Science & Medicine at the Medieval Academy of America 2019

Medieval histories of science and medicine were well represented at the Medieval Academy of America this year. And with a few big (or biggish) projects getting funding in the field recently, it was a good opportunity to take stock of some of the things that are going on. ‘Networks and Exchanges of Science and Medicine’… Continue reading Science & Medicine at the Medieval Academy of America 2019

In Praise of Unpromising Sources: Science and Society 743-809

Some medieval source material just doesn’t look promising. Researchers and their audience want a story. Preferably a big story. If not, everyone quickly wonders why they bothered. This is not a new thing: historical writing in the nineteenth century tended to be BIG history about chronicles, laws, states, nations. It is what people were and… Continue reading In Praise of Unpromising Sources: Science and Society 743-809

Warntjes on Early Medieval Science

Anyone following this blog will know that I keep coming back to the subject of early medieval science and computus, and the groundbreaking recent work of Immo Warntjes in particular. Immo gave a fascinating lecture on this subject in Dublin in December 2015 which is now available on youtube, so I thought I would share:

Finding New Apocalypses

Last week I spent an enjoyable three days at a mammoth conference in Vienna: “Making Ends Meet: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on the End of Times in Medieval Christianity, Islam and Buddhism”. It is not often that you get medievalists in a room comparing Western and Byzantine Christendoms, different Muslim cultures, Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism, and Shintoism… Continue reading Finding New Apocalypses

Easter and Co-ordinating Time in the Early Middle Ages

How do you co-ordinate communities effectively without modern technology? It is a well-repeated factlet that time only became properly uniform with canal and train timetables during the Industrial Revolution. Technology allowed it to be the same 10:45am in London as in Glasgow. Uniformity of time in Antiquity and the Middle Ages was still pretty important.… Continue reading Easter and Co-ordinating Time in the Early Middle Ages

Early Medieval Science in Galway: The Report

I’ve posted a couple of times about the 2014 International Conference on the Science of Computus. It took place this last weekend and was every bit as strong and stimulating as I’d hoped. (I also tweeted highlights as it unfolded). Computus is not mainstream, I think it’s fair to say. It is not ‘Kings! Power!… Continue reading Early Medieval Science in Galway: The Report

Fun with Merovingian Dates

I meant to post about this a while ago, after I received an email from Professor Apocalypse, Richard Landes. He noted a discrepancy between how I had dated a text in a manuscript in London (British Library, Cotton A ii) and how Wilhelm Levison had done it. The manuscript is a compilation of odds and… Continue reading Fun with Merovingian Dates

Time-Reckoning and Science: The Fifth Galway Conference

Every two years since 2006, the National University of Ireland in Galway has hosted a big international conference dedicated to 'computistical science' in the Middle Ages. (Usually supported by IBM, believe it or not). The line-up for this year's conference has just been announced - in full below - and, quite frankly, it looks just… Continue reading Time-Reckoning and Science: The Fifth Galway Conference

Ireland and the Continent: New Resource

One of the most important cultural dynamics of the early Middle Ages was supplied by the Irish (and later English) religious men and women who travelled to the continent. There, they set up new foundations, joined existing ones, taught, brought and copied books, and so forth. Irish learning may or may not have 'saved civilization'… Continue reading Ireland and the Continent: New Resource