The 2022 Medium Ævum Annual Lecture

The Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature are pleased to announce the 2022 Medium Ævum Annual Lecture will be taking place on Saturday, 2 July (4:30-6pm BST):

Dr Ryan Perry (University of Kent) will deliver the annual lecture on ‘Middle English Books of Devotion and Liturgical Privatisation in Fifteenth-century England’, as part of the ‘Pfaff at 50’ conference at the University of Nottingham marking 50 years since the publication of Richard W. Pfaff’s ground-breaking New Liturgical Feasts in Later Medieval England

Dr Perry’s lecture will examine several devotional texts (such as pseudo-Bonaventure’s Meditationes vitae Christi and its English redaction by Nicholas Love) alongside manuscript assemblages to investigate how vernacular religious materials were put in service of individualised or household reading programmes. Such programmes might imitate the rhythms of the official liturgy or alternatively be understood in some respects as quasi-liturgies, reflecting improvised devotional regimens and structures of pious observance.

Registration details for in-person and online attendance are available at the following link: https://pfaff50.wordpress.com/keynote/

Coffee Morning with Professor William Chester Jordan

The Faculty of History and Oxford Medieval Studies are pleased to invite you to an informal meet and greet coffee morning with William Chester Jordan (Professor of Medieval History,
Princeton University) on the occasion of his reception of an honorary degree of the University of Oxford.
When? Thursday 23rd June, 10.30am-12 noon
Where? The garden of Harris Manchester College (Mansfield Road), or in the Warrington
Room in the case of rain.
Coffee and croissants will be provided.
For catering purposes, please register your attendance if possible:
https://forms.gle/AkvPUsX2Ur1hbgTU7

Bill Jordan gave the 2021 Oxford Medieval Studies keynote lecture “A Thirteenth-Century Polymath Considers the Jews” – watch it here:

Oxford Medieval Studies lecture 2021

Medieval Matters: Week 8

Somehow we are now at the final week of the academic year! It seems to have flown by – it feels like only yesterday that I met many of you at the Michaelmas Term Medieval Roadshow. This year we’ve enjoyed the return of in-person seminars, covering topics from late Byzantine Arabic and Persian poetry to St Birgitta of Sweden; a whole range of OMS events ranging from special lectures by Caroline Danforth and Lucy Pick to the Medieval Mystery Plays; and a whole host of exciting events and conferences. A very short but very appropriate piece of wisdom today, taken from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

Wurðe ðe god se ende
[May the end be good]

To ensure that this term has a good end, here is the roundup of events that you can enjoy:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Release of Oxford Research in English Issue 13: Masks. The committee for Oxford Research in English (ORE), the journal of the Faculty of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, is pleased to announce the release of its latest issue! This issue has been slightly delayed from Autumn 2021, but we are happy to announce it is now fully published. Its theme was ‘Masks’, and the committee were excited to have so many submissions of such high quality. Please find a copy available for download or online reading at this link

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 13th June:

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Stephanie Forrest (Cambridge), Byzantine-Armenian Doctrinal Discourse in the Period of the Early Islamic Conquests, c. 630-720. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at the Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Alice Taylor (KCL), ‘The Problem of Politics in C12 Europe’. 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 Forgotten Christianities Seminar meets at 5pm online. Booking is essential so that you receive the link for the seminar: please click here. This week’s speakers are Dr Peter Miller (Iowa), ‘Learning Ascesis in Three Steps: Training Novices in the Reform Monastic Tradition of the Church of the East‘ and David Gyllenhaal (Princeton), ‘The Rebuke Homily: Collective Trauma and the Christianization of the Syriac Speaking Peasantry‘.

Tuesday 14th June:

  • The Oxford Numismatic Society meets at 5pm. This week is the McKenzie Lecture. For further information please contact the secretary: giorgia.capra@new.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Ian McDole (Keble), ‘Bruno of Toul or Leo IX? Progressing from bishop to pope‘.

Wednesday 15th June:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in St Edmund Hall in the Principal’s Drawing Room for a presentation by Linus Möllenbrink on his project of Reading Practices. For more information, please email henrike.laehnemann@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1pm in the Mertze Tate room of the History Faculty and online. Anyone interested in any element of medieval trade and its study are very welcome to join, from any department. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock at annabel.hancock@history.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Iberian History Seminar takes place at 4.30pm at Rector’s Drawing Room, Exeter College. Today’s speaker will be Rosa Vidal Doval – ‘Tracing the Medieval Genealogies of ‘Limpieza de Sangre’.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Ugo Mondini (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften) – ‘John Mauropous: verse, structure, and poetry book‘.
  • The LIPS: Manuscript Studies Lecture takes place at 5pm at The Senate Room, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. The speaker will be Sonja Drimmer (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), on “Witness/Copy/Record: Towards an Expansive Manuscript Studies“.

Thursday 16th June:

  • Choral Eucharist for Corpus Christi takes place at 12pm at St Edmund Hall. This lunchtime service in the Crypt of St Peter’s-in-the-East celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi, instituted in the late Middle Ages to give thanks for the gift of Holy Communion. A consort will sing John Taverner’s Mean Mass for five voices and William Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus. The service will conclude with a procession from the Crypt to the Chapel and with final Benediction hymns there.
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place Online. This week’s speaker is Barbara Roggema (CERES), ‘The Abbasid translation movement on the move: Qusta ibn Luqa’s refutation of the inimitability of the Qur’an and his move to Armenia’. Zoom meeting link.

