April and May Round Up

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Photo attrib. to Dunnock, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Staff Activity

On 24th May Justine Firnhaber-Baker gave a keynote lecture, ‘Seigneurial War and Peasant Revolts, or What’s in a Name?’ at the Medieval Culture and War Conference in Brussels

New Publications

Margaret Connolly, ‘The Representation of King Conred’s Kight in The Miroir and The Mirror’.  In Catherine Batt and Rene Tixier (eds.), Booldly bot meekly: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Translation in the Middle Ages in Honour of Roger Ellis (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018): 51-68.

Rab Houston, ‘The composition and distribution of the legal profession, and the use of law in early modern Britain and Ireland’. Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis (April 2018).

 

Tomasz Kamusella‘Jak chronić śląszczyznę’ (Translated: How to protect the Silesian
language?). Tygodnik Powszechny (March 2018)

Colin Kidd, ‘Global Turns: Other States, Other Civilizations’, New England Quarterly 91,
no. 1 (March 2018): 172-199.

Colin Kidd, ‘The Scottish Enlightenment and the Matter of Troy’. Journal of the British
Academy 6 (March 2018): 97-130.

Simon MacLean. ‘”Waltharius”: Treasure, Revenge and Kingship in the Ottonian Wild West’. In Kate Gilbert and Stephen White (eds.), Emotion, Violence, Vengeance and Law in the Middle Ages (Leiden: Brill, 2018): 225-251.

Jacqueline Rose. ‘Roman Imperium and the Restoration Church’. Studies in Church History 54: The Church and Empire (June 2018): 159-75.

Guy Rowlands, ‘Keep Right on to the End of the Road: the Stamina of the French Army
in the War of the Spanish Succession’. In Matthias Pohlig and Michael Schaich (eds.), The
War of the Spanish Succession: New Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press and the German Historical Institute London, 2018): 323-341.

Celebrating the 700th Anniversary of the Consecration of St Andrews Cathedral

 

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Image attrib. Smart History, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Seven hundred years ago, on July 5th, 1318, St Andrews Cathedral was formally consecrated. The cathedral had been under construction for 150 years and was already home to its Augustinian community, but a great storm in 1272 had blown down the west front of the building and greatly delayed its dedication. The consecration in 1318 was thus long-awaited, and also came at a significant point in Scotland’s history: only four years after Robert the Bruce’s victory at the Battle of Bannockburn, the opulent consecration of one of the largest cathedrals in the British Isles, and the largest building in Scotland (a title it retained until the construction of Edinburgh’s Waverley Railway Station in the nineteenth century), stated clearly that the Church in Scotland was not subservient to English prelates, and advertised the strong links between Scotland’s political and religious elite. The lavish ceremony was attended by King Robert I, and was one in a continuing line of momentous religious and political events that marked out St Andrews as one of medieval Scotland’s principal burghs.

 

 

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Image attrib. Smart History, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

This summer, the celebrations commemorating this important anniversary aim to recreate some of the pageantry and significance of the original event. A range of institutions, societies, and research initiatives have combined efforts to create an exciting line-up of public lectures on the history of the cathedral, historical tours of the burgh, and viewing opportunities with extant manuscripts and objects, to take place throughout June and early July. A free exhibition at the Museum of the University of St Andrews, throughout April and June, will showcase more of the extant material related to the cathedral, and tell the story of the consecration. On Saturday, 30 June, a theatrical pageant will bring to life the cathedral’s long history and its central role in the development of the burgh of St Andrews and of Scotland as a whole. In addition, digital reconstructions of the cathedral and its environs, created by Smart History and made available by Historic Environment Scotland, will be presented as an opportunity to view the cathedral as it might have looked in its glory days: a soaring, atmospheric, busy, and vital centre of religious life, pilgrimage, and lay devotion.

The event schedule includes:

 

The Story of St Andrews Cathedral – 700th Anniversary Historical Pageant

Saturday 30 June at 14:00 in St Andrews Cathedral.

University of St Andrews Service of Thanksgiving – Including Commemoration of the 700th Anniversary of St Andrews Cathedral

Sunday 1 July at 11:00 in St Salvator’s Chapel.

An Exceptional and Prestigious Church – A Walk Celebrating 700 Years of St Andrews Cathedral in Collaboration with Fife Pilgrim Way

Sunday 1 July at 14:00, starts outside St Andrews Museum, Kinburn Park.

Show and Tell of Manuscripts Associated with St Andrews Cathedral – Public Event by the University of St Andrews Library’s Special Collections Division

Wednesday 4 July at 14:00 in the Special Collections Napier Reading Room, Martyr’s Kirk.

Pilgrimage in Honour of Our Lady and St Andrew, Commemorating the 700th Anniversary of the Consecration of St Andrews Cathedral – Organised by New Dawn Conference

Thursday 5 July, begins at 9.30 at St James’s Church, Open Air Mass at 11.30 at St Andrews Cathedral.

Service to Commemorate the 700th Anniversary of St Andrews Cathedral – Organised by All Saints Church

Thursday 5 July at 15:00 in St Andrews Cathedral.

Act of Remembrance and Sung Eucharist – Organised by All Saints Church

Sunday 8 July, remembrance begins at 9.40 in St Andrews Cathedral, and is followed by a sung service at 10 in All Saints Church.

For more information and an updated list of events, see: https://www.openvirtualworlds.org/st-andrews-cathedral-1318-to-2018/

Contact: cathedral700@gmail.com

Thanks go to all the contributing groups including: University of St Andrews, Smart History, Historic Environment Scotland, Kate Kennedy Trust, Fife Pilgrim Way, New Dawn Conference, All Saints Church, BID St Andrews, and Tourism St Andrews.

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Image attrib. Smart History, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

Postgraduate Class Trip: Aberdeen

 

Blog written by Dr Margaret Connolly

 

IMG_2899Students taking palaeography as part of the MLitt programmes in Medieval History and Medieval Studies headed up to Aberdeen last week to see manuscripts at the University Library and to visit the Aberdeen Burgh Records Project.

The St Andrews group led by Dr Margaret Connolly and Mrs Rachel Hart were welcomed to the Special Collections at the Sir Duncan Rice Library by Andrew Macgregor, Deputy Archivist. We spent about an hour browsing a selection of fifteenth-century manuscripts chosen to reflect the wide range of reading material available in the British Isles at the end of the Middle Ages.

These included the first volume of the unique devotional text The Myrrour of Oure Lady which belonged to a nun at Syon Abbey in London (volume two is in Oxford), and a volume of Latin sermons that belonged to Hinton Charterhouse in Somerset; also the popular collection of saints’ lives, Legenda Aurea, and three books of hours – one so tiny it fits into the palm of the hand. By contrast, the copy of John Trevisa’s vernacular translation of Higden’s Polychronicon was a huge volume. Some of the texts, such as the De Cosmographia of Pomponius Mela, and a medical textbook were the type of books that would have been read in universities – the commentary on Aristotle’s Physica that we saw, which was written at Louvain in 1467, was owned in the next century by a member of St Andrews University. Other books, such as the collection of medical recipes, and the miscellany of practical and other texts, were probably used in individual medieval households.

Here are some reactions to what we saw:

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The ‘twirly thing’: the MS123 volvelle – a rare example with all of its fragile paper pointers intact

‘The manuscripts we looked at in the first half were so amazing, I completely lost track of time when we were looking at them. My favourite was the collection of miscellaneous works, with the clairvoyant dice, the zodiac man, and the twirly thing.’

Before leaving Special Collections we got to see behind the scenes with a tour of the stores where we enjoyed rummaging amongst the early printed books – and of their state-of-the-art conservation suite.

Then in the afternoon we visited Humanity Manse to see the Aberdeen Burgh Records Project, where we were hosted by St Andrews graduate Dr Claire Hawes and Dr William Hepburn. William is a graduate of Glasgow, and had tutored two of our current MLitt students whilst they were undergraduates there – a nice connection. Claire and William explained the work of the project, and demonstrated how joint work with computer scientists had created a programme that supports the transcription of this massive series of records.

They also provided insight into the practical uses of palaeography, and showed what a job that involved palaeography was like, which was arguably the most useful part of the day. It was also great to get to see some of the original records – these have World Heritage Status – thanks to Phil Astley of Aberdeen City Council who brought them along specially for our visit.

Some final thoughts:

‘The trip was so much fun, I really enjoyed how laid back it was. After the busiest two weeks of the whole degree, I found it so relaxing to spend time with some fantastic material just for interest’s sake.’

‘Getting to see all this, without having to worry about how this would relate to your next deadline, was refreshing and has got me thinking about the opportunities for working in this area in the future.’IMG_2912.JPG

March Round Up

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Photo attrib. Sarah, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

News

Congratulations to Dr John Condren, who has received a Rome Award from the British School at Rome, to conduct research for an article on diplomatic ceremonial at the papal court in the late 17th century

Congratulations to Professor Aileen Fyfe, Professor Knud Haakonssen, Professor Colin Kidd and Professor Richard Whatmore. They have received a Leverhulme Trust Large Grant for their project After Enlightenment: Intellectual Life in Scotland, 1790-1843

Staff Activity

On March 19, the Editing Early Modern Texts and Sources: Problems and Possibilities conference took place

Professor Guy Rowlands presented the papers ‘The Last Argument of the King? Arms, Artillery and Absolutism under Louis XIV’to the Medieval and Renaissance Group, and ‘The Sinews of War, the Sun King, and the Financial Burdens and Perils of Being a Superpower’ at the history department of the College of William and Mary

On March 27th, Dr Gillian Mitchell delivered a paper entitled ‘Popular Music and Family Life, 1955-1975: Questioning Notions of Generation Gap’ at the ‘Recording Leisure Lives’ conference at the University of Bolton

On March 27th, Professor Richard Whatmore gave a talk entitled ‘Rights after the Revolutions’ for the Johns Hopkins Political and Moral Thought Seminar series

Publications

Aileen Fyfe and Camilla Mørk Røstvik, ‘How female fellows fared at the Royal Society,’ Nature (6 March 2018)

Tomasz Kamusella and Fenix Ndhlovu, ‘Kamusella and Ndhlovu on Linguistic Imperialism,’ Social Science Matters (March 2018)

Mara van der Lugt, ‘The left hand of the Englightenment: truth, error, and integrity in Bayle and Kant,’ History of European Ideas (26 Feb 2018)

Richard Whatmore, Béla Kapossy, Isaac Nakhimovsky and Sophus Reinert (eds.),  Markets, Morals and Politics. Jealousy of Trade and the History of Political Thought (Harvard University Press, 2018)

Conference ‘Dress and Décor: Domestic Textiles and Personal Adornment in Scotland up to 1700’

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From left to right: Professor Roger Mason, Peryn Westerhof Nyman and Dr Morvern French, photo attrib. Chelsea Reutcke

Blog written by Dr Morvern French

On 23 and 24 March 2018 the Institute of Scottish Historical Research held a conference on Dress and Décor: Domestic Textiles and Personal Adornment in Scotland up to 1700. With a diverse range of speakers and topics, the event focussed on clothing, accessories, jewellery, tapestry, and embroidery from the medieval to early modern period in Scotland.

Dr Sally Rush opened with a study of the chafferon at the court of James V. A gold wire headdress worn by men and women, it represented the Renaissance ideals of beauty and majesty, and can be traced through written accounts, portraiture, and sculpture. This was complemented by a panel on ‘Royal Ceremony and Display in the Sixteenth Century’. Dr Lucy Dean outlined the use of dress at the marriages of James IV, James V, and James VI, arguing for its international significance. Rosalind Mearns examined a portrait of James V and Mary of Guise, comparing the fashion and accessories depicted with those in a contemporary portrait of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon. Peryn Westerhof Nyman considered the wearing of dule – mourning cloth – by members of the Scottish court on the deaths of Madeleine of Valois, Margaret Tudor, and James V.

Helen Wyld gave an in-depth paper on the reconstruction of James V’s tapestry collection, none of which is known to survive. Documentary and visual evidence, and the identification of contemporary pieces, show that James’s taste was at the cutting edge of European design and cultural sophistication.

In the Collections Session Claire Robinson presented a pair of gauntlet gloves held by the Museum of the University of St Andrews. These were given by Charles I to Sir Henry Wardlaw, who also owned the Wardlaw Bible presented by Dr Briony Harding of Special Collections, University of St Andrews. This and a dos-à-dos devotional text on display are covered with embroidered bindings bearing heraldic and floral designs.

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Photo attrib. Chelsea Reutcke

Afterwards, we heard a panel on ‘The Production and Circulation of Textiles’. Nora Epstein considered how the adoption of Protestantism in Scotland caused religious imagery to move from the church to the home, appearing in embroidery. Professor Christopher Smout then discussed the varied types of fabric produced in seventeenth century Scotland, and the spinners, weavers, tailors, and merchants involved in its manufacture and distribution within Scotland and abroad.

Caroline Paterson then opened a dialogue on Viking graves in Scotland with a consideration of brooches, belt fittings, beads, and other accessories. The dating, metal content, and design provide a picture of cultural complexity in Viking era Scotland, with material influences from Scandinavia. Following this paper, we heard Dr Susan Freeman’s study of the textile remains found in these graves, with a focus on the skill and time investment needed to produce these items.

The next morning, Dr Mark Hall discussed the spiritual and social values attached to dress accessories in and around medieval Perth. These included coins, pilgrimage tokens, reliquary pendants, horse mounts, and seal matrices, which held religious and/or apotropaic properties. Such objects were sometimes recycled or reshaped to change in use and meaning, beyond the strictly aesthetic.

The final panel on ‘Dress, Accessories, and Jewellery: Their Role in Cultural Identity’ was opened by Lyndsay McGill. She reconsidered the accepted definition of fede rings as relating to love and marriage, when they may have also had religious or apotropaic properties. Rhona Ramsay followed with a look at ‘naken’ or itinerant metalworkers in Argyll, showing that such craftspeople were capable of producing sophisticated silver pieces for elite clients. Finally Dr David Caldwell re-examined the traditional Scottish dress of plaid, which had antecedents in the classical world but was increasingly associated with the Highlands of Scotland.

At the concluding roundtable discussion ideas for future research and collaboration were put forward. These included a publication of the conference proceedings and the holding of further conferences. In the meantime we have created an online network for anyone interested in the topic of dress and décor in Scotland. To access this please email morvern.french@hes.scot or pwn2@st-andrews.ac.uk.

 

St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies Postgraduate Reading Weekend

Blog written by Dr Sarah Greer

sarah greerphoto.pngOn a chilly Saturday morning in February, an assortment of MLitt and PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and staff arrived at Dalgairn House in Cupar for the 2018 SAIMS Postgraduate Reading Weekend. We received a very warm welcome to Dalgairn House by our hosts Hugh and Hilary Kennedy, along with a very appreciated cup of tea or coffee to warm up, before cracking on with the sessions. Over Saturday and Sunday, the postgraduate students and postdocs presented brief outlines of the current questions they’re tackling in their research projects, each followed by questions and discussion.

Our first session began with Ingrid Ivarsen speaking about her research into the transmission of law in Anglo-Saxon England and the interplay between Latin and Old English language in lawcodes. Following her, one of our taught MLitt students, Callum Jamieson, discussed his work on the invention of stories about papal legates in 12thC English chronicles and the use of these stories to comment on the disputes between the English church and king and the pope in this period. Sarah Greer then introduced her postdoctoral project on Carolingian and Merovingian burial sites in tenth- and eleventh-century Germany and France and how these dynasties were remembered – or forgotten – in the post-Carolingian world.

After quite a lengthy discussion and a caffeine break, we pushed on with the next session. Hailey Ogle spoke on her work on the Chansons de Geste in the High Middle Ages, and how the emotional and behavioural topoi of these very secular pieces of literature would be interpreted by monastic audiences. Guy Fassler then introduced his research on lordship in public spaces in Italian cities, and the release of tension through violent revolts that could still considered to be within the boundaries of acceptable political behaviour.

Lunch was accompanied by a chance to stretch our legs and explore the gardens around Dalgairn House in the sunshine. In the afternoon, we returned with Maria Merino Jaso outlining how she came to work on the exchanges of poetic riddles in Charlemagne’s court, and the problems of interpreting chains of texts where not all of the texts survive. Holger Kaasik then discussed his research on ideas of time in medieval calendars, and how and why various memories of different ways of calculating and measuring time became embedded in calendars over the Middle Ages. Eleonora Rava spoke on her postdoctoral project on female religious recluses and the fascinating case of a recluse who fled her enclosure and whose testimony was then presented as a character witness against a male cleric. Sophia Silverman, one of our MLitt students, introduced her dissertation on Eleanor of Aquitaine and Constance of Brittany and the ways in which female authority and rule were constructed in succession disputes. Finally, Mark Thakkar rounded the day off with a presentation of the problems he has faced in creating a new Latin edition of John Wycliffe’s De Logica.

After a full day of presentations, questions and stimulating discussion, we broke off for a much needed rest before our hosts provided us with an excellent – and very convivial – dinner. Everyone returned the following morning for the last few sessions of papers. Dana Weaver introduced her doctoral project, which uses post-colonial theory as a way to look at the incorporation of Anglo-Saxon imagery in Norman art in northern England. Gert-Jan van de Voorde then discussed his involvement in a collaborative project on studying lordship in late medieval Europe and the possibilities and problems posed in creating a quantitative database of material.

Our next session was slightly different: Eilidh Harris from CAPOD, who completed her doctorate in Mediaeval History at St Andrews, joined us to discuss her own experiences as a PhD student. She offered some practical advice and perspective on being a postgraduate student, which sparked a lively discussion about work practices and reflections from students and staff on their approaches to research.

Our final presentation was from our very generous host, Hugh Kennedy, who gave a summary of his work on the formation of the early Islamic empire, their use of taxation and their creation of a society in which intellectual culture was able to flourish. It was an ideal way to finish up our weekend, and after lunch and another wander around the grounds of Dalgairn House, we all made our way back home. The various presentations from students and staff made clear the diversity in approaches to studying the Middle Ages within SAIMS. The weekend offered a chance for us all to become more familiar with each other’s work and interests, building on the close-knit sense of community and collegiality that defines Mediaeval Studies in St Andrews.

The Undergraduate History Conference

Blog written by Sophie Rees

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Ruth McKechnie, winner of the Dean’s Prize

On Saturday 10 February, the University History Society hosted its fifth annual (and most-well attended to date) Undergraduate History Conference, held in the Medieval Old Class Library. The Conference is one of the Society’s flagship events, and one that we as a committee are immensely proud of. The first of its kind in the UK, the conference aims to enable undergraduate historians to engage independently and critically with historical topics that interest them. Year upon year, it provides a challenging but supportive environment in which to explore those interests, test ideas and develop professional and academic skills. It does not constrain students to a mark scheme, or award them points from 1-20. Instead, the conference nurtures independent academic thought, integral for the development of skills vital for dissertations and beyond.

This year’s theme, History and Memory, was well received by applicants and the wider community, and nurtured this sense of personal engagement. The tension between scholarly accounts of the past and collective memory in shaping a personal, political and national historical consciousness has often been perceived as obscuring ‘the facts’ from view. However, it is from the struggle between personal recollections and the official narrative that the patchwork of history slowly begins to be stitched together. Memory as a historical method can appear both useful and useless. It gives flavour to bland official narratives yet is hampered by its brevity and fractures. Yet, the comprehension of memory as a valuable historiographical tool is the key to ensuring that history is never forgotten.

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Attendees at the Undergraduate History Conference Dinner

The day started with a fascinating key note speech by Professor DeGroot, who gave an address entitled ‘The Burden of Memory and the Need to Forget’. Ranging from personal recollections to a national perception of Blackadder, DeGroot’s address neatly interlinked private and public understandings of memory, before contemplating on the triviality of both what we remember and what we choose to forget. This was followed by our five undergraduate speakers, who spoke on topics as varied as Stolpersteine to Polynesian sexuality. There was a great sense of audience engagement and a reciprocity of ideas, as spectator and speaker alike were drawn into interesting debate. This was accompanied by copious amounts of biscuits and cups of university branded tea (a particular favourite among students and staff alike), as we all mulled over the curious construction of historical memory. After the final speech, the committee adjourned to decide which participant would be voted best speaker, whilst Professor Colin Kidd led an open discussion on the central themes with students in the Undercroft.

This year’s recipient of the £100 Deans’ Prize is Ruth McKechnie, for her fascinating discussion of sectarian tension in ‘The Glasgow Conundrum: A discussion of how socio-cultural prejudices affect the perception of history’. We are so grateful to everyone who attended the event, with particular thanks to our five fabulous speakers: Ruth, Victoria, Philip, Zoe and Hayley. The History Society looks forward to our next undergraduate conference, where we hope to relocate to a larger venue and host even more insightful speakers.