Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Forwarded by Celia Chazelle at EMF

Forwarded from BSC -

BSC FWD from Glenn Peers, UT Austin

Information below is also attached

The Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology


The Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology and the Pontifical
Commission of Sacred Archaeology offer an annual award of 5.200,00 euros
(4.000,00 for residents of the Roman province) for qualified applicants,
no older than 35 years of age. The scholarship may be renewed for two
subsequent years of study at the Institute, thereby allowing the student
to attend the continuing second and third years of specialization, during
which time the end-of-year examinations are regularly passed. Proficiency
in the Italian language is required, as well as a graduate degree or
equivalent diploma (Maitrises Lettres, Histoire, Histoire de l'Art et
Archéologie, Master of the Arts, etc.), as well as any title that can
attest to the specific aptitudes of the candidate. An "undergraduate" or
"abbreviated" degree is insufficient; furthermore, the applicant’s degree
must have been received at least four years after graduation from his or
her secondary school.
All applicants are required to submit (before April 15 of the year prior
to instruction at the Institute) the following to the Rector of the
Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology with an attached cover
a) Document such as birth certificate including the following information:
place and date of birth, residence, nationality.
b) Transcript including grades received in each course, as well as all
examination scores.
c) Copy of the degree thesis and other original works (edited or not).
d) Transcript indicating all the languages which the candidate knows or
has studied (proficiency in Italian is required; Latin and Greek are also
indispensable for reading literary and epigraphic sources).
e) Letters of recommendation from at least one university professor, under
whom the candidate has worked or works, or has completed some study
activity or research.
f) Any documentation indicating the candidate's activity in the field of
Christian archaeology (i.e. scholarships, excavations, congresses...).
g) Six passport size photos.
Applications that do not contain all required documents or that arrive
later than April 15 will not be considered.
Photocopies of degrees, although not validated, are acceptable.
Documentation will be returned to all candidates after review.
The council of professors at the Pontifical Institute of Christian
Archaeology will review all applications and notify the winner. Within 15
days of notification, the winner must accept the established norms: that
he or she will not seek any other form of fixed remuneration during the
duration of the scholarship. Furthermore, the student is expected to
complete all requirements according to the program at the Institute.
Assistance at all lectures is obligatory for all subjects. In addition to
assisting regularly at all lectures within the course of specialization,
the winner is expected to actively participate in the life at the
Institute: library, photo archives, publications, guided visits, special
courses, cataloguing, etc. and in the institutional activities of the
The payment of the scholarship will take place each month, from November
to June, in the amount of 650,00 euros (500,00 euros for residents of the
Roman province).
Secretary Rector
Pontifical Commission Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology
of Sacred Archaeology (President of Commission)
Prof. Fabrizio Bisconti Prof. Danilo Mazzoleni
A second scholarship, generously funded in honor of Msgr. Patrick
Saint-Roch’s legacy at the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology,
is also available.
This second scholarship is for the same amount and bears the same
conditions as that previously listed. However, the Borsa Mons. Patrick
Saint-Roch is reserved only for non-Italian students.Non-Italian students
may submit an application for both scholarships.
President of the Comission
Prof. Philippe Pergola

New Books of Interest

1. John D. Niles, Old English Enigmatic Poems and the Play of the Texts
SEM 13 (October 2006)

XVI+332 p., 8 b/w ill., 160 x 240 mm, 2006, Hardback
ISBN 978-2-503-51530-4, EUR 60.00

This book consists of a close study of a number of verse texts chiefly drawn from the Exeter Book of Old English poetry. All of these texts are enigmatic. Some are outright riddles, while others (such as the elegies) are riddle-like in their manner of simultaneously giving and withholding information. The author approaches these poems as microcosms of the art of Old English poetry in general, which (particularly in its more lyrical forms) relies on its audience's ability to decipher metaphorical language and to fill out details that remain unexpressed. The chief claim advanced is that Old English poetry is a good deal more playful than is often acknowledged, so that the art of interpreting it can require a kind of 'game strategy' whereby riddling authors match their wits against adventurous readers. Innovative readings of a number of poems are offered, while the whole collection of Exeter Book riddles is given a set of answers posed in the language of the riddler. The literary use of runes in The Rune Poem, The Husband’s Message, and Cynewulf’s runic signatures comes under close scrutiny, and the thesis is advanced that Anglo-Saxon runes (particularly those that lacked stable conventional names) were sometimes used as initialisms. The book combines the methods of rigorous philology and imaginative literary analysis.

