Medieval Matters: Week 1

It brings me such great joy to welcome you all back to Oxford for Trinity Term! Whilst it’s always lovely to have research time outside of teaching term, Oxford seems so quiet in the vacations. As we learn from the Epistolae project, waiting for your friends and colleagues to return isn’t just a modern phenomenon:

Vestri etenim reditus optati terminus, quanto celerior et propinquior a pluribus mihi promittitur, tanto magis a me, vestra frui optante praesentia et locutione, desideratur. 
[The sooner and the closer the date of your desired return is promised to me by many people, the more it is desired by me, since I long to enjoy your presence and conversation.]
A letter (1106) from Matilda of Scotland, queen of the English, to Anselm

I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that I’m looking forward to a wonderful term enjoying the presence and conversation of our fantastic medieval community. We have so many wonderful things lined up for you this term. To get a taste of everything to come, please see our brand new Trinity Term Medieval Booklet. A compressed copy is attached to the weekly email for your convenience, but for all of the latest updates and the booklet in its high-quality glory, see the online version here.

Here are the week’s announcements, events and opportunities:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Save the date: A workshop on practices of contrafacture of monophonic song (1150-1550) will take place on 20th June at 10am-7pm, in the Committee Room, Faculty of Music. The schedule will be split into two parts: the first half is reserved for presentations of individual papers with a following discussion, in the second half we will collectively examine and interpret further selected case studies. Anybody interested is welcome to attend the presentations and take part in the discussions. If you want to attend or if you have questions, please email Philip Wetzler.
  • Register now for the Oxford Medieval Society Chain Maille Workshop! Week 4, Friday 17th May, 2-5.30pm, in St John’s College New Seminar Room. Come and learn how to make chain maille with Master Maille Maker Nick Checksfield! Nick is a world-leading expert in medieval chain maille, and will be visiting Oxford Medieval Society for an all-you-need-to-know workshop. Don’t miss out, places are limited! Tickets: £15. Refreshments will be provided. To register, click here.
  • Registration open: Workshop: Binding the world, withholding life. Poetry Books in the Medieval Mediterranean. Register via Eventbrite for online attendance. Online registration closes 2 hours before the start of the event. You will be sent the joining link within 24 hours of the event, 2 hours before and once again 15 minutes before the event starts. The full programme will be shared after registration and on https://torch.ox.ac.uk/event/binding-the-world-withholding-life.-poetry-books-in-the-medieval-mediterranean.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 22nd April:

  • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 5pm in the Summer Common Room, Magdalen College. This week’s speaker will be Catherine McIlwaine (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), “Being a cult figure in one’s lifetime is not at all pleasant”: Tolkien’s relationship with his fans. For more information, please see https://tolkien50.web.ox.ac.uk/.
  • A Talk by Dr. Stephanie Pambakian will take place at 5PM in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Lecture Room 1. Dr. Pambakian (Tübingen / Venice Ca’Foscari) will be speaking on A 7th-century Armenian Cosmology: Anania Širakac’i’s treatise on the Universe.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams. 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). Alternatively, you can use this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk. This week’s speaker will be Lindy Grant (Reading), ‘Eleanor of Aquitaine: the power of a queen and duchess‘.

Tuesday 23rd April:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 12.15pm in Lecture Room 2, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Christine Rauer (St Andrews), The Earliest Insular Almanac?: Types of Information in Old English and Insular Latin Calendrical Texts. Seminars followed by a sandwich lunch. All welcome!
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5.15pm in the Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker will be Alexander Murray (Univ.). Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.
  • First Lyell Lecture: The transmission of Julius Caesar’s Civil War at 5.15 at the Weston Library lecture theatre by Stephen Oakley (Cambridge): Copying the Classics (and Fathers): explorations in the transmission of Latin text. Book her for in-person attendance or live-stream.
  • The Medieval French Seminar meets at 5pm at the Maison Francaise. Drinks will be served from 5pm; the presentations will start at 5:15pm. All are welcome! This week’s speaker will be Tom Hinton (University of Exeter), ‘What Did A French Language Learning Text Look Like in Medieval Britain?’.

Wednesday 24th April:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets at 11.15am in Oriel College King Edward Street 7 (Annette Volfing’s office; press the intercom buzzer to be let in). It will be a shortish planning meeting. The topic for this term is Konrad von Würzburg: ‘Der Schwanritter’. Open access edition here. If you are interested to be added to the teams group for updates, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles, Oxford, and online via Teams. Teams link: https://msteams.link/FW0C. This week’s speaker will be Thea Ravasi (University of Newcastle) – ‘Imperial benefaction, sanitary and religious practices in 4th-century Rome. The archaeology of the Baptistery of St. John Lateran revisited’.

Thursday 25th April:

  • The All Souls Seminar in Medieval and Early Modern Science meets at 2-3.30pm in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Michael Hunter (Birkbeck), Robert Boyle’s Strange Reports: From the Outlandish to the Supernatural.
  • Second Lyell Lecture: The transmission of the Corpus Cyprianum and Pontius’ Life of Cyprian at 5.15 at the Weston Library lecture theatre by Stephen Oakley (Cambridge): Copying the Classics (and Fathers): explorations in the transmission of Latin text. Book her for in-person attendance or live-stream.
  • The Oxford Old English Work in Progress Seminar (WOOPIE) meets at 5.15pm in the History of the Book Room, English Faculty. Prof. Paul Cavill (University of Nottingham) will speak on “Gathering up the Fragments: Homiletic Fragment II”. All welcome. If you would like to attend, please contact francis.leneghan@ell.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Visual Culture Seminar meets at 5pm at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, Arumugam Building. All welcome! This week’s speaker will be Lucy Wrapson, University of Cambridge, ‘Colour Conventions and Material Hierarchies on Late-Medieval Rood Screens‘.

Friday 26th April:

  • The Medieval Coffee Morning meets as usual 10:30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (instructions how to find it) with presentation of items from the special collections, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
  • David Wiles (Emeritus Professor of Drama, University of Exeter) is performing the pseudo-Senecan Roman history play Octavia in the exuberant rhetorical language of the 1561 translation in the Wolfson College Buttery at 1.15pm, under the aegis of the Ancient World Research Cluster. The play lasts for half an hour; watch a recording here. You may have seen previous productions in the garden of St Edmund Hall – last year, Mary Magdalene Play from the Carmina Burana. This is also early notice that there hopefully will be another Medieval Mystery Cycle in 2025, probably 26 April in St Edmund Hall – mark the date!
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Oxford Medieval Manuscripts Group (OMMG) meets at 5pm in the Weston Library. Martin Kauffmann, Bodleian Library will speak on A. C. (Tilly) de la Mare and the Formation of a Palaeographer. Places are limited, please write to Elena Lichmanova by 24/04/2024.

Saturday 27th April:

  • Special Event: Creating Chaucer. 11am-4pm at the Weston Library. Join the collective of Oxford medievalists to explore Chaucer’s world through creative activities, talks and discussion!
    • Take a highlights tour of the exhibition Chaucer Here and Now with curator Marion Turner
    • Make a moving puppet of Chaucer with Sigi Koerner
    • Learn cartoon drawing in a live session with artist Kristen Haas Curtis
    • Create your own original traveller’s tale and make a Tabard Inn for its telling  
    • Take the constellation challenge and discover how horoscopes were read in Chaucer’s day with Shelley Williams
    • Make a pilgrim badge as a souvenir of your visit
    • Print a Chaucer keepsake
  • Telling Tales: Marion Turner in conversation with Patience Agbabi, 1.30 – 2pm Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre. Professor Marion Turner, curator of Chaucer Here and Now, talks to prize-winning poet Patience Agbabi, author of Telling Tales, about how and why she created her own versions of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in forms ranging from rap to sonnets. Book now
  • Living Library, 1.30 – 3.30pm. Chat to academics in our ‘Living Library’ and explore topics including:
    • Travel and travel writing in the Middle Ages with Professor Anthony Bale
    • Chaucer in the nineteenth century with Dr Clare Broome Saunders
    • Scribes and readers of Chaucer: the first century with Professor Daniel Wakelin
    • Medieval women, modern voices with Dr Laura Varnam
    • ‘Hooly blisful martir’: Chaucer’s pilgrims in Canterbury with Dr Alison Ray
    • The Medieval in the Modern with Professor Carolyne Larrington

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Call for Contributions: Medicine at the Fringes in the Northern World (1000-1500): Proposals for engaging essays (approximately 9,000 words) are warmly welcomed that explore and challenge our understanding of medicine in the Nordic-Atlantic areas. The essays will challenge conventional perspectives and delve into the intriguing realms of illness, health, body, disability, and medicine as depicted in manuscripts, literature, and society from the Northern Atlantic World during the medieval era. For full details, please click here.
  • Call for Papers for Three Early Career Workshops on Old English Prose: Paper proposals are invited from graduate students and early career researchers working on or interested in Old English prose. Each workshop will be led by an expert who will talk about their own research and lead discussion on a particular aspect of Old English prose. These events will provide an opportunity for graduate students and early career researchers to discuss their research projects with other scholars and to develop new skills. For full details, please click here.
  • CFP: International Workshop: Saints and martyrs between Italy and the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity: Movements, connections, and influences. You are invited to submit an abstract (maximum 300 words) accompanied by a short CV by 24 Mai. All submissions should include your name, e-mail address and academic affiliation (if applicable). Participants are expected to give a 20–30-minute talk, followed by an extended session for discussion. The workshop will take place in person in English at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich on 22-23 November 2024. A publication is planned, for which the contributions may be in English, German or Italian. A contribution will also be made towards travel expenses. For full details, please see here: https://medieval.ox.ac.uk/2024/04/21/call-for-papers-international-workshop/

If you have forgotten to submit your Medieval Booklet entries, please do not worry: we will send a finalised version next week. Here is some final wisdom, surely on the topic of booklet omissions:

Si quid placet vestrae dilectioni mihi mandare, latori praesentium sicut mihi ipsi viva voce secure potestis intimare
[If it pleases your love to send me information about anything, you can safely tell it by word of mouth to the bearer of this letter as if to myself.] 
A letter (1102) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Matilda of Scotland

Luckily for us modern medievalists, no such go-between is necessary: you may simply and safely send me an email with all of your information about anything medieval, and I will make sure that it gets into the booklet. In the meantime, may you have a wonderful first week of term, and enjoy the sunshine!

