Skip to main content

The network comprises scholars from institutions in the UK, Ireland, Norway and Denmark, and it brings together expertise from various fields to guarantee a comprehensive overview of the subjects and to ensure dissemination of ideas and research.

Sharon Arbuthnot (Queen’s University Belfast)
Sarah Baccianti (Queen’s University Belfast)
Roderick Dale (University of Nottingham)
Christian Etheridge (Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen)
Stefka Eriksen (Norsk institutt for kulturminneforskning)
Jason Harris (University College Cork)
Deborah Hayden (Maynooth University)
Peter Murray Jones (University of Cambridge)
Dale Kedwards (Þjóðminjasafn Íslands, Reykjavík)
Christina Lee (University of Nottingham)
Diana Luft (Aberystwyth University)
Daniel McCann (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Anne Irene Riisøy (Universitet i Sørøst-Norge)
Rebecca Stephenson (University College Dublin)
Ranke de Vries (St Francis Xavier University)

Sharon Arbuthnot

I am an historical linguist and lexicographer. Since 2009, I have been the main contributor of additions and corrections to eDIL (the electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language). I have published mainly on specialised and problematic vocabulary, etymological play and nonce words, and am currently working on the medieval Irish lexicon of the supernatural, sex and medicine. As well as adding new medical terms to the revised version of eDIL, which will be released online in 2019, I am compiling an independent dictionary of late medieval Irish medical vocabulary and researching the vernacularization of Latin medical texts into Irish in the period c. 1350-1550 with a particular interest in how this compares with medical translation in other European traditions around the same time.
Twitter: @eDIL_Dictionary

Sarah Baccianti

I completed my DPhil in Old English and Old Norse literature at the University of Oxford. My doctoral research focused on the narrative structure of historical writings in Old English, Old Norse and Anglo-Latin. I have published several articles on Breta sögur, the Old Norse translation of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae. My interest in scientific knowledge was sparked by my research on the the Revelatio Esdrae (Jólaskrá) in medieval Scandinavia, which has led me to work on computus and mathematical texts in medical Icelandic manuscripts (article forthcoming).
Further, my recent publication on emotions, ‘Swelling in anger: somatic descriptors in Old English and Old Norse literature’, has brought me to research medical knowledge in medieval Scandinavia. I am currently working on two articles: one on surgery and diseases in the Old Norse Bishops’ sagas, and the second one on mapping the reception and transmission of medical knowledge in medieval Iceland.

I taught Old English, Middle English and Old Norse at the universities of Oxford, Lausanne and Cork, before being awarded the Royal Society/British Academy Newton International Fellowship at Queen’s University Belfast. My current research, "Scientific Knowledge in Medieval Scandinavia" is a study of the transmission and reception of scientific and medical knowledge in the medieval North from the 12th to the 15th centuries, with a particular focus given on texts
produced in Iceland and Norway. Two of the outputs of the Fellowship have been the organisation of a one-day symposium Science and Medicine in the Insular Middle Ages and of this network.

I’m also the founder of the outreach project “Unlocking the Vikings”, which aims to promote the study of the Vikings in Ireland in schools (Primary, and Junior Certificate students) in Co. Cork. The project will ultimately expand to the rest of Ireland, both in the form of lectures and workshops, but also as an online platform for teachers and students (website under construction).
Twitter: @SarahBaccianti 

Roderick Dale

I am the Cultural Engagement Fellow at the University of Nottingham for the AHRC-funded 'Bringing Vikings back to the East Midlands' project. My work focuses on presenting up-to-theminute research to non-specialist audiences. I have also taught Old English and Old Norse language, literature and culture. My research focuses on how people have interpreted the Old Norse berserkr in literature and their probable reality in the Viking Age. This includes engaging with attempts to pathologise berserkir based on their depiction in literature, and researching how popular culture has shaped research agendas. My research interests include Old Norse language and literature, reception studies and public engagement.
Twitter: @Berserkjablogg

