford writes: We’ll read from an early manuscript at Solothurn of Petrus Lombard on marriage, beginning with the rubric de errore qui euacuat consensum. There are more abbreviations than we’ve been used to in earlier texts so you may want to have your Cappelli (online database or digitized version) and the Enigma tool for identifying Latin words when you only have a few letters.
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm on Teams and in the Institute of Archaeology Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Caroline Smith (U. of Durham): ‘Recent Excavations at Bishop Auckland Castle‘. Please note: Attendance in person is by advance booking only as the room has a strict Covid-19 capacity limit. Bookings can be made by contacting: jane.kershaw@arch.ox.ac.uk. For the Teams’ link click here.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at The Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Julie Barrau (Cambridge), Compiling, creating, innovating: looking again at twelfth-century authorial practices’. Attendance at the Wharton Room is by advance booking only as the room has a strict Covid-19 capacity limit. Seats will be released 1 week before each seminar. Bookings can be made at https://medieval-history-seminar.reservio.com. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30pm on Teams. Please email Olivia Smith (olivia.smith2@linacre.ox.ac.uk) to be added to the mailing list and Teams group.

Tuesday 8th February:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 11.30pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Katarzyna Anna Kapitan (Linacre College), ‘Collecting and annotating Old Norse texts: on the library of Thormodus Torfæus’. For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.
  • CMTC postgraduate lunchtime colloquium 12:30–2:00pm with Eleanor Baker (St John’s College, Oxford): “Lydgate’s Defamiliarizing Material Texts” and Thomas Laver (St John’s College, Cambridge) “Commercially active monasticism in the papyrus archives from Byzantine Aphrodito”. Abstracts and link to the sign-up form. Attendance is free of charge but sign-up is mandatory. A Zoom link will be sent to all participants the day before the talk.
  • The Late Medieval Europe Seminar meets at 2pm at Saint John’s College, seminar room 21 St Giles. This week’s speaker is Rachel Moss (Northampton), ‘Trans-forming identities: Menarche from St Wilgefortis to Charlotte Church’.
  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Joy’. If you want to join us, or would like more information, please contact oxfordmedievalbookclub@gmail.com. Option to join virtually via Google Meet as well, please send your contact details.
  • The OMS Lecture Hilary 2022: Lucy Pick, ‘Maimonides Latinus and a Thirteenth-Century Textual Community of Jewish and Christian Readers’ takes place at 5pm at St Edmund Hall Old Dining Hall followed by drinks. Lucy Pick is a historian of medieval thought and culture. 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. The youtube stream is available live and after the event without registration at https://youtu.be/orJHVpWgaMs, so spread the word! If you want to join the discussion online, either post questions in the youtube chat which Tom Revell will monitor or tweet them mentioning the Oxford Medieval Studies twitter account @OxMedStud.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Scott Moynihan (Pembroke), ‘Diplomacy between Christians and Muslims during the Crusades‘.

Wednesday 9th February:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in Oriel College, Harris Room, discussing Reinbot von Durne: Georg. If you are interested in being added to the mailing list for the seminar, email Henrike Lähnemann henrike.laehnemann@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk. For further information, follow MedGermOx on Twitter.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1-2pm in the Mertze Tate room of the History Faculty and online on Teams. Anyone interested in any element of medieval trade and its study are very welcome to join, from any department. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock at annabel.hancock@history.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5:30pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Jim Crow (Edinburgh): ‘Procopius, De Aedificiis and Eastern Thrace: Is absence the highest form of presence?‘. Register in advance for this on-line series: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkdeuspz8jG9IfBfrd75k6qrxLyWtG_PAu. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Thursday 10th February:

  • Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This week’s text is Das Redentiner Osterspiel. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • A #Nuntastic Achievement: Celebrating Eileen Power 100 Years On will take place at 2pm–5pm, in 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. Please register in advance at https://tinyurl.com/eileenpower, and send any questions to Diana Myers (diana.myers@stb.ox.ac.uk) or Edmund Wareham (edmund.wareham@stb.ox.ac.uk).
  • 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 will take place at location TBA at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker is Matthew Frank Stevens (Swansea University), ‘Segregation and integration in the towns of medieval Wales‘. Please contact david.willis@ling-phil.ox.ac.uk for further information.
  • The Oxford Bibliographical Society meets at Balliol Historic Collections Centre, St Cross Church and on Zoom at 5.30pm. This week’s speaker is Hannah Ryley (Oxford), ‘Re-using manuscripts in late Medieval England‘. There will also be a small display of some of the manuscripts Hannah will be discussing. For the Zoom link please contact sarah.cusk@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.

