ETC seminar – Medieval Commentaries on Vergil

Dear All,

The final session of the Early Text Cultures Seminar on Pre-modern Commentaries will take place on Wednesday 30 November at Corpus Christi College, Seminar Room, 2-3pm. Vittorio Danovi (Oxford) will give a talk titled

Medieval Commentaries on Vergil (Bern scholia and Servius Auctus)

My research is primarily concerned with the commentary on Vergil’s Eclogues and Georgics known as Bern scholia and with the augmented version of Servius’ commentary on the whole of Vergil known, after its first editor Pierre Daniel, as Seruius Danielis or DS scholia. Both commentaries were probably assembled in seventh-century (Insular?) scriptoria by anonymous compilers who resorted to pre-existing commentaries, but almost all their extant witnesses date back to the Carolingian period. I am currently aiming to analyse the characters of the different versions of the Bern and DS scholia transmitted by each witness and to establish their genealogical relationships. On these grounds, I hope to shed some new light on the Carolingian engagement with the two commentaries.

Please do come in person! But if you cannot, here is a Zoom link to attend remotely:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/94503373094?pwd=RFVCaXpDNlNjN2dROVR0a1lIUS9uUT09

Meeting ID: 945 0337 3094
Passcode: 581504

All best wishes,
ETC Board

‘The iconography of the Mass of St Gregory in England’: Prof. Julian Luxford at Oxford Medieval Visual Culture Seminar

When: Thursday 1 December at 5 pm 

Where: St Catherine’s college, Bernard Sunley Building Room D (It is better to ask the St Catherine’s lodge porters for directions because this room is at the other end of the college!)

Julian Luxford, Professor at the School of Art History, University of St Andrews, will present on The iconography of the Mass of St Gregory in England .

The talk will be followed by drinks reception and a communal dinner at Gino’s (at attendee’s own expense). Everyone is welcome!

With any questions, please write to Elena Lichmanova elena.lichmanova@merton.ox.ac.uk

Digital Humanities and Sensory Heritage (DHSH): Jean-Philippe Échard (Paris)

Materiality-driven digital approaches to music museum artefacts: from spectro-imaging and CT scans, to photogrammetry

When: Thursday 1 December 2022, 4.30pm

Where: Linbury Room, Worcester College, Oxford

Speaker: Jean-Philippe Échard (Paris)

In the last three decades, the digitalisation of techniques for the analysis of cultural heritage artefacts has profoundly modified the ways of working with and interpreting data. Through a series of examples of projects conducted on the collection of historical musical instruments at the Musée de la Musique (Cité de la Musique – Philharmonie de Paris, Paris France), this talk will explore this major change, and highlight the value of these new approaches today. The characterisation of pigments in paintings decorating 17th-c. Flemish harpsichords sheds light on the painting techniques used and on the smalt trade. X-ray spectro-imaging proves to be key for identifying royal coats of arms, in painted emblems on 16th-century violins made by Andrea Amati, and to identify parchments from a single 14th-c. book of hours that were found in three instruments by Antonio Stradivari. CT-scans and photogrammetry techniques produce 3D digital models of musical instruments, used to better understand their material history or their vibrational behaviour, or to 3D-print instruments. The potentials of such techniques to improve the readability of these material historical sources can be hugely valuable stimulating for historians.

Jean-Philippe Échard is Curator of Stringed Instruments at the Musée de la Musique in Paris (Cité de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris, France) since 2014. He trained as a chemist, with a degree from the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie, Paris (1998) and a doctorate from the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (2010) on 16th-18th-c. varnishing techniques in instrument-making. He conducted research as conservation scientist on musical instruments in the laboratory of the Musée de la Musique (1999-2004 ; 2006-2013) and on easel paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA (2004-2005). He is the author of two books Le violon Sarasate, stradivarius des virtuoses (2018), and Stradivarius et la lutherie de Crémone (2022) as well as numerous papers and articles.

Find out more about the Digital Humanities and Sensory Heritage Network here. 

Medieval Matters: Week 8

Here we are at the end of term! Last Friday was Oxmas, traditionally celebrated one month before Christmas Day to allow us to spread some festive cheer before term ends. I’m sure this week will be filled with festive celebrations. If you are about to embark upon Christmas shopping, you might be struggling to find the perfect gift. Fear not: Alcuin also struggled with this dilemma…

Diu deliberans, quid mentis meae devotio ad splendorem imperialis potentiae vestrae atque augmentum opolentissimi thesauri vestri muneris condignum reperire potuisset – ne ingeniolum animi mei, aliis diversa divitiarum dona offerentibus, otio torpuisset inani, et vacuis manibus parvitatis meae missus ante faciem beatudinis vestrae venisset.
[I have long deliberated over what I might consider a worthy gift for the brilliance of your imperial power and for the increase of your most opulent treasury, lest my mind might have grown slothful through the holiday and through idleness, and my messenger appear before you with empty hands whilst others were offering various gifts of riches, Ep. 205]

I have been wondering long and hard what “gifts” to offer you at the end of term, and hope that this seasonal and lengthier than usual quotation might suffice! I didn’t want to come to your inbox empty-handed since others are offering various gifts of great riches this week, from a special lecture by Professor Gordon Noble on Tuesday, to the final chance to see the exhibition of Violent Victorian Medievalism in person in the Taylorian on Friday. See below for a round-up of all of the diversa divitiarum dona on offer this week.

