Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Lincoln College Summer School of Greek Palaeography


Last week I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the 8th Lincoln College Summer School of Greek Palaeography at the University of Oxford (July 25-30, 2022). Originally the school was to take place in 2020, but due to Covid restrictions, the school was postponed until this year. The classes were composed of three elements; in classroom reading sessions facilitated by expert instructors; library visits in which instruction was given with manuscripts in various institution libraries; finally, with an evening lecture on a particular topic related to Greek palaeography. The in class reading sessions and the evening lectures occurred at the Ioannou Centre for Classical & Byzantine Studies, which was right behind the Ashmolean Museum off of St. Giles Street. This was a very nice facility, with a central location, and a close proximity to the Ashmolean that was nice to stroll through and read Greek inscriptions on lunch breaks and grab a quick bite on the rooftop restaurant.

There were twenty students in total organized into three separate reading groups facilitated by a different instructor. These instructors were, Dr Georgi Parpulov, Dr Christos Simelidis, and Dr Dimitrios Skrekas. I was in Dr Georgi Parpulov's reading group.

Each day of class we were greeted by this
Roman statue of a Greek athlete

(I will post pictures from each of the library visits below with each picture labelled for their location. WARNING: there are many pictures)
For the Monday library excursion visited the Christ Church library lead by Dr. Georgi Parpulov. The Christ Church library was a beautiful facility and the manuscripts were truly striking. One in particular had several paintings of the evangelists. To be honest, it was difficult to pay attention to the excellent instruction because the surroundings were so overwhelmingly beautiful and the codices were open before us in all their glory.

For the Tuesday library visit we made the first of two trips to the new Bodleian Library, called the Weston Library. Though the library was not as visually pleasing as Christ Church (there were no intricately carved wooden bookcases with volume upon volume stacked before us), the facilities were new and state of the art in the Horton Reading Room. Dr. Parpulov lead this visit for our group and the reading room had a large screen TV tied to a high quality camera that allowed Dr. Parpulov to point out features in the manuscript. After the presentation, the codices were laid out on the table and we were free to examine them in greater detail with either Dr. Parpulov or the curator turning the pages.

For the Wednesday library visit, we went to the Weston Library again, this time with Dr Dimitrios Skrekas facilitating the excursion and with a another curator. We were once again in a Horton Reading Room but with a new series of manuscripts. Unlike last the last visit, the curator (a different one from the previous day) gave an interesting discussion on conservation practices and philosophy at the Bodleian. After the presentations, we were once again free to examine each manuscript and make observations.

My favorite library trip was by far the Old Magdalene Library at Magdalene College (pronounced Maudlin). It was facilitated by Dr. Nigel Wilson who was a wellspring of knowledge. The library room itself was something out of a medieval monastery. Ancient books lined the shelves and the windows looked past statues overlooking the cloistered garden. What was particularly enjoyable is that the Magdalene College policies allowed for us to handle the manuscripts ourselves. This provided great enjoyment flipping through the manuscripts and examining them in greater detail. Incidentally, I stayed on the Magdalene College Grounds, which are beautiful and well kept. The dining hall is fabulous and Addison's walk was lovely to stroll around in the evenings.

On Friday we had no library visits, only in class reading sessions. The school ended on Saturday with a three hour test in which we had to transcribe images of manuscripts. Overall, it was an amazing week filled with world class instruction, fantastic surroundings, ancient books, and meeting fellow manuscript nerds. I am grateful for the opportunity of attending the Lincoln College Summer School of Greek Palaeography.


Christ Church


Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church





Weston Library Tuesday Visit

Weston Library Tuesday Visit

Weston Library Tuesday Visit

Weston Library Tuesday Visit

Weston Library Tuesday Visit

Weston Library Tuesday Visit

Weston Library Tuesday Visit

Weston Library Tuesday Visit

Weston Library Tuesday Visit

Weston Library Tuesday Visit


Weston Library Wednesday Visit

Weston Library Wednesday Visit

Weston Library Wednesday Visit

Weston Library Wednesday Visit

Weston Library Wednesday Visit

Weston Library Wednesday Visit

Weston Library Wednesday Visit

Weston Library Wednesday Visit

Weston Library Wednesday Visit

Weston Library Wednesday Visit

Weston Library Wednesday Visit

Magdalene College



Magdalene College


Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College dining Hall

Magdalene College. Windows of the Old Library are to the right of the tower

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Addison's Walk behind Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College

Magdalene College


4 comments:

  1. Wow, how fun!
    "Indecently, I stayed on the Magdalene College Grounds, which are beautiful and well kept."
    Either expand or edit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for catching that Ross! It's corrected. Nothing indecent occurred at Magdalene College! haha

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    2. Excellent. It would make a very cool tour on a less academic thrust.

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    3. It was fun to see all of the libraries and manuscripts. But the academic element, the instruction and teaching, the reading sessions, and the collaboration with fellow students, were extremely helpful in being able to read and identify various Greek book hands.

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