2. John D. Niles, Old English Heroic Poems and the Social Life of Texts
SEM 20 (March 2007)

XIV+374 p., 4 b/w ill., 160 x 240 mm, 2007, Hardback
ISBN 978-2-503-52080-3, EUR 80.00

Old English Heroic Poems and the Social Life of Texts develops the theme that all stories- all 'beautiful lies', if one considers them as such- have a potentially myth-like function as they enter and re-enter the stream of human consciousness. In particular, the volume assesses the place of heroic poetry (including Beowulf, Widsith, and The Battle of Maldon) in the evolving society of Anglo-Saxon England during the tenth-century period of nation-building. Poetry, Niles argues, was a great collective medium through which the Anglo-Saxons conceived of their changing social world and made mental adjustments to it. Old English 'heroic geography' is examined as an aspect of the mentality of that era. So too is the idea of the oral poet (or bard) as a means by which the people of this time continued to conceive of themselves, in defiance of reality, as members of a tribe-like community knit by close personal bonds. The volume is rounded off by the identification of Bede's story of the poet Cædmon as the earliest known example of a modern folktale type, and by a spirited defense of Seamus Heaney's recent verse translation of Beowulf.


More from Roger Pearse

I have scanned an English translation of various works by Porphyry,
including the De Abstinentia, Sententiae, Letter to Anebo, Isagoge,
etc. All that is missing is the Letter to Marcella.


The collection as a whole is at:


There is also a CDROM of the site available:


All the best,

Roger Pearse
Review of Thomas Cahill's book

Thursday, March 15, 2007


An Interesting Conference Coming Up

Burhs and the origins of early English towns

Birkbeck College are running the following Saturday day school: ³Burhs and
the origins of early English towns¹ on Saturday 31st March 2007.

Saturday 31 March 2007
10.00am -5.00pm
Venue Malet Street, Birkbeck College, London
Fee £35 (£15 concessions)

Chaired and Organised by Dr Stuart Brookes

The Viking period of the late ninth and tenth century saw the foundation
throughout England of many fortified towns, or burhs, which brought
together for the first time defence, markets, churches, and local
government at a central place. Many of these settlements developed into the
important towns of medieval England, and beyond. But some did not. This day
school will look at the origins and development of some of our earliest
towns, and consider the ways in which individual sites became the
political, social, and economic focus for a rural society, as well as chart
the success and failure of some early boroughs.

Provisional Programme:

Dr Stuart Brookes: Introduction to Burhs and the origins of early English

Dr Andrew Reynolds: Avebury and the archaeology of communications

Tea Break

Dr John Baker: Anglo-Saxon burhs and territorial defence: the place-name


Dr Oliver Creighton & Deirdre O¹Sullivan: Burh to Borough: The Wallingford
Research Project

Tea Break

Gustav Milne: Lundene Burh to London Town

Dr Stuart Brookes: Summary of Day

For further details about the day school please contact the Archaeology
desk on 0207 631 6627 or email archaeology@fce.bbk.ac.uk. You can also
enrol by calling Central Enrolments on 0207 631 6651.


Programme Manager

An Interesting Piece on Merovingian Artefacts

From Diane Brisco via Ansax and Celia Chazelle via EMF:

> A BBC report - with great pictures - of a new exhibition of Merovingian
> artefacts seized by Soviet forces in Germany at the close of WW II:
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6445989.stm

Upcoming Lecture at Bryn Mawr

The Department of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies
at Bryn Mawr College

Guy Strousma

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

"The Scriptural Movement of Late Antiquity: A
Friday, 23 March
4:30 p.m.

Room B21 of the Rhys Carpenter Library

Tea will be held at 4:00 p.m. before the lecture in
the Quita Woodward Room, which is in Thomas Library.