And a reminder: We are still looking for takers for plays for the Medieval Mystery Cycle on 22 April 2023. Full information here on how to propose a play – and do get in contact with Michael Angerer or Henrike Lähnemann if you have any questions. There will be a workshop for anybody considering taking part in early Hilary Term!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Remember to sign up for the Medieval Mystery Cycle! As play proposals are starting to trickle in, don’t miss your chance to join this unique bit of medieval fun. We will be offering a workshop on cutting play scripts at St Edmund Hall on Friday 20 January 2023, open to all potential directors. You can find more information, as well as the sign-up link, on our blog post.

EVENTS THIS WEEK

Monday 28th November:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar takes place at 12.30-2pm online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be İrem Kısacık (İstanbul Medeniyet University), Emotions in Late Antiquity. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group led by Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning, and Tuija Ainonen is meeting as usual via Teams from 1-2pm.
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar takes place at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Jane Kershaw, ‘A Viking winter camp in Northumberland? Ongoing work in the Coquet valley‘.
  • The Queer and Trans Medievalisms Reading Group meets at 3pm at Univ College, 12 Merton St Room 2. This week’s theme is The trial of Joan of Arc. All extremely welcome! To join the mailing list and get texts in advance, or if you have any questions, email rowan.wilson@univ.ox.ac.uk.  
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be Robert Wiśniewski (Warsaw): ‘‘Avoid undue leaps’. Clerical career paths in Late Antiquity’. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk 
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30-7.30pm. Please email grace.oduffy@sjc.ox.ac.uk for more information and to be added to the mailing list.

Tuesday 29th November:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar takes place at 12.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Rhiannon Purdie (St Andrews),  ‘Synchronic histories of Older Scots Literature: the rewards and challenges of reconstruction’. The paper will be followed by lunch with the speaker. All welcome.
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Pseudo-Seneca, Octavia. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar takes place at 5pm at Charles Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. The theme for this term is ‘Women’. This week’s speaker will be Delfi Nieto-Isabel (Queen Mary University of London): Connecting the Dots:  heresy, inquisitors and invisible women. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.
  • The Codicology and History of the Book Seminar is hosting a Welcome Evening for Oxford DPhil Students at 6-8pm, in the Blackwell Hall, Weston Library. For further details, email bookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Early Medieval Britain and Ireland Network will host a lecture by Dr Gordon Noble, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen. His talk, entitled ‘Discovering the Northern Picts,’ will discuss some of the significant discoveries of the award-winning Northern Picts excavations and what these findings mean for Pictish society ca 300-900 AD. The talk will take place at 7:00 PM at Worcester College in the Linbury Room. All are very welcome to attend. Any queries, please contact Meredith Cutrer at meredith.cutrer@worc.ox.ac.uk.

Wednesday 30th November:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar this week does not meet on Wednesday but rather on Friday, 3pm (see below) for a paper by Dr Pia Selmayr. If you want to be added to the medieval German mailing list, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield (michael.stansfield@new.ox.ac.uk) for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles. This week’s speaker will be Michael Jeffreys (Oxford), Imperial ceremonies away from the Great Palace, 1148-1159: the evidence of Manganeios Prodromos.

Thursday 1st December:

  • The Old French Reading Group takes place at 4pm at St Hilda’s College (meet by the lodge) in association with Oxford Medieval Studies, sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH). We welcome readers of Old French of all abilities. For further information, please email alice.hawkins@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk or irina.boeru@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk
  • The Digital Humanities and Sensory Heritage (DHSH) – Seminar Series will meet at 4.30pm in the Linbury Room, Worcester College. The speaker will be Jean-Philippe Échard (Paris), Materiality-driven Digital Approaches to Music Museum Artefacts: from Spectro-imaging and CT Scans, to Photogrammetry. All welcome! For more information, click here.
  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music will take place on Zoom at 5pm. This week’s speaker will be David Burn (University of Leuven): Sixteenth-Century Symbola. 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 me an email (matthew.thomson@ucd.ie).
  • The Oxford Medieval Visual Culture Seminar will take place at 5pm in St Catherine’s College, Arumugam Building. This week’s speaker will be Julian Luxford University of St Andrews, The iconography of the Mass of St Gregory in England.
  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at 5pm, online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Dewi Alter, ‘Darllen y tir yn iawn: Mannau’r cof yn Drych y Prif Oesoedd‘. Please contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk for the link.