Friday 17th June:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10.30pm in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!). This week, Andrew Dunning and Henrike Lähnemann will present the Bavarian prayerbook manuscript left by Nigel Palmer to the Bodleian Library (which used to have the shelfmark Utopia Armarium codicum bibliophilorum Cod. 1!).

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Call for papers: Thematic issue “Memory and truthfulness in narratives of conflicts: England and France in the Middle Ages” We invite submissions of articles, translations and reviews. For more information, reach us at fernando.p.santos@unesp.br or Academia.edu (https://unesp.academia.edu/FernandoSantos). Don’t forget to have a look at Brathair (Journal of Celtic and Germanic Studies) (ISSN: 1519-9053) website: https://ppg.revistas.uema.br/…/bra…/announcement/view/72. Call for papers postponed until July, 30th.
  • Job Opening: Editorial Assistant for Studies in Late Antiquity. Studies in Late Antiquity (SLA) is a journal that provides a forum for scholarly research on global Late Antiquity (150 – 750 CE). This field-leading, international journal is published quarterly by University of California Press and is currently operated at Princeton University. We seek an editorial assistant for SLA who will oversee editorial management of the day-to-day operations of the journal. To apply, click: <https://main-princeton.icims.com/jobs/14999/editorial-assistant/job> To learn more about the journal, click: <https://online.ucpress.edu/sla>.

Finally, some timely wisdom from Beowulf about endings:

Ure æghwylc sceal ende gebidan
worolde lifes; wyrce se þe mote
domes ær deaþe.

[Each of us must await the end of life in this world; let him who can achieve glory before death.]

I interpret this to mean that, though term will inevitably end on Friday, we can nonetheless achieve medievalist glory in the meantime by enjoying seminars and events and catching up with our colleagues before we all go our separate ways for the summer! I’ll be back briefly next week with some final announcements / exciting opportunities happening over the summer, but for now, I wish you an enjoyable and ‘glorious’ last week of term.

[A Medievalist shocked and horrified to discover they have reached the end of the term]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 5v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Mustele

Biblical Drama in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present

For the full programme of the workshop with abstracts cf. https://translatin.nl/workshop-biblical-drama/

Organisers: Dr Dinah Wouters (Amsterdam), Sarah Fengler (Oxford)

Liturgical drama in the Middle Ages starts by adapting the most cherished texts of European culture: Scripture. Once introduced as a common practice of dramatising the Bible, European drama kept producing scriptural plays. While there was a strong German tradition of medieval mystery plays, the history of biblical drama is by no means limited to the German cultural sphere. New formats and modes of biblical drama developed through the centuries and in different language areas: from French mystery plays, humanist sacred comedies and tragedies, Jesuit Bible drama, and Spanish Golden Age autos sacramentalesthrough to neoclassical biblical tragedy, biblical Trauerspiele in the German Empfindsamkeit, and scriptural plays in English Romanticism. Furthermore, there was a rediscovery of the so-called cycle plays during the nineteenth century, and even today biblical narratives are still being staged, from modern and postmodern biblical plays through to Broadway and movies. A large number of writers from various eras debated the question of how Scripture can be dramatised, including Hugo Grotius, Jean Racine, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Voltaire, George Gordon Byron, and Pier Paolo Pasolini, to name but a few.

In this workshop, we want to explore the continuities, (in)consistencies, and break lines in the history of European biblical drama. Our objective is to come closer to a diachronic, transnational, and comparative perspective on biblical drama as a literary genre.

Programme

09.00-09.30 Arrival with coffee and tea

09.30-09.45 Opening words

09.45-10.45

Keynote by Daisy Black (University of Wolverhampton)
Hole-y Bodies: Exploring gender in the textual gaps of medieval and modern biblical drama

One of the key challenges with the diverse texts collected into the asynchronous structure we call ‘the Bible’, is that these scriptures are fundamentally ‘holey’ as well as holy.  By nature of their compilation, form and function, they present us with holes in the text, holes in the narrative, and holes in characterisation.  Such holes seem to frustrate the process of dramatization, in which divine stories and beings must be given body, direction and story.  Meanwhile, the mere act of staging scripture entails its own issues of embodiment, threatening to expose the aching gap between venerated or divine figures and the bodies representing them.  Yet for generations of those seeking to dramatize scripture, both scriptural and physical ‘holes’ have also presented opportunities: gaps through which contemporary concerns might be expressed, explored, rationalised and raised in protest.  This is particularly the case in the staging of narratives involving women, whose scriptural origins tend to be even more ‘holey’ than those of male figures.  Using English-language case studies from the medieval, early modern and modern periods, this paper examines how playmakers across time have grappled with gaps, and used them to give voice and body to ideas about gender and how we choose whose stories are told.

10.45-12.15 Panel 1

Tovi Bibring (Bar-Ilan University and University of Oxford)
Disciplining Emotions in The Mystery Play, Le mistere du Viel Testament as a Case Study

Written by several authors, the 45 mysteries that were compiled in the fifteenth century in an opus referred to as Le mistere du Viel Testament are not merely an “encyclopedia of sacred knowledge, traditions and legends,” as labeled by their modern editors. They are also an important source for understanding the history of emotions in medieval and early modern times. Yet, despite the fact that literary research on the subject has developed greatly over the past years, influenced by the discipline of history of emotions, biblical adaptations in general, and biblical drama in particular, remain quite neglected. Scriptural narratives left enormous lacunas regarding the psychological outcomes of the events experienced by the biblical protagonists. Like any genre of biblical literary adaptation, the different mysteries contained in Le mistere thus provided fertile soil for speculative amplifications about such emotional states. Authors and dramaturges alike could “recontextualize” the psychological implications of any biblical episode in their contemporary setting, and, quite judgmentally, direct the audience toward a supervised formation of their emotions. Such texts thus played a double role, simultaneously constructing the emotional discourse and evaluating it, instructing the audience whether to accept or reject it. In my presentation, I would like to demonstrate the means by which such biblical adaptations acted as an agent to disciplining emotions, according to this double role. Aspiring particularly towards the theorization of the specific contribution of the biblical mystery play to the emotive discourses, I will show the similarities and differences between the mysteries and other genres that perform this literalization of the imagined emotional consequences of the biblical material, such as devotional and didactic texts and parodies.