[A rather sheepish Medievalist forgot to submit their contribution to the Booklet…]
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 25 v. 
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
 

Medieval Matters: Week 8

Here we are at the very end of term! It’s been, as always, a delight to be your guide for these past 8 weeks. Thank you for all of your wonderful seminars, reading groups, and blog posts! In the words of Anselm, couresy of the Epistolae project:

os et stilus ad proferendum quod cor sentit non sufficit
[mouth and pen are not capable of expressing what my heart feels.]
A letter (1104) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Matilda of Tuscany

Our blog post this week is a real delight: Dr Laura Varnam blogs about writing a collection of poems for the women of Beowulf. In Dr Varnam’s words, ‘My project asks, what might happen if we imagined a female poet or scop reciting Beowulf?’. The blog post explains Dr Varnam’s rationale for the project, and also features extracts from the collection. What better way to end the term than new ways to think about old poems? To read the fantastic blog post (and poems!) please click here.

We have a full week of exciting events in store for you: not least the termly OMS Lecture! Please join us on Tuesday for Peregrine Horden’s lecture on ‘Healthy Crusading in the Age of Frederick II:  the puzzle of Adam of Cremona‘: poster attached to this week’s email!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Are you interested in the history of the Turin Shroud? It will feature in Barbara Haggh’s seminar next Thursday (online), with lively discussion from the invited respondents – as well as from any knowledgeable attendees: registration link.
  • Save the date: ‘Historical research in the time of the Anthropocene: can climate data help us read the past (and, if so, how)?’ with Prof Nicola Di Cosmo will take place on May 8th, 5:00pm – 6:15pm. Registration Required To register and for more details.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 4th March:

  • The Medieval French Palaeography Reading Group meets at 10.30-12 in the Weston Library. This group is open to anyone with an interest in Old French, Middle French and Anglo-Norman manuscripts. We study and read manuscripts from the 12th century to the late 15th century. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please write to: Laure Miolo
  • The final session of the Seminar in palaeography and manuscript studies, Hilary Term 2024 takes place today:  Sara Norja (Turku) – ‘Exploring alchemical manuscripts’ Weston Library, Horton Room, 2:15-3.45pm.
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Karen Dempsey (Cardiff University), Special deposits in medieval households.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Alison Beach (St Andrews), ‘From Text to Teeth: Embodied Stories of Premodern Women at Work’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: 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). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk
  • The International Interfaith Reading Group on Manuscripts in Interfaith Contexts will meet at 6pm, online via Zoom. This week will be led by Professor Lawrence H. Schiffman, Global Distinguished Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University, USA. Prof. Schiffman will be speaking on ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls and Jewish-Christian Dialogue’. To register, please click here.
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm. We’ll be translating a range of exciting Old Norse texts! To join the mailing list, email Ashley Castelino.

Tuesday 5th March:

  • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speaker will be Sophie Charron, Oxford, ‘Queens and Popes in the Later Middle Ages: Bohemian Case Studies‘.
  • A special seminar, ‘The Medieval Library’ with Professor Teresa Webber, Trinity College, Cambridge, will take place at 2.30-4.30pm at the Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. This seminar explores the codicological and documentary evidence for reconstructing the contents and organisation of the libraries of ecclesiastical and academic institutions in the Middle Ages.
  • The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Online Conference has a session of interest to medievalists taking place at 2.30-3.45pm, online. The speakers will be Dean Irwin, University of Lincoln, “England Remembers, Jews Forget: Memory of Jews and England, 1290-1541”; Rory MacLellan, British Library, “Converts at the Royal Court in the 14th and 15th centuries”; and Cynthia Rogers, Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, Univ Texas, “Crypto Jews and Jewish Heritage in England: The Ames Family”.
  • The Old High German Reading Group will meet at 4pm in the Committee Room, 41 Wellington Square. If there is appetite amongst attendees, the group will migrate to the Lamb and Flag after the session. Handouts will be provided and no prior knowledge is required! This term the texts—with a different theme for each session—will be chosen from different sections of the Althochdeutsches Lesebuch (Braune 1994), alternating between verse and prose. This week will be Old Saxon (prose), Altsächsische Beichte (Braune XXII.5) – “Old Saxon Confession”.
  • The Oxford Medieval Studies Hilary Term Lecture, Co-hosted by the Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. Tea & coffee from 5pm; lecture begins 5.15pm. This term’s lecture is Peregrine Horden (All Souls), ‘Healthy Crusading in the Age of Frederick II:  the puzzle of Adam of Cremona‘. Everyone is welcome and there will drinks afterwards!

Wednesday 6th March:

  •  The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall, Principal’s Lodgings. Luise Morawetz will present the findings of her recently completed dissertation on the Old High German glosses of the Murbach Hymns. Further information and reading recommendations via the teams channel; if you want to be added to that: please email Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (National & Kapodistrian University of Athens) – ‘Byzantine Medicine in Light of the Global Middle Ages: Current Trends and Future Avenues’.
  • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email charles.west@regents.ox.ac.uk (Sponsored by TORCH).

Thursday 7th March:

  • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10am at Harris Lecture Theatre, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Carmen Cardelle de Hartmann (Zürich), ‘Marginalised authors, anonymous texts: the problems of attribution in medieval Latin‘.
  • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Seminar Room A. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect: svetlana.osiochfhradhapresern@jesus.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker will be Yaniv Fox (Bar-Ilan), ‘The Symbolic Worlds of Justus of Urgell and Gregory the Great’.
  • The Eastern Christianity in Interfaith Contexts Reading Group will meet at 5-6pm, online via Zoom. This week will be led by Professor Febe Armanious, Professor of History at Middlebury College, USA. Prof. Armanious will be speaking on ‘The Miracle of Pilgrimage: A Coptic Journey to the Holy Land During the Ottoman Period’. To register, please click here.
  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music meets at 5pm via Zoom. 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 just send an email to all.souls.music.seminars@gmail.com. This week’s presenter will be Barbara Haggh-Huglo (University of Maryland at College Park), ‘Guillaume Du Fay between the Church and Two Courts: A Reassessment of his Biography’, and the discussants will be Anne Walters Robertson (University of Chicago) and Reinhard Strohm (University of Oxford).
  • The Lincoln Unlocked & Oxford Bibliographical Society Lecture takes place at 5.15pm in the Oakeshott Room, Lincoln College. Georgi Parpulov will be speaking on Lincoln College’s Greek Manuscripts. We will also be streaming the talk on Zoom; if you would like the link, please contact Sarah on sarah.cusk@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5pm, online via Zoom. Please contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk for the link. This week’s speaker will be E. Wyn James, ‘Watford: man cyfarfod radicaliaethau rhyngwladol’.
  • The Medieval Women’s Writing Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm in Lincoln College Lower Lecture Room. This week’s reading will be Female Poets in Al-Andalus. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Texts for the reading group are shared on the mailing list.

Friday 8th March:

  • The Medieval Coffee Morning meets as usual 10:30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (instructions how to find it) with presentation of items from the special collections, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace. This week there will be a special display for International Women’s Day!
  • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison (david.addison@all-souls.ox.ac.uk) and Alison John (alison.john@all-souls.ox.ac.uk).
  • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, in Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. Those who are interested can contact Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo via email: Lindsay Mccormack and Laure Miolo
  • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Corpus Christi College Auditorium. This week’s speaker will be Anine Englund (University of Oxford) 
    “In the halls of Mandos”: Death, Deathlessness and Inter-Racial Relations in Beren and Lúthien. Free access (no need to book).

Finally, some wisdom for us all as we set off on research trips, conferences, and visits to family for the Easter vac:

Multae sunt aquarum congregationes inter me et te, tamen caritate iungamur quia vera caritas numquam locorum limite frangitur. 
[Many are the congregations of water between me and you, yet let us be joined in love because true love is never divided by the borders between places.] 
A letter (770s) from Berhtgyth to Balthard

Whether you’re staying in Oxford or going away over the congregations of water, know that OMS will be here waiting for you when you return. For those visiting scholars who are leaving us after this term: thank you for being part of our community, and please know that you always have a place at Oxford, whose love for the medieval is never divided by the borders between places!

[Wherever they may travel to, a Medievalist is never alone!]
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 23 v. 
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
 

Medieval Matters: Week 7

We are heading towards the end of term but we still have plenty more events in store for you! Of course, the brevity of the Oxford term can make it feel as though the year is passing by very quickly, but we are still at the beginning of the calendar year. For those who, like me, are panicking that the weeks seem to be flying by at quite a pace, here is some comforting wisdom from the Epistolae project:

quantumcumque nobis videamur profecisse, semper iudicemus nos nondum nisi ad initium proficiendi pervenisse
[however much we may regard ourselves to be making progress we must always consider that we have only reached the beginning of our progress]
A letter (1093) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Ida of Lorraine

I take this to mean: even though Hilary Term and February are drawing to a close, we still have plenty of time to achieve fantastic medievalist things this year! Speaking of fantastic medievalist things, we have a full calendar of events and also many announcements this week – please peruse at your leisure:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • This Thursday: “The hooly blisful martir for to seke: Manuscripts with Chaucer’s pilgrims”. Oxford Medieval Society talk and manuscript session with Andrew Dunning (Bodleian, Jesus) and Alison Ray (St Peter’s, All Souls). Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales tell the story of pilgrims ‘from every shires ende / Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende’. Experience these journeys, both real and imagined, at 15:00–16:30 at the Weston Library Lecture Theatre, where we’ll explore the Chaucer Here and Now exhibition at the Bodleian Library and enjoy a private showing of manuscripts relating to pilgrimage and Thomas Becket. Entry is free, and all are welcome. To have an idea of numbers, please let us know if you’re coming at oxfordmedievalsociety@gmail.com.
  • Registration is now open for the 2024 Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference: ‘Signs and Scripts,’ which will take place on the 8th and 9th of April at the Maison Française d’Oxford. Please register for either in-person or online attendance at https://oxgradconf.wixsite.com/omgc/scripts-signs before March 15th. This year’s conference includes keynote lectures by Prof. Sophie Page (UCL) and Dr Hannah Ryley (Oxford).
  • Postponed: OMS Classics Reading Group Due to a number of reasons, OMS Classics Reading Group will not meet again until Trinity term.
  • Registration is now open for the Gender and Sainthood Conference! ‘Gender and Sainthood, c. 1100–1500’ will take place at the History Faculty on 5-6 April. Registration for in-person attendance is open until 10 March, and for online attendance until 3 April. Registration is open via this link: https://forms.office.com/e/rCinyKesGq. See the programme on our blog here.
  • Exhibition: New College Library is hosting a special exhibition ‘Medicine and Anatomy’, on Thursday 29th February 12PM-4PM, and have got quite a few medical manuscripts on display! For further information, please email Caitlín Kane (caitlin.kane@new.ox.ac.uk).
  • Room change: please note that the Medieval Women’s Writing research seminar on 29th February “Transforming the Material to Curate the Spiritual” will now take place at 47 Wellington Square Ground Floor Lecture Room 1.
  • Registration open: University of Reading GCMS Conference 2024. Thu, 14 Mar 2024 09:30 – 16:30 GMT. Please join us for a day of fascinating papers on saints and angels, followed by an open discussion on the topic in a supportive environment. To register, please click here.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 26th February:

  • The Medieval French Palaeography Reading Group meets at 10.30-12 in the Weston Library. This group is open to anyone with an interest in Old French, Middle French and Anglo-Norman manuscripts. We study and read manuscripts from the 12th century to the late 15th century. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please write to: laure.miolo@history.ox.ac.uk
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Lyn Blackmore (Museum of London Archaeology), The seventh-century bed burial at Harpole: Aspects of recent work.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be George Garnett (Oxford), ‘James Campbell, William Stubbs, and German Idealism’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: 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). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk
  • The Italian Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm at the Taylor Institution Library, Main Hall. Alessandro Scafi (Warburg Institute, London) will present a guest lecture entitled “Time, Space, and Matter: Dante and the Paradise Paradox.” All members of the university are welcome. For any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact italian.res-sem@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 27th February:

  • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speaker will be Trevor Dean, University of Roehampton, Families and Assassination Narratives in Italy and Europe.
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar will meet at the Maison Francaise d’Oxford on Norham Road. Drinks will be available from 5pm; presentations start at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker will be Dr Kate Travers (St Hugh’s, Oxford) ‘French Narratives, Italian Contexts: Approaching Chivalric Literature in Northern Italy’. All are welcome! For more information or to be added to the seminar maillist, please contact helen.swift@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. Tea & coffee from 5pm; papers begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speakers are Richard Gameson and Andy Beeby (Durham): aka Team Pigment, ‘Pigment Identification:  how, when, where, and why‘. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar!

Wednesday 28th February:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall, Old Library. Julia Lorenz and Marlene Schilling will discuss women and writ the writings by ‘Frau Ava’, the first women author whose name we know, transmitted in the Vorau Manuscript. We will work with the edition by Maike Claußnitzer and Kassandra Sperl. We will meet in the Old Library in St Edmund Hall. Tea and coffee are provided but please bring your own mug! Further information and reading recommendations via the teams channel; if you want to be added to that: please email Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Ekaterina Nechaeva (Université de Lille) – ‘Elite captives and defectors between Rome and Sasanian Iran. A prosopographical approach’.
  • The “Unprovenanced” Lecture Series (hosted by the Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures) meets at 5.15pm in The Memorial Room at The Queen’s College, Oxford. The speaker will be Yağmur Heffron, UCL, ‘Fruits of the poisonous tree: unprovenanced artefacts and the ethics of consuming archaeological knowledge’. For full details, please see our blog.
  • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email charles.west@regents.ox.ac.uk (Sponsored by TORCH).

Thursday 29th February:

  • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10-12 in Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Daniel Wakelin (Oxford) – ‘Editing the everyday in Middle English’.
  • A Book Presentation: THE LAILASHI CODEX: The Crown of Georgian Jewry – Survival in Soviet Times will take place at 11am in the McGregor Matthews room at New College, Oxford. The presentation will be convened by Dr Thea Gomelauri, Director of the Oxford Interfaith Forum, and Associated Member of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford. For more details please click here.
  • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Habakuk Room. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect: Svetlana Ó Siochfhradha Prešern.
  • The Oxford Medieval Society talk and manuscript session “The hooly blisful martir for to seke: Manuscripts with Chaucer’s pilgrims”, with Andrew Dunning (Bodleian, Jesus) and Alison Ray (St Peter’s, All Souls) will take place at 3-4.30pm at the Weston Library Lecture Theatre.  Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales tell the story of pilgrims ‘from every shires ende / Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende’. Experience these journeys, both real and imagined, at the Weston Library Lecture Theatre, where we’ll explore the Chaucer Here and Now exhibition at the Bodleian Library and enjoy a private showing of manuscripts relating to pilgrimage and Thomas Becket. 
  • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker will be Alan Ross (Ohio) ‘Julian in Gaul’.
  • The Medieval Women’s Writing Research Seminar meets at 5-6.30pm at 47 Wellington Square Ground Floor Lecture Room 1. This week’s speaker is Carolin Gluchowski (New College, Oxford), Transforming the Material to Curate the Spiritual: Late-Medieval Prayerbook Revisions in the Cistercian Convent of Medingen. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Funded by the “TORCH Critical-Thinking Communities” fund.
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5pm, online via Zoom. Please contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk for the link. This week’s speaker will be Elaine Treharne, ‘Moved by the nature of art’: Welsh poets and the medieval’.
  • The Old Occitan Literature Workshop meets at 5-6pm at Taylor Institution, Rm2. In Hilary term, we will read and translate extracts from texts written in Old Occitan. All welcome! Please email the address below for details of the texts we will be working on. Interested members will be invited to translate short passages which we will then workshop in meetings 2 and 3. To sign up, or for any other queries, email Kate Travers
  • The Oxford Old English Work-In-Progress Seminar (WOOPIE) meets at 5.15pm at St Cross Room, St Cross College. Today’s speaker will be Prof. Daniel Anlezark, University of Sydney: ‘The Origins of Anglo-Sacon Chronicle and the Eighth Century’. Followed by a drinks reception. All welcome – if you would like to attend, please contact Francis Leneghan.
  • The Italian Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm at the Taylor Institution Library, Main Hall. Marta Arnaldi (Oxford) will moderate a joint book launch, “Creative Criticism and Other Stories: Elena Lombardi and Nicola Gardini in Dialogue”, for Elena Lombardi (Oxford) and Nicola Gardini (Oxford), who have respectively published Ulysses, Dante, and Other Stories (ICT Berlin Press 2023) and Io sono salute. Quando la letteratura incontra la medicina (Aboca Edizioni 2023). All members of the university are welcome. For any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact italian.res-sem@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.
  • Sung Latin Compline in the Norman crypt of St-Peter-in-the-East (library church of St Edmund Hall) at 9:30pm. Contact Henrike Lähnemann if you would like to come and are not a member of St Edmund Hall.

Friday 1st March:

  • The Medieval Coffee Morning meets as usual 10:30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (instructions how to find it) with presentation of items from the special collections, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
  • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison and Alison John.
  • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, in Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. Those who are interested can contact Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo via email: Lindsay Mccormack and Laure Miolo
  • The Tolkein 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Faculty of Classics Lecture Theatre. This week’s speaker will be Eduardo Gutierrez (University of Oxford), ‘Tolkien Beyond Tolkien: Unleashing the Sub-Creative Imagination in an Era of Bridge Building‘. Free access (no need to book).
  • The Oxford Medieval Manuscripts Group (OMMG) meets at 5pm at Merton College, Mure Room. This week’s speaker will be Peter Kidd, Independent Researcher, ‘Provenance and Medieval Manuscripts: A Case Study’. Drinks reception and dinner at Gino’s. All welcome! To subscribe to our mailing list, participate in library visits, propose a presentation of your research for work in progress meetings, or submit any queries, please write to: elena.lichmanova@merton.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm, at St Hilda’s College, and on Zoom. Please let us know if you would like to attend, either in person or on Zoom. The text – some Jousting Letters from Edinburgh – will be provided via Padlet, and refreshments as usual to help us along. All welcome, at any level of Medieval French! Please contact Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss for further details.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • The University of Exeter is delighted to advertise a PhD studentship, fully funded for four years from September 2024, for a project focusing on the learning of French in medieval Britain or in a related field of enquiry as more broadly conceived. Relevant fields might include historical linguistics, codicology, textual-literary studies and social, educational or intellectual history. The studentship will be attached to the project ‘Learning Anglo-French: French Language-Learning Manuscripts in Britain, c.1200-c.1500’, awarded by an ERC Consolidator Grant and funded by UKRI under the Horizon Europe guarantee scheme, and will be supervised by the project PI, Prof Thomas Hinton. Further details, including how to apply, can be found via the following link: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/funding/award/?id=5060. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Prof Hinton (t.g.hinton@exeter.ac.uk) with any preliminary enquiries.

Finally, some more wisdom from Anselm as we move into March:

Vita praesens via est. Nam quamdiu vivit homo, non facit nisi ire.
[This life is a journey. For as long as man lives, he is always moving]
A letter (c.1107) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Basilia

I wish you productivity as we move into seventh week, and warmer days as we move into March and, soon, Spring! May your week be a journey of research discovery, medievalist joys, and Oxford sunshine!

[A Medievalist, laden with research knowledge, moving through Hilary Term]
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 10 v. 
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
 

Medieval Matters: Week 6

There has been some lovely sunshine in Oxford to remind us that spring is coming, but there is still a Iot of work to be done before term is over! Our taught postgraduate students are particularly busy, at this critical stage of their degrees. For all of our master’s students (and everyone else too), if you’re feeling a little tired this week, here is some wisdom from the Epistolae project:

moneo, precor, quanto affectu possum, ut […] perseverare
[I admonish and beg you with as much affection as I can that you may strive to persevere]
A letter (1102) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Edith

Of course, it’s much easier to strive and persevere when you have such a wonderful community around you. For this week’s blog spot I’d like to highlight the joy that is the medievalists coffee morning. This is a fantastic way to meet other medievalists, and also to meet some fantastic manuscripts. There are regular presentations – for a taste of some past sessions, you can view Andrew Dunning’s presentation on facsimiles at the Bodleian here, and Oxford Medieval Studies presents: Medieval Treasures of the Bodleian Library here. For more videos, and all of the details you need to attend the coffee morning, please see our blog post here.

We have another fantastic week ahead of us – see below for the full lineup!