Friday 2nd December:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10:30-11.30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!). This is a perfect opportunity to see treasures of the Bodleian, go up to the roof terrace, pick the brains of other medievalists and, of course, drink coffee.

Finally, some wisdom from Alcuin on the joy of gifts:

Licet nullius nunc mens mea desideret munuscula propter animi mei requiem, tua tamen mihi sunt semper dulcia.
[Although my mind now desires nothing because of the peace of my spirit, your gifts are always sweet to me, Ep. 189.]

In other words, no matter how peaceful your spirit, it’s always nice to get a present! I hope that your last week is filled with sweet gifts! I will be back in your inboxes briefly next week with a Christmas email to finish off the term.

[A Medievalist finds the perfect sweet gift for a friend]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 60 v.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

Medieval Matters: Week 7

It’s only November, but the Oxford Christmas lights are up, and the Christmas market has come to Broad Street! It strikes me as a little early for Christmas celebrations just yet, particularly as we still have two whole weeks of term. Here is some advice from Alcuin on not getting ahead of ourselves:

Omnia vestra honeste cum ordine fiant. Tempus statuatur lectioni.
[Do all of your tasks decently and in order. Fix a time for reading, Ep. 72]

Of course, as well as fixing reading time, you should also fix time to attend some of our wonderful range of events. To help you keep your diary decently and in order, please see below for a list of the week’s happenings:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 21st November:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group led by Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning, and Tuija Ainonen is meeting as usual via Teams on Mondays from 1-2pm, continuing with the Ashmole bestiary (MS. Ashmole 1511), picking up after the Elephant on f. 16r, line 6.
  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar takes place at 12.30-2pm online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Bahattin Bayram (İstanbul Medeniyet University), Barbarians of Eusebius. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be Barbara Bombi (Kent), ‘Lost in translation: diplomacy and the use of languages at the papal curia in Avignon’. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk 
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7.30pm. Please email Ashley Castelino (ashley.castelino@lincoln.ox.ac.uk) to be added to the mailing list.

Tuesday 22nd November:

  • Workshop: Visual search for exploring and dating collections: lessons from Spanish chapbooks will take place at 09:30-11:30am online and in Cambridge. This workshop will explore the challenges and opportunities that using digital tools can bring to the study of large collections of images and their associated metadata. Registration required: https://www.cdh.cam.ac.uk/events/35527/
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar takes place at 12.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Eleanor Myerson (Cambridge), ‘Syrian Silks: The Fabrics of English Identity‘. The paper will be followed by lunch with the speaker. All welcome.
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Sophocles, Iphigenia at Taurus. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Maison française d’Oxford (www.mfo.ac.uk). Presentations begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker will be Dr Melek Karatas (John Rylands Library, Manchester): ‘Makers of Manuscripts as Readers of Manuscripts: The Montbaston Illuminators and the Roman de la Rose’. For more information and to be added on the seminar’s mailing list, contact sophie.marnette@balliol.ox.ac.uk 
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar takes place at 5pm at Charles Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. The theme for this term is ‘Women’. This week’s speaker will be Elena Rossi (Magdalen): Our Mother the University: maternal roles and the medieval university. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.
  • A network social for Early Medieval Britain and Ireland network will take place at 6:00 PM at the King’s Arms. Anyone with an interest in early medieval Britain and Ireland is most welcome. 

Wednesday 23rd November:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets for a paper by Ruth von Bernuth and Henrike Lähnemann on the Yiddish and German versions of ‘Sigenot’ as part of the ‘Dietrichsepik’ seminar at 11:15am in Somerville College – ask at the Lodge for directions. If you want to be added to the medieval German mailing list, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield (michael.stansfield@new.ox.ac.uk) for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles. This week’s speaker will be Liz James (Univ. of Sussex), Connecting Mosaics.
  • The Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures meets at 5.15pm in Memorial Room, The Queen’s College and on Zoom for the Michaelmas Term CMTC Lecture. The lecture will be Nikolay Tarasenko (Kyiv/Pembroke College, Oxford): ‘What Can the “Greenfield Papyrus” (pLondon BM EA 10554) Tell Us about Its Owner?’. Please register here (whether you are planning to attend in person or online).

Thursday 24th November:

  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at 5.15pm via Zoom and The History of the Book Room, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Myriah Williams (Berkeley): ‘Beginnings and endings: ‘Moli Duw yn Nechrau a Diwedd and Cyntefin Ceinaf Amser’‘. Please contact david.willis@jesus.ox.ac.uk if you need a link.

