Monthly Archives: March 2016

Lectura Dantis Meeting 22 Paradiso 1-3

On the 8th of April, the twenty-second meeting of the LDA begins the final phase of the series with a day of lectures which start Dante’s Paradiso, again bringing leading Dante Scholars to St Andrews.  image1 (2)

Dante now begins the final part of his journey, and the third Cantica of his poem: Paradiso. With Beatrice as his guide Dante ascends through the heavens, meeting a range a virtuous souls as he makes his way towards the ultimate experience which is the vision of God.

Professor Robin Kirkpatrick (Cambridge), Dr Claudia Rossignoli (St Andrews) and Professor Emilio Pasquini (Bologna) will read and comment on Cantos I to III of the Paradiso.

The 1596 folio edition of the Commedia from the library’s Special Collections Division will be on display along with other Dante-related rare books.

As always, the Lectura Dantis Andreapolitana is open to all and entry is free.

Those unable to attend for the full day are very welcome to attend whichever lectures they can and the programme is organized to accommodate that.

The full programme and times are on the website.

Margaret Connolly and Ian Johnson to be plenary speakers at Lausanne conference

On the 31st of March to the 2nd of April 2016, the University of Lausanne will be hosting a conference on Late Medieval Devotional Compilations in England. SAIMS’ own Margaret Connolly and Ian Johnson will be plenary speakers for this conference.

Margaret will be giving a paper entitled ‘Reading Late Medieval Devotional Compilations in the Sixteenth Century.’ This paper will consider the evidence that Middle English devotional compilations continued to find an audience in the sixteenth century, conferencedespite the increasingly archaic nature of the language in which they were written. Some compilations such as Contemplations of the Dread and Love of God were printed in this period whereas others, such as the Pore Caitif, were not, but manuscripts continued to circulate regardless of whether a work was printed or not, as is apparent from details of ownership. Readerly engagement with these texts, through an investigation of inscriptions and annotations, will form the core of this discussion; broader questions of their textual reception, in pre- and post-Reformation England, will also be considered.

Ian Johnson will be giving a paper entitled ‘Theorising the Religious Miscellany: Problems and Possibilities.’

You can check out the full programme for the conference here!

Recent Staff Publications

Margaret Connolly, ‘Evidence for the Continued Use of Medieval Medical Prescriptions in the Sixteenth Century: A Fifteenth-Century Remedy Book and its Later Owner,’ Medical History 60 (2016), pp 133-154.

Justine Firnhaber-Baker, ‘Soldiers, Villagers, and Politics: The Role of Mercenaries in the Jacquerie of 1358,’ in Guilhem Pépin, Françoise Laine, and Frédéric Bouboule (eds), Routiers et mercenaires pendant la guerre de Cent ans (Ausonius: Bordeaux, 2016), pp. 101–14.

Tim Greenwood, ‘A Corpus of Early Medieval Armenian Silver’, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 69 (2015): 115-146

Andrew Peacock’s Early Seljuq History (2010) just appeared in Turkish translation as Selçuklu Devleti’nin Kuruluşu: Yeni Bir Yorum, Istanbul: İs Bankası Kültür Yayınları, 2016.

CFP: After Chichele: Intellectual and Cultural Dynamics of the English Church, 1443 to 1517

This interdisciplinary conference will be held at St. Anne’s College, Oxford, 28-30 June 2017. SAIMS’ own Julian Luxford will be one of the plenary speakers.

An international conference organised by the Faculty of English, University of Oxford, this event builds on the success of the 2009 Oxford conference, After Arundel: Religious Writing in Fifteenth-Century England, which resulted in a book of essays (ed. by Vincent Gillespie and Kantik Ghosh) that vigorously interrogated the nature of religious and intellectual culture in England in the long fifteenth century. After Chichele adopts a similar investigative and interdisciplinary approach. The period has been chosen precisely because the inner workings of English intellectual and religious life during these years have proved challengingly resistant to the formation of grand critical narratives.

What are the chief currents driving the intellectual and cultural life of the church in England during this period? What happened to bishopintellectual questioning during the period, and where did the Church’s cultural life express itself most vividly? What significant parochial, regional, national and international influences were brought to bear on English literate practices?

In order to address these questions, the conference will adopt an interdisciplinary focus, inviting contributions from historians, literary scholars, and scholars working on the theology, ecclesiastical history, music and art of the period, and it is expected that a wide range of literary and cultural artefacts will be considered, from single-authored works to manuscript compilations, from translations to original works, and from liturgy to art and architecture, with no constraints as to the conference’s likely outcomes and conclusions.

It is intended that the conference should generate a volume of essays similar to After Arundel in scope, ambition and quality.

Plenary speakers: David Carlson, Mary Erler, Sheila Lindenbaum, Julian Luxford, David Rundle, Cathy Shrank.

We welcome abstracts on any aspect of the intellectual and cultural dynamics of the English church in this period. Possible topics for discussion include:

Religious writing and the English Church; the emergence of humanism and the fate of scholasticism; literature and the law; cultural and ecclesiastical patronage; developments in art and  architecture; the liturgical life of the Church; the impact of the international book trade and of print; palaeography and codicology; the Church’s role in education, colleges and chantries; the impact of travel and pilgrimage.

Please send 500 word abstracts (for proposed 20-minute papers) by Friday, 12th August 2016 to Vincent Gillespie, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford OX2 6QA <>

Rory Cox on BBC Radio 4

Rory Cox appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Making History on the 15th of March. You can listen to him explain why 1453 is his favourite year here (beginning at 12:18).

Also, in case you missed it back in January, Rory was interviewed by TV presenter Dan Snow for his ‘History Hit’ iTunes podcast. You can listen to the episode, discussing Just War, on iTunes and the show’s webpage.


Professor David Wallace Gives SAIMS Annual Lecture (podcast available)

The recent SAIMS Annual Lecture, held on the 7th of March, was given by Professor David Wallace, Judith Rodin Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He gave a paper entitled ‘A View from St Andrews: The Council of Constance, 1414-1418’.Europe Literary history

Professor Wallace’s lecture was in a similar vein to his forthcoming edited volume Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418. This work looks at Europe transnationally, using literary sources to determine how Europeans identified themselves during the fourteenth century, following the crisis of the Black Death, and during the early fifteenth century, a period of regeneration.

Focussing on the regeneration of Europe, Professor Wallace opened his lecture with the founding of the University of St Andrews, which served as an example of Scotland’s intellectual recovery and realignment with Rome. He then examined the contemporaneous Council of Constance, which he argued was one of the greatest examples of the restructuring of Europe following the catastrophic fourteenth century. He focussed primary on the chronicle of Ulrich von Richental and the journal of Guillaume Fillastre, shedding light upon many details of the Council, from the buying and selling of goods to performances to the condemnation of heretics. Professor Wallace concluded his lecture with a reference to Britain’s EU referendum, arguing that the Council of Constance is still relevant in the modern day.

You can listen to the full lecture now via SoundCloud.