    ANNOUNCEMENTS:

    • This year’s Keble Early Music Festival runs from 21-24 February, with a packed schedule of professional and student performances, workshops and talks. Of particular interest to OMS readers will be the performance by the award-winning Binchois Consort, celebrating 550 years of the afterlife of Guillaume Du Fay, taking place in the stunning surroundings of Keble Chapel at 8pm on Wednesday 21 February. All details of this and other events can be found at www.keble.ox.ac.uk/kemf.

    EVENTS THIS WEEK:

    Monday 19th February:

    • The Medieval French Palaeography Reading Group meets at 10.30-12 in the Weston Library. This group is open to anyone with an interest in Old French, Middle French and Anglo-Norman manuscripts. We study and read manuscripts from the 12th century to the late 15th century. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please write to: Laure Miolo
    • The Seminar in Palaeography and Manuscript Studies meets at 2:15-3:45pm in the Weston Library, Horton Room. Access is by Bodleian/University card via the reader gates, Weston Library. Non-cardholders welcome but must emailbookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk at least 24 hours in advance. This week’s speaker will be David D’Avray (Oxford) – ‘Researching papal history across multiple genres of manuscript’.
    • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be John Naylor (PAS, Oxford), The use of gold coins in Anglo-Saxon graves.
    • The Eastern Christianity in Interfaith Contexts Reading Group will meet at 5-6pm, online via Zoom. This week will be led by Professor Laura Lieber, Professor of Religious Studies at Duke University, USA. Prof. Lieber will be speaking on ‘Setting the Stage: The Rose of Performance in Studying Late Ancient Hymnody‘. To register, please click here.
    • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Nicholas Morton (Nottingham Trent), ‘Re-examining the role of inter-faith rivalry as the main driver of conflict in the Middle East at the time of the Crusades’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: 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). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk
    • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm. We’ll be translating a range of exciting Old Norse texts! To join the mailing list, email Ashley Castelino.

    Tuesday 20th February:

    • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speaker will be Judith Bennett, USC Dornsife, ‘City of Women: Singlewomen, Spinners, and Houseling People in Late Medieval Coventry‘.
    • The Old High German Reading Group will meet at 4pm in the Committee Room, 41 Wellington Square. If there is appetite amongst attendees, the group will migrate to the Lamb and Flag after the session. Handouts will be provided and no prior knowledge is required! This term the texts—with a different theme for each session—will be chosen from different sections of the Althochdeutsches Lesebuch (Braune 1994), alternating between verse and prose. This week will be Moral instruction (verse), Memento Mori (Braune XLII).
    • The Medieval Poetry Reading Group meets at 4pm – 5pm in the Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building. We warmly welcome academics and students of any level and with any background. Coffee, tea, and biscuits are offered to participants. This week’s topic will be Forms of Medieval Greek Poetry. Registration is required: If interested, please send an email in advance to ugo.mondini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. Tea & coffee from 5pm; papers begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker is James Miller (Univ), ‘The Body of St Benedict and the History of Monasticism‘. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar!
    • The Oxford Medieval Society Latin and Ancient Greek Reading Group meets at 5-6pm, in the ground floor lecture room 2 at 47 Wellington Square. Ancient Greek will be read in odd weeks, and Latin in even weeks. We hope to expand our understanding of these languages for the betterment of our own medieval studies by reading texts that are referenced or known of in the medieval world; please note that this is not a strict rule. Anyone from any background is welcome to attend. To register your interest, or for more information, please contact the society at oxfordmedievalsociety@gmail.com

    Wednesday 21st February:

    • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall, Principal’s Lodgings. This week, Felix Kraft will present his doctoral project on ‘geistliches Lied’ and discuss with us medieval and medievalism implications of the topic. Further information and reading recommendations via the teams channel; if you want to be added to that: please email Henrike Lähnemann.
    • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Habakuk Room. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect: Svetlana Ó Siochfhradha Prešern.
    • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
    • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Niels Gaul (University of Edinburgh) – ‘PAIXUE Byzantine and Tang/Song literati culture’.
    • The Medieval English Research Seminar will meet at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, St Cross Building. Today’s speaker will be Michael Kuczynski (Tulane), ‘Chaucer’s Parson in London’. The seminar will be followed by a wine reception. All welcome! 
    • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email Charles West.

    Thursday 22nd February:

    • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10-12 in Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Gideon Bohak (Tel Aviv) – ‘Editing nasty texts: Gzar-dina de-Yeshu (‘The Sentencing of Jesus’) as a test-case‘.
    • The Environmental History Working Group meets at 12.30-2pm, in the History Faculty. For further information, please contact Ryan Mealiffe.
    • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker will be James Corke-Webster (KCL) ‘Letters of Refuge: From Ancient Lyons to Modern Calais’.
    • The Medieval Visual Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in St Catherine’s College, Arumagam Building. This week’s speaker will be Paul Binksi (University of Cambridge), ‘Henry III’s Bed: Peace and Sacred Space at Westminster’.
    • The Medieval Women’s Writing Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm in Lincoln College Lower Lecture Room. This week’s reading will be Gwerful Mechain’s Erotic Poetry. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Texts for the reading group are shared on the mailing list.
    • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5.15pm, online via Teams. Please contact david.willis@ling-phil.ox.ac.uk if you need a link to join online. This week’s speaker will be Brent Miles (University of Toronto), ‘Kunstprosa or dodgy Welsh? Some challenges preparing a students’ edition of Ystorya Dared “Dares’s History of Troy”’

    Friday 23rd February:

    • The Medieval Coffee Morning meets as usual 10:30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (instructions how to find it) with presentation of items from the special collections, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
    • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison (david.addison@all-souls.ox.ac.uk) and Alison John (alison.john@all-souls.ox.ac.uk).
    • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, in Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. Those who are interested can contact Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo via email: Lindsay Mccormack and Laure Miolo
    • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Faculty of Classics Lecture Theatre. This week’s speaker will be John Garth (Writer and Journalist) Inventing on the hoof: How the Riders of Rohan suddenly became Anglo-Saxon. Free access (no need to book).

    OPPORTUNITIES:

    • Summer School: The University of Graz is hosting a summer school on Computational Language Technologies for Medievalists from 8th to 12th July 2024. This five-day program will equip participants with essential skills in Natural Language Processing (NLP) specifically tailored to the challenges of working with medieval languages.Application deadline is March 15, 2024.For further information and the application link, please visit our website: https://didip.eu/nlp-summer-school-2024
    • CFP: DPhil/PhD student papers for the Network Poetry in the Medieval World: the network is delighted to introduce “Projecting Poetry”, an initiative designed to promote cross-disciplinary discussion, foster collaboration, and provide a platform for DPhil/PhD students engaged in research across various fields and working on medieval poetry. The goal is to create an opportunity to present ongoing research to a diverse audience of fellow students and seniors. For full details, please see here.

    Finally, some more wisdom from Anselm, suitable for those trying to work to a research deadline:

    Qui enim in minimis servat diligentiam, non facile admittit in maioribus negligentiam.
    [Whoever observes diligence in the smallest details will not easily permit negligence in more important things.]
    A letter (1102) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Edith

    I interpret this to mean that a week of careful footnoting or indexing is still a week well spent! I wish you every diligence in your endeavours this week, and wish you all success in both the smallest details and important things!

    [A Medievalist pins down a footnote]
    St John’s College MS. 61, f. 32 v. 
    By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
    Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
     

    Medievalists Coffee Mornings!

    When: Fridays, 10.30-11.30 am

    Where: Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library
    How to get there: via the Readers Entrance on Parks Road, 2nd floor via the staircase/elevator just straight ahead from the readers entrance (stick to the concrete part, do not use the ornamental staircase or you will land in the Conservation Department which is also nice but where no coffee is allowed)

    All medievalists working in Oxford are welcome! Join us for coffee, conversations, and many insights into the Bodleian collections, cf. the playlist ‘Weston Library Coffee Mornings’:

    Medieval Matters: Week 5

    The dreaded fifth week has arrived! Luckily today is a beautiful sunny day in Oxford, which makes everything feel a little bit brighter. If you’re still feeling weighed down by this notorious week, here is some advice from the Epistolae project:

    Deduc bonum in commune […] Ne fraudes tibi ipsi invicem.
    [Bring goodness to everybody […] And do not cheat yourself.]
    A letter (1102-03) from Matilda of Scotland, queen of the English to Anselm of Canterbury

    I take this to mean: attend many seminars and reading groups in fifth week, for this is the ideal time to share in the goodness of medieval studies! We have so many fantastic events this week which are sure to bring plenty of joy.

    If you’re struggling to find goodness to give to yourself, this newsletter hopes to bring some to you. In particular, our guest blog today should give us all something to smile about: Mathilde Mioche writes about the formation of a brand new research network at Oxford, the Oxford Medieval Manuscripts Group! Not only is this a fantastic addition to Oxford’s medieval offerings, but it’s also, excitingly, the work of some of the university’s newest medievalists, a collective of eight postgraduate students and early-career researchers who bonded in Oxford over their passion for medieval manuscripts! The founding members come from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, and truly sum up everything we love to celebrate here at OMS. This all speaks so highly for medieval studies at Oxford that it’s impossible not to smile about it – even in fifth week. To read all about the group, read Mathilde’s blog here.

    This email brings particular goodness to all of you in the form of a calendar of exciting events this week – please see below:

    ANNOUNCEMENTS:

    • Medieval Church and Culture this week meets for a tour of the Bodleian’s Conservation Studio.  We’re starting at the earlier time of 4.25 to make sure we see conservators at work.  Numbers are limited, but there are still some places left.  Please email sumner.braund@hsm.ox.ac.uk  to book your place.
    • The Macintyre History Society (Magdalen’s student-run society), are delighted to host a special talk by Professor Sarah Foot, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Dean of Christ Church, this Thursday at 5:30pm in the Sophia Sheppard Room, Magdalen College. Please see the listing below for full details.