Friday 25th November:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10:30-11.30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!).
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm at St Hilda’s College, in the Julia Mann Room. The text will be extracts from the Chronicle of Langtoft; pdf will be provided. For access to the text and further information, please email: stephanie.hathaway@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk or jane.bliss@lmh.oxon.org.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Oxford Research in English: Call for submissions: ORE invites papers on the theme of ‘conversations’, across all periods, genres, and literary disciplines. We invite full papers of 5,000-8,000 words, due on the 6th of January 2023 to ore@ell.ox.ac.uk. All questions and queries should also be submitted to this email address. The editors also invite expressions of interest for book reviews and feature articles. For full details, please see here.

Finally, for anyone eagerly looking forward to the Christmas season, when things are not so busy: some advice from Alcuin on enjoying the present and not hoping too much for the future (even when you are very busy with admissions or MSt essay writing):

Tempus huius vitae velociter currit… ideo pretiosa nobis debent esse tempora
[This life passes quickly… so we should hold our time as precious, Ep. 78]

In other words, enjoy the last couple of weeks of term. May you have a week filled with precious times!

[A Medievalist tries to focus on their work and not on the Broad Street Christmas market…]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 95 v.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

Medieval Matters: Week 6

Welcome to Week 6. We’re now well and truly into the second half of term, and even though it has been unseasonably warm, winter is clearly coming: the sun is going down horribly early! If emerging from the library or a seminar to find that it’s already gone dark is getting you down, here is some advice from Alcuin:

maneat vero in vobis lumen scientiae
[let the light of learning dwell amongst you, Ep. 88]

Luckily we have plenty of bright lights of learning to keep us going through these dark winter months! See below for many events and seminars that might brighten up your week:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Save the Date: Invisible East Lecture on 21st November. Injustice, Corruption, and Partisanship in the Eastern Seljuq Lands of the Early Twelfth Century – Lecture by Deborah Tor (University of Notre Dame). 21 November 2022, 3PM, Spalding Room, FAMES.
  • Norman Sicily and Ifrīqiya – Documents, Scripts and Islamic Law: Thursday 1st December 2022 14:00 – 18:30, at The Buttery, Wolfson College, University of Oxford. To reserve a place, please email susannah.cogan@orinst.ox.ac.uk before 26th November. Places are limited and entrance will be strictly limited to those holding confirmation of a reserved place. For full details, see here.
  • Online Seminar Group: Medieval Wales and the Marches: The Mortimer History Society is working in partnership with Professor Helen Fulton (Bristol), Dr Emma Cavell (Swansea), and Dr Sara Elin Roberts (Chester) to create an Online Seminar Group: Medieval Wales and the Marches, to provide a forum for academics and independent scholars to share research papers. The online seminar group, which will be multi-disciplinary, welcomes membership and papers on aspects of the social, economic, cultural, legal, and political history of medieval Wales and the Marches. A mailing list of members is being assembled this term, along with a call for papers, with a view to seminars starting in spring term 2023. Please email Philip Hume at philip.r.hume@gmail.com if you would like to be added to the mailing list (indicating if you would be interested in giving a paper).

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 14th November:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group led by Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning, and Tuija Ainonen is back! Matthew writes: We reconvene until the end of term, meeting as usual via Teams on Mondays from 1-2pm. Tuija will lead the first session – in keeping with Luisa’s emails we’ll read some passages from the early 13th century Ashmole bestiary (MS. Ashmole 1511), starting with Elephant (f. 15v).
  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar takes place at 12.30-2pm online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Elvira Miceli (University of Oxford)The Byzantine Heritage of the Liber ad honorem Augusti. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar takes place at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Helena Hamerow, ‘Women of the Conversion Period’. A biomolecular investigation of mobility‘.
  • The Queer and Trans Medievalisms Reading Group meets at 3pm at Univ College, 12 Merton St Room 2. This week’s theme is Transmasc sainthood: Euphrosyne/Smaragdus. All extremely welcome! To join the mailing list and get texts in advance, or if you have any questions, email rowan.wilson@univ.ox.ac.uk.   
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be Jane Kershaw (Institute of Archaeology), ’A new look at silver in the Golden Age of Islam’. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk 
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30-7.30pm. Please email grace.oduffy@sjc.ox.ac.uk for more information and to be added to the mailing list.

