Knowing and Speaking – Launched

A huge thank you to all who came to the launch for the first volume of The Scientific Works of Robert Grosseteste yesterday afternoon in Pembroke College, University of Oxford. It was wonderful to be hosted by the SCR, and in the company of the Master and numerous Fellows of the college, research-team members, volume authors, colleagues from across the UK, friends and supporters of the project. It was a particular thrill to hold the first volume in hand; a tactile reminder of the significant efforts made by the authorial group and the wider research team to bringing their thought and experience to bear on the three treatises presented: On the Liberal Arts, On the Generation of Sounds, and The Seven Liberal Arts. Thanks indeed from all involved in the project; a lovely occasion and an opportunity to celebrate appropriately the work we have completed, acknowledge the authors and their supporters, and to look forward with excitement to the forthcoming volumes 2-6. We will be holding a similar event in York in early January after the Centre for Medieval Studies lecture, and one in Durham a little later in March as part of a workshop on lessons from the project – on which more anon.

The connections with Pembroke are very important within the Ordered Universe, a home for many of our symposia before and within the current funding strand, and the location for our project conference with a travelling exhibition, Light Embodiedfrom our collaboration with the National Glass Centre, University of Sunderland. Grosseteste’s connections with Oxford, certainly from the mid-1220s are established, and though he would recognise his own world only partially in modern-day Oxford, he would certainly have appreciated collegiate study and societies dedicated to learning and teaching, as demonstrated by his own career.

So, on to Volume 2, which comprises the treatise On the Sphere and moves from astronomy to geography, with an intriguing range of sources, traditions of manuscript illumination, questions as to his whereabouts and role in the world, and a simulation of the universe he imagined and described. We’ll keep you posted!

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Some of the parts of Oxford Grosseteste would have recognised…perhaps.

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