    EVENTS THIS WEEK:

    Monday 12th February:

    • The Medieval French Palaeography Reading Group meets at 10.30-12 in the Weston Library. This group is open to anyone with an interest in Old French, Middle French and Anglo-Norman manuscripts. We study and read manuscripts from the 12th century to the late 15th century. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please write to: laure.miolo@history.ox.ac.uk
    • The Centre for Early Medieval Britain and Ireland Research Conversation takes place at 2-3.30pm at the Memorial Room, Queen’s College. Researchers at any stage or from any background are most welcome and no preparation is required; simply come prepared to talk about your research and ideas about the connection between late antiquity and the Insular world. The conversation will be tailored toward sharing insights, forging connections and building our research community. Any inquiries should be directed to conor.obrien@queens.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Claire Burridge (University of Oslo), ‘Medicine in the margins: Exploring the unexpected environments of early medieval medical knowledge’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: 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). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

    Tuesday 13th February:

    • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speaker will be Julia Bray, Oxford, ‘Families in the Muslim Middle Ages – do they Matter?‘.
    • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets for a special Bodleian Conservation Studio Visit at 4.30pm. Strictly Max. 12 places: email sumner.braund@hsm.ox.ac.uk to sign on.
    • The Medieval French Research Seminar will meet at the Maison Francaise d’Oxford on Norham Road. Drinks will be available from 5pm; presentations start at 5.15pm. This week will be a Roundtable on Professional Careers for Medieval French Postgraduates: Dr Liam Lewis (University of Nottingham), Dr Hannah Marcos (School of Advanced Study, University of London), Dr Edward Mills (University of Exeter), and Dr Kate Travers (St Hugh’s College, Oxford)  All are welcome! For more information or to be added to the seminar maillist, please contact helen.swift@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk
    • The Oxford Medieval Society Latin and Ancient Greek Reading Group meets at 5-6pm, in the ground floor lecture room 2 at 47 Wellington Square. Ancient Greek will be read in odd weeks, and Latin in even weeks. We hope to expand our understanding of these languages for the betterment of our own medieval studies by reading texts that are referenced or known of in the medieval world; please note that this is not a strict rule. Anyone from any background is welcome to attend. To register your interest, or for more information, please contact the society at oxfordmedievalsociety@gmail.com
    • The Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures (CMTC) ‘Work in Progress’ presentations. 5.15–6.45pm, Memorial Room, The Queen’s College. 1. A. D’Angelo (Rome ‘Sapienza’), ‘Catullan marginalia in the 16th century: the books of Piero Vettori’. 2. Marlene Schilling (Oxford), ‘A special form of devotion – personifications of time in late medieval prayer books from Northern Germany’

    Wednesday 14th February:

    • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall, Principal’s Drawing Room. This week, Philip Wetzel will present his dissertation on medieval song. Further information via the teams channel; if you want to be added to that: please email Henrike Lähnemann.
    • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Habakuk Room. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect: Svetlana Ó Siochfhradha Prešern.
    • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
    • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Alessia Zubani (University of Oxford) – ‘Automated Dialogues: Diplomacy, Technology, and Power in Late Antique and Medieval Eurasia’.
    • The Medieval English Research Seminar will meet at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, St Cross Building. Today’s speaker will be Elaine Treharne (Stanford), ‘The Presence of Abscence in Life before Death’. The seminar will be followed by a wine reception. All welcome! 
    • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email Charles West..

    Thursday 15th February:

    • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10-12 in Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Chiara Meccariello (Exeter) – ‘Papyri and textual criticism: textual microhistories, materiality, and the prioritisation of text‘.
    • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker will be Andrew Morrison (Glasgow) ‘Shaping the letter collections of Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus’.
    • The Medieval Women’s Writing Research Seminar meets at 5-6.30pm at the Main Hall of the Taylorian. This week’s speaker is Hilary Pearson, God Placed Cloisters on My Hearing: Teresa de Cartagena’s Spirituality of Deafness. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Funded by the “TORCH Critical-Thinking Communities” fund.
    • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music meets at 5pm via Zoom. 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 just send an email to all.souls.music.seminars@gmail.com. This week’s presenter will be Johanna-Pauline Thöne (University of Oslo), ‘New Interpretations and Contexts for the Motet Fragments Basel 71 and 72 ca. 1400′, and the discussants will be Antonio Calvia (Università di Pavia), Kévin Roger (University of Tours) and Anne Stone (CUNY Graduate Center)
    • The Old Occitan Literature Workshop meets at 5-6pm at Taylor Institution, Rm2. In Hilary term, we will read and translate extracts from texts written in Old Occitan. All welcome! Please email the address below for details of the texts we will be working on. Interested members will be invited to translate short passages which we will then workshop in meetings 2 and 3. To sign up, or for any other queries, email Kate Travers
    • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5.15pm, in Memorial Room, Jesus College, and online via Teams. Please contact david.willis@ling-phil.ox.ac.uk if you need a link to join online. This week’s speaker will be Ranke de Vries (St Francis Xavier University), ‘Táin Bó Cúailnge as a medical text‘.
    • The Macintyre History Society (Magdalen’s student-run society), are delighted to host a special talk by Professor Sarah Foot, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Dean of Christ Church, 5:30pm in the Sophia Sheppard Room, Magdalen College. Prof. Foot’s talk will be titled “Back to the Bible: Models of Kingship for Alfred the Great,” and she will speak for up to an hour, before audience members are invited to join in the discussion during a half-hour Q&A session. Wine will be provided, and all are welcome!

    Friday 16th February:

    • The Medieval Coffee Morning meets as usual 10:30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (instructions how to find it) with presentation of items from the special collections, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
    • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison (david.addison@all-souls.ox.ac.uk) and Alison John (alison.john@all-souls.ox.ac.uk).
    • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, in Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. Those who are interested can contact Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo via email: lindsay.mccormack@lincoln.ox.ac.uk and laure.miolo@history.ox.ac.uk
    • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Merton College T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre. This week’s speaker will be Dion Dobrzynski (University of Birmingham), ‘Ents and Ecological Entanglements‘. Free access (no need to book). Please email julia.walworth@merton.ox.ac.uk if you need step-free access.
    • The Oxford Medieval Manuscripts Group (OMMG) meets at 5pm at Merton College, Hawkins Room. This week’s seminar will be a Work in Progress Meeting for Presentation and discussion of articles, thesis chapters, and conference papers in progress that concern medieval manuscripts. To subscribe to our mailing list, participate in library visits, propose a presentation of your research for work in progress meetings, or submit any queries, please write to: elena.lichmanova@merton.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm, at St Hilda’s College, and on Zoom. Please let us know if you would like to attend, either in person or on Zoom. The text – some Jousting Letters from Edinburgh – will be provided via Padlet, and refreshments as usual to help us along. All welcome, at any level of Medieval French! Please contact Stephanie Hathaway <stephanie.hathaway@gmail.com> or Jane Bliss <jane.bliss@lmh.oxon.org>for further details. In association with Oxford Medieval Studies, sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

    OPPORTUNITIES:

    For those still feeling in need of some cheer this fifth week, here is some advice from the eleventh century:

    Cum pondus auri radiantis attenditur, labor itineris levigatur.
    [When the weight of shining gold is considered, the labor of the journey is lightened] 
    A letter (1059-60) from Peter Damian to Blanche, Countess of Milan

    May you find a weight of shining gold in your research efforts this week, but if you don’t quite reach it, I hope that the labor of journeying towards your goals is at least made lighter by sunshine, unexpected discoveries, and above all, good medievalist company!

    [A medievalist struggles with fifth week… luckily a fellow medievalist approaches to help!]
    St John’s College MS. 61, f. 33 v. 
    By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
    Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
     

    Medieval Matters: Week 4

    Here we are at the midpoint of term. This is usually the point where I realise that the term is going by very quickly, and has been so busy that many of the things I had promised myself to achieve ‘by February’ are still on my to-do list! If this sounds familiar, here is some motivation from the Epistolae project:

    Vestrum enim propositum, semper debet niti ad profectum
    [Your intention should always be to strive for progress]
    A letter (1106) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Eulalia

    Of course, Oxford’s medievalists have been consistently ‘striving towards progress’ this term. Our blog post this week comes from a collaboration between Annabel Hancock, Bee Jones, James Cogbill, and Susannah Bain, who last month hosted an international workshop on ‘Scales of Governance: Local Agency and Political Authority in Eurasia, 1000-1500’. The workshop was partially funded by OMS, and is a great example of the kind of thing that you can apply for small grant funding for. To read more about the fantastic range of papers at the workshop, and the organisers’ reflections on it, please click here.

    There are so many exciting medieval events to help us strive towards research progress this week, and also many announcements for upcoming events. Please see the full listings below:

    ANNOUNCEMENTS:

    • Special events on Saturday 10 February: 11am Interfaith Harmony: Singing from Medieval Manuscripts as part of the One World Festival at the Ashmolean, followed 2pm by a lecture on World Religions and Peace Education organised by the Oxford Interfaith Forum in the Taylorian.
    • Book Launch Invitation: Emperor John II Komnenos: Rebuilding New Rome 1118-1143: You are invited to the book launch for Emperor John II Komnenos: Rebuilding New Rome 1118-1143 (OUP) at 6pm on Friday 9th of February, to be held in the Naz Shah Centre, Worcester College Oxford, and supported by the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research. Please indicate your attendance by filling in this form by Wednesday 7th February: https://forms.gle/wDA1HMoLXhThdy8P8
    • CMTC presents — “Work in Progress” Colloquium (Hilary Term 2024). Tuesday the 13th of February 2024, 5,15–6,45pm UK time, Memorial Room, The Queen’s College. For the programme, please click here.
    • Books of Hours: A Showcase: 19 February 2024, 5.30pm – 6.30pm. New College Library and Medieval Women’s Writing invite you to attend a workshop showcasing New College’s Books of Hours. Beginning with a talk by New College’s Special Collections Curatorial Assistant Caitlín Kane, we will view and discuss seven Books of Hours from the New College collection. For full details and to register, please click here.
    • Love Research Data – Find Your Perfect Research Data Management Match: Wednesday 14 February, 2pm – 5pm, Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford. Join us to find your perfect match when it comes to storing and sharing your research data. For full information, please click here.
    • The Sleep and the Rhythms of Life Network is hosting a special event on Thursday 29 February 2024, 5.15pm on the topic of Sleep, Insomnia and Wellbeing: Historical Perspectives. The papers will be Brigitte Steger (University of Cambridge): “At night I lie in bed but cannot sleep” – Insomnia and loneliness in early Japanese literature ; and Megan Leitch (Cardiff University): ‘Sleeping it Off: Sleep, Wellbeing and the Emotions in Middle English Literature’. For full details and registration information, please click here.
    • Oxford University Byzantine Society Conference: We are delighted to announce the finalised programme (and opening of advance registration for online attendance) for the Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 26th Annual International Graduate Conference ‘Transgression in Late Antiquity and Byzantium’, taking place on the 24th-25th February, 2024 at the Faculty of History, George Street, OX1 2BE. To see the programme and read more, please visit our blog here.