Tuesday 15th November:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar takes place at 12.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Megan Cavell (Birmingham), ‘Before Attenborough: Early Medieval Natural History, Animal Diversity and “Edutainment”‘. The paper will be followed by lunch with the speaker. All welcome.
  • The Governability across the medieval globe Discussion Group meets at 12:30 in the History Faculty. Everyone welcome, staff, students and researchers, of all historical periods. We encourage you to bring lunch along. This session we will be discussing ‘Mountains and Uplands’.
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Seneca, Thyestes. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar takes place at 5pm at Charles Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. The theme for this term is ‘Women’. This week’s speaker will be Hannah Skoda (St John’s): ‘Eius filia incepit sugere mammillam dicte eius matris’ (Life of St Nicholas of Tolentino):  breast-feeding mothers in the later Middle Ages. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.

Wednesday 16th November:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets for a paper by Julia Lorenz on battles in ‘Dietrichs Flucht’ at 11:15am in Somerville College – ask at the Lodge for directions. If you want to be added to the medieval German mailing list, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield (michael.stansfield@new.ox.ac.uk) for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles. This week’s speaker will be Marie-Hélène Blanchet (CNRS) & Raúl Estangüi Gómez (Sorbonne), The Byzantine World in the Palaeologan Era: Empire(s) and Emerging Nation-States.

Thursday 17th November:

  • A special lecture on The linguistic relationship between the Gothic Bible and its Greek source by Professor Carla Falluomini (University of Perugia) will take place at 4−5pm as part of the Germanic Reading Group in the Oxford Linguistics Faculty – Common Room and via Zoom. All welcome!
  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music will take place on Zoom at 5pm. This week’s speaker will be Konstantin Voigt (University of Freiburg): From Lyre to Staff – Relating Diagrams, Neumes and Diastematic Notation. 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, contact Matthew Thomson.
  • The Oxford Medieval Visual Culture Seminar will take place at 5pm in St Catherine’s College, Arumugam Building. This week’s speaker will be Spike Bucklow Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, The Seven Ages; a medieval theory of growing up and aging, as illustrated by artists’ lives.
  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at 5.15pm via Zoom and The History of the Book Room, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Sarah Hill (Oxford): ‘Legacies and failures: Rethinking Welsh pop history’. Please contact david.willis@jesus.ox.ac.uk if you need a link.

Friday 18th November:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning which features treasures of the Bodleian Library takes place at 10:30-11.30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!).

Saturday 19th November:

  • The Quarterly Meeting of the Slavonic and Eastern European Medieval Studies Group takes place at 11am–4pm in Wolfson College, Seminar room 2. Speakers will be Elena Draghici-Vasilescu (Oxford) “Byzantine objects in mediaeval Rus’: a case study”; Lilian Ann-Charlotte Gutsjö (Gothenburg) “Змнн and львъ with the -ov- suffix in the Codex Suprasliensis“; Angus Russell (Cambridge) “Taxation or bribery? The semantics of bureaucracy in fifteenth-century Moscow” and Ralph Cleminson (Oxford) “Pilgrimage literature in mediaeval Rus’: fact or fiction?”. All four talks are free and open to the public.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Funded PhD position: ‘Slavery and the Households of Sixth-Century Gaul’. The position is funded to cover fees according to the UK domestic rate, with an additional annual stipend of £16,062. It will be conducted at the project’s host institution, the University of Leicester. Application deadline: 25 November 2022 Start date: as early as 9 January 2023 and no later than 25 September 2023. For more information, and to apply, please visit the University of Leicester’s application page.
  • The Invisible East Programme is looking for a Programme Finance Co-ordinator to join the team. Deadline for applications: 21 November 2022. More information at this link.

Finally, some more advice on coping with darkness from Alcuin:

religio vestrae conversationis fulgeat quasi claritas lucis in tenebris
[The goodness of your way of life should shine like a bright light in the dark, Ep. 187]

This advice never felt more necessary than in the British winter months! May your week be full of lights of some kind or another, even if the sun is setting before your seminars end for the day.

[A Medievalist peeks out of the library and is unimpressed to see the sun setting at 4.15pm]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 83 v.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

Medieval Matters: Week 5

Where did the term go? Somehow we are already at fifth week. This is an infamous week in the Oxford calendar, rumoured to bring stress and tiredness as we begin the second half of term. Here’s some advice on self-care from Alcuin if you are feeling the fifth week blues:

Cui largus eris, si tuae animae tenax; vel quis tibi fidelis erit, si tu tibi ipse infidelis erit?
[To whom will you be generous, if you are miserly to your own soul? Who will be loyal to you if you are disloyal to yourself?, Ep. 23]

