Professor Alexander Broadie FRSE
‘The Middle Ages – A Distant Mirror’: Medieval life and death and through the centuriesAudio
Wednesday 17 November 2010, 6.00pm Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PQ as part of the British Academy's 'Medieval Week'
The past as propaganda: The Mongol ‘World History’Audio
Aspects of Art Lecture, delivered by Professor Robert Hillenbrand FBA FRSE, 18 November 2010 (venue: Royal Society of Edinburgh), as part of the British Academy's ‘Medieval Week’. The fragmentary copy of Rashid al-Din’s World History held in the University of Edinburgh’s Library is of extreme rarity, huge size, lavish illustration and very early date (1314). It is perhaps the world’s most valuable illustrated Islamic manuscript. This lecture will explore its art-historical significance, highlighting its multiracial and multi-confessional flavour, with Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and shamanistic elements that aptly reflect the largest continuous land empire in world history. The manuscript’s pictorial and textual cycles of Biblical figures, the Prophet Muhammad and the mythical past of Greece, Arabia and Iran break new ground, while its propagandist intent finds expression in courtly and battle scenes galore.
More than 'skimble-skamble stuff': The medieval Welsh poetry associated with Owain GlyndwrAudio
Sir John Rhys Memorial Lecture, delivered by Professor Gruffydd Aled Williams, on 16 November 2010 (venue: Royal Society of Edinburgh), as part of the British Academy's 'Medieval Week'. In Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1, Hotspur is made to refer to the partiality of Owain Glyndwr (Glendower) for prophecies, which he characterises dismissively as 'skimble-skamble stuff'. This lecture explores the authentic medieval Welsh literary corpus associated with Glyndwr, consisting in the main of bardic eulogies rather than prophecies and mostly composed before the outbreak of the 1400 revolt. The poems are examined in historical context including some of Scottish interest (alluding to Glyndwr's participation in the English invasion of Scotland in 1385). Themes to be considered will include their possible utility, both before and during the revolt as political propaganda designed to further Owain's cause.