    EVENTS THIS WEEK:

    Monday 5th February:

    • The Medieval French Palaeography Reading Group meets at 10.30-12 in the Weston Library. This group is open to anyone with an interest in Old French, Middle French and Anglo-Norman manuscripts. We study and read manuscripts from the 12th century to the late 15th century. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please write to: Laure Miolo
    • The Seminar in Palaeography and Manuscript Studies takes place at 2.15-3.45pm, in the Weston Library, Horton Room. Today’s speaker will be Alison Ray (Oxford) – ‘Pecia manuscripts’. Access is by Bodleian/University card via the reader gates, Weston Library. Non-cardholders welcome but must email bookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk at least 24 hours in advance.
    • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Kate Franklin (Birkbeck College), Making a World in Mongol Armenia: Vayots Dzor on the Silk Road.
    • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Emily Winkler (Oxford), ‘Thinking about Grief and Loss in the High Middle Ages’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: 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). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medieval history.
    • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm. We’ll be translating a range of exciting Old Norse texts! To join the mailing list, email Ashley Castelino.

    Tuesday 6th February:

    • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speakers will be Jane Whittle and Grace Owen, University of Exeter, ‘Acknowledging the known unknowns: gender and wage labour in late medieval England‘.
    • The Old High German Reading Group will meet at 4pm in the Committee Room, 41 Wellington Square. If there is appetite amongst attendees, the group will migrate to the Lamb and Flag after the session. Handouts will be provided and no prior knowledge is required! This week will be Daily life (prose), Sangaller Schularbeit & Contra Paralysin Theutonice (handout to be provided) – “St Gallen School Work” & “Medicine for Gout”
    • The Medieval Poetry Reading Group meets at 4pm – 5pm in the Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building. We warmly welcome academics and students of any level and with any background. Coffee, tea, and biscuits are offered to participants. This week’s topic will be Introduction to the Reading Group & Greek Romance in Verse. Registration is required: If interested, please send an email in advance to ugo.mondini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. Tea & coffee from 5pm; papers begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker is Helena Hamerow (Institute of Archaeology), ‘Women of the Conversion Period: a biomolecular investigation of mobility‘. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar!
    • The Oxford Medieval Society Latin and Ancient Greek Reading Group meets at 5-6pm, in the ground floor lecture room 2 at 47 Wellington Square. Ancient Greek will be read in odd weeks, and Latin in even weeks. We hope to expand our understanding of these languages for the betterment of our own medieval studies by reading texts that are referenced or known of in the medieval world; please note that this is not a strict rule. Anyone from any background is welcome to attend. To register your interest, or for more information, please contact the society at Oxford Medieval Society.

    Wednesday 7th February:

    • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall, Old Library. In Hilary Term, we are going to discuss the writings by ‘Frau Ava’, the first women author whose name we know, transmitted in the Vorau Manuscript, discussing this week with Rebecca Schleuß the Latin phrases in the poems. Further information and reading recommendations via the teams channel; if you want to be added to that: please email Henrike Lähnemann.
    • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
    • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Matt Canepa (University of California, Irvine) – ‘Festive Discipline and Punishment
      in a Global Late Antiquity: The Iranian Political Sensorium as an Afro-Eurasian Technology of Power
      ’.
    • The Medieval English Research Seminar will meet at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, St Cross Building. Today’s speaker will be Marco Nievergelt (Paris), ‘A Middle English Poetics of Experience? The Case of Reson and Sensuallyte’. The seminar will be followed by a wine reception. All welcome! 
    • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email Charles West.

    Thursday 8th February:

    • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10-12 in Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Colleen Curran (Galway) – ‘A new transmission of Aldhelm’s Carmen de virginitate’.
    • The Environmental History Working Group meets at 12.30-2pm, in the History Faculty. For further information, please contact Ryan Mealiffe.
    • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Habakuk Room. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect:  Svetlana Ó Siochfhradha Prešern.
    • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker will be Dorothee Schenk (Göttingen) ‘Character Networks, Semantic Networks and Social Network Analysis: Examples around Fulgentius of Ruspe’
    • The Medieval Visual Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in St Catherine’s College, Arumagam Building. This week’s speaker will be Jacopo Gnisci (University College London), ‘Sacred Space and Imperial Autority in ‘Medieval’ Ethiopia: The Portrait of Yekunno Amlak in Gannata Maryam.
    • The Medieval Women’s Writing Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm in Lincoln College Lower Lecture Room. This week’s reading will be The Lais and Fables of Marie de France. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Texts for the reading group are shared on the mailing list.
    • A Book Launch within the framework of the International Interfaith Reading Group on Manuscripts in Interfaith Contexts will meet at 6pm, online via Zoom. Dr Katherine Aron-Beller will be speaking on ‘Christian Images and Jewish Desecrators: The History of the Allegation in Manuscript Illustrations‘. To register, please click here.

    Friday 9th February:

    • The Medieval Coffee Morning meets as usual 10:30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (instructions how to find it) with presentation of items from the special collections, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
    • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison and Alison John.
    • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, in Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. Those who are interested can contact Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo via email: Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo
    • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Corpus Christi College Auditorium. This week’s speaker will be Holly Ordway (Word on Fire Institute), “Fundamentally religious and Catholic”? Authorial Intent and the Intentional Fallacy’. Free access (no need to book).

    OPPORTUNITIES:

    • Call for Papers – International Courtly Literature Society British and Irish Branch Conference 2024: Court Cultures: Texts and Contexts, Trinity College, the University of Dublin, 18-19 June 2024. We invite proposals in French or in English (maximum 200 words) for either 20-minute papers or full panels of three papers (each of 20 minutes duration) to be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday 16 February 2024 to Dr Sarah Alyn Stacey (salynsta at tcd.ie) and Dr Thomas Hinton (T.G.Hinton at exeter.ac.uk ). Acceptance of papers will be confirmed by Friday 1 March 2024.
    • The Mary Rose Trust are looking for volunteer speakers across the country who are able to conduct talks on the Mary Rose on our behalf in an authoritative and entertaining way. For full details, please see their blog post here.

    Finally, a reminder that slow progress is still good progress:

    Utique sicut verum est: “qui modica despicit, paulatim decidit,” ita verum est quia qui modica non despicit, paulatim proficit.
    [As it is true that “one who despises the little things fails little by little” so it is true that one who does not despise the little things progresses little by little.]
    A letter (1106) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Eulalia

    I of course here take ‘modica’ to mean ‘footnotes’: those little things which can require such a lot of of time and effort in order to make seemingly very little progress! But, as Anselm reminds us: small progress is still progress! I wish you a week of many successful footnotes, and progress little by little.

    [Medievalist battling with a footnote]
    St John’s College MS. 61, f. 64 v. 
    By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
    Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
     

    Medieval Matters: Week 3

    The weather is slowly warming up, and this week marks the arrival of February: term is well and truly underway! Of course, research goes on all year round, and term time is above all about teaching. Here, then, is some fitting wisdom from the Epistolae project on the work of the teacher:

    Proinde quaestiunculas quasdam discipulae doctori, filiae patri destinantes, supplicando rogamus, rogando supplicamus, quatenus his solvendis intendere non dedigneris
    [As pupils to their teacher, daughters to their father, we are sending you some small questions, asking you as supplicants, supplicating as petitioners, that you will not disdain the task of answering them.] 
    A letter (716-20) from Egburg

    This week’s blog post is something a little bit different: we have a call for Small Grants applications! 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. Past small grants have supported reading groups, conferences, and creative-critical events! For full details, see the blog post here.

    See below for this week’s roundup:

    ANNOUNCEMENTS:

    • We invite applications for small grants (normally £100-250) to support collaborative activities by researchers at postgraduate or early-career level, taking place between the beginning of Hilary term 2024 and the end of Trinity term. Closing date for applications is 9 February. Full advertisement and application form.

    EVENTS THIS WEEK:

    Monday 29th January:

    • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at Bodleian Weston Library at 3.30-4.30pm for a special session on Exploring astronomical instruments and manuscripts. Please NB the different meeting time. Places limited: please email Lesley Smith to sign on.
    • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Andrew Wathey (TNA/All Souls), ‘Philippe de Vitry in Clement VI’s Avignon’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: 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). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medieval history.
    • The Sacred Literature in Interfaith Contexts Reading Group will meet at 6pm, online via Zoom. This week will be led by Professor Aaron Koller, Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Yeshiva University, USA. Prof. Koller will be speaking on ‘The Talmud among Victorian Christians: Polemics and Humanism in Interfaith Encounters‘. To register, please click here.

    Tuesday 30th January:

    • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speaker will be Jose Andres Porras, Oxford, ‘Florentine Orphans and their Parents‘.
    • The Medieval French Research Seminar will meet at the Maison Francaise d’Oxford on Norham Road. Drinks will be available from 5pm; presentations start at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker will be Professor Sarah Kay (NYU), ‘Nature and the landscape of adventure in Erec et Enide, a Macrobian perspective’ All are welcome! For more information or to be added to the seminar maillist, please contact Helen Swift
    • The Oxford Medieval Society Latin and Ancient Greek Reading Group meets at 5-6pm, in the ground floor lecture room 2 at 47 Wellington Square. Ancient Greek will be read in odd weeks, and Latin in even weeks. We hope to expand our understanding of these languages for the betterment of our own medieval studies by reading texts that are referenced or known of in the medieval world; please note that this is not a strict rule. Anyone from any background is welcome to attend. To register your interest, or for more information, please contact the society at Oxford Medieval Society.

    Wednesday 31st January:

    • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall, Old Library. In Hilary Term, we are going to discuss the writings by ‘Frau Ava’, the first women author whose name we know, this week reading the Last Judgement. We are meeting in the Principal’s Lodgings in St Edmund Hall. Tea and coffee are provided but please bring your own mug! Further information and reading recommendations via the teams channel; if you want to be added to that: please email Henrike Lähnemann.
    • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
    • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Michael Shenkar (the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) – ‘The ‘Timeless Empire’:
      Sasanian Iconography as a Historical Source
      ’.
    • The Medieval English Research Seminar will meet at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, St Cross Building. Today’s speaker will be Elizabeth Archibald (Durham), ‘Bathing for Health and Pleasure in the Middle Ages – Literary and Social Attitudes’. The seminar will be followed by a wine reception. All welcome! 
    • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email Charles West (Sponsored by TORCH).