Friday 11th February:

  • 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 Seminar in the History of the Book will meet online at 2.15pm. You must be registered 24 hours before the seminar to receive a link to attend online. This week’s speaker is Riccardo Olocco, Bolzano: ‘The trade in type in Venice in the early decades of printing‘. Register here: https://forms.office.com/r/FSXrV1W98u.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Masterclass: Medieval Iberia in Global Perspective. A masterclass with two leading scholars of medieval Iberian history: Eduardo Manzano Moreno (British Academy Global Professor, Univeristy of St. Andrews/Research Professor, Instituto de Historia, CSIC) and Wendy Davies (Professor Emerita, UCL). All members of the University are welcome; graduate students and ECRs are particularly encouraged. 2-4pm, Tuesday 15 February, Wharton Room, All Souls College, Oxford. The event will be held in a hybrid format. For in-person attendance (limited capacity), please sign up here. For online attendance, please click here.
  • Postdoc Position in the ERC-funded project APOCRYPHA in Oslo: The Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo invites applications for a 3-year position as Postdoctoral Fellow in the ERC-funded research project Storyworlds in Transition: Coptic Apocrypha in Changing Contexts in the Byzantine and Early Islamic Periods (APOCRYPHA). For full details, please click here.

Finally, some advice from Maxims I about the importance of wise words, whatever language they happen to be in:

wæra gehwylcum wislicu word gerisað
[Wise words are seemly in everyone]

May your week be filled with an abundance of wislicu word / wise words / verba sapientes / parole sagge in many languages!

[Medievalists, dressed in their finest clothes, hurry to the OMS lecture to hear some wise words]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 3r.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Monosceros

CMTC postgraduate lunchtime colloquium (Tuesday 8th February, 12:30–2:00pm GBT)

Please join us for two online talks hosted by the Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures at The Queen’s College in the University of Oxford. Our centre promotes inter-disciplinary discussion among scholars and students interested in manuscripts and material culture in the premodern world. So your participation is most welcome regardless of your field of specialty.

We are meeting on Zoom on Tuesday 8th February at 12:30-2:00pm (GMT).

Eleanor Baker (St John’s College, Oxford)

“Lydgate’s Defamiliarizing Material Texts”

‘Defamiliarization’ refers to the technique of depicting everyday objects in a way that differs from their usual presentation to provoke a more nuanced understanding of the familiar. The material text is often defamiliarized in late medieval Middle English lyrics. The images of the material text used in religious lyrics render its constituent parts alien to the reader or listener: ink becomes blood, pens become spears, letters become his wounds, and parchment or paper sheets become anything from tree leaves to body parts. The material text, once familiar, becomes strange. Conversely, the holy figures these books represent or interact with become, if not less strange, at least more comprehensible through their apparent similarities with the material text. Whilst others have stressed how John Lydgate (c.1370-1451) brings images and texts into conversation with one another, I will consider how he represents material texts, objects which are, by their very nature, textual and imagistic. In this paper, I argue that Lydgate’s depictions of material texts are often defamiliarizing, and that this defamiliarizing effect often promotes a meditative response that renders the reader’s engagement with devotional material both affective and intellectualised.

Thomas Laver (St John’s College, Cambridge)

“Commercially active monasticism in the papyrus archives from Byzantine Aphrodito”

The papyrus archive of Dioskoros of Aphrodito is well-known amongst Byzantinists as an important record of village life in 6th century Egypt, containing administrative documents, letters, and poems written in Greek, Coptic and Latin by and to the local notable Dioskoros, his wife Sophia, and father Apollos. Monasteries and monks often appear in the Coptic and Greek documentation from this archive, leading some scholars to delve into the secular activities of monks in rural Egypt, including their social and economic interactions with various groups in the village. This presentation will highlight some novel analyses that I have made of particular documents from the Dioskoros archive, which I believe demonstrate that the monks and monasteries of the village were much more commercially active and entrepreneurial than has previously been suggested by other papyrological analysis of the Dioskoros (or any other) archive.