Christian Etheridge

My doctoral thesis was on Scandinavia and the transmission of scientific material in the middle ages (‘The Transmission and Reception of Science in Medieval Scandinavia 1100-1525’, 2018). While my graduate thesis was on a medieval Icelandic scientific manuscript (‘Understanding Medieval Icelandic Astronomy through the Sources of the Manuscript GKS 1812 4to’, 2012). I have written further on art in this manuscript and its origins (‘A Possible Source for a Medieval Icelandic Astronomical Manuscript on the Basis of Pictorial Evidence’ 2013), as well as art on the astronomical clock of Lund cathedral (‘The Evidence for Islamic Scientific Works in Medieval Iceland’, 2015). I have taught medieval science to graduate students, given many lectures on the subject at universities all over Europe and have elucidated on the images in illustrated scientific manuscripts held at the Royal Library in Copenhagen to both undergraduate students and international scholars. Finally, I aided in the retrieval of a Renaissance calendar from a book binding in the library of the University of Southern Denmark (Holck and Etheridge, Extraction of 16th Century Calendar Fragments, 2017).

I have worked with the wider scientific community, including with the Ordered Universe project of medieval science and modern science. This was supplemented by giving a lecture on medieval science at the Danish Institute for Advanced Study. My work on the Renaissance calendar has been shown at the annual meeting of Danish astronomers. My outreach for the general public includes providing research material for (‘Forsker: Historien om de nordiske guder kan læses i stjernerne’, 2017) and taking photographs of medieval manuscript scientific diagrams that were published in Historien om Danmark- Oldtid og middelalder (2017, pp. 303 and 385).

I have recently been awarded the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s Mads Øvlisen Postdoc Fellowship in Art and the Natural Sciences for my project ‘Depictions of the Heavens: The Interface of Science, Religion and Art in Medieval Scandinavia’.

Stefka Eriksen

Bio forthcoming

Jason Harris

I am an historian and Director of the Centre for Neo-Latin Studies in University College Cork, Ireland. I completed my Ph.D thesis in Trinity College Dublin in 2004, a study of intellectual circles in northern-Europe during the second half of the sixteenth century, particularly the friendship network of Abraham Ortelius. I held a postdoctoral research fellowship for three years at the Centre for Neo-Latin Studies, UCC, working in the Classics Department under the direction of Prof. Keith Sidwell, to pursue research into Irish Latin writing c.1490-1750. I joined the History Department as a lecturer in early-modern history in 2006, and since 2008 I have been Director of the Centre for Neo-Latin Studies. Since 2013 I have been attending the annual Conventiculum Latinum Lexintoniense, and in 2017 I established the annual Schola Latina week-long immersion course in Cork. I have also been Director of the MA in Renaissance Latin Culture in University College Cork since 2017. My research focuses on early-modern intellectual culture, particularly the use of Latin in this period, which I study from a linguistic, stylistic and anthropological perspective. I am also particularly interested in the history of religion and science in the early modern period. Much of my work has focused on Latin writers from northern Europe, especially from Ireland and the Low Countries. I am currently writing a monograph on stylistic aspects of humanist Latin.

Deborah Hayden

I earned my PhD in medieval Irish language and literature from the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic at the University of Cambridge, and subsequently held research fellowships at Christ Church, Oxford and the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Since 2015 I have been a lecturer in the Department of Early Irish at Maynooth University, and in September 2018 I began working as Principal Investigator for the project Medieval Irish Medicine in its North-western European Context: A Case Study of Two Unpublished Texts, funded by a Laureate Award from the Irish Research Council.
Twitter: @dhaydenceltic

Peter Murray Jones

I am Fellow Librarian at King’s College, Cambridge. I am affiliated to the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. My publications focus on the history of medicine and science from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century. My current project is concerned with the role of friars in medicine in England of the late Middle Ages.

Dale Kedwards 

My interdisciplinary research is at the intersection between medieval literature and science, exploring the ways in which medieval authors wrote about the stars and planets and theorised the Earth’s planetary condition. I have published on medieval and modern views of the earth from space (2016), medieval theories about the planets' orbits (2017), and understandings of the earth as a globe (2018). My book (forthcoming with Boydell and Brewer in 2020) is the first book-length study of world maps (mappaemundi) and related cosmological diagrams from medieval Iceland. I am currently based at Háskóli Íslands, where I am principal investigator on a Carlsberg-funded research project examining the ways in which planetary scientists, space agencies, and a general public use the Scandinavian Middle Ages to think about space and its exploration: from the Viking space probes, to place-names in our solar system derived from Old Norse mythology.