    Thursday 1st February:

    • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10-12 in Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Harald Samuel (Oxford) – ‘Textual criticism of Hebrew texts in different textual cultures’.
    • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Habakuk Room. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect: Svetlana Ó Siochfhradha Prešern.
    • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker will be Bryan Ward-Perkins ‘Why saints were seen much more often in the late antique East than in the West’.
    • The Medieval Women’s Writing Research Seminar meets at 5-6.30pm at the Main Hall of the Taylorian. This week’s speaker is Sophie Bacchus-Waterman (St John’s College Library, Oxford), ‘The French Psalter of Anne Boleyn‘. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Funded by the “TORCH Critical-Thinking Communities” fund.
    • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5pm, online via Zoom. Please contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk for the link. This week’s speaker will be Nathan Abrams (Prifysgol Bangor), ‘Capturing and preserving north Wales’s Jewish history’.

    Friday 2nd February:

    • The Medieval Coffee Morning meets as usual 10:30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (instructions how to find it) with presentation of items from the special collections, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
    • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison and Alison John.
    • The Oxford Medieval Manuscripts Group (OMMG) meets at 2pm at The Weston Library. This week’s seminar will be a study and discussion of illuminated manuscripts. Limited spaces, write to the email below. First come first served basis. To subscribe to our mailing list, participate in library visits, propose a presentation of your research for work in progress meetings, or submit any queries, please write to: Elena Lichmanova.
    • The Crafting Documents Project Launch will take place at 3-4pm in the Memorial Room, Queen’s College. The speakers will be Professor Julia Smith (All Souls’ College), Professor Ira Rabin (BAM, Berlin), Dr Ana de Oliveira Dias (Faculty of History), and Dr José Andrés Porras (Wadham College). To read more about the project, please click here.
    • Chaucer Now, with Patience Agbabi and Creation Theatre Company will take place at 6pm in the Weston Library. The prize-winning poet Patience Agbabi performs some of her versions of the tales, iand these poems are interspersed with excerpts from The Wife of Willesden, Zadie Smith’s 2021 version of The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale. The performances will be framed by an introduction and a Q&A. After the performance, the exhibition Chaucer Here and Now will be open for viewing with curator Marion Turner. Attendance is free but booking is essential: to book, and for further information, click here.
    • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Merton College T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre. This week’s speaker will be Bond West (University of Oxford), ‘Mr. Underhill: Topography and the Ring’s Temptation’. Free access (no need to book). Please email Julia Walworth if you need step-free access.
    • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm, at St Hilda’s College, and on Zoom. Please let us know if you would like to attend, either in person or on Zoom. The text – some Jousting Letters from Edingburgh – will be provided via Padlet, and refreshments as usual to help us along. All welcome, at any level of Medieval French! Please contact Stephanie Hathaway <stephanie.hathaway@gmail.com> or Jane Bliss <jane.bliss@lmh.oxon.org>for further details.

    Finally, some more wisdom on the importance of teaching and teachers:

    non volvitur dies neque nox elabitur ulla sine memoria magisterii tui. 
    [Not a day nor a night goes by without some remembrance of your instruction.] 
    A letter (716-20) from Egburg

    Whether you are teaching or being taught this week (and of course, we all do both to some degree!) I wish you a fruitful week. May all of your instruction be memorable!

    [Medievalists exchanging memorable instruction]
    St John’s College MS. 61, f. 103 v. 
    By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
    Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
     

    Medieval Matters: Week 2

    I do hope that everyone is enjoying being back in Oxford, and returning to seminars and reading groups. It’s lovely to see Oxford’s medievalists coming back together to think and talk about the middle ages: in all of its many facets and languages! We are so lucky to be able to collaborate across so many different faculties, and to discuss with colleagues from so many different disciplinary backgrounds. Here is some wisdom from the Epistolae project on the importance of community discussion:

    Haec cogitate, haec inter vos die ac nocte, in secreto et in publico tractate.
    [Consider these things, discuss them between yourselves day and night, in private and in public.]
    A letter (1100) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Richeza

    This week’s blog post, written by Prof. Marion Turner, also highlights the incredible diversity and variety of the “medieval”, and its potential to spark discussion across many different places and times. Prof. Turner writes about curating the ‘Chaucer Here and Now’ exhibition, which runs from 8 December 2023 to 28 April 2024 at the St Lee Gallery, Weston Library (Bodleian Libraries). The exhibition draws attention to the hugely diverse ways that Chaucer has been interpreted, imagined, and reimagined around the world. To read all about the fantastic exhibition and the rationale behind its curation, read Prof. Turner’s blog post here.

    In the spirit of celebrating the plenitude of Oxford’s medieval offerings, we also have a second blog post this week! Elliot Vale explores the translation of Genesis B, the only verifiable example of a vernacular-to-vernacular translation from pre-conquest England. To learn more about the evolving relationship with the continental Saxons, read Elliot’s blog post here. Elliot will be exploring the translation of Genesis B in more detail at the first OCCT discussion group of Hilary Term: Monday 22nd February, 12.45–14.00, Seminar Room 10, St Anne’s College. Lunch provided.

    Of course, nowhere is the diversity of Oxford’s medieval community more visible than in the Medieval Booklet! The finalised booklet is now available to view online here, in all of its glory. A reduced-quality pdf version is also attached to this week’s email, for your convenience. See below for the full list of events taking place this week.

    EVENTS THIS WEEK:

    Monday 22nd January:

    • The Medieval French Palaeography Reading Group meets at 10.30-12 in the Weston Library. This group is open to anyone with an interest in Old French, Middle French and Anglo-Norman manuscripts. We study and read manuscripts from the 12th century to the late 15th century. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please write to: laure.miolo@history.ox.ac.uk
    • The Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT) meets at 12:45-2pm in Seminar Room 10, St Anne’s College. Elliot Vale (University of Oxford) will speak on The Saxon ‘Other’ and the Saxon ‘Self’ in the Translation of Genesis B.
    • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Brandon Fathy (University of Reading), Becoming Ipswich: A Story of Urban Emergence in the Early Middle Ages.
    • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be John Merrington (Oxford), ‘Did Charlemagne Worry about his Body?’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: 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). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm. We’ll be translating a range of exciting Old Norse texts! To join the mailing list, email Ashley Castelino.

    Tuesday 23rd January:

    • The Centre for Early Medieval Britain and Ireland Lecture takes place at 1pm at the Memorial Room, Worcester College. Today’s speaker will be Prof. Rory Naismith, University of Cambridge: ‘Silver Linings: Money, Plague and Economic Change in 7th and 8th c. England’. Any inquiries should be directed to Meredith Cutrer meredith.cutrer@worc.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speaker will be James Cogbill, Oxford, ‘A City of Dynasts? Patronage, Competition and Challenge in later medieval Constantinople‘.
    • The Old High German Reading Group will meet at 4pm in the Committee Room, 41 Wellington Square. If there is appetite amongst attendees, the group will migrate to the Lamb and Flag after the session. Handouts will be provided and no prior knowledge is required! This term the texts—with a different theme for each session—will be chosen from different sections of the Althochdeutsches Lesebuch (Braune 1994), alternating between verse and prose. This week will be Biblical (verse), Christus und die Samariterin (Braune XXXIV) – “Christ and the Samaritan Woman”.
    • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. Tea & coffee from 5pm; papers begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker is Ana Dias (History Faculty), ‘Scribes and Scripts:  the curious case of early medieval relic labels‘. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar!

    Wednesday 24th January:

    • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall. In Hilary Term, we are going to discuss the writings by ‘Frau Ava’, the first women author whose name we know, transmitted in the Vorau Manuscript. This will be a close reading session led by Dr Anna Wilmore and Dr Linus Ubl. Further information and reading recommendations via the teams channel; if you want to be added to that: please email Henrike Lähnemann.
    • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
    • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Natalija Ristovska (University of Oxford) – ‘The Byzantine Craft of Enamelling and its Links with Islamic Metalwork, c. 800-1204’.
    • The Medieval English Research Seminar will meet at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, St Cross Building. Today’s speaker will be Miri Rubi (QMUL), ‘Black/Beautiful: the History of Song of Songs 1:5’. The seminar will be followed by a wine reception. All welcome! 
    • The London Old and Middle English Research Seminar (LOMERS) takes place at 5.30-7.30pm at Senate House, London (Room 102) and online via Teams. Professor Francis Leneghan will speak on the topic of his new project, ‘Towards a New Literary History of Old English Prose’. To register, please visit: https://ies.sas.ac.uk/events/towards-a-new-literary-history-old-english-prose.
    • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email charles.west@regents.ox.ac.uk (Sponsored by TORCH).

    Thursday 25th January:

    • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10-12 in Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Alison Salvesen (Oxford) – ‘Hebrew authority, textual criticism, and translation technique: Symmachus and the Megillot’.
    • The Environmental History Working Group meets at 12.30-2pm, in the History Faculty. For further information, please contact Ryan Mealiffe.
    • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Habakuk Room. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect: svetlana.osiochfhradhapresern@jesus.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speakers will be David Addison, Martina Carandino, and John Merrington, ‘Soul and Embodiment in the Late Antique World: Three Case-Studies’
    • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music meets at 5pm via Zoom. 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 just send an email to all.souls.music.seminars@gmail.com. This week’s presenter will be Susan Forscher Weiss (Peabody Institute and the Johns Hopkins University), ‘Roman de Volvelles: A Story of Revolving Diagrams in Early Modern Quadrivial Texts’, and the discussants will be Mary Carruthers (Oxford and New York University) and Michael Dodds (North Carolina School for the Arts).
    • The Medieval Visual Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in St Catherine’s College, Arumagam Building. This week’s speaker will be Emily Guerry (University of Kent), ‘Diplomacy and Devotion in the Gothic Wall Paintings of Angers Cathedral.
    • The Medieval Women’s Writing Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm in Lincoln College Lower Lecture Room. This week’s reading will be Frau Ava’s Poetry. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Texts for the reading group are shared on the mailing list.
    • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5.15pm, in Memorial Room, Jesus College, and online via Teams. Please contact david.willis@ling-phil.ox.ac.uk if you need a link to join online. This week’s speaker will be Caitlyn Brinkman-Schwartz (University of Oxford), Race, Revival and Revolution: Defining the Irish ‘Celt’.