Here is a link to the sign-up form. Attendance is free of charge but sign-up is mandatory. We will send a Zoom link to all participants the day before the talk.

Medieval Matters: Week 3

Somehow it is week three already, which means that term is well underway. As we move into February, the days are beginning to get a little lighter, but the evenings are still dark and cold. For those looking for something to bring joy through the last full month of winter, the Old English Instructions for Christians gives us some advice:

Wisdom is leoht wera æghwilcum / to habbanne her on weoruldæ.
[Wisdom is a light for everyone here in the world]

May the wisdom of Oxford’s medievalists light your way this week! See below for full details of the seminars, reading groups and events on offer. This Tuesday also marks Lunar New Year: wishing a very Happy New Year to all who celebrate!

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 31st January:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Palaeography Seminar: Medieval Manuscripts Masterclass will meet online at 2.15pm. You must be registered 24 hours before the seminar to receive a link to attend online. This week’s speaker is Matthew Cheung Salisbury, ‘A late medieval English noted breviary (MS. Lat. liturg. b. 14)’. Register here: https://forms.office.com/r/F6NjbWuhpT
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Jonathan Shepard (Oxford) ‘The Rhos guests of Louis the Pious: not just a flash in the pan?’. Please note that this seminar will be virtual, with no physical attendance, via the standard seminar Teams link. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk

Tuesday 1st February:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 11.30pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speakers will be Llewelyn Hopwood (Corpus Christi College), ‘“Sounding different” in medieval Wales according to its poets’, and Micah Mackay (Balliol College), ‘Song and space: movement, navigation, and the fifteenth-century English carol’. For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Sadness’. If you want to join us, or would like more information, please contact oxfordmedievalbookclub@gmail.com. Option to join virtually via Google Meet as well, please send your contact details.
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar meets at 5pm at Maison française d’Oxford and Online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Daron Burrows (St Peter’s College, Oxford): ‘The Anglo-Norman Verse Psalter: from Pandemic Panacea to Critical Edition‘. To join a session remotely via Teams, please contact helen.swift@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk to receive the link.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Mary Carruthers (NYU & St Hilda’s), ‘What does meditation have to do with geometry?‘.
  • The Late Medieval Europe Seminar meets at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Roland Betancourt (University of California, Irvine), ‘Byzantine Camp Aesthetics: A Queer Reading of Nikephoros Basilakes’s Bagoas’. To join the zoom meeting click here: Join Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 987 7500 2179 / Passcode: 032874.

Wednesday 2nd February:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in Oriel College, Harris Room, discussing Reinbot von Durne: Georg. If you are interested in attending the seminar, email Henrike Lähnemann henrike.laehnemann@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk. For further information, follow MedGermOx on Twitter.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5:30pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Efthymios Rizos (Serres): ‘Long Walls and Linear Barriers in the South Balkan Provinces‘. Register in advance for this on-line series: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkdeuspz8jG9IfBfrd75k6qrxLyWtG_PAu. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Thursday 3rd February:

  • Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This week’s text is Das Osterspiel von Muri. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • 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 will take place on Zoom at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Seimon Brooks (in Welsh), “Ashton boy yn estyn bys”: Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg sir Gaer a sir Gaerhirfryn, yn yr ail a’r drydedd genhedlaeth yn enwedig‘. Please contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk for the link.
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30pm. For more information and to receive the text in advance email eugenia.vorobeva@jesus.ox.ac.uk.

Friday 4th February:

  • The Seminar in the History of the Book will meet online at 2.15pm. You must be registered 24 hours before the seminar to receive a link to attend online. This week’s speaker is Laura Cleaver, Senior Lectures in Manuscript Studies, The University of London: ‘Henry White (1822-1900): Collector of Second-Rate Manuscripts?‘. Register here: https://forms.office.com/r/FSXrV1W98u
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5pm on Zoom. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.

OPPORTUNITIES:

Finally, some more wisdom from the Instructions for Christians, which reminds us to share our talents:

Se forholena cræft and forhyded gold
ne bið ællunga ungelice.

[Hidden skill and hidden gold are not altogether unalike ]

I hope that you enjoy some of our goldmine of cræft on display in this week’s seminars and reading groups. May your week be brightened by the light of their wisdom!