Cecily Fasham (University of Oxford)
Teaching Faith: Performing Pedagogy in the Jeu d’Adam

The Jeu d’Adam represents the earliest extant script for a drama in French or a vernacular language of England. Although the single extant manuscript, MS Tours 927, dates from the late 12th century and was copied in the Loire valley, it is written in Anglo-Norman dialect, and orthographic evidence suggests that its Occitan-speaking scribe struggled with his earlier copytext’s unfamiliar language.

The play has an episodic structure, dramatizing Adam and Eve’s fall from Eden, followed by Cain’s murder of Abel, and a procession of prophets largely adapted from the Pseudo-Augustinian Sermo contra Judeos, Paganos, et Arianos, which includes a debate between Isaiah and a Jew. The Jeu d’Adam has traditionally been viewed as a ritual drama, emerging from liturgy and the performative ceremonies of church services; my paper explores interconnections between the play and contemporary pedagogical practices, building on Christophe Chaguinian’s study of the manuscript in MS Tours 927 and the Provenance of the Play, which locates the play in the context of a large secular institution, such as a Cathedral school.

I examine the Jeu in relation to Peter Cantor’s tripartite educational schema of lectiodisputatio, and predicatio. This reveals that the play employs lectio and disputatio (which pertain to the building of faith), but avoids resolving learning into predicatio (preaching good conduct). I argue that through this, the playwright opens up to his vernacular audience the behind-the-scenes methods of learning faith usually reserved for Latinate students, teaching his audience how to discover divine truth for themselves, through the figural reading of Scripture. He uses debate-scenes to test these truth-claims, and to problematise ideas of textual authority and literary production. The playwright takes on the role of interpres: translator, mediator, prophet, and teacher, modelling a way of engaging with and discovering truth in Scripture drawn from the twelfth-century classroom.

M.A. Katritzky (The Open University)
Female religious leaders and the medieval spice-merchant scene

Female religious communities contributed significantly to the highly efficient transnational cultural networks of the medieval Catholic Church; in terms of circulating images, vernacular texts, and above all Latin texts. Drawing on visual as well as textual medieval documents, some previously unknown to specialists, my current researches explore the decisive, previously under-recognized role of their contributions to the development of the so-called merchant scene of biblical drama, representing Easter Holy Women purchasing spices from one or more generally itinerant healers. Encouraged by highly educated female religious leaders in France, Austria, the central Czech and German-speaking lands and elsewhere, theatrical representations of spice-purchasing Holy Women circulated between religious communities right across Europe. As they did so, they moved ever closer to legitimating women on the religious stage, and to providing it with a deeply moving female counterpart—at the end of Christ’s life—to the male-dominated visit of the spice-bearing Kings who herald its beginning. 

Through their creativity and patronage, female religious leaders were the first to recognize the great significance of the merchant scene for Easter ceremonies. Their influential repurposing and secularization of this brief biblical episode achieved a substantial, popular, dramatic vehicle for explicating the origins of the Easter Holy Womens’ spice containers, and for extending and emphasizing the impact and importance of the Easter story’s Holy Women in biblical drama. Making full use of the powerful transnational cultural networks of the Catholic Church to communicate between their mostly Benedictine communities, the female religious leaders who contributed most significantly towards establishing the merchant scene as a popular, even dominant, element in Easter performances, instrumentally influenced the development of the European religious stage.

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-14.30 

Keynote by Jan Bloemendal (Huygens Institute, Amsterdam)
The Bible on the Early Modern Stage: A Transnational Approach

In the Early Modern period, several Biblical stories were popular themes for dramatic productions. The playwrights were Christians themselves and their audiences were similarly Christian, be it in the course of the sixteenth century more confessionalized. Protestant humanists and Jesuit fathers wrote Biblical plays for the educational situation, and chose, for instance, the story of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, Esther, Jephthah, stories from the Books of Kings, and parables of the Good Samaritan, the lost sheep, the poor Lazarus and the Rich man, and the Prodigal Son. Also the life and death of Jesus was the subject of some plays. We can deal with these plays as individual dramas, but also as nodes in a network. Authors were inspired by each others’ plays. In this paper, I will explore ways of researching them in  transnational ways. 