Twitter: @DaleKedwards

Christina Lee

I am an Associate Professor in Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham. My research interest have been in the definitions of illness, health and impairment in Anglo-Saxon England. My work considers the cultural implications of illness and the experiences of those who were affected. I have published on leprosy, trauma and disability, as well as medical textiles. In 2013 I begun a project with a group of scientists (the ‘AncientBiotics’) to query whether the Anglo-Saxons had any useful medicine at all. Our pilot project on ‘Bald’s eyesalve’ (from Bald’s Leechbook, BL, Ms Royal D XVII, showed that they had the potential to create some powerful antimicrobials. This work is ongoing. I am currently in receipt of a Royal Society/Leverhulme APEX award during which I will work with the AncientBiotics team on examining remedies containing nettles.
Twitter: @Norselass

Diana Luft

I am a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. My project, ‘Medieval Welsh Medical Texts: A New Approach’, aims to produce an edition and translation of the Welsh-language medical texts from the four earliest manuscripts to contain such material, all of which date from the fourteenth century. The first volume of this work, which is an edition of all the recipe collections from those manuscripts, is currently in press with the University of Wales Press and will appear in 2019.
Twitter: @di_luft

Daniel McCann

I complected my BA, MA, and PhD at the Queen’s University Belfast. I then held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at Oxford University, followed by a Departmental Lectureship at Oxford University, and then the Darby Fellowship at Lincoln College Oxford. I am now the Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter Lehrstuhl für Englische Mediävistikat, at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. I am interested in the interconnection between medieval medicine and theology in the later Middle Ages, and am especially interested in the connection between reading and healing. My first book explored this idea of therapeutic reading and negative emotional response in a range of vernacular religious texts. My new project explores pathological mental states in the Middle Ages, with particular reference to how reading can be dangerous, and the language of fever.

Website link forthcoming

Anne Irene Riisøy

I am an historian with a research interest in legal history, particularly Scandinavia from the Viking Age to c. 1600 AD. My PhD from 2006, published by Brill as Sexuality, Law and Legal Practice and the Reformation in Norway (2009), was based on legislation and legal practice from the period c. 1250-1600. Here I argued that the Reformation was not a watershed, but rather represented continuity from the High Middle Ages in regards of criminalisation of sexual acts, the severity of sentences and the position of women. In recent years I have focused primarily on the Viking Age, including studies on outlawry and how we can use poetry to gain insight into pre-Christian law and legal practice. In my paper Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes (presented at Queen’s University Belfast December 2018) I took the earliest Norwegian laws as my point of departure, and explored rules concerning affronts on the body, from head and hair down to the toes. These rules clearly have some similarities with early Germanic law, for example that honour played a part, which is shown in that a visible wound entailed higher compensation than a similar wound covered by the hair. The earliest Norwegian rules stand out because they have more information on social stratification in regards of paying and receiving compensation for affronts, and more rules on sick maintenance following in the wake of bodily damage. Very little research has been undertaken on the early Norwegian (and indeed Scandinavian) sources on affronts to the body, and I will therefore continue my research here, including a further comparison with relevant studies such as The Body Legal in Barbarian Law (Lisi Oliver, 2011).

Rebecca Stephenson 

Bio forthcoming
Twitter: @rstephenl

Ranke de Vries 

Ranke de Vries obtained an MA degree in Celtic Studies and an MA in Medieval Studies from Utrecht University and a PhD from Trinity College Dublin. She has taught at Trinity College Dublin, Utrecht University, and is currently the Ben Alder Professor of Celtic Studies at St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia. Her current research focuses on medieval Irish medicine. Other research interests include medieval Welsh medicine, textual edition, narrative structure, and the dindshenchas.

Description  |  Team  |  Projects  |  Other Networks

Events  |  Outputs  |  Useful Links