Luckily fifth week also brings many gifts and joys: we are generously supplied with many wonderful events this week to keep your spirits up! It’s cold and it’s dark, but there are plenty of inspiring talks and papers to keep your spirits warm. If you’re feeling that winter is coming, this week’s Book at Lunchtime on Wednesday 9th at 12.30 focuses on Professor Carolyne Larrington’s All Men Must Die; if you’re dreaming of somewhere warmer, the Seven Sages of Rome as a Global Narrative Tradition Oxford-Berlin Workshop takes place on 11-12 November 2022; if you want to see new life breathed into Old English, make your way to WOOPIE at 5.15pm in New College, Room LR4 for Prof. José Luis Martínez-Dueñas (Universidad de Granada)’s lecture on ‘Jorge Luis Borges’s Old English Poetics; and if you want a taste of things to come in the summer months, see ‘Old Frisian, a Gem of Old Germanic Studies’ by Dr Anne Popkema at 5.15pm on Wednesday 9th, a taster session for the Old Frisian Summer School that will run later in the year. And that’s only a small sample of the many delights on offer this week! Here is the full roundup:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group is back! Mondays 1-2pm, starting 14 November (i.e., next week) on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions. Contact Matthew HolfordAndrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • This year the British Archaeological Association Postgraduate Conference will be hosting a fantastic array of papers by Early Career Researchers from across the world on topics ranging from medieval art, architecture, and archaeology. It will take place online on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 November 2022.  Here is a pdf copy of the programme and you can also see it on the Medieval Art Research website. Register for the conference here: https://bit.ly/3FDDsAI.
  • Violent Victorian Medievalism exhibition, Voltaire Room, Taylor Institution Library, 7th and 8th week (21 Nov-2 Dec): This exhibition tells part of the story of how ‘medieval’ often becomes synonymous with ‘violence’ in later responses to the Middle Ages. It brings together some of the Bodleian’s collection of Victorian and Edwardian English-language adaptations of the Nibelungenlied and related material. These publications are accompanied by eye-catching images, often focusing on some of the more violent aspects of the narrative. The digital exhibition is now live, as is registration for the closing reception on 2nd December, 17:00-18:15 (Friday of 8th week). Registration closes 24 Nov or when places are filled. 
  • The Seven Sages of Rome as a Global Narrative Tradition: Workshop and Talks. The workshop will start with a session in the Weston Library on Friday morning where the group will meet other Oxford medievalists at the Coffee Morning, followed by a view of special collections in the library. While this is for speakers only, their is limited capacity to attend the following talks at the Ioannou Centre. If interested, please contact the workshop co-ordinator Josh Hitt. For full details, please see our blog.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 7th November:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar takes place at 12.30-2pm online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Niels De Ridder (KU Leuven / Universität zu Köln), Representations of Jews in Middle-Byzantine hagiographical apocalypses. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be Lucia Akard (Oxford SU), ‘Rape and Survival in Late Medieval France and Burgundy‘. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk 
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7.30pm. Please email Ashley Castelino (ashley.castelino@lincoln.ox.ac.uk) to be added to the mailing list.

Tuesday 8th November:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar takes place at 12.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Brittany Schorn (Oxford), ‘Reading the Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda‘. The paper will be followed by lunch with the speaker. All welcome.
  • The Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures meets at 3.30pm at Memorial Room, The Queen’s College and on Zoom for a Work in Progress Colloquium. The speakers will be Benedetta Bessi (Venice/Stanford): ‘Towards a Digital Edition of the Liber insularum by Cristoforo Buondelmonti’ and Joseph Mason (New College, Oxford): ‘Oral and Written Transmission in Old French Song: a reassessment’. Please register here (whether you are planning to attend in person or online)
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Sophocles, Antigone. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Maison française d’Oxford (www.mfo.ac.uk). Presentations begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker will be Dr David Murray (Universiteit Utrecht): ‘The Crusades and Flemish Literary History: Home and Away?’. For more information and to be added on the seminar’s mailing list, contact sophie.marnette@balliol.ox.ac.uk 
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar takes place at 5pm at Charles Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. The theme for this term is ‘Women’. This week’s speaker will be Alice Spiers (St Anne’s): Situating the Visionary:  the politics of Mechthild of Magdeburg and Henry Suso. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.

Wednesday 9th November:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets for a paper by Marlene Schilling on Personification in the Dietrichsepik at 11:15am in Somerville College – ask at the Lodge for directions. If you want to be added to the medieval German mailing list, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • Book at Lunchtime with Professor Carolyne Larrington meets at 12.30pm (Lunch), 1-2pm (Discussion) in Radcliffe Humanities Seminar Room. For full details, see our blog.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield (michael.stansfield@new.ox.ac.uk) for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles. This week’s speaker will be Federica Scognamiglio (Scuola Normale Superiore), Before isometry: metrics and style of Ignatios the Deacon (and Pseudo-Ignatios).
  • Special Lecture: ‘Old Frisian, a Gem of Old Germanic Studies’ by Dr Anne Popkema will take place at 5.15pm in Taylor Room 2. The lecture is also a taster session for the Old Frisian Summer School which will run in July 2023 in St Edmund Hall. For full details, see our blog.