[some medievalists enjoy the light of wisdom on a chilly February Day]
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/#Gupil

Medieval Matters: Week 2

I hope that everyone had an enjoyable first week and that you are all now settled back into the rhythm of term. We have yet another week full of seminars, reading groups and events. Here is some wisdom for us all from the Old English Disticha catonis regarding appropriate seminar behaviour:

Ne beo þu to oferspræce, ac hlyst ælces monnes worda swiðe georne.
Don’t speak too much, but listen attentively to everyone’s words.

There’s plenty to listen to this week, with seminars on topics ranging from Procopius’ Buildings to Tudor Wales – may we all listen attentively and enjoy this wealth of offerings! Full details, as always, are listed below, and also on our blog. Please do check whether you need to book in advance for events.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 24th January:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm on Teams. This week’s speaker will be Ewoud Deschepper (U. of Ghent): ‘House and yard in Early Medieval northern Francia‘. For the Teams’ link click here.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at The Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is David Addison (All Souls), ‘Ascetic elitism beyond the cloister: Valerius of Bierzo and “Galician” monasticism at the end of the seventh century’. Attendance at the Wharton Room is by advance booking only as the room has a strict Covid-19 capacity limit. Seats will be released 1 week before each seminar. Bookings can be made at https://medieval-history-seminar.reservio.com. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30pm on Teams. Please email Olivia Smith (olivia.smith2@linacre.ox.ac.uk) to be added to the mailing list and Teams group.

Tuesday 25th January:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 11.30pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Francis Leneghan (St Cross College), ‘‘Beowulf’ and the hunt’. For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Medieval Europe Seminar meets at 2pm at Saint John’s College, seminar room 21 St Giles. This week’s speaker is Tim Wingard (York), ‘Unclean beasts: towards a queer ecology of the late middle ages’.
  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Fear’. If you want to join us, or would like more information, please contact oxfordmedievalbookclub@gmail.com. Option to join virtually via Google Meet as well, please send your contact details.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Benjamin Thompson (Somerville), ‘Open or Closed?  Late Medieval Monasteries and their Visitations‘.

Wednesday 26th January:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 at Oriel College, Harris Room, discussing the prologue to Reinbot of Durne’s Georg legend. If you are interested in being added to the teams channel and the mailing list for the seminar, email Henrike Lähnemann henrike.laehnemann@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk. For further information, follow MedGermOx on Twitter.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1-2pm in the Mertze Tate room of the History Faculty and online on Teams. Anyone interested in any element of medieval trade and its study are very welcome to join, from any department. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock at annabel.hancock@history.ox.ac.uk
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5:30pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Elodie Turquois (Mainz): ‘Reworking the Buildings: The shorter recension as a later epitome.’ Register in advance for this on-line series: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkdeuspz8jG9IfBfrd75k6qrxLyWtG_PAu. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Thursday 27th January:

  • Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This week’s text is Das Osterspiel von Muri. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • 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 Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music will take place on Zoom at 5pm. This week’s speaker is 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)). 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 (matthew.thomson@ucd.ie).
  • The Celtic Seminar will take place on Zoom at 5pm. This week’s speaker is David Parsons (CAWCS), ‘Mapping Tudor Wales: The ‘list of parishes’ in Peniarth MS 147‘. Please contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk for the link.

Friday 28th January:

  • 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 Seminar in the History of the Book will meet online at 2.15pm. You must be registered 24 hours before the seminar to receive a link to attend online. This week’s speaker is Renee Satterley, Librarian, The Hon. Society of Middle Temple, London: ‘On Robert Ashley (1565-1641)’s use of collections in Oxford in the 17th century‘. Register here: https://forms.office.com/r/FSXrV1W98u
  • The Germanic Reading Group meets at 4pm on Zoom. Today’s meeting will be on Old Frisian, lead by Johanneke Sytsema (Oxford). For more information and to get the zoom links, please email Howard.Jones@sbs.ox.ac.uk.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Call for Papers – Comitatus, A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Comitatus, published annually under the auspices of the UCLA CMRS Center for Early Global Studies, invites the submission of articles by graduate students and recent PhDs in any field of medieval and Renaissance studies. We particularly welcome articles that integrate or synthesize disciplines. February 28 2022 is the deadline for submissions to Volume 53 (2022). The editorial board will make its final selections by May 2022. Please send submissions as email attachments to Allison McCann, Managing Editor, Comitatus (allisonmccann@humnet.ucla.edu). Submissions guidelines can be found here.
  • Parker Library Stipendiary Early-Career Research Fellowship: A one-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the Parker Library, using their manuscript or print collections: https://www.corpus.cam.ac.uk/about/opportunities/academic-vacancies.
  • Call for Papers: Bristol Centre for Medieval Studies postgraduate conference: The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Transitions‘ and we welcome abstracts of c300 words from postgraduate students and early career researchers working in any and all relevant disciplines relating to the medieval period. Please find the CfP attached and direct abstracts or queries to this email cms-conference-enquiries@bristol.ac.uk To stay updated, also follow us on Twitter @BristolCMS and @UoB_CMS_PGR. The deadline for abstracts is 28th February 2022, with the conference scheduled to take place and in person on and online over Zoom on 29th- 30th April 2021.  

Finally, some more wisdom from the Old English Disticha catonis:

Ne læt þu no unlofod þæt þu swytele ongite þæt licwyrðe sie.
Do not leave unpraised that which you know well to be praiseworthy.

In other words, let’s thank our speakers and reading group organisers for their efforts in providing this wonderful programme of events for us all! Thanks to everyone who works to ensure that the Medievalist community at Oxford is always busy, varied, and entertaining. May you have a productive and enjoyable week.

[A gaggle of medievalists listen attentively to a seminar speaker’s words and deems them to be praiseworthy]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 9v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Turtre

Medieval Matters: Week 1

Hilary term is finally upon us! I hope that everyone is feeling well rested and ready for the term ahead. January can feel a little anticlimactic after the excitement of the Christmas vac, and indeed, this email comes to your inbox on so-called ‘Blue Monday’ – supposedly the saddest day of the year! But have no fear: here is some wisdom from the Old English Instructions for Christians on how we can cope with this phenomenon:

[Leornunge] mod gedeþ mycle ðe bliðre
[Learning makes the mind much happier]

Luckily for us all, we have a whole host of exciting events and seminars for you to learn at this week to beat the January blues, both online and in-person! Please be aware that many in-person events are taking place in rooms with strict capacity limits in order to comply with covid regulations: do check the listings below and make sure that you book in advance if necessary.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • A reminder that you are all warmly invited to dinner with Lucy Pick, at your own cost, after the OMS Lecture on February 8th. We have reserved eight places for graduate students at a discounted price of 10GBP. These places are strictly first come, first served. Non graduate students will pay 30GBP. All payment is in cash on the day. Please contact me by 20 January if you would like to come to dinner, including any dietary requirements and whether or not you drink wine. It will be a great evening, and we look forward to seeing many of you there. 

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 17th January:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at The Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Julia Smith (All Souls), ‘In Search of Charlemagne’s relic collection’. Attendance at the Wharton Room is by advance booking only as the room has a strict Covid-19 capacity limit. Seats will be released 1 week before each seminar. Bookings can be made at https://medieval-history-seminar.reservio.com. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk

Tuesday 18th January:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 11.30pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speakers will be Glenn Cahilly-Bretzin (Lincoln College), ‘Flickers of past practice: The poetic lexicon of cremation in Old English’, and Tom Revell (Balliol College), ‘The composition of Old English hagiographic verse: the Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium) as micro-library’. For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Medieval Europe Seminar meets at 2pm at Saint John’s College, seminar room 21 St Giles. This week is an introductory reading session. Please try to read these articles in advance of the session: Burger, Glenn, and Steven F. Kruger. “INTRODUCTION.” In Queering the Middle Ages, edited by Glenn Burger and Steven F. Kruger; Reeser, Todd W. “How to do Early Modern Queer History.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 26, no. 1 (2020): 183-196.
  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Anger’. If you want to join us, or would like more information, please contact oxfordmedievalbookclub@gmail.com. Option to join virtually via Google Meet as well, please send your contact details.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Amy Ebrey (St John’s) ‘Correcting Aquinas?  William de la Mare on Poverty as an Instrument