    Friday 26th January:

    • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison (david.addison@all-souls.ox.ac.uk) and Alison John (alison.john@all-souls.ox.ac.uk).
    • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, in Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. Those who are interested can contact Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo via email: lindsay.mccormack@lincoln.ox.ac.uk and laure.miolo@history.ox.ac.uk
    • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Corpus Christi College Auditorium. This week’s speaker will be Elena Vermeer (University of Oxford), ‘Tolkien’s ‘Sellic Spell’ and Beowulfian Poetics: the Artist and the Critic‘. Free access (no need to book).

    OPPORTUNITIES:

    Finally, a little piece of wisdom to help us all cope with the horribly cold weather that we’ve been having this past week:

    ex grandine pretiosi lapides procreentur
    [precious gems may be generated from a hailstone]
    A letter (1156-57) from Osbert of Clare to Adelidis of Barking

    It’s true that the beauty of Oxford’s colleges in January, when the winter light hits them, almost makes up for the cold and rain! I hope that your week contains more precious gems than hailstones, and that you find joys even in unlikely places!

    [Medievalists find it easier to enjoy the ‘precious gemstone’ of Oxford in winter from the safety of indoors, where no hailstones can reach…]
    St John’s College MS. 61, f. 2 r. 
    By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
    Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
     

    Medieval Matters: Week 8

    Somehow we are now at the very end of Michaelmas Term! It seems to have flown by so quickly. We’ve had such a wonderful range of talks, seminars and reading groups, representing an increasing number of disciplinary approaches, languages and thematic approaches. Thank you all so much for making this such a wonderful term!

    This may be the end of term, but this week’s blog post celebrates new beginnings: namely the beginning of a new TORCH network! Dr Ugo Mondini’s blog post gives us an insight into exciting things to come from the new network Poetry in the Medieval World, which explores premodern literature from a global perspective. To find out more about this exciting new network and the opportunities it presents, check out Ugo’s post here.

    For the full line up this week, please see below:

    ANNOUNCEMENTS:

    • Call for Readers! For the relay-reading of two German pamphlets, see below Friday. Full instructions, audiofile, and pdf of the new edition
    • “A Modern Idea of a Medieval College: John Henry Newman’s Medievalism” Tuesday 28 November, 4–5 pm, Oriel College, 1st Quad, Staircase 3 Room 3. All are welcome to this talk given by Dr Christopher Snyder, Senior Academic Visitor (Michaelmas Term 2023) and Professor of History, Mississippi State University. John Henry Newman’s brief time as a Tutorial Fellow at Oriel College (1826-32) was formative in many ways, not least in providing the young tutor and scholar with an intellectual and spiritual home that served as a collegiate ideal for him long after he left Oxford. This informal talk will raise issues of Newman’s interest in and understanding of the medieval university and of residential colleges as well as his arguments for the continuing relevance of “medievalist” ideals in modern higher education.
    • The British Archaeological Association Post-Graduate Online Conference take place on, 29 November 2023, 12.30pm – 17.35pm (GMT). The British Archaeological Association are excited to present a diverse conference which includes postgraduates and early career researchers in medieval history of art, architecture, and archaeology. See the conference programme here and register for the conference here.

    EVENTS THIS WEEK:

    Monday 27th November:

    • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm66 on Teams. A friendly venue to practice your Latin and palaeography on a range of texts and scripts over the year.  Sign up to the mailing list to receive weekly updates and Teams invites.
    • Queer and Trans Medievalisms: A Reading and Research Group meets at 3pm at Univ. All extremely welcome! This week is a Florilegium: bring in your own queer medievalisms to discuss! W. H. Auden! Leslie Feinberg! BBC Merlin! Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)!’ Endless possibilities! To join the mailing list and get texts in advance, or if you have any questions, email Rowan Wilson.
    • The Medieval Archeology Seminar meets at 3pm at the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Sarah Semple, Durham University, ‘People and place in the early medieval kingdom of Northumbria. New fieldwork.’
    • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Rory Naismith (Corpus, Cambridge), ‘Coined Money in the Early Middle Ages: did it matter?‘. The seminar will also be available via Teams: 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). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm. We’ll be translating a range of exciting Old Norse texts! To join the mailing list, email Ashley Castelino.

    Tuesday 28th November:

    • “A Modern Idea of a Medieval College: John Henry Newman’s Medievalism”, a talk given by senior academic visitor Dr Christopher Snyder, will take place at 4–5 pm, in Oriel College, 1st Quad, Staircase 3 Room 3. All are welcome to this talk.
    • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music meets at 5-7pm, online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Peter Lefferts (University of Nebraska): ‘Disiecta Membra Musicae: A new facsimile edition of music manuscript fragments from 14th-Century England’. The discussants will be Andrew Wathey (The National Archives / University of Northumbria) and Jared Hartt (Oberlin College). 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 just send an email to all.souls.music.seminars@gmail.com. Please note, this address will now be the main point of contact for these seminars.
    • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. Tea & coffee from 5pm; papers begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker is Eleanor Birch (Pembroke) ‘Medieval Misogyny: horned women and unhorned men‘. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar!

    Wednesday 29th November:

    • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at Somerville College. This week we have the chance to discuss with the forthcoming study edition by Christine Putzo of Konrad Fleck’s ‘Flore und Blancheflur’ with Christine herself. Please email Henrike Lähnemann if you would like to attend or if you have suggestions for next term’s theme!
    • The British Archaeological Association Post-Graduate Online Conference takes place from 12.30pm – 17.35pm (GMT). See the conference programme here and register for the conference here.
    • The Centre for Early Medieval Britain and Ireland meets at 12pm in the Memorial Room, Worcester College for this term’s lecture. This term’s speaker will be Dr Janina Ramirez FRSA FRHistS (Harris Manchester College), ‘Are Early Medieval Woman “Unrecoverable”?’. Everyone is welcome! Light refreshments beforehand in Worcester Cloisters. Please note the change of room!
    • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
    • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Peter Bara (The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest), ‘Translators, Patrons, Scholars: Greek Texts in Latin Translations from Production to Audience, ca. 1050–1350‘.
    • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any any questions, please email Charles West 

    Thursday 30th November:

    • The Medieval Hebrew Reading Group meets at 10-11am in Catherine Lewis Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Institute, and online via Zoom. In order to attend this reading group via Zoom, please register here. This reading group is an opportunity to practice reading directly from images of medieval Hebrew manuscripts in an informal setting. All skill levels are welcome! There will be coffee, tea and cake afterwards in the Common Room of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies for those attending in person. For further information, please email Joseph Ohara.
    • The Digital Editions Community of Practice Group meets at 1-2pm in the Taylor Institution Library Room 2. Each session will include a brief talk, followed by an opportunity for discussion. Hot water, tea, coffee, milk and biscuits will be provided. Please feel free to bring your own lunch (and a mug for the hot drinks!). This week’s speaker will be Emma Huber, PRISMS – linking data and creating knowledge with Digital Editions.
    • The Medieval Women’s Writing Reading Group meets at 3-4pm in Lincoln College Lower Lecture Room. This week’s reading will be Christine de Pizan’s Epistre a la reine. Please email katherine.smith@lincoln.ox.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list and get texts in advance, or to find out more.
    • The Medieval Visual Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in St Catherine’s College, Arumugam Building. This week’s speaker will be Alexandra Gajewski (The Burlington Magazine), ‘Theodechilde, Potentin and Osanna: Saints and Cult at Jouarre Abbey in the Middle Ages’. For queries, contact Elena Lichmanova.
    • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5.15pm, in the History of the Book Room, English Faculty, and online via Teams. Please contact David Willis if you need a link to join online. This week’s speaker will be Oliver Currie (Ljubljana), ‘The linguistic testimony of Early Modern Welsh manuscript sermons’.

    Friday 1st December:

    • The Medieval Coffee Morning meets as usual 10:30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (instructions how to find it) with presentation of items from the special collections, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
    • The Byzantine Text Seminar meets at Ioannou Centre, Outreach Room, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. We are reading passages from Medieval Greek historians. Intermediate knowledge of Greek is required.
    • The Lectures in Byzantine Literature take place in the Ioannou Centre, Seminar Room, 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. We are speaking about Byzantine education. No knowledge of Greek is required.
    • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road, OX1 3PX. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. As well as collaborating on unpublished sources, attendees will gain experience in digitisation of sources and publish their analysis online. Students will prepare their item for exhibition, and a one-day workshop on these sources will be held in Trinity Term. Those who are interested can contact via email: Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo
    • Monk-calf and Nuns on the Run: Launch of the new edition of two pamphlets by Martin Luther from 1523, Taylor Institution Library, Room 2, 3-4pm with a relay-reading of the two texts. Please email Henrike Lähnemann if you would be prepared to read a paragraph. Full instructions, audiofile, and pdf of the new edition available on the History of the Book blog!

    OPPORTUNITIES:

    • PhD Opportunity at Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany) The Junior Professorship of Medieval Studies at the Department of English addresses different aspects of the English Middle Ages (c. 700-c. 1500) in both research and teaching and invites applications for a PhD Assistant. The successful candidate will conduct their own doctoral research project in the areas of Old and/or Middle English language, literature, and/or culture. For full details, please click here.
    • Acta Mediaevalia. Series nova – Call for papers The first issue of the journal, entitled “The Age of Transition. Crisis, Reform, and Renewal in Late Medieval Central and Eastern Europe,” will be devoted to the “long fifteenth century” (c. 1375–1525). The editors invite you to submit papers until the end of May 2024. For more details, please click here.

    This is our last email of the term. Many of you will remain in Oxford, at least for another few weeks; others will be leaving the city to enjoy the vac whereve they call home. Wherever you are this vac, here is some wisdom from the Epistolae project for anyone gift-giving or receiving:

    Huius muneris magnitudinem ut non consideres, sed spiritalis caritatis amorem adtende, poscimus.
    [We pray you not to think of the size of the gift but to remember the loving spirit.] 
    A letter (732-42) from Denehard, Lul, and Burchard to Cuneburg

    Thank you for all of your hard work organising, attending, and presenting at events this term. The medievalist community at Oxford is such an incredible gift, and your loving (intellectual) spirit is what keeps it going. So thank you to you all. I wish you all a wonderful vac, and hope you enjoy both gifts and loving spirit. See you again in January!

    [A Medievalist gives a gift that is small in size but large in loving spirit]
    St John’s College MS. 61, f. 2 r. 
    By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
    Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian