History Medieval

Final scambi medievali papers at Leeds

This year’s International Medieval Congress will host our final conference papers for the Leverhulme Trust-funded project. I will be organising a session on the construction of family relationships in Norman Europe in which my paper will highlight the importance of objects on the occasion of marriage in 12th-century southern Italy. Patricia Skinner will be participating again in the Medieval Italy strand of the congress giving a paper on the rhythms of trade in Amalfi. Full details to session abstracts are linked below.

Patricia Skinner: Seasonal Business Patterns: Solving the Amalfitan ‘Enigma’?  in:

Session 621: Cities in Medieval Italy and Italians in Medieval Cities, I: New Approaches to Old Problems in Local and Long-Distance Trade, 10 July, 11.15-12.45

Tehmina Goskar: A Bed, a Mattress and a Pillow Full of Feathers: Practical Provisions upon Marriage in 12th-Century Southern Italy (download paper abstract) in:

Session 1627: Nearest and Dearest: The Construction of Family Relationships in Norman Europe, 12 July, 11-15-12.45

History Learning

Learn medieval Latin online

Much of our past is contained in documents few of us can read, let alone understand and interpret. The National Archives have created a set of online tutorials in beginner’s and advanced medieval Latin and palaeography, or, how to read old handwriting. It is the first time a course like this has been offered, free and online. It will be interesting to see who will take on the twelve-lesson challenges. It claims it does not require prior knowledge of classical Latin (usually what we were taught – those of us that were – at school) and is suitable for beginners or those who want to refresh their skills.

Can an online experience be more satisfying than learning in a classroom of people where you hesitate with your ablatives and datives? Will anyone come out of these courses able to have a good stab at old documents in an archive and to debate hotly with another how many minims a word contains? Will these courses be able to convey the importance of grammatic jargon that goes with learning Latin, and still inspire through the gems contained in documents such as Domesday book?

Although I am reading many documents in medieval Latin at the moment, I am going to take the online medieval Latin challenge and report back with a comparison with my book-based and classroom experience.

Medieval Latin, Beginners’ Level (1086-1733)

Medieval Latin, Advanced Level (1086 – 1733)

Palaeography, Reading Old Handwriting (1500-1800)