14.30-15.30 Panel 2 (chair: Rasmus Vangshardt)

Wim François (KU Leuven)
Biblical Drama and Politically Incorrect Ideas in the Early Modern Netherlands

Francisca Stangel (University of Kent)
Sapientia Solomonis: Transcending national, cultural, and socio-economic borders

15.30-16.00 Break

16.00-17.00 Panel 3

Rasmus Vangshardt (University of Southern Denmark)
Beauty and the Bible in Two Old Testament Plays by Lope de Vega

Sarah Fengler (University of Oxford)
German and Swiss Old Testament Plays in the Eighteenth Century. Klopstock, Lavater, Bodmer

17.00-18.30 Panel 4

Alina Kornienko (Université Paris-VIII-Vincennes-Saint-Denis)
Le paradigme du “fil prodigue” dans l’œuvre de Jean-Luc Lagarce / “Retracing your own footsteps”: the paradigm of the “prodigal son” in the dramatic creation of Jean-Luc Lagarce

(ONLINE) Jean-François Poisson-Gueffier (Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle Paris 3)
Create or recreate? Paul Claudel and the Medieval French Biblical Drama

(ONLINE) Giampaolo Molisina (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Pasolini’s Vangelo and the Loss of the Sacred Dimension in Contemporary Man

Register

If you want to register, either to attend the conference in person or to follow the two online presentations, please send an email to sarah.fengler@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk and dinah.wouters@huygens.knaw.nl.

Poster for the workshop

Dag Nikolaus Hasse (Würzburg University): What is European? Medieval, Colonial and Postcolonial Perspectives

Friday, 10 June 2022, 5pm, in St Edmund Hall, Old Library

We often talk about Europe, but our traditional ideas about European culture are questionable. This is because we carry views from the colonial and romantic periods that distort our image of history and geography and may prove a burden for future coexistence on the continent. I would like to encourage us to think more openly about Europe, about its broad cultural roots and its intensive relations with its continental neighbours. 
This includes reflecting on medieval clichés: medieval Europe was not a “Christian land” as the Romantics Novalis and Chateaubriand dreamed it. It was much more than that.

If you would like to participate remotely, please contact Henrike Lähnemann to be added to a teams call.

Storyteller (meddah) at a coffeehouse in the Ottoman Empire. The first coffeehouses appeared in the Islamic world in the 15th century. Source: Wikimedia

Medieval Matters: Week 7

Although the weather wasn’t always sunny, this weekend saw much celebration in Oxford, bringing both the platinum jubilee and LGBTQIA+ Pride! In honour of these events I have, of course, been on the look out for some seasonal wisdom. There is plenty of Old English guidance on kingship, but the Instructions for Christians holds some particularly pertinent wisdom on the subject for us as academics:

[Leornunge] geeadmodað eghwylcne kyng,
swilce þone earman eac aræreð

[Learning humbles every king, and likewise raises up the poor]

Though some seminars have now wound down for the summer, we still have plenty of opportunities for leornunge this week which are sure to raise us all up, both in mind and in spirit. Please see below for the weekly schedule:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 6th June:

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Natacha Puglisi (KCL), ‘Sanctity in Late Antiquity‘ (exact title TBC). To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning Tuiija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at The Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is David d’Avray (UCL), ‘How to do medieval papal (and perhaps most) history’. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 7th June:

  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30-4.30pm at the Old Law Library in Magdalen College. We will be reading on Women Writers: Women’s Letters.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Scott Moynihan (Pembroke), ‘God Wills It? Crusade and inter-religious diplomacy in the 13th century‘.
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar meets online only at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker will be Domenic Leo (independent researcher): ‘“Authorial Presence” in a Manuscript of Guillaume de Machaut’s Collected Works (Paris, BnF, ms. Fr.1584)’. Please email helen.swift@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk for video-conference link.

Wednesday 8th June:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in St Edmund Hall, Old Library. We are discussing Seuse’s ‘Büchlein der ewigen Weisheit’, this week Nia Moseley-Roberts on Citational Practice in German and Latin and Rebekka Gründel on Women as readers. For more information, please email henrike.laehnemann@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • Dumbarton Oaks Ukraine Lecture Series: The Cathedral of St. Sophia, Kyiv takes place online at 12-1.30pm. The cathedral of St. Sophia in the historic center of Kyiv dates to ca. 1037 and is one of the most remarkable medieval monuments of Kyivan Rus. This roundtable brings together three scholars who will address the distinctive architectural and decorative features of this impressive monument, as well as its visual and symbolic transformations from the Middle Ages into the present. Speakers: Thomas Dale (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “‘In Heaven or on Earth’: Saint Sophia in Kyiv and the Reinvention of Byzantine Sacred and Palatine Architecture in the Kyivan Rus”; Ioli Kalavrezou (Harvard University), “The Original Mosaic Program of St. Sophia in Kyiv”; and Sofia Korol’ (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), “To the History of the Interwar Church Decorations in Galicia: Kyivan Rus’ Images and Motifs (P. Kholodny and M. Osinchuk)”. To register, please click here to visit the website.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Arietta Papaconstantinou (University of Reading) – Greek letters from the Arab chancery: who wrote the governors’ missives in eight-century Fusṭāṭ.

Thursday 9th June:

  • The Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This term’s topic is ‘Maeren’. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • Oxford Medieval Society Public Lecture: Christine de Pizan: Guilty Feminist? Dr Charlotte Cooper-Davis will give this lecture in the New Seminar Room in St. John’s College, 1-2.30pm. All are very welcome, and please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions at oxfordmedievalsociety@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing many of you there!
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place at Trinity College (Levine Auditorium) at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Adrian Pirtea (Universität Wien), ‘Syriac Monastic Networks and the Transfer of Knowledge between the Eastern Mediterranean, Sasanian Iran and Central Asia’. Follow the link to the Zoom meeting.
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30pm. For more information and to receive the text in advance email eugenia.vorobeva@jesus.ox.ac.uk.

Friday 10th June:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10.30pm 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 5pm in Taylorian Room 2 and on Zoom. This term, Luca Crisma (EPHE, Paris) will lead reading of the Anglo-Norman Letter of Prester John. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.
  • Lecture at St Edmund Hall: Dag Nikolaus Hasse (Würzburg University) will speak on ‘What is European? Medieval, Colonial and Postcolonial Perspectives‘ at 5pm in St Edmund Hall Old Library and on Teams. If you would like to participate remotely, please contact Henrike Lähnemann to be added to the teams call.

Finally, in the spirit of Pride, some wisdom contained in a 12th Century lesbian love letter written by a nun, preserved in München Clm 19411:

Revera iuxta quendam sapientem magna miseria est hominis,
cum illo non esse
sine quo non potest esse

[Indeed, as a certain wise person says, it is a great misery for somebody not to be with the person without whom they cannot be.]

May your week be filled with all of the people and learning without whom you cannot be!

[A couple of Medievalists, having had a rather celebratory weekend, take a small break from being raised up by learning to enjoy just ‘being’]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 9v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Colum

Medieval Matters: Week 6

June seems to have snuck up on us: already we are fast approaching the end of the academic year! One very nice aspect of this is that the days are getting so much longer and lighter. The Old English Menologium or ‘Metrical Calendar’ tells us that the reason for this is that the sun wishes to spend longer regarding the earth:

Wyle syððan leng
grund behealdan and gangan lator
ofer foldan wang fægerust leohta,
woruldgesceafta.

[Then the fairest of lights and of things in this world wishes to behold the ground longer and go more slowly over the earth]

I interpret this to mean: no matter how busy and important a person might be, it is still important to take a moment to slow down and ponder! Take time this week to ‘behold’ some of the events that we have on offer:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Save the date: on Thursday 9th June 2022, Dr Charlotte Cooper-Davis will give a lecture entitled “Christine de Pizan: Guilty Feminist?”. The lecture will take place in the New Seminar Room in St. John’s College, 13:00-14.30. All are very welcome, and please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions at oxfordmedievalsociety@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing many of you there!
  • New Seminar Series:Forgotten Christianities‘ is a seminar series exploring critical theories of identity formation, communal memory, and intellectual exchange. Each session will bring together doctoral students and ERCs from various fields such as history, archaeology, theology, and the social sciences. Spanning Late Antiquity, the early Islamic era, and the Middle Ages, they will provide a diachronic and kaleidoscopic view of these historical communities and their self-representation. Seminars will be held on Zoom. For further details, and to sign up for events in advance, please click here or contact forgottenchristianities@gmail.com.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 30th May:

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Luca Farina (Tübingen), ‘Arabo-Greek Astrological Manuscripts: The Vind. Phil. Gr. 115 and Its Anonymous Chapters‘. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Oxford Medieval Commentary Network meets at 4pm at Lecture Theatre 2, Christ Church. This week’s speaker is Audrey Southgate, ‘Experiments in Openness: Reading the Wycliffite Interpretations of the Psalms’. For further information, email cosima.gillhammer@chch.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm online on Teams. Please note that there is no in-person seminar this week. This week’s speaker is Fanny Bessard (Trinity), ‘Riches and Respect. Baghdad’s robber barons (892-945)’. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 31st May:

  • The Oxford Numismatic Society meets at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Dr. Elena Baldi – works on Ostrogothic coinage, title TBC. For further information please contact the secretary: giorgia.capra@new.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speakers are Diana Myers (St Benet’s Hall), ‘Gendered authority in the Barking Abbey Ordinal (Oxford, Univ. Coll. MS 169)‘ and Barbara Pinto De Almeida Lima (Wolfson), ‘Sexual Agency and Violence: the construction of female sexuality in the 13thc pastourelle‘.

Wednesday 1st June:

  • There is no meeting of the Medieval German Seminar.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1pm in the Mertze Tate room of the History Faculty and online. Anyone interested in any element of medieval trade and its study are very welcome to join, from any department. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock at annabel.hancock@history.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Ine Jacobs (University of Oxford), ‘The Byzantine Dark Ages at Aphrodisias‘.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Vincent Gillespie (University of Oxford), ‘Preaching to the choir: a sceptical look at English Carthusian transmission of vernacular spiritual writings’ (chaired by Laura Ashe). For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.

Thursday 2nd June:

  • The Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This term’s topic is ‘Maeren’. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Greek and Latin Reading Group meets at 4pm in Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College – meet at Jesus lodge. This week’s text is Lucian, The Dream (or, the Cock) 18-19. Contact John Colley or Jenyth Evans to be added to the mailing list.
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place at Trinity College (Levine Auditorium). This week’s speaker is Alberto Riggolio (Durham), ‘Towards a History of Syriac Rhetoric in Late Antiquity’. Zoom meeting link.

Friday 3rd June:

  • Because of the bank holiday, there will be no Medievalists Coffee Morning this week. But do return next week when Chris Fletcher has promised we will be shown one very recent  acquisition and one which had been ‘hiding in plain sight’ for almost 100 years and is effectively new! 

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • CFP: The Great Medieval Feast, c.1050-1500: We ask for paper submissions covering topics on European feasting cultures and practices between c.1050–c.1500. These include papers that cover works or portrayals of courts outside Europe, but have some basis in European literature, art, or practice. Please send abstracts of up to 250 words to thegreatmedievalfeast@gmail.com. Paper presentations should last 20-minutes. Papers can cover material from any language, but sources not in English should be presented with translations. Presenters can be at any stage in their career; we particularly welcome early career researchers. For full details please see the full CFP here.

Finally, for days when it isn’t as sunny, some wisdom on a more metaphorical kind of light:

Wisdom is leoht wera æghwilcum
to habbanne her on weoruldæ.

[Wisdom is a light for all to have here in this world]

Of course, I hope that you get to enjoy the light of wisdom and of the sun this week!

[A very busy Medievalist carves out a little time for themselves]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 8v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Fenix

Medieval Matters: Week 5

We are now half way through Trinity Term! Though it is one of the busiest times of year, we also get to enjoy how beautiful Oxford looks in the sunshine. The fact that everything just looks better in the summer is acknowledged in the Old English Seafarer:

Bearwas blostmum nimað, byrig fægriað,
wongas wlitigað

[The groves begin blossoming, the cities grow fair, the plains become beautiful]

Even if it’s not sunny outside, we can still enjoy some nature today: if you would like a break from work, New College Library has a one-day exhibition in lecture room 4 from 11-4pm, showing rare books and manuscripts from the library’s fabulous collections relating to Botany and Zoology, including a 13th-century manuscript of Pliny’s Historia naturalis! Though not all of our offerings this week are so nature-inspired, they will nonetheless bring plenty of joy, and make Oxford feel brighter, whether you’re frantically finishing your MSt dissertation or marking exams:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Registration open: Oxford conference on Julian of Norwich. “New Visions of Julian of Norwich” is a conference which will take place at Somerville College, Oxford, on Friday 15th-Saturday 16th July 2022, bringing together old and new voices on the work of the medieval visionary, theologian, and writer Julian of Norwich. The conference is organized by Antje E. Chan (Lincoln College, Oxford), Godelinde Gertrude Perk (Somerville, Oxford), Raphaela Rohrhofer (Somerville, Oxford), Alicia Smith (English Faculty, Oxford). To see the programme, please visit the conference website here. Click here to book: in-person bookings available till 29th June, online bookings open till 11th July.
  • The Faculty of History and Oxford Medieval Studies are pleased to invite you to an informal meet and greet coffee morning with William Chester Jordan (Professor of Medieval History, Princeton University) on the occasion of his reception of an honorary degree of the University of Oxford, on Thursday 23rd June, 10.30am-12 noon, at the garden of Harris Manchester College. For catering purposes, please register your attendance here by 14th June. NB: Bill Jordan’s lecture for OMS “A Thirteenth-Century Polymath Considers the Jews” from last year is available to watch online.
  • Small grants are open once again! Send in 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.
  • Postponed: Oxford Medieval Commentary Network Lecture Series. Due to speaker illness the convenors have had to postpone the next lecture, originally planned for 23 May. They will aim to reschedule this for another week later this term. The lecture series will continue on 30 May (Week 6), 4pm, with Audrey Southgate’s lecture on ‘Experiments in Openness: Reading the Wycliffite Interpretations of the Psalms’.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 23rd May:

  • Botany and Zoology Treasures of New College Library: As part of New College Library’s series of subject-themed exhibitions, on Monday, 23 May we shall have on display for you rare books and manuscripts from the library’s fabulous collections relating to Botany and Zoology. From 11 am till 4 pm on Monday in New College’s Lecture Room 4, we shall be exhibiting for you—with explanatory captions—some of our Botany and Zoology treasures. Please do come along—and enjoy our exhibition.
  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Tiffany VanWinkoop (Wisconsin-Madison), ‘Blueprints of Power: Roman Statecraft and Politics in Konstantinos VII’s ‘Book of Ceremonies. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning Tuiija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at The Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Giles Gasper (Durham), ‘Comets, Elements, and Pastoral Care: Framing Medieval Science in Collaborative Working’. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 24th May:

  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30-4.30pm at the Old Law Library in Magdalen College. We will be reading on Women Writers: Medical and Scientific.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speakers are Catriona Dowden (Oriel), ‘The Mappa Mundi and Medieval Visions of Pilgrimage‘, Kelli Anderson (Somerville), ‘The Gate to Heaven: the use of spiralling strigillations as a framing technique in early medieval art & architecture‘, and Gabrielle Samra (St John’s), ‘Anthropophagous Predation: An Examination of the Middle English Richard Coer de Lyon in the Framework of Medieval Anti-Jewish Blood Libels‘. Please note that the line-up has slightly changed due to speaker illness last week.

Wednesday 25th May:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in St Edmund Hall, Old Library. We are going to discuss Seuse’s ‘Büchlein der ewigen Weisheit’, this week Anna Wilmore will introduce Suso as mystical troubadour. For more information, please email henrike.laehnemann@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Priscilla Ralli (French school of Archaeology, Athens) – ‘Architecture and Sculpture in the Early Byzantine Peloponnese: Defining a Regional Context’.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Helen Barr, Cosima Gillhammer, Vincent Gillespie, Elizabeth Solopova and Annie Sutherland, ‘On the work of the late Anne Hudson (1938-2021)’ (chaired by Kantik Ghosh). For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.

Thursday 26th May:

  • The Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This term’s topic is ‘Maeren’. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • Marriages, Unmarriages, and Subjectivities: A Roundtable Discussion with Professors Sara McDougall and Hannah Skoda. The Oxford Medieval Society invites all interested parties to attend the event on Thursday 26th May at 1-2.30, in the New Seminar Room in St. John’s College. Participants will be able to ask questions and engage in discussion with Professor McDougall and Professor Skoda on a shared area of their research, Marriages, Unmarriages, and Subjectivities.
  • The Greek and Latin Reading Group meets at 4pm in Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College – meet at Jesus lodge. This week’s text is Ovid, Heroides 10.1-59. Contact John Colley or Jenyth Evans to be added to the mailing list.
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place at Trinity College (Levine Room 5) at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Lucy Parker (Oxford) ‘Holy Men and the End of Antiquity’. Follow the link to the Zoom meeting.
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30pm. For more information and to receive the text in advance email eugenia.vorobeva@jesus.ox.ac.uk.

Friday 27th May:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10.30pm 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 5pm in Taylorian Room 2 and on Zoom. This term, Luca Crisma (EPHE, Paris) will lead reading of the Anglo-Norman Letter of Prester John. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • The Society for Medieval Archaeology Annual Conference is taking place next month in Oxford AND online. From June 24-26, the Society for Medieval Archaeology annual conference will bring together an international group of scholars at Rewley House, Oxford to talk about early medieval migrations, present new DNA data and discuss how such data should be interpreted in terms of the wider cultural implications of migration and mobility. Please visit the following page for more details.
  • PGR/ECR Scholarships to attend the Harlaxton Medieval Symposium: Applications for the Dobson Scholarships are welcome until Tuesday 31st May. These cover conference fees for two PGRs or ECRs working on any aspect of medieval death and dying, and are an excellent opportunity for emerging historians to meet academics and experts and to share their research. Even if you are not eligible for the scholarships, please do pass on the information to anyone you think might be interested: for full information, click here.
  • This year’s conference organised by the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East (SSCLE) will be held at Royal Holloway, University of London, from 27 June to 1 July 2022. It will feature a large number of exciting papers detailing the latest research being carried out by scholars of crusading and the Latin East, with several plenary presentations by international historians, as well as a trip to medieval sites and plenty of opportunities to meet other scholars. You can attend the conference in person (in Egham, UK) or online. Find out more about this event by visiting sscleconference.com and click here to register.
  • Two Associate Lectureships in Art History pre-1800 at the University of St Andrews for semester one (1 September to 15 January). The deadline is 27 May (next Friday) and the details are here: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/CPM132/associate-lecturer-in-art-history-pre-1800-aoac1807rxnb.

Finally, some further wisdom on good weather from Maxims I:

Seoc se biþ þe to seldan ieteð þeah hine mon on sunnan læde,
ne mæg he be þy wedre wesan

[The one who eats too seldom will be sick; although someone should lead him into the sun, he cannot exist on the weather]

I take this to mean: we must enjoy the good weather, but not be too tempted to sit in the parks all day long and forget to do any work! I hope that your week is filled with sun and intellectual nourishment.

[A Medievalist enjoying the sun in uni parks]
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/#Onager

Medieval Matters: Week 4

The weekend saw the glitz, glam, and questionable music of the Eurovision song contest! Whether you tuned in or not, here is some wisdom on songs, from the Old English Maxims:

Longað þonne þy læs þe him con leoþa worn.
[He who knows many songs is less troubled by longing]

But what, I hear you ask, does Eurovision have to do with Medievalists? Well, this week we have not only musical events like Singing the Reformation: With Living Stones, but also a whole range of languages and cultures! Our schedule for the week includes Greek, Old High German, French and Middle English, and takes us all around the medieval world. The After Rome and Further East seminar takes us to the Caliphate and Byzantium; the Medieval Commentary Network gives us a glimpse into the Carolingian Empire; and the Medieval History Seminar lets us explore migration in the Viking North. And this is only the tip of the iceberg! Have a look at all of our offerings this week:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 16th May:

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Alice van den Bosch (Exeter), ‘Creating the Female Martyr in Late Antiquity‘. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Oxford Medieval Commentary Network meets at 4pm at Lecture Theatre 2, Christ Church. This week’s speaker is Zachary Guiliano, ‘Biblical Commentary and Royal Patronage in Carolingian Europe’. For further information, email cosima.gillhammer@chch.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm online on Teams. Please note that there is no in-person seminar this week. This week’s speaker is Pragya Vohra (York), ‘Feminising Migration in the Viking North‘. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 17th May:

  • The Oxford Numismatic Society meets at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Dr. Aneurin Ellis-Evans & Dr. Leah Lazar ‘Early silver coinage of Lampsakos’. For further information please contact the secretary: giorgia.capra@new.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speakers are Jonah Skolnik (Trinity), ‘Impeachment, Treason, and Good Governance in the Age of Richard II: 1386-1397‘ and Gabrielle Samra (St John’s), ‘Anthropophagous Predation: An Examination of the Middle English Richard Coer de Lyon in the Framework of Medieval Anti-Jewish Blood Libels‘.
  • The Lyell Lectures From Memory to Written Record: English Liturgical Books and Musical Notations, 900-1150, by Professor Susan Rankin (University of Cambridge) takes place at 5pm in Weston Library Lecture Theatre. This is Lecture 5: Assimilation or change? Normans at Winchester. Registration is essential for attending in person, and booking is for the whole series, for the sake of simplicity. Your booking entitles you to attend as many lectures in the series as you are able. Book here.

Wednesday 18th May:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in St Edmund Hall, Old Library. We are going to discuss Seuse’s ‘Büchlein der ewigen Weisheit’. For more information, please email henrike.laehnemann@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1pm in the Mertze Tate room of the History Faculty and online. Anyone interested in any element of medieval trade and its study are very welcome to join, from any department. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock at annabel.hancock@history.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Matthieu Cassin (CNRS-IRHT), ‘From Princes Islands to Oxford: Greek Manuscripts from the Holy Trinity of Halki‘.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Anne Mouron (Regent’s Park), ‘“In pious hearts, a tree must grafted be”: Mechthild of Hackeborn’s The Boke of Holy Grace and The Desert of Religion’ (chaired by Ayoush Lazikani). For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.

Thursday 19th May:

  • The Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This term’s topic is ‘Maeren’. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Greek and Latin Reading Group meets at 4pm in Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College – meet at Jesus lodge. This week’s text is Lucian, The Dream (or, the Cock). Contact John Colley or Jenyth Evans to be added to the mailing list.
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place at Trinity College (Levine Garden Room). This week’s speaker is André Binggeli (CNRS, IRHT), ‘Neomartyrs between the Caliphate and Byzantium: around the publication of “Les nouveaux martyrs à Byzance”’. Zoom meeting link.

Friday 20th May:

  • The Medievalists Coffee Morning makes its triumphant return! Meet at 10.30-11.30am at Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!). The coffee mornings feature the opportunity to meet other Medievalists as well as a) coffee, tea, and biscuits, b) access to the roof terrace, c) sneak previews of new acquisitions. Here a link to last-but-one’s week’s presentation by Andrew Honey of a very early curious copying machine. All welcome!
  • The Germanic Reading Group meets at 4pm. This week will focus on Old High German: A few minor monuments (lead by Will Thurlwell) Anybody interested in joining the discussion, please email Howard.Jones@sbs.ox.ac.uk.

Saturday 21st May:

  • Singing the Reformation: With Living Stones takes place in Iffley from 3pm. Come and explore with Henrike Lähnemann some of the music that may have been sung by church-goers in Iffley during the 16th century, and trace developments in the music that was sung in churches, homes and royal chapels while major theological debates and liturgical changes were taking place. Tickets for the afternoon with tea and coffee cost £10 and are available online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/singing-thereformation-tickets-261162011607 or on the door. The service of Evensong is, as always, free

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Conference: The conference “Margins at the Centre – Practices of Annotation. Scholarly Networks, Teachers and Audiences in ninth-century East Francia” will take place in hybrid form at the Viennese Institute for Medieval Research on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 May 2022, starting at 9.00am CEST (Vienna time). Further information, the programme of the conference and the forms for registration (via Zoom or in person) can be found here on the conference website.

Finally, some further wisdom on song from Maxims I:

Ræd sceal mon secgan, rune writan, leoþ gesingan, lofes gearnian.
[One should talk sense, write down secrets, sing songs, and earn praise]

This reads like something of a to-do list for the week ahead. I hope that your week is filled with talked sense, written down secrets, lots of songs, and earned praise!

[A Medievalist unsure what to make of the questionable musical talent of Eurovision]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 2r.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Leun

ETC Seminar on Textual Cultures in Contact (Oxford, TT22)

The Early Text Cultures research cluster based at Oxford is pleased to present its Research Seminar series in Trinity Term (May and June 2022), which will be on ‘Textual Cultures in Contact’. Through sessions comprising paired papers, this seminar series will enable participants and attendees alike to gain fresh perspectives on the nature of ‘contact’ among textual cultures, and on the affordances and limitations of their fields’ methods and approaches to the topic. 

The seminar will be held in a hybrid form, with Zoom connection complementing on-site presence atthe Dickson Poon Building (China Centre, Oxford), Lucina Ho Seminar Room, on Tuesdays 16:30-18:00 UK time. Auditors are most welcome to attend in person. Zoom links will be provided on each session’s day to those who sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1BtWbVHXkBFq-CvimjVnVolSeDcpR54ssZdWUC6jf15I/edit.

Please find the programme below; abstracts may be found on our website (https://www.earlytextcultures.org/events/current-events/research-seminar-tt-22).

Programme

§ Session 1 (17 May)
Cross-Cultural Competition
(Near East, Hebrew Bible, Greece)

Joe Barber (Oxford): ‘Walk about the City and See Its Walls: An Echo of the Epic of Gilgameš in Psalm 48?’
Alexander Meeus (Mannheim): ‘Josephus’ Historiographical Theory in Against Apion: Jewish or Greek Method?’

§ Session 2 (24 May)
Scribes as Cultural Vehicles
(Near East, China and the Silk Road)

Ludovica Bertolini (Prague): ‘A Preliminary Reflection on the Use of Sumerian Literature in Scribal Education at Ugarit’ 
Christopher Foster (SOAS) & Tomas Larsen Høisæter (Western Norway): ‘Writing Between Empires: Script Use in the Tarim Basin along the Southern Silk Road’

§ Session 3 (7 June)
Materiality of Translation 
(Medieval Greek and Latin, China)

Erene Rafik Morcos (Princeton/Rome): ‘… διὰ χειρὸς τοῦ πολυαμαρτήτου ῾Ρωμανοῦ… by the hand of the great sinner Romanos …’ 
Nelson Landry (Oxford): ‘A Five Dynasties Manuscript in Relation to Tang Buddhist Culture: A Study of S.3728 from the British Library’

§ Session 4 (14 June)
Religion Through Cultural Boundaries
(Iran, India and China)

Aleksandra Wenta (Florence): ‘Early Tantric Magic: An Example of Śaiva (Hindu)-Buddhist Intertextuality in Pre-modern India’ 
Francesco Barchi (Munich): ‘Traces of “Buddhist Iranian” in Early Chinese Buddhist Translations’

We hope to see many of you there!