Wednesday 19th January:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets this term Wednesdays 11.15-12.45 in Oriel College, Harris Room. The text for this term is Reinbot von Durne’s Georg legend. This week will be an organisational meeting – welcome to come along! If you are interested in being added to the teams channel and the mailing list for the seminar, email Henrike Lähnemann henrike.laehnemann@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk. For further information, follow MedGermOx on Twitter.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5:30pm on Zoom. This week’s speakers are M. Whiting, E. Turquois, M. Ritter (Mainz and Halle) Introduction to the DFG project “Procopius and the Language of Buildings”, and Marlena Whiting (Mainz and Halle): ‘Networks and the City: Building a network-based model of De Aed. I.’ Register in advance for this on-line series: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkdeuspz8jG9IfBfrd75k6qrxLyWtG_PAu. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Thursday 20th January:

  • Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This week’s text is Das Osterspiel von Muri. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • 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 will take place on Teams at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker is Hugh Brodie (University of Oxford), ‘1257 and all that: The Battle of Cymerau revisited‘. Please contact david.willis@ling-phil.ox.ac.uk if you need a link.
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30pm. For more information and to receive the text in advance email eugenia.vorobeva@jesus.ox.ac.uk.

Friday 21st January:

  • The Seminar in the History of the Book will meet online at 2.15pm. You must be registered 24 hours before the seminar to receive a link to attend online. This week’s speaker is Mercedes García-Arenal, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Madrid: ‘The European Quran: the role of the Muslim Holy Book in writing European cultural history – Presentation of a project‘. Register here: https://forms.office.com/r/FSXrV1W98u
  • 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 first of this year’s James Ford Lectures take place online at 5pm. This year’s lectures will be given by Professor Robin Fleming (Professor of Early Medieval History, Boston College). This week’s lecture is ‘Why Roman Britain? Why Material Culture? Why Dogs?‘. To watch this lecture, please visit this webpage, where the link will be posted at 5pm on Friday.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Call for Papers: Medieval Germany Workshop. A one-day workshop on Medieval Germany is being held on 6 May 2022 in the splendid surroundings of the German Historical Institute in Bloomsbury. The workshop will maintain the traditions of friendliness and informality familiar to those of you who have attended before. We expect to be face to face and, on past tradition, to maintain the sociability and discussion in the pub afterwards. Papers of 10-15 minutes are invited, with those exploring problems of work in progress particularly welcome. Chronology and geography generously defined. There will be invited guest papers by Prof. Eva Schlotheuber (Düsseldorf) and Prof. Wolfram Drews (Münster). Attendance is free. Please note that the deadline for submitting proposals, to Dr Marcus Meer at GHIL (M.Meer@ghil.ac.uk), has been extended to 31 January. Please see the call for papers also for funding support available for North American (US and Canada) and UK doctoral students wishing to attend.
  • Meet the Manuscripts: Call for Proposals: Meet the Manuscripts is a popular series of online events run by the Bodleian Libraries’ curatorial and public engagement teams. (For last autumn’s events see https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/event/meet-the-manuscripts-online-lecture-series.) We’re keen to increase the involvement of graduate and postgraduate students and early career scholars in these sessions from autumn 2022 onwards. If you’re working on a Bodleian manuscript that you’d like to present to a general public audience, please contact Andrew Dunning (andrew.dunning@bodleian.ox.ac.uk), or Matthew Holford (matthew.holford@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) for more information.
  • Workshops on Manuscript Description and Cataloguing: Trinity Term. Sessions for this term are already fully booked but to be added to the waiting list, or to express interest in sessions next term, contact Andrew Dunning (andrew.dunning@bodleian.ox.ac.uk), or Matthew Holford (matthew.holford@bodleian.ox.ac.uk).
  • 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. 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. For any additional information, or if you have any questions, please email: indianoceanfigurines@gmail.com.
  • The Oxford Medieval Mystery Cycle are still recruiting play groups for the 2022 performance! Most importantly, we are still looking for people to take on THE CRUCIFIXION PLAY. If you would be up for the challenge, we would love to hear from you. Please contact eleanor.baker@sjc.ox.ac for more details.
  • Call for Performers: The Execution of John the Baptist in Medieval French. This will be a contribution to the festival of 20-minute medieval plays performed in the gardens of St Edmund Hall on Saturday April 23, with a subsequent performance in Iffley churchyard on the morning of Sunday April 24. Rehearsals will be one evening a week through term. Some of the cast will be actors from Iffley village. If you’d like to join in, and bring to life a text that has probably not been played for 500 years, please e-mail the director David Wiles at d.wiles@exeter.ac.uk, or come along to St Edmund Hall on Thursday 20 Jan at 6.00 (where the porter will direct you).

