The Reading and Reception of the Homeric Poems and the Nibelungenlied in Germany and Europe from the Eighteenth Century to the Present

Saturday, 25 May 2024
Organised by John Butcher (Meran Academy, South Tyrol) together with Henrike Lähnemann (Oxford Medieval Studies)
, Taylor Institution Library (St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3NA), Room 2.

Session 1, Chair: Nigel Wilson

Angus Bowie (University of Oxford) – A Homerist on Looking into the Nibelungenlied: Cortés or a Panamanian? Handout

10.40-11.00 John Butcher (Meran Academy) – Henry Fuseli, Homer and the Nibelungenlied

Andrea Doda (University of Oxford) – Power and Passion: The Role of Women (and Female Figures) in Homer and the Nibelungenlied Handout

Session 2, Chair: Henrike Lähnemann

Joanna Raisbeck (University of Verona) – Between Homer and the Nibelungenlied: Literary and Aesthetic Debates in Heidelberg around 1800

Alan Murray (University of Leeds) – Chivalric Warfare and Heroic Combat in the Nibelungenlied   

Christoph Schmitt-Maaß (LMU München / University of Oxford) – The Reception of the Nibelungenlied in Eighteenth-century Leipzig

Manuscript Workshop

Weston Library (Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3BG), Bahari Room – Homeric manuscripts with Peter Tóth and Nigel Wilson

Exhibition Viewing

Taylor Institution Library, Voltaire Room. Guided tour of an exhibition of editions of the Homeric poems and the Nibelungenlied with Mary Boyle and Philip Flacke (University of Oxford). Download the exhibition catalogue The exhibition will be on show 22-29 May, with a reduced number of objects continuing until 13 June 2024.

Guided tour by Philip Flacke and Mary Boyle

Header Image: Johann Heinrich Füssli: Kriemhild mourns Siegfried (1805)

Workshop : The Order of St Victor in Medieval Scandinavia

Workshop 3: Victorine and Augustinian Influences in the North-East.

Aula Magna, Stockholm University, 25–26 May 2023.

Hosted by the Stockholm University Centre for Medieval Studies
Arranged by Prof. Roger Andersson, Stockholm University and Prof. Samu Niskanen, University of Helsinki. Open to interested subject to availability. Register interest by contacting

Thursday 25 May

COFFEE 10:00–10:30

SESSION 1: 10:30–12:00

  • Welcome address and general introduction (Roger Andersson & Samu Niskanen)
  • Christian Etheridge, National Museum, Stockholm: ”The Abbey of St. Victor and Medieval Science”
  • Micol Long, University of Padova: ”Mind, Body and the Environment in some Twelfth Century Augustinian Authors From Paris to Scandinavia”

LUNCH: 12:00–13:30 Fakultetsklubben, SU

SESSION 2: 13:30–15:00

  • Sanna Supponen, University of Helsinki: ”Influence of Victorine Authorities on Magister Mathias’s Alphabetum Disctinccionum”
  • Biörn Tjällén, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall: ” Hugh of St Victor, Ericus Olai and the Chronica regni Gothorum”
  • Fredrik Öberg, University of Helsinki: ”Using Saint Augustine as a Way to Legitimize Katarina Ulfsdotter as a Saint”

COFFEE 15:00–15:30

SESSION 3: 15:30–16:30

  • Jaakko Tahkokallio University of Helsinki: ‘Victorine texts and St Victor in Sweden. A conspectus of the evidence in the fragments of the National Archives’.
  • Olle Ferm, Stockholm University: ”Swedish Connections with Paris 1150–1250”

DINNER 19:00 Den Gyldene Freden, Österlånggatan 51, Old Town

Friday 26 May

SESSION 4: 10:00–11:00

  • Anna Minara Ciardi, Catholic Diocese of Stockholm, Lund University: “Augustinian Movement in the North: Reform or Resistance? The Archdiocese of Lund in the Twelfth Century”
  • Kurt Villads Jensen, Stockholm University: ”The Victorines and the Danish Flag from Heaven”

COFFEE 11:00–11:30

DISCUSSION: 11:30–12:15

LUNCH: 12:30–13:30 Fakultetsklubben, SU

EXHIBITIONS OF MANUSCRIPTS: 14:00–15:00 National Library of Sweden (for speakers)

EXHIBITION OF ALTAR PANELS: 15:30–16:30 The Historical Museum (for speakers)

DINNER 19:00 Restaurant Knut, Upplandsgatan 17, Vasastan

The workhop has been generously funded by NOS-HS.

Workshop: Voice Projection & Staging Medieval Mystery Plays

Monday 6 March 2023 (Week 8), 4.30–6pm, at St Edmund Hall, Pontigny Room

In this workshop, we will be offering voice projection exercises and practical advice for the Medieval Mystery Cycle. All actors and directors interested in taking part are invited to attend! Beyond general exercises, there will also be an opportunity to work out staging constellations on site at St Edmund Hall (as well as an opportunity to enjoy tea and cake).