For more information, please call: 610-526-5198; or
e-mail ocardona@brynmawr.edu

Old Testament Pseudipigrapha

Andrei Orlov shares this URL of some medieval interest:

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to announce a new scholarly resource on the Second
Temple Jewish literature preserved in the Slavic Milieux:


Anglo Saxon Studies Group at Columbia

The Anglo Saxon Studies Colloquium
> Spring Semester Upcoming Events>
> April 3
> Tuesday
> Clare Lees (King's College, University of London)
> "Gender Indifference? Women, Sexuality and Anglo-Saxon Studies"
> at Columbia University
> Ware Lounge, Sixth Floor, Avery Hall
> 6.30 pm
> April 26
> Thursday
> Jocelyn Wogan-Browne (University of York, UK)
> "Cultural Traditions and Anglo-Norman Women in Earlier Medieval England"
> at New York University
> 19 University Place, first floor
> Great Room
> 6.00 pm
> for further information go to http://www.columbia.edu/cu/assc/
> or email ASSC@columbia.edu

Position at Western Michigan

Position Advertisement: Assistant Professor of Medieval History

Medieval World. Western Michigan University invites applications for a
tenure-track position at the rank of assistant professor, beginning fall
2007, pending budgetary approval. Ph.D. required by time of appointment.
Teaching experience and publications preferred. Geographic and temporal
specialization open. The department seeks a colleague whose specialization
will complement existing strengths among our faculty. The successful
candidate will have an active research agenda and will participate in the
graduate and undergraduate teaching mission of the department, including
the Ph.D. program in medieval history and the M.A. program in Medieval
Studies. Ability to teach World History is desirable. The Carnegie
Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has placed WMU among the 76
public institutions in the nation designated as research universities with
high research activity. WMU, a student-centered research university in
Kalamazoo, Michigan, is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages
applications from underrepresented groups. Review of applications will
begin March 12, 2007*, and continue until the position is filled. Send
letter of application, vita, statement of teaching philosophy, academic
transcripts and three letters of recommendation to: Chair, Medieval Search
Committee, Department of History, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo,
MI 49008-5334. 269-387-4650. FAX 269-387-4651.

New Medieval Literatures

New Medieval Literatures

New Medieval Literatures is an annual journal of work on medieval textual cultures. Its scope is inclusive of work across the theoretical, archival, philological, and historicist methodologies associated with medieval literary studies. The title announces an interest both in new writing about medieval culture and in new academic writing. As well as featuring challenging new articles, each issue includes an analytical survey by a leading international medievalist of recent work in an emerging or established field. The editors aim to engage with intellectual and cultural pluralism in the Middle Ages and now. Within this generous brief, they recognize only two criteria: excellence and originality.


Rita Copeland University of Pennsylvania
David Lawton Washington University in St. Louis
Wendy Scase University of Birmingham

The contents of vol. 8 (2006) include the following articles:

John Whitman, Alternative Scriptures: Story, History, and the Canons of Romance
David Wallace, Imperium, Commerce, and National Crusade: The Romance of Malory's Morte
Ardis Butterfield, Converting Jeanne d'Arc: Trahison and Nation in the Hundred Years' War
Daisy Delogu, Public Displays of Affection: Love and Kingship in Philippe de Mézières's Épistre au roi Richart
ANTHONY BALE, The Jew in Profile
LAWRENCE WARNER, Obadiah the Proselyte and the Judaizing Crusade
PATRICIA DAILEY, Questions of Dwelling in Anglo-Saxon Poetry and Medieval Mysticism: Inhabiting Landscape, Body, and Mind
EMILY V. THORNBURY, Admiring the Ruined Text: The Picturesque in Editions of Old English Verse

Analytical Survey: ELAINE TREHARNE, Categorization, Periodization: The Silence of (the) English in the Twelfth Century

Publication programme:
- Volume 8 (2006) : currently available
- Volume 9 (2007) : scheduled for end 2007

Annual subscription price shipping costs included:
- EU countries: EUR 61 + EUR 8 shipping costs (excluding 6% VAT - where applicable)
- Countries outside the EU: EUR 61 (approx. USD 82.00) + EUR 12 (approx. USD 16.00) shipping costs

Enquiries and orders:

Brepols Publishers

Begijnhof 67 - B-2300 Turnhout
Tel: +32 14 44 80 35 - Fax: +32 14 42 89 19

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Medieval News and Such 3/2-3/8 2007

£2m Viking centre bid at Wirral

'Viking' gold ring finds new home

How Vikings Might Have Navigated on Cloudy Days

Medieval hoodie to join the ranks of Minster grotesques

A United Kingdom? Maybe

Church’s £54k heritage boost

Ancient guild hall marks 650th

St. Chad, bishop of Lichfield
Blessed Charles the Good, King, martyr Beheaded on 2 March 1127
St. Agnes of Prague, Poor Clare Franciscan
St. John Maron, First Patriarch of The Maronite Church