Finally, for those of us feeling the cold, here is some reassurance from the Old English Maxims I:

Winter sceal geweorpan, weder eft cuman/ sumor swegle hat
[Winter shall leave, good weather will come again: summer hot in the sky]

Unfortunately, we have a while to wait before the promised heat of summer, but we have lots of great medievalist events to enjoy in the meantime. Make sure to check out the updated copy of the Medieval Booklet, attached to this week’s email as a pdf, to see all of the lovely things that we have to look forward to this term. In the meantime, I wish you all a happy, warm, and productive first week!

[A Medievalist chases off the winter blues with a fantastic selection of lectures (and also a horn)]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 5v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Castor

CALL FOR PERFORMERS

THE EXECUTION OF JOHN THE BAPTIST [IN MEDIEVAL FRENCH]

This will be a contribution to the festival of 20-minute medieval plays performed in the gardens of St Edmund Hall on Saturday April 23, with a subsequent performance in Iffley churchyard on the morning of Sunday April 24.

John the Baptist preaches to the masses about the corruption of those who rule the state, King Herod throws a birthday party, and young Salome induces him to promise her any gift she chooses. The gift is of course John’s head, and medieval theatre delighted in the use of stage blood. The language is accessible enough to speakers of modern French, and we will concentrate on rhythm and expression rather than antique vowel sounds.

Rehearsals will be one evening a week through term. Some of the cast will be actors from Iffley village. If you’d like to join in, and bring to life a text that has probably not been played for 500 years, please e-mail the director David Wiles at d.wiles@exeter.ac.uk, or come along to St Edmund Hall on Thursday 20 Jan at 6.00 (where the porter will direct you).

Medieval Matters: Week 0 and HT Booklet

Welcome back to Oxford! It is now Week 0, which means that Hilary Term is upon us. I hope that you all had a restful and peaceful Christmas break, and are returning renewed and ready for more Medievalist happenings. Whether you’re looking to return to your usual seminars, or interested to see what else is out there, our Medieval Booklet lists a whole range of exciting events, seminars, working groups, and CFPs. Please do enjoy perusing. 


If by chance you realise that you have a medieval event, seminar, reading group or working group that you would like to be included in the booklet, do not fear: please get any final details to me before Friday 14th. A finalised pdf copy will also be disseminated with next week’s email. 


I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you once again of our blog: all of our most up-to-date information can be found here, as well as an archive of all past Medieval Matters emails, CFPs, blogs from Oxford Medievalists, and a calendar that lists all of the term’s events. We would love to receive submissions for blog posts: if you have a research project, book, or cfp that you would like to be included, please email me at luisa.ostacchini@ell.ox.ac.uk.
Although seminars have not yet begun, I nevertheless have a few announcements for you this week:

  • The OMS Hilary Term Lecture, Lucy Pick: ‘Maimonides Latinus and a Thirteenth-Century Textual Community of Jewish and Christian Readers’’ takes place on Tuesday 8 February, 5pm, St Edmund Hall, Old Dining Hall, and live streamed online https://youtu.be/orJHVpWgaMs. The lecture will be followed by drinks at St Edmund Hall. You are also warmly invited to dinner with the speaker, at your own cost. We have reserved eight places for graduate students at a discounted price of 10GBP. These places are strictly first come, first served. Please contact me by 31 January if you would like to come to dinner. It will be a great evening, and we look forward to seeing many of you there. 
  • The Oxford Heraldry Society meets at 6.15pm on Thursday January 13th via Zoom. This week’s lecture is John Whitehead: ‘Blood Will Out: The Heraldry and Heraldic Art of the Beaufort Family 1396-1526′. To join the Zoom meeting, click here: 
    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88141484862?pwd=U3FXSHNQYmdLZS9HYWZ4QktyOVF5UT09
  • A reminder that the Oxford Medieval Society Relaunch Party is cancelled. The committee sincerely apologise for any disappointment caused, and will be rescheduling this event for later in the term.  

