Medieval Matters: Week 4

We are now half-way through the term, and all the way through October! With the hour change last weekend the days are now feeling quite dark and chilly. For anyone feeling cold and tired this week, here is some Old English wisdom from the Battle of Maldon:

Mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað.
The mind must be greater as our strength diminishes.

Luckily for us Oxford Medievalists, we have plenty of opportunities to make our minds greater if we are feeling a little diminished of strength! This week’s offerings are listed below.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 1st November:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12.15-2pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Thomas R. Langley (Cambridge), ‘Julian, Constantinople, and the Role of Civic Patriotism in the Fourth Century’. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk or visit the eventbrite page.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen to be added to the Teams call.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm on Teams and in the Wharton Room. Attendance at the Wharton Room is by advance booking only as the room has a strict Covid-19 capacity limit. Bookings can be made at https://medieval-history-seminar.reservio.com. This week’s speaker is Sophie Ambler (Lancaster), ‘The Battle of Evesham (1265): Dark Trophies, the War of the Welsh Marches, and the Cult of Simon de Montfort’.
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.15pm on Teams. Please email Olivia Smith (olivia.smith2@linacre.ox.ac.uk) to be added to the mailing list and Teams group.

Tuesday 2nd November:

  • The CMTC Postgraduate Lunchtime Colloquium meets at 12:30-2pm on Zoom. Attendance is free of charge, but sign-up is mandatory: you can sign-up here. The speakers this week will be Sarah Bridge (Mediaeval & Modern Languages, St Hilda’s College, Oxford), ‘The Role of Manuscripts in Creating the Author-Figure. William Herebert and Nicole Bozon in BL Add. 46919’ and Vittorio Danovi (Classics, Lincoln College, Oxford) ‘Servius or Servius auctus? Corrections ope codicum in Kassel, Universitätsbibliothek, 2° Ms. Poet. et Roman. 6”’.
  • The event Albrecht Pfister and the earliest printed books in German from Bamberg takes place at 2.30pm online on Zoom (Meeting Code: SBB#22 / Meeting-ID: 960 499 6049). This event comprises a virtual tour of Pfister copies in Bamberg, Berlin, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, John Rylands Library Manchester, Oxford and Princeton.
  • The Islamicate Manuscripts and Texts Reading Colloquium 2021 meets at 3pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Meia Walravens, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History, University of Antwerp, ‘Letters from the Bahmani Sultanate (ca. 1450-1480)’.
  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30pm in Magdalen College, Old Law Library. This week’s topic is ‘Samhain’
  • The Early Slavonic Webinar meets at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker is Timur Khajdarov (Kazan Federal University), ‘The Black Death and its consequences for the Jochi ulus and the successor states (The Tatar Khanates, Moscowand the Grand Duchy of Lithuania)
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Old Dining Hall, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Virginia Bainbridge (University of Exeter), ‘The Brothers of Syon Abbey: patterns of vocation from the Syon Martiloge and other records c. 1415-1539’.
  • The OCTET Lectures: An Introduction to Digital Scholarly Editing meets at 5pm at Jesus College Ship Street Centre. To book your place on this workshop, please email DigitalHub@jesus.ox.ac.uk . Please let the organisers know if you require assistance with mobility and if you have any dietary requirements or food allergies.
  • The Oxford Numismatic Society Seminar meets at 5pm online via Teams. This week’s speaker is Dr. Peter van Alfen (American Numismatic Society): ‘Payment, Profit, or Prestige? The Political Economy of Achaemenid Royal Coin Production’. To receive meeting links and further updates, please email the Secretary at daniel.etches@new.ox.ac.uk.

Wednesday 3rd November:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in New Powell Room, Somerville College. If you are interested to be added to the mailing list for the seminar, write to Linus Ubl.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1-2pm in Mertze Tate Room, History Faculty, and Online. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Ciaran Arthur (NUI Galway), ‘Ideas on Language and Biblical Heritage in Early Medieval Insular Thought’. For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 7pm at Corpus Christi College for drinks. (Please note that there is no speaker this week).

