Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So what's in a name? or Sir-name?

(this Arthurian legend from YouTube ...)


  • Conference in Arizona (May 2014): Death and the Culture of Death ...
  • Annual seminar on "Understanding the Medieval Book"
  • Suggested "medieval" readings from American Libraries Direct


The following is from Albrecht Classen:

"Early next May 2014, we will have the next international symposium here at the University of Arizona, with the theme: Death and the Culture of Death in the Middle Ages and the early modern world (you define the time limit, though ca. 1800 should be the max.). Here is the link for the webpage:

Please send abstracts for papers, if interested. We can take up to 24 speakers."


Announcing the 4th Annual Seminar on “Understanding the Medieval Book”

The University of South Carolina invites participants to its 4th annual seminar, “Understanding the Medieval Book,” which will be held at the Hollings Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, from 7-9 April 2014. This two-day hands-on seminar explores medieval books (e.g., Books of Hours, bibles, breviaries, etc.) under the direction of a specialist. Participants will use the university’s collection of 130 medieval manuscripts and fragments.

Our 2014 specialist will be Dr. Timothy Graham, Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Medieval Studies, University of New Mexico. Dr. Graham is holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and an MPhil from the Warburg Institute, University of London. He teaches courses and seminars on medieval history, paleography, manuscript culture, and Anglo-Saxon studies. A recognized authority on medieval manuscripts, their production and use, his best-known book is Introduction to Manuscript Studies, which has become the leading international textbook on the subject of manuscripts and manuscript culture.

This seminar is free but limited to 25 participants. If you are interested in attending, information and a brief application can be found at this link:


Some suggested "medieval" readings from American Libraries Direct:

The 20 greatest epic poems of all time
Few have better expressed the tumultuous rise and fall of civilizations better than the great epic poets of ancient and modern times. By combining elevated language with war, betrayal, romance, adventure, and much reflection, these 20 lengthy tomes have captured the essence of whole peoples in single (albeit gigantic) works, ranging from semifictional accounts of war to satirical mockeries of misguided heroism....
Qwiklit, Sept. 10

The ancient roots of punctuation
Keith Houston writes: “The story of the hashtag begins sometime around the 14th century, with the introduction of the Latin abbreviation ‘lb’ for the Roman term libra pondo, or ‘pound weight.’ Like many standard abbreviations of that period, ‘lb’ was written with the addition of a horizontal bar, known as a tittle or tilde (an example is shown above, in Johann Conrad Barchusen’s Pyrosophia, from 1698).”...
The New Yorker: Page-Turner, Sept. 6

When books were shelved backwards
Stephanie Sylverne writes: “It may seem counterintuitive to us, but books were not always shelved to show the spine. In the 15th and 16th century, libraries often chained their books to shelves or lecterns, the medieval equivalent of the electronic security devices our libraries use today. The chains were connected to clasps that kept the books shut. It made sense to organize them with the clasps facing out so they could be pulled from the shelf.”...
Ephemeris, Aug. 29

Medieval manuscripts in America
Julie Somers writes: “Many collections in America have works that range from the 9th through the 16th centuries. The collections include Bibles, psalters, graduales, commentaries, books of hours, charters, and many other medieval texts. Various museum, university, and public libraries can provide access to the real thing. Plus, many have an added bonus of images available online.” Indeed, Lisa Fagin Davis and Melissa Conway have embarked on a Manuscript Road Trip, “a state-by-state tour of medieval manuscripts in the lower 48, focusing on less-well-known collections.”...
medievalfragments, Aug. 30; Manuscript Road Trip

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