Urgent repairs to three buildings that are the last traces of a lost medieval village in the English county of Durham are now underway, and this week there is a chance for the public to join the restoration experts at work.The current conservation work at the deserted village of Barforth on the River Tees near Gainford will protect the 12th century St Lawrence’s Chapel, an unusual medieval dovecote, and a historic bridge from further deterioration.
Two medieval projects have been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). One project will develop an interactive jousting computer game for a museum, while the other will create a seminar for high school and college teachers about Islamic civilization in Iberia during the Middle Ages.
Since 1392 a clock has been chiming and turning in Wells Cathedral in the English county of Somerset. But the world’s oldest continually-working mechanical clock is now going to be electrically powered as its current caretaker announces his retirement.It is believed the clock was built in the 1380s, but the first reference to it comes from 1392-93 when ten shillings was paid to its keeper by the cathedral.
An online database which promises to change our understanding of English society on the eve and in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest has been launched online. PASE Domesday, which is released today, links information from the Domesday survey (1086) to maps showing the location of estates throughout England.
By combining meteorology and archaeology, Norwegian scientists may discover old sea routes and mooring sites, and boost our knowledge of maritime culture dating from the ancient period to the end of the Middle Ages.“Archaeology has a long-standing tradition in protecting areas on land. But unfortunately, there is little attention to cultural monuments at the sea-shore and under water,” says meteorologist Marianne Nitter at the University of Stavanger’s Museum of Archaeology.
Calls for papers and preparations are now underway in advance of the 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, which will be held at Western Michigan University from May 12-15, 2011. This annual gathering of medievalists is one of the largest academic conferences in the world, drawing in over three thousand participants.
The Medieval Festival at Herstmonceux Castle, which is taking place this weekend in the English county of East Sussex, is expected to draw its biggest-ever attendance this year. Last year over 30,000 visitors flocked through the gates at the three-day Festival, already the largest of its kind in Northern Europe.
Interest in the Middle Ages seems to be stronger than ever – movies like Kingdom of Heaven and novels such as Pillars of the Earth draw millions of fans, while medieval festivals and museums featuring artifacts from the Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and other medieval societies get tens of thousands of visitors.
Frescoes from the island of Crete depicting scenes of Hell and the punishments of the damned are the focus of a new research project led by historians in England and Germany.Angeliki Lymberopoulou of The Open University, and Vasiliki Tsamakda, from the University of Mainz, aim to place and assess these representations within a wider geographical and cultural context involving both Greek-Orthodox and contemporary western examples (the Balkans, Cyprus, Cappadocia and Italy).
Television viewers in the United Kingdom will have the chance to watch two new history programmes that feature medieval England. The BBC will start airing a new six-part series, Churches: How to Read Them, on September 1st on BBC Four. Presented by author Richard Taylor, it will examine how imagery, symbols and architecture of English parish churches have inspired, moved and enraged people down the centuries.
A team of medieval scholars are undertaking a project to restore a 14th century manuscript, which was had been badly damaged in the Second World War, and was believed to have been unrecoverable.Gregory Heyworth, associate professor of English at the University of Mississippi, and three students are using a portable, high-power, multispectral digital imaging laboratory to reveal writing found in a text called Les Esches d’Amour (The Chess of Love), which is a 14th century Middle French poem.
Two important medieval Hebrew manuscripts—a Mishneh Torah made between 1300 and 1400 in Germany and an illuminated leaf from a prayer book made in Austria around 1360—are on display in New York City at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters, respectively, in conjunction with the Jewish High Holy Days this fall.
The results of a two year project will soon reveal new insights into the rise of lawyers in the medieval and Tudor periods. Professor Anthony Musson, a legal historian at the University of Exeter, is about to complete a new book entitled, Lawyers Laid Bare: The Private Lives of Medieval and Early Tudor Lawyers, which seeks to provide a broader picture outside of the familiar portrayal of lawyers as figures of fun or revulsion.
What constitutes ‘Britishness’ is turning out to be more complicated than many people previously believed. An innovative multidisciplinary research programme led by the University of Leicester is set to investigate its many dimensions and components.The University is to receive a £1.37 million Research Programme Award granted by the Leverhulme Trust, over five years, to carry out a major study on The Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain: Evidence, Memories, Inventions.
Dr. Simon Evans Prize for “Outstanding Contributions to Medieval Studies.”How Albert the Great’s Speculum Astronomiae Was Interpreted and Used by Four Centuries of Readers: A Study in Late Medieval Medicine, Astronomy and Astrology was published this year by The Edwin Mellen Press.The Speculum astronomiae by Albert the Great (Albertus Magnus) was written sometime after 1260 as an attempt to defend the science of astrology as being compatible with Christianity.
Dr Simone Celine Marshall has been named one of the 2010 recipients of the University of Otago’s Early Career Awards for Distinction in Research for her work work on medieval literature. The awards are given out by the university for outstanding research achievements and comes with $5000 to support their research and scholarly development.
The city of Amsterdam played host to the 21st International Congress on Historical Sciences last month, bringing hundreds of historians together from a wide range of areas. Medievalists were well-represented with over a dozen papers dedicated to the crusades and the city of Acre in particular. The sessions were organized by Professor John France of the University of Wales-Swasnsea for the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East (SSCLE).
A previously unknown early 19th-century edition of The Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer has been identified by University of Otago senior lecturer in English Dr Simone Celine Marshall, with important ramifications internationally for the study of medieval literature.Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1320-1400) is frequently regarded as the father of English literature, having written an extensive amount of English poetry, most famously The Canterbury Tales.
Archaeologists have discovered that the Moothill built at Scone Palace in central Scotland was built between the late ninth century and early 11th century. The Moothill has been famous for being the site where Robert Bruce was crowned King of Scots in 1306.Dr Oliver O’Grady of the MASS Project (Moothill and Abbey Survey Scone) was able to determine the date from scientific analysis of carbon samples retrieved during excavations of a massive ditch that once surrounded the Moothill.
A medieval Bible written in Oxford, England, around 1240, has been purchased by the University of South Carolina for $77 000. The small-sized bible will be added to other medieval holdings at the university’s Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library.“This Bible is exceptionally fine,” says Dr. Scott Gwara, a USC medievalist who recommended the acquisition and funding for its purchase from the B.
The relationship between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East during the Middle Ages is often typified in terms such as conflict and violent opposition. But research by a PhD student at the University of Leuven in Belgium shows how in 13th century Iraq these two communities intermingled rather than living completely separately.