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Autumn School

Autumn School: Scales of Knowledge: from Cosmos to Book

Autumn school, 18-22 October 2021 at Ghent and Fordham. This Autumn School will address the challenge of scales of knowledge in times of rapid geopolitical change, taking the 12th-century 'Liber Floridus' as its touchstone. It is organized by the Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies (Ghent) with Centre for Medieval Studies (Fordham), Centre for Medieval Literature (Odense and York) and Centre for Medieval Studies (York)

Autumn School in Medieval Languages and Culture 2021

The move in Medieval Studies away from nationalising and Eurocentric paradigms toward the ‘Global Middle Ages’ raises pressing and fascinating intellectual questions about scales of knowledge. How do we negotiate these scales as we move between the micro and the macro? What are the appropriate macro scales, geographical and chronological, for studying the period defined for ‘Europe’ as ‘The Middle Ages’? These same questions of scale were also challenging a millennium ago, especially in the years around 1100, in the wake of the 1st Crusade, which transformed Latin Europe’s relationship with the Afro-Eurasian space.

Taking the 12th-century Liber Floridus, a manuscript created at a specific time and place, as its touchstone, this Autumn School will address the challenge of scales of knowledge in times of rapid geopolitical change. The Liber Floridus is an intensely richly illustrated encyclopedia, produced by Lambert, a canon in the Flemish city of St Omer, working in the early decades of the twelfth century. Instigated in response to the shock of the 1st Crusade and including Gesta Francorum (an aggressive account of Latin Christians confronting Muslims and Byzantine Greeks), the Liber Floridusrepresents Lambert’s attempt to grasp the physical and metaphysical complexity of a new cosmos. Lambert addressed profound questions about cosmography, nature and environment, the universality of time and history, and the nature of the divine, by extending his book to include many genres, illustrations and diagrams in his book, exploring the limits of verbal and visual thinking in the process. 
Drawing on texts from Antiquity to the Carolingians and his contemporaries and copied with variations numerous times into the 16th century, Lambert’s Liber Floridus is an attractive space for engaging with scales of knowledge. In the Liber Floridus the scholar encounters the past, present and future and the dynamism of Liber Floridus, which Lambert himself continuously and visibly reordered, invites readers to struggle with the challenge of scales of knowledge alongside him.

Download flyer as pdf here

Practical organization

This Autumn School is organized for PhD- and MA-students in Medieval Studies.

It will be organized in a blended way, allowing distance participation for both tutors and students and for the whole programme to move online if necessary.


Ghent University Library, Rozier 9, 9000 GHENT, BELGIUM (for all Ph.D. students)

Center for Medieval Studies (Fordham University), 441 E. Fordham Rd., FMH 405B, Bronx, NY 10458, U.S.A. (only for Ph.D. students affiliated with Fordham University)

For more details and the full programme see here:

For information, contact Martine De Reu: 

Cover image: Liber Floridus - Lion -folio 56v

Editing was completed: 18.10.2021