The workshop will be led by Dr Jim Harris, the Medieval Mystery Cycle’s Master of Ceremonies and Teaching Curator at the Ashmolean Museum. Let us know if you’re able to join us by emailing Michael Angerer, the graduate convenor.

Workshop: Staging & Enacting Medieval Mystery Plays

Friday 3 February 2023 (Week 3), 5–6.30pm, at St Edmund Hall, Old Dining Hall

Join this workshop for tips and guidance on how to adapt medieval mystery plays for modern performance, a workshop for directors and actors alike. Whether you have already signed up to this year’s Medieval Mystery Cycle on 22 April 2023 or are interested but still unsure how to put together a play or how to act, all are welcome! The focus of the workshop will be on how to cut a medieval play script down to an accessible version (of up to 20 minutes), but there will also be an opportunity to match actors and directors and to discuss any other practical questions you might have on site at St Edmund Hall – and to enjoy tea and cake!

The workshop will be led by David Wiles, Emeritus Professor of Drama at the University of Exeter and a veteran director of the Oxford Medieval Mystery Cycle. Let us know if you’re interested in joining by emailing Michael Angerer, the graduate convenor.

Meanwhile, we’re still looking for groups to join the Medieval Mystery Cycle: have a look at the original blog post with the sign-up link!

Workshop with Prof. Ardis Butterfield: Song and Lyric

Thursday 3 November, 3-5pm, in New College, Lecture Room 4

We are looking for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers who are working on a medieval song or lyric text that they would like to discuss in the workshop with Professor Butterfield.

All that is required is to provide an edition of the text of the song or lyric, ideally with a translation and edition of the music (if there is any). The workshop will be an informal opportunity to workshop songs/lyric texts together and benefit from Professor Butterfield’s expertise.

If you would like to contribute a song/lyric, please send your suggestion to by Friday 14th October.

You are very welcome to attend the workshop without bringing along a text to discuss. If you wish to attend, please RSVP to by Friday 28th October for catering purposes.

Header image: Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, Cod. Pal. germ. 848
Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift (Codex Manesse) fol. 124r

Workshop ‘Cultures of Use and Reuse. Towards a Terminological and Methodological Framework of Reframing and Recycling’

When:  3-6 April 2023
Where: Multiple Locations in Oxford, including the Bodleian Library, the Ashmolean and the archive of Balliol College
What: In recent years, various terms and concepts have emerged to analyse the phenomena of use and re-use of medieval objects. This workshop will work towards a common terminological and methodological framework, starting with two key approaches: recycling and reframing. An interdisciplinary group of scholars will offer insights into their own research and their respective academic fields in a series of seminars and visits to collections based in Oxford.


Monday, 3 April
17.00-18.45 Opening Keynote Lecture, Weston Library Lecture Theatre
17.00-18.45: Lisa Fagin Davis (Boston, USA): Framing Fragments

Tuesday, 4 April
9.00-10.30 & 11.00-12.30 Weston Library Sessions

Dr Hannah Ryley introducing manuscripts during the hands-on session

14.00-17.00 Paper Panel Session, St Cross Church, Balliol College Archives
14.00-14.30: Catherine Casson (Mancester, UK): Pioneers of Sustainability: Repair, Reuse and Recycling in the Middle Ages and its Relevance for Today
14.30-15.00: Reinhold Reith/Georg Stöger (Salzburg, AT): Materials, Things and Actors in Pre-Industrial Reuse and Recycling
15.00-15.30: David Rundle (Kent, UK): Why would they do that? Binders Choices in Reusing Manuscript and Print ‘Waste’
16.00-16.30: Orietta Da Rold (Cambridge, UK): Paper Reborn: Collecting and Repurposing Practices by Antiquaries in Late 17th- and 18th-Century England
16.30-17.00: Anna Reynolds (Steffield, UK): The Material and Imaginative Lives of Waste Paper and Waste Parchment in Early Modern England

Wednesday, 5 April
9.00-10.30 & 11.00-12.30 Ashmolean Museum Session with Dr Jim Harris (Teaching Curator at the Ashmolean Museum)

Oxford Medieval Studies lecture including some objects discussed in the session

14.00 – 17.00 Paper Panels, Lecture Room 23, Balliol College Main Site
14.00-14.30: Malena Ratzke (Jena, DE): Reframing the Lives of Christ and Mary in Codices of the Speculum humanea salvationis 
15.00-15.30: Magdalena Butz (Munich, DE): Reframing “Beichtformulare”: From Paraliturgical Contexts to Middle High German Poetry
16.00-16.30: Stefanie Seeberg: Reuse and Reframing of Textiles in the Middle Ages
16.30-17.00: Juliette Calvarin (Berlin, DE): Looking for Amices: Reused or purpose-made Embroideries of the Holy Face

Thursday, 6 April
9.30-11.00 Paper Panel Session, St Cross Church, Balliol College Archives
9.30-10.00: Alison Ray (Oxford, UK): Veneration and Preservation: the Role of Christ Church Priory Library in the Cult of St Thomas Becket

Dr Alison Ray introducing the Becket volume during the Bodleian Library hands-on session

10.00-10.30: Henry Ravenhall (Cambridge, UK): Studying Cultures of Touch and Use in the Illuminated Manuscripts of the Medieval French Biography of Julius Caesar (Faits des Romains)
10.30-11.00: Katarzyna Kapitan (Oxford, UK): Priceless or Valueless: Fragments in the Arnamagnæan Collection
11.30-13.00 Roundtable Discussion

14.00-15.45 Closing Keynote, Weston Library Theatre
14.00-15.45 Feature it, or hide it? (Kate Rudy, St Andrews, UK)

Keynote Lectures: We are delighted to have Lisa Fagin Davis and Kate Rudy as keynote speakers for our workshop. Both keynote lectures are free, but registration is required. For futher information, please click on the names of the respective keynote speakers.

Convenors: JProf. Dr Julia. von Ditfurth (Faculty of Art History, University of Freiburg); Dr Hannah Ryley (Balliol College, University of Oxford); Carolin Gluchowski, M.A. (New College, University of Oxford) in collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum Oxford, the Bodleian Libraries Oxford, and Balliol College Library.

This event this generously supported by the Oxford Berlin Research Partnership, New College, Balliol College, the Centre for the Study of the Book, the Ashmolean Museum, and the Bodleian Library. We are delighted to collaborate with Henrike Lähnemann, Alexandra Franklin, Andrew Dunning, and Jim Harris.

Image: Bodleian Library MS. Lat. liturg. f. 4, 9r: The prayerbooks of the Cistercian convent of Medingen are an outstanding example for the reworking of manuscripts in the course of late-medieval church reforms.

Early Text Cultures Workshop: Translating Cultures in Contact

Dear all,

The Early Text Cultures research network at the University of Oxford is pleased to announce the programme of the workshop Translating Cultures in Contact, which will conclude the seminar series on Textual Cultures in Contact. The event will take place online on Zoom, on Tuesday 5th July, from 9:00 to 16:00 BST (UK time). 

The event will explore dynamics of textual and cultural translation in Hellenistic Egypt, the medieval Latin, Greek and Arabic worlds, and Tibet and Mongolia. Please find the programme below; abstracts can be found on our website.

To receive the Zoom link for the event, please register here

9:00–9.10        Welcome and Opening Remarks

Domenico Giordani, UCL / University of Oxford


CHAIR: Domenico Giordani, UCL / University of Oxford

1.  On the boundaries of philology and history of science: the Greek translation of the Semita Recta

Flavio Bevacqua, Università degli Studi di Padova

2. Translating Saint Jerome into Greek: the Life of Hilarion (BHL 3879)

Anna Lampadaridi, Paris, CNRS (UMR 5189 HiSoMA)

10:20–11:30     FIRST BREAK


CHAIR: Jordan Miller, University of Oxford

3.  Textual and Historical Observations on Inscribed Foundation Plaques of Hellenistic Egypt

Efstathia Dionysopoulou, Université de Lyon II

4. Untranslatability and the Case of Ptolemaic Priestly Decrees

Giulia Tonon, University of Liverpool

12:30–13:30     LUNCH BREAK


CHAIR: Natasha Downs, University of Edinburgh

5.  Tibetan Buddhism and the Cult of Chinggis Khan

Dotno Pount, University of Pennsylvania

6. Greco-Arabic, Beyond Translation: Homer by the Rivers of Babylon

Teddy Fassberg, Tel Aviv University

14:40–15:00     THIRD BREAK


CHAIR: Flaminia Pischedda, University of Oxford

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us by replying to this email. Please do feel free to forward this email to anyone who may be interested. 

We look forward to seeing you there! 

All best wishes, 
ETC Board 

Workshop Report: ‘The Murbach Hymns (MS. Junius 25) – Vernacular Glossing in the Early Middle Ages’

The workshop ‘The Murbach Hymns (MS. Junius 25) – Vernacular Glossing in the Early Middle Ages’ (17–18 February 2022) highlighted a remarkable text ensemble: the Murbach hymns, a Latin hymnal with Old High German interlinear glosses. Taking this text, one of the oldest sources of Old High German, and its manuscript MS. Junius 25 (Oxford, Bodleian Library) as starting point, the importance of vernacular glossing and writing in the Early Middle Ages became clear: It sits at the crossroads of theological, linguistic, and layout approaches to the text.

