Meetings 2017

Seminar: 14 December 2017, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • Members' Night presentations.

Medieval Matters Public Lecture: 29 November 2017, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • ELAINE TREHARNE: The Matter of Medieval Manuscripts

  • In this lecture Prof. Elaine Treharne of Stanford University explored how contemporary audiences get access to the tens of thousands of surviving medieval manuscripts that were created circa 500-1500. She discussed how modern readers use these manuscripts, both in the real world and in the virtual world. These users include scholars, of course, but also (regrettably) those who destroy medieval manuscripts for financial gain, those who show off their collections with little idea of what they mean, and even those who try to recreate libraries and volumes that never existed. This lecture was given on the Stanford campus in the Bishop Auditorium of Lathrop Library.

  • Elaine Treharne, Roberta Bowman Denning Professor of Humanities; Professor of English, Stanford Elaine Treharne is a world-renowned scholar of medieval manuscripts and English texts, and more broadly of the history of the book. She has published twentyeight books and over sixty articles focusing on literature and its contexts from 500 through 1600 CE. Her next book, The Phenomenal Book, is due out in 2018; and the fourth edition of her Blackwell Anthology of Old and Middle English Literature will be published the same year. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, of the English Association, and of the Royal Historical Society. She also directs Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis and Stanford Text Technologies.

Seminar: 13 November 2017, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • SABAHAT ADIL: Islamic Architecture in Andalusia. Prof. Sabahat Adil of the University of Colorado at Boulder will explored for us the Islamic architecture in Andalusia, Spain, using the Mosque/Cathedral of Córdoba and the Alhambra in Granada as examples. Through a broad historical overview and these two site-specific case studies, this presentation demonstrated how the artistic production of al-Andalus drew upon both local traditions such as Visigothic, and nonlocal customs stemming from the “heartlands” of Islam.

Seminar: 16 October 2017, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • ROWAN DORIN: A connected Sea? Trade and Travelers in the Medieval Adriatic. Prof. Rowan Dorin of Stanford University focused on the rise of Venice as a maritime power over the course of the 12th and early 13th centuries, as the Adriatic Sea underwent profound political and economic transformations. Venetian predominance was far from preordained, however, as multiple other cities vied for a share of the lucrative carrying trade that linked the fabled ports of the eastern Mediterranean to the heartlands of western Europe.

Potluck: 14 September 2017 Kriegh's house, Los Altos

Special Collections visit: 16 May 2017, 7-9 pm at Stanford Green Library

  • JOHN MUSTAIN (Special Collections Librarian): Medieval Treasures and Other Delights At this on-campus event, hosted by librarians John Mustain and Peter Whidden, members had the opportunity to peruse treasures from Special Collections that they had selected for our enjoyment, including some recent purchases from the SF Antiquarian Book Fair.

Medieval Matters Public Lecture: 26 April 2017, 7:30pm, Stanford

  • MICHAEL WOOD: Why the Anglo-Saxons Matter: King Alfred and the Making of England

  • In this lecture illustrated with slides and film clips, Michael Wood looks at one of the most exciting and formative periods in British history, the Viking Age, when three generations of the family of Alfred the Great created the early English state. At this time institutions were created that would shape British history through modern times; 10th-century assembly politics are now seen as the roots of the English Parliament, and Old English law books are the foundation of English law. The period also matters for English literature: Alfred’s vernacular translations begin a continuity of English prose down to Chaucer, and the great Old English poetic collections were gathered together in the 10th century. Professor Wood will put these developments in the context of court culture, and royal and noble patronage, with special emphasis on the rich haul of manuscripts associated with Alfred’s grandson Athelstan, the first king of England. A key argument is that the creation of the 10th-century Anglo-Saxon empire with its state culture has to be understood as the English embrace of the Carolingian Renaissance. Slides will include images of rarely seen manuscripts, and clips will include a sequence shot in the Vatican library with a manuscript of Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy, which may be the one used by Alfred and his court scholar, the Welsh Bishop Asser.

  • Michael Wood, Professor of Public History, University of Manchester; Filmmaker. Michael Wood is known to US viewers for his many documentary films on PBS, among them Art of the Western World, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, and The Story of India, which The Wall Street Journal described as “still the gold standard” of documentary history making. A specialist in Anglo-Saxon history, he has written widely on the age of King Athelstan on which he has a book forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Wood recently received the British Academy President’s Medal for services to the humanities and social sciences.

Seminar: 10 April 2017, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • CHARLOTTE STANFORD: A Less-Traveled Pilgrimage Path and its Architecture. This seminar talk was given by Professor Charlotte Stanford of Brigham Young University. Prof. Stanford recently travelled on Spain’s Via Aragonés pilgrimage route, where the churches are generally much humbler than those seen on the main pilgrimage route. Prof. Stanford’s talk focused on three buildings in particular: Jaca cathedral, the monastery of San Juan de la Pena, and the hermitage of Santa Maria de Eunate.

Musical Presentation: 21 March 2017, 7:30pm, Memorial Church, Stanford

  • SALISBURY CATHEDRAL TOURING CHOIR: The Choral Tradition of Salisbury The touring Salisbury choir performed music spanning the centuries, from the Sarum Rite to today. Professor Bill Mahrt, of the Stanford music department, provided the introductions and the context for the pieces presented. This event took place in Memorial Church, on the Stanford campus at 7:30pm sponsored by Continuing Studies.

Seminar: 27 February 2017, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • ALLAN LANGDALE: Armenian Architecture in Eastern Turkey: Ani to Actamar. This seminar talk by Professor Allan Langdale, filmmaker and lecturer at UC Santa Cruz, introduced us to this, the most enigmatic of the early medieval architecture styles, which was developed on the far eastern edge of Christendom, remote from the traditions of Western Europe. Allan has spoken to us before, most recently in 2015 on Norman Sicily.

Seminar: 23 Jan 2017, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • ROBERT SCOTT: Mathematics as Heresy: How and Why Mathematical Theorems of the Infinitesimally Small Changed Religious Orthodoxy.