Thursday 4th November:

  • The Archives de l’Athos reading group meets at 3-4pm at Corpus Christi College. All interested in Byzantine history, non-Latin diplomatics, Greek palaeography or diplomatic edition are welcome. Contact marek.jankowiak@history.ox.ac.uk or olivier.delouis@campion.ox.ac.uk to sign up and receive the texts in advance.
  • The Greek and Latin Reading Group meets at 4pm in St Edmund Hall. Room TBC: contact John Colley or Jenyth Evans to be added to the mailing list. This week’s text will be Sappho, Fragments 1 and 31.
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5pm on Zoom. For Zoom link, contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk. This week’s speaker is Ken Dark (University of Reading), ‘Royal burial in fifth- to seventh-century western Britain and Ireland’.
  • The Oxford University Heraldry Society meets at 6.15pm. This week’s speaker is Jeremy Hodgkinson FSA, ‘The Heraldry on British Fire backs‘. For Zoom links, please email Priscilla Frost (secretary@oxford-heraldry.org.uk)

Friday 5th November:

  • Pre-Modern Conversations meets at 11am-12pm on Teams. For more information and to be added the the PMC Teams Channel, email lena.vosding AT mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.

Saturday 6th November:

  • The Church Monuments Society Lecture Series: Whose Dead in Vaulted Arches Lie meets at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s talk is ‘Grounds for Grave Concern’: Helen Frisby & Stuart Prior on Gravedigging. Attendance is free, but places must be booked via Eventbrite.



OPPORTUNITIES:

  • The Medieval Mystery Plays are now recruiting! Would you like to take part in a medieval dramatic experiment? Directors, actors, costume and prop makers and musicians wanted! Click here to find out more.


I leave you this week with a reminder to make sure that all of your watches are set to the correct time following the time-change this weekend. Afterall, as the Old English Boethius tells us:

Eall þæt mon untiidlice onginð, næfð hit no æltæwyne ende.
Nothing that one begins at the wrong time will have a good end.

A manuscript illumination of a night heron
Panic as a medievalist realises that he forgot to set his watch back this weekend and has consequently arrived to the seminar an hour early
Merton College, MS 249, f. 10v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Nicticorax

Middle High German Reading Group MT 2021

Hello fellow friends of Medieval German, 

with a slight delay, we want to introduce this term’s Middle High German reading group.

It is a great opportunity to improve your reading and translating skills in a relaxed and informal environment and everybody is welcome. We translate and discuss a variety of medieval texts both prose and poetry. 

This terms topic will be adultery, so you can look forward to  

4th week: Nibelungenlied 

5th week: Tristan (Gottfried von Straßburg) 

6th week: Tristan (Gottfried von Straßburg) 

7th week: Die Suche nach dem glücklichen Ehepaar (Heinrich Kaufringer)

8th week: Der Renner: Ziegenschwank (Hugo von Trimberg) 

We will meet every Thursday at Somerville College in the Productivity Room (Margery Fry) at 9:00 and are looking forward to seeing you all there.

If you want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk. Also, as the texts and some useful information about Middle High German will be shared in a Dropbox, please include your Dropbox e-mail address, so we can add you.

We are really looking forward to meet you all!

All the best

Rebekka and Melina

Image: Da1 (D) = Darmstadt, Ld. u. Hochschulbibl. Cod. 2779 (Hugo von Trimberg: ‘Der Renner’): The lover and the goat, f. 186v

Medieval Matters: Week 3

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

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

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


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 25th October:

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

Tuesday 26th October:

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

Wednesday 27th October:

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

Thursday 28th October:

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

Friday 29th October:

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

Sunday 31st October:

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



OPPORTUNITIES:

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


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

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


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

A manuscript illumination of monkeys acting like humans
Medievalists examine and commend a colleague’s Halloween costume: Merton College, MS 249, f. 7v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Singe

Symposium: English Perceptions of the Material Text 1300-1600

A free, three day online symposium organised by Dr J.R. Mattison and Eleanor Baker, 9th-11th December 2021.

To register, please follow this link and fill in your details:

https://forms.gle/VZFr1qRuw1Xem7z47

If you have any questions, please contact

medieval.text.perceptions@gmail.com 

Follow us @TextMedieval

 

PROGRAMME:

Thursday 9th December:

Making Material Texts                      

8:00am (PCT)/ 10.00am (CDT)/ 4:00pm (GMT)/ 5.00pm (CET)

Making Manuscripts in the Twenty-First Century: Filling the Gaps in Medieval Recipes

Sara Charles (Institute of English Studies, University of London)

Imagining Medieval Colours: Blue Colour Terms in Cambridge, Trinity College, MS O.9.3

Maryann Pierse (Independent Scholar)

Sheepskins and the Law in Early Modern London

Lily Freeman-Jones (Queen Mary, University of London)

*

  Devotion and Material Texts 

  9:15am (PCT)/ 11:15am (CDT)/ 5:15pm (GMT)/ 6:15pm (CET)