Helen Gittos and Luise Morawetz discussing MS. Rawl. C. 697 (Oxford, Bodleian Library) at the Weston Library.

Participants from all over the world were able to participate thanks to the hybrid conference format, accessible online as well as in person. To allow all participants the same close-up insights into the materiality of the valuable and fragile manuscripts, the workshop opened with a presentation of the manuscript MS. Junius 25. Due to the excellent equipment of the Bodleian Library, it came to life in the expert hands of the curators, who turned the pages and the whole volume as real-time reaction to questions and requests from the audience, who were introduced to the material and linguistic peculiarities of the rare object. The speakers present at Oxford had the chance to consult and discuss the original manuscripts beforehand.

Over the course of further sessions, scholars from different research communities came together and presented their work on linguistics, pragmatics and material studies. Combining different disciplines resulted in a comprehensive survey of the use and characteristics of vernacular in the Early Middle Ages, including Old High German, Old Frisian and Old English. The theoretical insights were put into practice in a Latin-Old High German compline, which demonstrated how the oldest variety of the German language could be brought back to life. For the first time in history, the glosses of the Murbach hymns were set to music, among other Old High German texts read during the service. The workshop was brought to a close with a consultation of further glossed manuscripts of the Bodleian Library (MS. Auct. F. 1. 16, MS. Rawl. C. 697, MS. Canon. Pat. Lat. 57), partly neither digitised nor edited, which put the focus again on the object – the foundation of historical linguistic studies.

The St Edmund Consort performing the Latin-Old High German compline in the crypt
of St-Peter-in-the-East in Oxford.

The event was designed as a workshop and was intended to allow the participants to interact with each other and develop ideas collectively. Extended breaks were included in which discussions could continue in person as well as online. This opportunity was used by many, despite sessions already overrunning to address all questions. During the sessions, breakout groups allowed smaller groups of participants to share their thoughts before entering the main discussion, enabling equal contributions from listeners and speakers and leading to lively participation.

The interdisciplinary approach to early vernacular and the workshop format worked well, as the high numbers of registrations and intense and vibrant discussions showed. The workshop brought the exciting text and manuscript of the Murbach hymns back into the focus of linguistic research.

We hope to deepen the collaborations established during the event and continue the debates about the status of the vernacular in the Early Middle Ages in future, exploring the interdisciplinary approach further and testing it on other material from the rich collections of Oxford and beyond.

The manuscript in focus. The setup of the workshop in St Edmund Hall (Oxford) during the presentation of Auct. F. 1. 16 (Oxford, Bodleian Library).

I want to thank all participants and supporters of this workshop, above all the speakers (in order of their presentations): Prof. Dr Daniela Mairhofer (Princeton); Prof. Dr Michael Stolz (Bern); Dr Elke Krotz (Vienna); Dr Matthias Standke (Berlin); Prof. Dr Alderik Blom (Marburg); Dr Helen Gittos (Oxford); Prof. em. Dr Elvira Glaser (Zurich); Prof. Dr Stephan Müller (Vienna).

I also want to thank the team of the Bodleian Libraries, Dr Alexandra Franklin, Dr Matthew Holford and Dr Andrew Dunning; Tom Revell, who produced this event; James Whitbourn, who set the Murbach hymns to music, and the St Edmund Consort, who performed the compline; and Will Thurlwell, Prof. Dr Howard Jones and Prof. Dr Henrike Lähnemann, who supported the workshop in person.

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

Convenor: Luise Morawetz (

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

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

All times are GMT.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

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

MS. Junius 25

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

3.45-5 pm: A Textual Analysis of the Manuscript

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

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

Friday, 18 February 2022

9-10 am: Vernacular Language in Use

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

11-12 am: The Practice of Glossing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Workshop: Body, Gender, Purity, and Sexual Pleasure: Biblical and Medieval Models

Friday November 19th 13.00-14.30 

Location: St John’s College, New Seminar Room

In medieval Europe, Jews and Christians put some of the same cultural resources (the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) to different uses. Stereotypes abound here: Judaism is seen to be preoccupied with ritual pollution, Christianity with moral purity; Judaism is anxious about food, but celebrates marital sex. Christianity has fewer food laws, but many more anxieties about sexual activity—and about the body as a potential source of sin. All of these dichotomic assumptions invite renewed critical scrutiny—especially in a comparative framework—and a re-consideration of the biblical directives both cultures were grappling with.  

This workshop brings together expertise from the early, central, and late Middle Ages (respectively, Conrad Leyser, Neta Bodner, and Alice Raw), in conversation with Laura Quick’s expertise in the Hebrew Bible. Participants are invited to read with us to question how the body was treated, even used, as a vehicle for “correct” piety in ways that both differ and intersect across the Middle Ages. 

Spaces are limited to 30 participants; please sign up here: