Meetings 2018

Seminar: 3 December 2018, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • Members' Night presentations.

Seminar: 5 November 2018, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • PATRICK HUNT: Byzantine Mosaics: Tiled Treasures Professor Patrick Hunt of Stanford University talked to us about how the Roman secular art form of mosaics was adapted and reinvigorated with early Christian iconography. Emperors were represented as extensions of Christ on earth in images that were filled with otherworldly splendor of brilliant colors, in a medium far more permanent than frescos. Biblical and saintly narratives, in gold-backed tessera helped create a longing for heaven on earth. From Constantinople to San Vitale and Monreale, Byzantine mosaic artists left a lasting legacy of world treasure.

  • This talk was followed by a Sarum Seminar field trip on November 17th to see the extraordinary mosaics of the Greek Orthodox Church in Belmont, right off Ralston Blvd.

Seminar: 15 October 2018, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • BOB NYDEN: 640 Years of Cologne Cathedral, and more. Robert Nyden shared with us Cologne Cathedral’s secrets and wonders. He told us about the cathedral’s connections to the Three Wise Men, Martin Luther, Napoleon, and the Eiffel Tower. We will benefited from his careful research as well as his personal experiences in visiting the cathedral.

Medieval Matters Public Lecture: 17 April 2018, 7:30pm, Stanford

  • MICHAEL McCORMICK: Investigating Medieval History with Science

  • What can ice samples tell us about medieval economic collapse and about the possible consequences of climate change in today’s world? How do scientists and historians work together to enrich each other’s work? As chair of the Initiative for the Science of Human Past at Harvard, Michael McCormick contends with just these questions. Bridging libraries and labs, his research projects range broadly from human and disease genetics of ancient migrations and pandemics, paleoclimate reconstruction, the scientific archaeological investigation of a lost Visigothic royal city, and various digital humanities projects. In this talk, McCormick will present the potential, methods, and some early results of ongoing scientific investigation of the civilization of medieval western Eurasia.

  • Michael McCormick focuses on developing new archaeological, scientific, and textual approaches to the fall of the Roman Empire. His books include the prize-winning Origins of the European Economy and Charlemagne’s Survey of the Holy Land. He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and many others. He is the general editor of the Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations, a student-created free data distribution site based at Harvard.

Seminar: 12 March 2018, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • MARISA GALVEZ: The Performative Politics of Medieval Feasting: the Origins of Food Politics through the Art of Feasting Prof. Marisa Galvez of Stanford University examined accounts of several famous medieval feasts and analyzed how the 'art of feasting' involved both theatre and art centered around food. In particular, she discussed how these sumptuous displays of excess and theatricality were not about the quality or taste of food, but rather about food as a visual, tactile factor and a symbol of luxury in the performance of the banquet. She also discussed how these attitudes about the medieval art of feasting plays into the current food culture that is concerned with the authenticity and theatricality of food and the meal.

Seminar: 12 February 2018, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • ALLAN LANGDALE: Dome of Heaven: the Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople/Istanbul Allan Langdale of the University of California at Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz talked to us about one of the most famous, and beloved, of all buildings—the Hagia Sophia. In his talk Allan discussed both the architectural history of the structure as well as the many remaining mosaic works to be found on the interior walls and ceilings of this iconic church.

Seminar: 8 January 2018, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • ROBERT SCOTT: The Biology of Medieval Manuscripts Bob Scott, co-founder of Sarum Seminar, discussed an ongoing collaboration between biological scientists and experts on medieval manuscripts. These two groups are exploring what biological research can tell us about the production of manuscripts at medieval scriptoria.