  Lomen to tilde wið þe heorte’: Utility and the Idea of the Book in Ancrene Wisse

  Nia Moseley-Roberts (Jesus College, University of Oxford)

  ‘The fourtenth lefe of thys register’: Channelling Devotional Power at Syon Abbey 

  Julia King (University of Bergen)

  William Caxton and the Creation of Fifteenth-Century English Devotional Canon

  Elizabeth Perry (Texas A&M University)

*

  Authors and Material Texts 

  10:30am (PCT)/ 12:30pm (CDT)/ 6:30pm (GMT)/ 7:30pm  (CET)

  Ovid’s ‘Best Line’: Medieval Responses to the Heroides

  Rebecca Menmuir (Queen Mary, University of London)

  Passing the Buke in Late Medieval Dream Poetry: The Case of Gavin   Douglas’s Palice of Honour

  Laurie Atkinson (Durham University)

  The Imagery of Writing in the First Plantagenet Court

  Joyce Coleman (University of Oklahoma)

Friday 10th December:

Buying, Selling, and Owning Material Texts

8:00am (PCT)/ 10.00am (CDT)/ 4:00pm (GMT)/ 5.00pm (CET)

Second-hand Books

Hannah Ryley (Balliol College, University of Oxford)

Shifting Perceptions of the Library in Late Medieval Durham

J.D. Sargan (Durham University)

 Buying and Selling Books Around St Paul’s Cathedral: ‘Be Dishonest, and tell Lies’

  Benjamin King-Cox (Independent Scholar)

*

  Displaying Material Texts

  9:15am (PCT)/ 11:15am (CDT)/ 5:15pm (GMT)/ 6:15pm (CET)

  “I labour upon a Cobwebbe”: Writing on Display in Early Modern England

  Grace Murray (University of York)

  Taking Stock: William Caxton’s Manuscripts and the Idea of English Readership

  Lindsey Jones (Texas A&M University)

  The Material Forms of Lydgate’s Testament

  Niall Summers (Trinity College, University of Oxford)

Saturday 11th December:

Material Texts in Flux             

8:00am (PCT)/ 10.00am (CDT)/ 4:00pm (GMT)/ 5.00pm (CET)

 ‘Bind this to her’: The Use of Material Texts in English Childbirth, 1400-1540

Róisín Donohoe (University of Cambridge)

And som all ther eynke sched,/And som ther bokes rent’: Ripping, Tearing, and Splitting in the Comic Tale Jack and his Stepdame

Hannah Bower (University of Cambridge)

Chaos Under Control: Introduction to the Problematics of the Expression of Chaos in Medieval Manuscripts from England

 Adrienn Orosz (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)

*

  Imagining Material Texts

  9:15am (PCT)/ 11:15am (CDT)/ 5:15pm (GMT)/ 6:15pm (CET)

  The Unequal Powers of Speech and Text: English Charms, 1350-1500

  Katherine Storm Hindley (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

  Material Evidence, Immaterial Intentions 

  Daniel Wakelin (University of Oxford)

  Imagining the Forbidden Reader

  Alexandra Da Costa (University of Cambridge)

MedievalWiki: Training Workshop and Social Editing Session

Fri, October 29, 2021

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM British Summer Time

Online: via Zoom
FREE booking required https://www.eventbrite.com/e/medievalwiki-meet-up-tickets-182576600527

This workshop is for brand new and experienced Wikipedia editors who are interested in improving Wikipedia according to the aims of MedievalWiki (on which, see below). Lucy Moore (York) and Fran Allfrey (KCL) will be hosting.

We will gather on Zoom and introduce newcomers to the MedievalWiki project and how to get started. This will be a relaxed and informal workshop, designed to build the confidence of new and new-ish editors and to provide a social space for more experienced editors.

Everyone is welcome! Medievalists and non-medievalists, researchers, and students. If you can’t make the whole two hours, feel free to drop in just for the first or the second hour (let us know when you book when you plan to stop by).

What is MedievalWiki?

MedievalWiki is a project to improve the quality of medieval articles on Wikipedia (and related projects including Wikimedia and Wikidata). The project is specifically dedicated to making and editing articles with citations to medieval scholars whose work is indebted to or develops feminist, queer, and critical race studies methods and theories. Making and editing biographical pages for Black medievalists and medievalists of colour, women and non-binary and queer medieval scholars, and artists whose work remakes the medieval is firmly within the MedievalWiki remit.

You can read more about the MedievalWiki project here https://medievalwomenwiki.wordpress.com/

Please send any questions to Dr Fran Allfrey francesca.allfrey@kcl.ac.uk

Medieval Matters: Week 2

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

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

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

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

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 18th October:

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

Tuesday 19th October:

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

Wednesday 20th October:

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

Thursday 21st October:

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

Friday 22nd October:

  • Pre-Modern Conversations meets at 11am-12pm on Teams. For more information and to be added the the PMC Teams Channel, email lena.vosding AT mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5pm on Zoom. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.
  • The RaceB4Race Editor Rountable takes place at 3-4pm via livestream. Places are limited: please register here
  • The RaceB4Race Symposium takes place at 8-10pm via livestream. Today’s topic will be ‘Contextual Migration’. Places are limited: please register here.



OPPORTUNITIES:

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

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

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

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

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

OMS Small Grants MT 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CMTC Work In Progress Colloquium

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

We are meeting on Zoom on Tuesday 19th October at 12,30-2,00pm (UK time).

  1. Laura Banella (Mediaeval & Modern Languages, Wolfson College, Oxford)

“The Materiality and Textuality of Medieval Italian Lyric Poetry”  
The physical act of copying, editing, printing, annotating, and circulating literature has the power to create and construct an intellectual figure as an author, an auctor and an auctoritas, that is, an author as “creator” and “cultural authority”. Through a selection of Dante’s and Petrarch’s texts in material contexts, and specific instances of the circulation and reception of their lyric poetry, this talk explores medieval and early modern authoriality; the qualities of books as “textual objects”, and the ways in which context, form, and annotation in single books may bestow cultural authority upon authors and works, at a time when lyric poetry was a key-genre in the cultural system. In the late Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, Dante and Petrarch were the two main authors governing the Italian cultural field, especially as regards lyric poetry, and they soon enjoyed international success. Dante and Petrarch have been appropriated, rewritten, and repurposed by various literary, political, and ideological movements across centuries, shaping a transnational European cultural identity.  What is more, the in-between space of multi-text and multi-author volumes is a repository of meaning and large cultural discourses: the significance of the order and selection of medieval lyric poems, and the meaning of lyric sequences is one of the crucial issues in literary hermeneutics, both for authorial and non-authorial collections.  

  1. Zhan Zhang (Oriental Studies, St Antony’s College, Oxford)

“Form, Format, and formulae. Scribal conventions in first-millennium central Asia”
Central Asia in the first millennium CE, for the most part, was politically fragmented, and saw the flourishing of a number of (semi-)independent city-states, which produced secular documents in a multitude of languages/scripts, including Gandhari/Kharoshthi in Loulan, Khotanese/Brahmi in Khotan, Tocharian/Brahmi in Kucha, Sogdian/Aramaic in Sogdiana, and Bactrian/Greek in Bactria. A fairly large number of these documents have come to light in the last century or so, and received philological treatments individually or as a group. A synthetic analysis across the linguistic boundaries, however, is still lacking. In my talk, I will demonstrate that these documents display a number of common features in terms of form (materiality), format (diplomatics), and formulae (wording). Examples include notches on double wooden slips, sealing practice, indentations in letters and official orders, clauses and their sequence in purchase contracts, and shared technical lexicons of administration. All of these commonalities point to a shared scribal convention, the origin of which can be traced  back to the Kushan Empire. I will further explore the implication of this attribution for our understanding of the history of first-millennium Central Asia.
Here

Attendance is free of charge but sign-up is mandatory. You can sign-up here.

We will send a Zoom link to all participants by the end of the week.

Medieval Matters: Week 1

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

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

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 11th October:

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

Tuesday 12th October:

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

Wednesday 13th October:

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

Thursday 14th October:

  • The Greek and Latin Reading Group meets at 4pm in St Edmund Hall. Room TBC: contact John Colley or Jenyth Evans to be added to the mailing list.
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5.15pm in the History of the Book Room, English Faculty and on Teams. For Teams link, contact David Willis. This week’s speaker is William Lamb (University of Edinburgh), ‘Nouns by numbers: New insights from a dialectometrical study of Gaelic nominal morphology’.
  • The Old English Reading Groups meets at 5.30-7pm. For more information and to be added to the mailing list please email Eugenia Vorobeva.

Friday 15th October:

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



OPPORTUNITIES:

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



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

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

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

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

Medieval Matters: Week 0 and Booklet

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

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

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

Onto the announcements for this week:

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

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

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

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

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

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