Trinity HistoryCon 3.0

Hello all, In this tough and dreary year I decided to do something fun with my research and contributed a talk to Trinity HistoryCon 3.0 on two popular TV shows – Messiah and Lucifer. Interested in my take on how these shows interact with historical concepts about divine encounters, the Second Coming, or the Devil? Watch the video here or on youtube! Check out the full HistoryCon programme here.

“The Boundaries of Monastic Institutions” at the IMC in Leeds

Hello all, I am delighted to tell you that I will be speaking in Session 638 “The Boundaries of Monastic Institutions II” with Simone Wagner and Johannes Waldschütz at at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds this year. I will be speaking on Intangible Boundaries: Sound and Sacred Space in the Early Middle Ages Session details: Leeds2020Session    

The mystery of the prophet

Mysterious, controversial, influential, charismatic. Few figures evoke as much wonder and emotion as the prophet. I am not talking about one person in particular here, but about the position or function of prophets in our societies past and present, such as (most famously) Jesus Christ and Mohammed. Figures with often mesmerizing characteristics, who draw out the innate human desire to know hidden secrets, passed down from the divine. Often the prophet claims to profess the true word of God or is attributed with the messianic promise of saving or redeeming his followers and initiating a better future, and therefore tends to attract large groups of followers.   A thought-provoking new Netflix series released this month, “Messiah“, plays on the complexity and …

Insular Manuscripts Workshop in Vienna

Dear all, this past June I had the great pleasure of attending the Insular Manuscripts Workshop in Vienna, organised by the wonderful Jo Story. Aside from learning a lot from my fellow colleagues, I gave a short presentation about one of my side projects, carried out in collaboration with the BAM in Berlin. I post the (somewhat censured) slides here. Please feel free to get in touch if you are interested in hearing more. Insular Ink_Vienna_copy

The Rhetoric of Catastrophe

‘The Rhetoric of Catastrophe in Eleventh-Century Medieval Ireland: The Case of the Second Vision of Adomnán’, in: Catastrophes and the Apocalyptic in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Robert E. Bjork, ASMAR 43 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 1-14. There is plenty scholarly contention about the rhetoric of apocalypticism and opinions are divided about which elements to include or dismiss. One of those elements is the concept of a catastrophic end (‘the Apocalypse’). The association between the catastrophic and apocalyptic anxiety is pervasive especially in studies of medieval apocalyptic movements and the interpretation of (perceived) apocalyptic portents. This article* seeks to explore the question: when is a prophecy of catastrophe not apocalyptic? * This article is the print version of …

Holy Time Exhibition

I am delighted to share the (digital version of the) exhibition Holy Time: Martyrologies and Calendars Through the Ages with you. I had the great pleasure of putting this together in the autumn of 2017, with the help of the wonderful Caoimhe Ní Ghormáin, from the Trinity College Manuscripts and Archives department, and Sharon Sutton and Caoimhe Whelan, the resident photographers at Trinity’s Digital Resources and Imaging Services department. I also gratefully acknowledge support from the Long Room Hub Research Incentive Scheme, allowing me to make the local exhibition available in digital format. Enjoy! Trinity Long Room Library, January 2018 A common denominator of all history, chronology and future planning is the need to organize time in a meaningful way – …

A Place Full of Angels [Félire Óengusso]

Ever heard of Coolbanagher church? I wrote a short post about it on Félire Óenguso Online. It was a cracking day for exploring the countryside last week and I finally had a chance to visit Coolbanagher [Cúil Bennchair in Irish], the place where Óengus received inspiration for writing his martyrology. What little we know of this event and of Óengus’ connection to Coolbanagher is recorded in the Prose Preface to the Félire. Read more…

Celebrating the Saints Conference

In 2016, I had the pleasure of organising the symposium Celebrating the Saints: A Focus on Martyrologies and Calendars in the Long Room Hub, Trinity College, Dublin, on October 28-9, 2016. This symposium focused martyrologies and calendars in the insular world from the early medieval to early modern period. In many cases, these texts are understudied by virtue of being used for reference only, and some remain unedited altogether. The aim of the conference was to bring the rich variety of martyrologies and saints calendars surviving to attention, and to bring together scholars from diverse fields of expertise working on these texts. The event subsequently gave rise to a new network for future collaboration,the MARTRAE network, and a proceedings is …

The Old English Account of the Seven Heavens (text and translation)

‘The Old English Account of the Seven Heavens’, in The End and Beyond: Medieval Irish Eschatology, 285-306. [edition and translation]  In this article I provide an edition and translation of this Old English text, discuss its themes, and place it in the context of related literature. Download: Old English Seven Heavens