Thursday 10th November:

  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at 5.15pm via Zoom and The History of the Book Room, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Charlene Eska (Virginia Tech), ‘Let’s do it in the garden: A tale of temptation and redemption in NLS MS 72.1.26‘. Please contact david.willis@jesus.ox.ac.uk if you need a link.
  • WOOPIE (Oxford Old English Work-in-Progress) takes place at 5.15pm in New College, Room LR4. The speaker will be Prof. José Luis Martínez-Dueñas (Universidad de Granada): ‘Jorge Luis Borges’s Old English Poetics‘. The paper will be followed by drinks reception. All welcome. For further details, contact: rafael.pascual@ell.ox.ac.uk.

Friday 11th November:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10:30-11.30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library and the presentation will feature the launch of the edition of a Douce collection of material relating to St Margarete of Antioch by Lucian Shepherd plus the showing of this and two further books (Douce 155: Marcolphus and Douce S 195: Bidpai) demonstrating Francis Douce’s “cut-and-paste” approach to pre-modern books (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!).
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm at St Hilda’s College, in the Julia Mann Room. The text will be extracts from the Chronicle of Langtoft; pdf will be provided. For access to the text and further information, please email: Stephanie Hathaway or jane.bliss@lmh.oxon.org.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • The Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University (Vienna) is pleased to announce its call for applications for the 2023/2024 academic year. The deadline is February 1, 2023. Central European University is a graduate-level, English-language university with a multi-disciplinary Medieval Department that offers the following programs: 1-year MA in Late Antique, Medieval and Early Modern Studies; 2-year MA in Comparative History: Late Antique, Medieval and Renaissance Studies; 2-year MA in Cultural Heritage Studies; PhD in Late Antique, Medieval and Early Modern Studies. CEU provides a variety of need- and merit-based scholarships and various other types of financial support available to students at all levels and from any country (tuition waiver, stipend, housing awards, health insurance coverage): https://www.ceu.edu/financialaid. Interested applicants can contact us at medstud@ceu.edu. For further information, visit: https://medievalstudies.ceu.edu/.

Finally, some more advice from Alcuin on self-care to see you through the perils of fifth week:

Cur in alium spem ponis et tu tibi ipsi benefacere non vis?
[Why are you willing to put hope in another but not to do good to yourself?, Ep. 23]

May you be willing to do good to yourself and to others this week!

[A Medievalist is feeling the 5th week blues sneak up on them]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 30 r.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

The Seven Sages of Rome as a Global Narrative Tradition

Oxford-Berlin Workshop 11-12 November 2022, organised by Ida Toth (Oxford) and Jutta Eming (Berlin)

The Seven Sages of Rome (SSR) is a title commonly used for one of the most widely distributed pre-modern collections of stories, which – remarkably – also happens to be barely known today, even among medievalists and early modernists. Several early versions of the SSR exist in Greek (Syntipas), Arabic (Seven Viziers), Hebrew (Mishle Sendebar), Latin (Dolopathos, Historia septem sapientum), Persian (Sindbād-nameh) and Syriac (Sindbād) as well as in the later translations into Armenian, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, German, English, French, Hungarian, Icelandic, Polish, Russian, Scottish, Serbian, Swedish, Spanish, Romanian, Turkish and Yiddish. The multilingual traditions of the SSR, with their many intercultural links, cannot be adequately understood within the current division of research disciplines into distinct medieval and modern linguistic areas. To mend this deficiency, the workshop has invited specialists in affiliated fields to address the problems of surveying the long history of creative adaptations associated with the SSR. The participants will consider the complexities of the philological, literary, and historical analysis of the SSR in many of its attested versions across the pre-modern and early modern periods. The workshop is envisaged as a forum for a robust discussion on possible ways of advancing the current scholarship of the SSR, and as an opportunity to strengthen the inter-institutional collaboration involving specialists based at the universities in Oxford and Berlin, and more broadly.

The workshop will start with a session in the Weston Library on Friday morning where the group will meet other Oxford medievalists at the Coffee Morning, followed by a view of special collections in the library. While this is for speakers only, their is limited capacity to attend the following talks at the Ioannou Centre. If interested, please contact the workshop co-ordinator Josh Hitt.

FRIDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2022, THE IOANNOU CENTRE

  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Beatrice Gründler, Kalīla and Dimna – AnonymClassic: Methodology and Practical Implementations (via Zoom, 1st-fl Seminar Room)
  • 4 pm – 5 pm: Daniel Sawyer, Forgotten books: The application of Unseen Species Models to the Survival of Culture (In person, Outreach Room)

SATURDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2022, THE IOANNOU CENTRE

10 am – 11.30 am

  • Jutta Eming, The Seven Sages of Rome in Literary History and Genre Theory
  • David Taylor, Re-examining the Evidence of the Syriac Book of Sindbād
  • Ida Toth, The Byzantine Book of Syntipas: Approaches and Directions
  • Emilie van Opstall, The Representation of Women in Byzantine Syntipas and Latin Dolopathos

12 pm – 1.30 pm

  • Bettina Bildhauer, Consent in the German Version of the Seven Sages of Rome
  • Rita Schlusemann, Genre, Dissemination and Multimodality of the Septem sapientum Romae, especially in Dutch and German
  • Niko Kunkel, Statistics and Interpretation: Annotating the German Sieben Weise Meister
  • Ruth von Bernuth, Yiddish Seven Masters

4.30 pm: Tea and a guided tour of St Edmund Hall with Henrike Lähnemann

5.45 pm: Evensong at New College

Appendix: List of manuscripts and early printed books in the Bodleian Library:

  • Arabic: Pococke 400
  • Greek: Barocc. 131 and Laud. 8
  • Armenian: MS. Arm. e. 33 and MS. Canonici Or. 131
  • Hebrew (Mishle Sendebar/Fables of Sendebar): MS. Heb. d. 11 (ff. 289-294) and MS. Bodl. Or. 135 (ff. 292-300r)
  • Yiddish: Opp. 8. 1115 Mayse fun Ludvig un Aleksander and Opp. 8. 1070 Zibn vayzn mansters fun Rom
  • Welsh Jesus College MS 111
  • Middle English: B. Balliol College MS. 354
  • English, early printed book: The History of the Seven Wise Masters of Rome. Now newly Corrected better Explained in many places and enlarged with many pretty Pictures etc. London, Printed for John Wright, next to the Globe in Little-Brittain, 1671

Image: British Library, Add. MS. 15685, f. 83r (XIV century, Venice)

Book At Lunchtime: All Men Must Die

When: 12.30pm (Lunch), 1-2pm (Discussion) on Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Where: Radcliffe Humanities Seminar Room

Winter is indeed coming and Book at Lunchtime focuses on Professor Carolyne Larrington’s All Men Must Die.

‘All men must die’: or ‘Valar Morghulis’, as the traditional Essos greeting is rendered in High Valyrian. And die they do – in prodigious numbers; in imaginatively varied and gruesome ways; and often in terror within the viciously unpredictable world that is HBO’s sensational evocation of Game of Thrones. Epic in scope and in imaginative breadth, the stories that are brought to life tell of the dramatic rise and fall of nations, the brutal sweeping away of old orders and the advent of new autarchs in the eternal quest for dominion.

Yet, as this book reveals, many potent and intimate narratives of love and passion can be found within these grand landscapes of heroism, honour and death. They focus on strong relationships between women and family, as well as among the anti-heroes, the ‘cripples, bastards and broken things’. In this vital follow-up to Winter Is Coming (2015), acclaimed medievalist Professor Carolyne Larrington (St John’s College) explores themes of power, blood-kin, lust and sex in order to draw entirely fresh meanings out of the show of the century.

Professor Larrington is joined by panellists Dr Katherine Olley (English) and Dr Laura Varnam (English) discuss the themes and narratives of her latest book.

Book your place here.

CMTC presents research talks (Michaelmas 2022)

The Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures (CMTC) is a research group based at The Queen’s College in the University of Oxford. We are scholars working in different fields of the humanities with a common interest in pre- and early modern texts, their materiality, transmission, and dissemination. For further information please visit our websitehttps://cmtc.queens.ox.ac.uk/. Most of our research talks are recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel CMTC Mediahttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNAJFkc6gzBVgseJ_IRrpLw. If you like CMTC Media please subscribe to the channel and turn on notifications to receive regular updates on the new content available.

There are two CMTC events in Michaelmas term:

(1)  “Work in Progress” colloquium
Tuesday 8th November 2022, 3,30–5,00pm UK timeMemorial Room, The Queen’s College (and Zoom)(please register through the link provided below: Zoom links will be sent by email by 9,00am UK time on the day of the talk)
Benedetta Bessi (Venice/Stanford): ‘Towards a Digital Edition of the Liber insularum by Cristoforo Buondelmonti’
Joseph Mason (New College, Oxford): ‘Oral and Written Transmission in Old French Song: a reassessment’

Please register here (whether you are planning to attend in person or online)

(2) Michaelmas Term Lecture
Wednesday 23rd November 2022, 5,15–6,45pm UK timeMemorial Room, The Queen’s College (and Zoom)(please register through the link provided below: Zoom links will be sent by email by 9,00am UK time on the day of the talk)
Nikolay Tarasenko (Kyiv/Pembroke College, Oxford): ‘What Can the “Greenfield Papyrus” (pLondon BM EA 10554) Tell Us about Its Owner?’
Please register here (whether you are planning to attend in person or online)