1316 Robert II of Scotland
1409 John II of Alençon, French soldier
1459 Adrian VI

672 St. Chad
986 Lothair, King of France
1127 Charles the Good
1316 Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert I of Scotland

274 Mani, prophet, founder of Manichaeism, dies in a Persian prison
462 Total Lunar eclipse
537 Siege of Rome by Goths (ends 12 March 538)
986 Louis V becomes King of France
1127 Murder of St. Charles the Good (the Dane)
1160 Excommunication of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
1296 Bull of Pope Boniface VIII "Clericis Laicos"
1316 Birth of King Robert II of Scotland
1458 George Podebrad elected King of Bohemia
1459 Pope Adrian VI
1484 Issuance of Letters Patent by King Richard III of England,
founding the English College of Arms
1492 Ferdinand V, King of Spain, banishes 800,000 Jews
1498 Vasco da Gama arrives in the Sultanate of Mozambique

St. Cunegundes, Holy Roman Empress
St. Winwaloc, Abbot and founder of Landevennec

1455 King John II of Portugal (d. 1495)

1046 Sylvester III
1111 Bohemund I, Prince of Antioch
1239 Vladimir III Rurikovich, Grand Prince of Kiev
1459 Ausiàs March, Catalan poet

468 Simplicius I elected pope
1191 Philip II of France and his army leave Sicily
1431 Election of Pope Eugenius IV
1461 Edward IV takes possession of the English Crown
1497 All candidates for academic degrees at the Sorbonne required to
believe in the Immaculate Conception

St. Casimir of Poland
St. Peter of Pappacarbone

1133 Henry Plantagenet of Anjou, later to become Henry II, King of
1188 Blanche of Castile, wife of Louis VIII of France
1394 Prince Henry the Navigator, sponsor of Portuguese exploration.
1394 Don Pedro of Portugal; Henry the Navigator
1492 Francesco de Layolle, Italian composer

480 Saint Landry, Bishop of Seez
561 Pope Pelagius I
1172 Stephen III of Hungary
1193 al-Malik en Nasr Salah-ud-Din Yusuf ibn Yusuf (Saladin)at Damascus
1237 Joan of England, Queen Consort of Scotland, wife of Alexander I
1238 Yuri II, Grand Prince of Vladimir
1303 Daniel of Moscow, Russian Saint, Grand Prince of Muscovy
1484 Saint Casimir, Prince of Poland
1496 Sigismund of Austria

304 Martyrdom of Saint Adrian of Nicomedia.
852 Croatian Duke Trpimir I issued a statute, a document with the
first known written mention of the Croats name in Croatian sources.
932 Translation of the relics of martyr Wenceslaus I, Duke of
Bohemia, Prince of the Czechs.
1152 Fredrick I "Barbarrossa" elected King of Germany
1194 Richard I of England and Queen Eleanor sail from Antwerp on the
"Trencheiner" for England
1215 King John of England makes an oath to the Pope as a crusader to
gain the support of Innocent III.
1222 Bretons defeat French
1238 The Battle of the Sit River was fought in the northern part of
the present-day Yaroslavl Oblast of Russia between the Mongol Hordes
of Batu Khan and the Russians under Yuri II of Vladimir-Suzdal
during the Mongol invasion of Russia.
1284 Statute of Rhuddlan
1275 Chinese astronomers observe a total eclipse of the sun.
1351 Ramathibodi becomes King of Siam.
1364 The Parliament of Scotland refuses to accept Edward III, King of
England, as King of Scots
1386 Władysław II Jagiełło (Jogaila) was crowned King of Poland.
1461 Coronation of Edward IV, King of England; Wars of the Roses in
England: Lancastrian King Henry VI is deposed by his Yorkist cousin,
who then becomes King Edward IV.
1492 King James IV of Scotland concludes an alliance with France
against England.
1493 Columbus returns to Lisbon, Portugal

