CML Annual Highlights 2019
The highlights of 2019 include our Athens symposium, two research grants, an exciting publication and a manuscript discovery
The annual report for 2019 has been completed and as always some of the highlights of the year have been selected. Here are the 2019 CML highlights!
In September, CML held an international symposium in the Danish Institute in Athens. A diverse group of international speakers considered the way men and women, clerical and secular, constructed extensive social networks through travel, written communication and the exchange of texts. At the heart of the symposium was a focus on the way literary form responds to cultural movement, with speakers addressing key theoretical questions: How do we move from the micro to the macro level, from the close up to the panoramic, without falling into shallow generalizations? What are the advantages of existing methodologies that account for the movement of objects, texts, and people through space? And how does medieval Europe fit into a wider Afro-Eurasian space? Approaching these questions necessarily entailed the act of sifting through difficult and often partial sets of evidence. How do we, as scholars, create narratives out of the trails, traces and clues that remain from the medieval past? Select papers will be published in CML’s Interfaces journal.
Swedish Byzantine grant
In January , Christian Høgel, Stratis Papaioannou (Rethymno) and Ingela Nilsson (Uppsala) submitted an application to the Swedish Riksbankens Jubileusfond on a research project entitled “Retracing connections” and received the support of 39 mill. SEK for an eight-year period. Much in continuation of ideas developed within the CML, this project will study the exchange of storyworlds (especially within hagiography) between Arabic, Georgian, Greek, and Slavonic within the longer eleventh century (950-1100). The project takes up various new developments from the eleventh century – not least the explosion in the production of menologia, i.e. liturgically ordered collections of saints’ lives, often in a rewritten and upgraded style – and will study how texts and collections were exchanged between four chosen languages (Arabic, Georgian, Greek, and Slavonic). As a representative text, the Life of Theodore of Edessa, of which versions exist in all four languages, will be edited and commented collaboratively by the team involved.
Medieval Historical Writing: Britain and Ireland, 500-1500
History-writing has been a central research focus for many working within CML. At the end of 2019, Elizabeth Tyler’s co-edited collection of 27 essays on history-writing from medieval England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales was published by Cambridge University Press. The volume addresses the challenges posed by medieval historiography by using the diverse methodologies of medieval studies: legal and literary history, art history, religious studies, codicology, the history of the emotions, gender studies and critical race theory. Spanning 1000 years, the essays in the collection look at national mythmaking while exploring how medieval histories crossed linguistic and geographical borders.
Pizzone's project on self-commentary and a manuscript discovery
In April Aglae Pizzone was awarded a Research Project 1 grant from Independent Research Fund Denmark for the project “Medieval Self-Commentaries Beyond Europe: A Transcultural Perspective”, to run for three years from September 2019.
While working on the manuscript tradition of Tzetzes commentary on Hermogenes, Pizzone concentrated on the Voss Gr. Q1. An analysis of the contents revealed 28 folia with sections of the Logismoi, a book of “reviews” of the ancients and the moderns mentioned by Tzetzes but hitherto believed to be lost. A detailed inspection revealed a series of glosses, which correct mistakes, address the copyist and his flaws and adds details. Both palaeography and content point beyond any reasonable doubt to Tztetzes’ authorship. It is an edition of the commentary edited and commented on by the author himself and as such it is bound to improve immensely our understanding of 12th-century Byzantine literary production, of practices of publishing and patronage, and of the role of rhetorical theory beyond the classrooms.