Finally, some Old English wisdom for those of you returning to Oxford: 


Eadig bið se þe in his eðle geþihð
[Happy is he who prospers in his homeland]

May you be happy and prosper in your faculties, departments, and libraries that are your Oxford homeland this term! 

Medievalists returning to Oxfordafter the Christmas break
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/#Cetus

Webinar: The Murbach Hymns (MS. Junius 25) – Vernacular Glossing in the Early Middle Ages

This webinar (17th/18th of February 2022) centres around the Murbach hymns, a Latin hymnal with Old High German interlinear glosses from the ninth century, whose manuscript and textual context will be examined, as well as, on a wider scale, the use and function of vernacular language in the early Middle Ages. The manuscript MS. Junius 25 and other glossed manuscripts from the Bodleian Library will be presented and analysed, giving the audience the opportunity to view these valuable objects up close. In three discussion sessions, the materiality of the manuscripts and their content will be set in context with each other, drawing a connection between the object and its use. The focus will initially be on the texts of MS. Junius 25. In further sessions, the use of vernacular language in different cultural contexts and the emergence and function of (vernacular) glosses will be explored.


PROGRAMME
All times are GMT.


Thursday, 17 February 2022


2-3 pm: Meet the Manuscript: MS. Junius 25 and the Murbach Hymnal

MS. Junius 25

  • Prof. Dr Daniela Mairhofer (Princeton)
  • Luise Morawetz (Oxford)
  • Prof. Dr Henrike Lähnemann (Oxford)
  • Dr Matthew Holford (Oxford)

3.45-5 pm: A Textual Analysis of the Manuscript

  • Prof. Dr Michael Stolz (Bern): Marginalien zu MS. Junius 25
  • Dr Elke Krotz (Vienna): The Glossaries Junius A, B and C
  • Dr Matthias Standke (Berlin): Murbacher Hymnar? Begriffs‑ und Überlieferungsgeschichte: Versuch einer Einordnung

9.15 pm: Latin-Old High German Compline in the Crypt of St-Peter-in-the-East. Live streamed via youtube. Booklet with texts.

Friday, 18 February 2022


9-10 am: Vernacular Language in Use

  • Prof. Dr Alderik Blom (Marburg): Two Old Frisian Glosses on the Psalms
  • Dr Helen Gittos (Oxford): Vernacular languages in medieval liturgy

11-12 am: The Practice of Glossing

  • Prof. em. Dr Elvira Glaser (Zurich): The Functionality of Vernacular (Old High German) Glosses
  • Prof. Dr Stephan Müller (Vienna): Alliterations and Abbreviations. How to discover the German language between Latin lines of the Murbach hymns

2-3.30 pm: Meet the Manuscript 2: Consultation of other Glossed Manuscripts from the Bodleian

MS. Auct. F. 1. 16, MS. Rawl. C. 697, MS. Canon. Pat. Lat. 57

  • Prof. Dr Daniela Mairhofer (Princeton)
  • Luise Morawetz (Oxford)
  • Prof. Dr Henrike Lähnemann (Oxford)
  • Dr Matthew Holford (Oxford)

The presentations and papers will be published online before the event. Questions for the speakers can be asked during the sessions or before the event via Twitter (#MurbachHymns) or email (luise.morawetz@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk, reference: Workshop Murbach Hymns). Papers here (password protected; please register here for the event to get access). If you have any questions, please contact Luise Morawetz (via email or Twitter).

In association with the Bodleian Libraries and Oxford Medieval Studies, sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML).


The first lines of the Murbach hymns (fol. 122v, Oxford, Bodleian Library MS. Junius 25).

Workshop on the Murbach Hymns and MS. Junius 25

When?        17th/18th February 2022 (week 5, HT)

What?         In this workshop, the fascinating Murbach hymns – a Latin hymnal with Old High German interlinear glosses from the 8th/9th century – and their manuscript (Oxford, Bodleian Library MS. Junius 25) will be carefully examined regarding their translation technique, use and function, cultural background and transmission. Expect two days full of presentations and discussions, a consultation of this and other manuscripts and a live recitation of the hymns.

Updates and official registration on this page!

Convenor: Luise Morawetz (luise.morawetz@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk)

Image: fol. 122v, Oxford, Bodleian Library MS. Junius 25