St. Virgilius
St. Gerasimus, Abbot
St. Kieran of Saigher

1133 King Henry II of England
1324 David II, King of Scotland
1326 Louis I (the Great), king of Hungary & Poland

475 St. Gerasimus, who drew a thorn from the paw of a lion

363 Roman Emperor Julian moves from Antioch with an army of 90,000 to
attack the Sassanid Empire, in a campaign which will bring about his
own death.
1046 Naser Khosrow begins the seven-year Middle Eastern journey which
he will later describe in his book Safarnama.
1179 3rd Lateran Council (11th ecumenical council) opens in Rome
1380 Construction begins on St.Mary's College, Oxford, England
1432 Treaty of Rennes between France and Brittany
1496 England's Henry VII commissions John & Sebastian Cabot to
discover new lands

St. Chrodegang, bishop of Metz
Blessed Jolenta of Poland
St. Colette of Corbi

1340 John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
1405 John II, King of Castile
1459 Jacob Fugger, German banker
1475 Michelangelo Buonarotti, sculptor and reluctant painter
1483 Francesco Guicciardini, Italian statesman and historian
1495 Luigi Alamanni, Italian poet

766 St. Chrodegang
1252 Saint Rose of Viterbo, Italian saint
1447 St. Colette; Nicholas V elected Pope
1490 Ivan the Young, Ruler of Tver

203 Martyrdom of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity
1079 Omar Khayyám completes the Iranian calendar.
1204 Phillip Augustus of France captures Chateau Galliard
1428 Joan of Arc arrives at the Chateau de Chinon
1447 Election of Pope Nicholas V
1454 Thirteen Years' War: Delegates of the Prussian Confederation
pledged allegiance to Casimir IV of Poland, and the Polish king agreed
to help in their struggle for independence from the Teutonic Knights.
Casimir IV takes parts of Prussia into Poland
1480 Treaty of Alcacovas gives the Canary Islands to Spain

Our Lady of Nazaré (Nazareth), Patron of Portugal Instituted 14th century
Perpetua and Felicity

189 Publius Septimius Geta, Roman Emperor
1481 Baldassare Peruzzi, Italian architect and painter

161 Antonius Pius, Emperor of Rome
308 Saint Eubulus, Christian martyr
851 Nominoe, Duke of Brittany
1111 Bohemond I of Tarente
1226 William de Longespee, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, English military leader
1274 St. Thomas Aquinas
1307 Edward I, King of England

161 Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius dies and is succeeded by
co-Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, an unprecedented
political arrangement in the Roman Empire.
321 Roman Emperor Constantine I decrees that the dies Solis Invicti
(sun-day) is the day of rest in the Empire.
851 Death of the King of Brittany Nominoë in Vendome.
1080 Excommunication of Henry IV, King of Germany
1138 Conrad III again chosen King of Germany
1190 Jews are massacred by rioters, Stamford-fair, England
1229 Frederick II, excommunicate, crowns himself King of Jerusalem
1277 Condemnation of 219 philosophical and theological theses by
Stephen Tempier, Bishop of Paris.

St. Ogmund, bishop of Holar

1286 John III, Duke of Brittany
1495 St. John of God

648 St. Felix of Dunwich
690 St. Julian of Toledo
1126 Urraca of Castile
1144 Pope Celestine II
1202 Sverre of Norway
1223 Wincenty Kadłubek, Polish chronicler

1198 Election of Phillip, King of Germany

Words of the Week:

faggot-this word has an interesting history before the 20th century transforms it into new meanings. Originally an Italian word faggotto, or fangotto, and diminutive of the Vulgar Latin *facus, from Classical Latin fascis, a bundle of wood. It first appears in English as "bundle of wood" and was probably borrowed directly from Old French fagot, as intermediary between the Italian and English. It isn't until the 16th century that we have some interesting uses: first to refer to the punishment of heretics, fire and faggot a common reference to the burning of hereitcs; recanted heretics in England wore "the faggot", an embroidered emblem on their arm to signify their status. Late in the century the term also comes to refer negatively to a woman, particularly an old, unpleasent women possibly from the fact that old, poor, women could often be seen about a town or village gathering faggots as a way to earn enough income to keep going. This latter meaning survived into modern English at least in England. The first application to men comes about 1700 where it refers to men who have been quickly hired to make up the numbers of the roll in a regiment, hence a "dummy". The term used to apply to homosexual males stems from WWI and first appears in print in 1914. It could possibly stem from the negative application to women, thus a homosexual male is a "faggot", an unpleasent woman and the Yiddish faygele may help reinforce the association of faggot/fag with the homosexual male. That's a long way from a bundle of sticks in the Cursor Mundi!

Quote of the Week:

For in all adversity of fortune the worst sort of misery is to have been happy. Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy

Random Site of the Week:

Classical Art in the Middle Ages

Medieval TV:

After The Dark Ages aired last week kicking THC's "Barbarians Week", etc, there doesn't appear to be much medieval TV for the week. But I did uncover this:

Mar 13 Travel Channel Passport to Europe with Sandra Brown will air a program on Reykjavik, Iceland and talk some about its foundation and Viking past.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Week's News to 3/1

Muslim Women as Mullahs

Medieval Burial Ground Unearthed

Saxon, Roman, and Iron Age finds

If you're in the neighborhood of the British Museum: The Origins of the
Thursday 8 March, 18.30
Stephen Oppenheimer, historian and
geneticist, talks about his new book,
The Origins of the British:
A Genetic Detective Story.
£5, concessions £3

More Here

Medieval Skeletons

Kilve, Somerset holds fair for church


Review of the TV Program: The Dark Ages

Another Review of THC's much vaunted and advertised "The Dark Ages"


1417 Paul II, Roman Catholic pope (1464-71)
1440 Mathias I, King of Hungary

1011 St. Willigis
1072 St. Peter Damian
1370 David II, King of Scotland
1447 Pope Eugenius IV
1447 Humphrey Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester

155 Martyrdom of St. Polycarp of Smyrna
303 Emperor Diocletian orders general persecution of Christians
532 Justinian begins work on the Hagia Sophia
553 Pope Vigilius ratifies verdicts of Council of Constantinople
687 Pepin of Heristal arrives in France
1040 Consecration of the abbey-church at Le Bec, France
1245 John of Plato Carpini connects with the Mongols
1305 A sermon preached in Italy mentioned eye-glasses
1421 Coronation of Catherine, Queen to Henry V of England
1440 Execution of Gilles de Raiz
1455 Johannes Gutenberg prints 1st book, the Bible (approximate date)


1304 Muhammad ibn Battutah, Moroccan Arab traveler, travel writer
1463 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Italian scholar, Platonist

303 Publication of the first Roman edict for the persecution of Christians
1208 St. Francis's vocation is revealed to him (probable date)
1303 English invasion of Scotland halted)
1389 Capture of Albert of Mecklenberg, King of Sweden
1429 Joan of Arc arrives at Chinon
1446 Drawing of the earliest known Lottery, in Bruges, Belgium
1450 End of the Ambrosian Republic (2nd Commune) of Florence


616 St. Ethelbert, King of Kent
779 St. Walburga

493 Negotiations open between the Roman Army, besieged at Ravenna, and
the Ostrogoths
1450 Surrender of Florence to Francesco Sforza
1451 Pope Nicholas V bans all social intercourse between Christians & Jews


1361 King Wenceslaus

1161 Roger II, King of Sicily
1266 Manfred, King of Sicily

364 Valentinian becomes Emperor of Rome at Nicaea
493 Surrender of the Roman Army at Ravenna to the Ostrogoths
1147 Crusaders massacre the Jews of Wurzburg


288 Constantine

425 Theodosius II, Emperor of Byzantium, founds a University
493 End of the Siege of Ravenna
1458 George of Podebrad chosen King of Bohemia


1468 Pope Paul III

922 St. Oswald of Worchester
1212 Honen

591 Gregory I becomes Pope
1066 Westminster Abbey opens
1258 Tatars burn Baghdad
1476 Besieged Grandson, Switzerland, surrenders to the French
1482 Marquis Rodrigo Ponce de Leon of Cadiz raids Alhama, Granada


1389 St. Antonius

492 St. Felix
601 St. David of Wales (approx. year)
1383 Amadeus VI, the "Green Count" of Savoy

499 Symmachus, Boethius' father in law, holds synod in Rome on
707 John VII elected p
1244 Fall of Montsegur (Albigensian Crusade)
1260 Mongols under Kitbuqa take Damascus
1360 Chaucer ransomed from the French
1382 Maillotin Rising, Paris (Peasant Revolt)
1383 Charles IV, King of France, subdues Paris
1410 Burning of John Badby, tailor, for heresy and a total Solar Eclipse
1469 William Caxton begins to translate "Receuil of the Histories of
Troy" from the French, to become the first book printed in English

Words of the Week:
tuition-that word that every English speaking college student and parent thereof dreads to hear or read. It comes into English from Anglo-French Norman tuycioun, from Old French tuicion, from Latin tuitio, meaning guardianship, guard, a noun from Latin tueri, to guard, protect, look after. It first appears in the late 13th century in the sense of guardianship, care, custody. By the 15th century it can refer to the position, rather than the state of, of being a protector or guardian. In the late 16th, from this meaning it refers then to the position of being a teacher, a tutor. But it isn't until the nineteenth century that it begins to refer to the fee paid to someone for protection or tutoring.

rechabite-an appropriate word for Ash Wednesday, even if I'm a bit late on that. It comes from the Bible, the Rekabim mentioned in the book of Jeremiah (and later apocrypha too). They refused to drink wine or live in houses. Late medieval use of the word beginning with Wycliffe generally refers to the Biblical material, but in the early modern period there comes Rechabitism, generally referring the practices of the Rechabites, and sometimes specifically to the teetotalism. The Independent Order of Rechabites was a charitiable society founded in the 1830s.

harrow-one of my favorite old English words, in part because it comes from Tolkien and in part because it is used in Beowulf and of course the Harrowing of Hell. It comes from the Old English word herigean, the past participle of which gives us hergod, and a verbal noun hergung. In Middle English these became herwede, herwyng. The =er= of course becomes =ar= in the vowel shift. It is related to the verb harry. Both come from a Proto-Germanic word *kharohan (v.), from *kharjaz "an armed force" and so are related to O.E. here (an army, force), O.N. herr, O.H.G. har, Ger. Heer "host, army"), from PIE root *koro- "war" (cf. Lith. karas "war, quarrel," karias "host, army;" O.C.S. kara "strife;" M.Ir. cuire "troop;" O.Pers. kara "host, people, army;" Gk. koiranos "ruler, leader, commander"). The noun "harrier" comes from "harrow" as well, and so the British military jet "harrier" is a Harrower, one who harrows. It is not related to the verb/noun "harrow" in most place names, indicating a farm implement.

wight-another good ol' fashioned Old English word, wiht, meaning a living being. And so it remains and became eventually an obsolete word until again Tolkien revived it with the Barrow wights, and so now when used it often seems to have a ghostly/preternatural reference.

Medieval TV:

The History Channel:
On March 3 the History of Sex will focus on Medieval Sex
March 4 will air The Plague
March 4 will also reair The Dark Ages. Ugh.

Quote of the Week:
Man thinks, God directs.
(Homo cogitat, Deus indicat.) Alcuin

Site of the Week:

The Book of Carmarthen

Saturday, March 3, 2007

More from Roger Pearse

I have scanned an English translation of Eunapius:


The collection as a whole is at:


There is also a CDROM of the site available:


Of Interest

5th Syriac Studies Symposium
Toronto, June 25-27, 2007

1) We have received several requests to extend the deadline of submitting registration and reservation forms and titles and abstracts of papers. With pleasure we extend the deadline to March 31, 2007 at the latest.

2) Some asked if they could give papers not directly related to the Symposium's theme (Syriac as a Bridge Culture), and we would like to confirm that such papers are also welcome. All papers are subject to the approval of the Organizing Committee.

3) We have received a number of papers on Syriac Christianity in modern times. Given the circumstances now in the Middle East, more of such papers are particularly welcome.

4) The symposium will start on Monday June 25, 9 am, and will end with a Mass and dinner at the Cathedral Church of St Mary (Assyrian Church of the East), on Wednesday June 27 in the evening. If you do not live in or near Toronto, you ought to come to Toronto at least one day earlier and leave at least one day later.

We look forward to welcoming you all at the Symposium

The Organizing Committee.
Phone: 416-978-3184
FAX 416-978-3305

Roger Pearse Has Been Busy

Roger provides a wonderful service. He's added more to his great website.

I have scanned an English translation of 16 letters from Libanius to
Julian the Apostate:


Also his oration on behalf of the temples:


The collection as a whole is at:


where I am currently adding works of Porphyry, which I will announce
properly once I have got that into shape.

There is also a CDROM of the site available:


Drew Jones Lecture

This is one I wish I could have gone to. Christopher Jones is one of the best. But I missed it.

The Anglo Saxon Studies Colloquium
is pleased to announce:

Christopher Jones
(Ohio State University)

"Monastic Reform and Eremitic Sanctity in Late Anglo-Saxon England"

Thursday, March 1
4.30 PM

103 Chancellor Green
Princeton University

Long discussed by historians, the effects of a "Benedictine Reform"
movement in tenth- and eleventh-century England have become
increasingly important to studies of Old English language and
literature. In his lecture, Drew Jones examines a major gap in the
narrative of "Benedictine Reform" now prevalent Anglo-Saxon studies,
namely the movement's apparent lack of interest in anchoritic saints
or the classic texts of "desert monasticism."

for directions to Princeton:


To join our e-mail list, please send a message to:

For updates and future talks, please check our website:

Catching up on some posts

The following (or in this case I suppose are preceding) are catch up posts:


The End of the Visigothic Kingdom of Toulouse,
the Rise of the Franks, and the 'Beginning of France':
A Symposium on the Occasion of the
1500th Anniversary of the Battle of Vouille

APRIL 21, 2007

A plaque placed next to a Merovingian sarcophagus in the French town of
Vouillé reads
"The Battle of Vouillé: It is at this place where in 507 Clovis, king
of the Franks,
defeated the Visigoths. Then was the beginning of France."

This symposium will deal with a multitude of questions relating to the
significance of
the pivotal Battle of the Campus Vogladensis, as it is termed by
Gregory of Tours. There,
just outside the city of Poitiers, the Visigoths of Toulouse, hitherto
the principal
barbarian power of post-Roman Gaul, were defeated in 507 by the upstart
Franks, ruled by
their ambitious king Clovis, a member of the Merovingian dynasty.
Subsequently, the
Franks expanded their authority over Gaul and became the most
influential and significant
of the barbarian successor states. The history of western Europe became
largely the
history of the Franks. The Merovingians gave way to Charlemagne and the
Carolingians, who
proposed to reestablish the Roman Empire in the west. The Carolingian
Empire eventually
evolved into the modern nations of France, Germany, and Italy. And it
all started at the
Battle of Vouillé in 507.

Western Europe in the early sixth century was an age of ambitious
barbarian rulers,
including Alaric II the Visigoth, Clovis the Frank, Theoderic the
Ostrogoth, and Gundobad
the Burgundian, all of whom were jockeying among themselves for power
and authority. The
shakeout with regard to which of these peoples would write the
subsequent history of
western Europe began with the pivotal battle of Vouillé in 507. A
number of questions
relating to the battle and its attendant circumstances still lie in
need of further
discussion and elucidation. It is not even certain where the battle
took place. Gregory's
Campus Vogladensis is usually identified as Vouillé, just north of
Poitiers. But it
recently has been suggested that Vogladum ought to be identified as
Voulon, south of
Poitiers. Also deserving of discussion is the question of the role
played by religion in
the politics leading up to the battle: the Arian Visigothic king Alaric
II apparently
made a great effort to conciliate the Catholic, Roman, population of
his kingdom in order
to gain support against the Franks. These initiatives seem to have
succeeded --
Gallo-Roman contingents are attested as fighting on the Visigothic
side. Yet, the
Visigoths still lost the battle. Why was this? Did Clovis and the
Franks outmaneuver the
Visigoths by reaching a rapprochement of their own with the Christian
population of their
kingdom? And what about the aftermath of the battle? Why was there so
little continued
resistance by the Visigoths? What was the role played by the powerful
Ostrogothic king
Theoderic the Great? Or by the Burgundians and their equally ambitious
king Gundobad? And
just what were the distinctions, if any, among these barbarian peoples
and their
individual agendas? Questions such as these will be approached at this

Nor is there any more appropriate place in the western hemisphere for a
colloquium on the
significance of this battle than the University of Illinois campus,
where the Spurlock
Museum houses one of the premier collections of Merovingian artifacts,
a collection that
marked the beginning of Merovingian archaeology as a science.

We are looking for a few more contributions *directly* related to the
Battle of Vouille
and its immediate antecedents and results. Anyone interested in
presenting or attending,
please contact
Ralph Mathisen at ralphwm@uiuc.edu or ruricius@msn.com