Gravitational Waves and the Cosmic ‘Sonativum’

Only an Ordered Universe blogpost could deserve a title like that.  We cannot let a discovery of such reach, beauty, conceptual depth and powerful simplicity (yes indeed) as the LIGO team’s announcement this month of the first detection of gravitational radiation go without a celebratory comment from the Robert Grosseteste club here. Robert did, after all,Continue reading “Gravitational Waves and the Cosmic ‘Sonativum’”

The Wise Learn by Doing

The purpose and point of learning were questions that kept Grosseteste awake at night and dominate his surviving writings. From the treatise on the liberal arts, the first paragraph of which stresses the place of the arts in leading human operations to perfection by correcting the, to the sermons, dicta and later theological writings, the endsContinue reading “The Wise Learn by Doing”

Words Incarnate: Durham Talk

Sigbjørn Sønnesyn will be delivering a talk in Durham this week, on subjects related to the background to Grosseteste’s intellectual formation. Speaking in the Medieval Mind Lecture Series organised by Dr Thomas Ball and Dr Sara Uckelman, of the Philosophy Department at Durham, Sigbjørn’s paper is entitled: ‘Words Incarnate: Spirituality, Experience and Epistemology in Twelfth-CenturyContinue reading “Words Incarnate: Durham Talk”

On the liberal arts and the generation of sounds

Robert Grosseteste suggested in his treatise on the liberal arts that in all areas of human endeavour it is necessary to choose carefully the hour most propitious for the undertaking one wants to carry through. Plants carry more fruit if planted when the celestial spheres are correctly aligned, and base metals are transformed into goldContinue reading “On the liberal arts and the generation of sounds”

Robert Grosseteste’s Early Treatises and their Reception

The next in the Ordered Universe symposia series starts today. The research group will be taking its final look, at least in session, at the treatises On the Liberal Arts and On the Generation of Sounds (De artibus liberalibus and De generatione sonorum). So, vowel shapes, musical measure, the powers (or not) of astrology, and Grosseteste’s rising familiarity with the De anima ofContinue reading “Robert Grosseteste’s Early Treatises and their Reception”

Being Human with Music and Light and a Fabulous Day

Saturday 14th saw the first two of four events organised at Durham as part of the Being Human, National Festival of Humanities 2015. Now in its second year, the Festival takes place up and down the country with a cornucopia of events for the public. Big questions, big debates and opportunities to engage with academic researchContinue reading “Being Human with Music and Light and a Fabulous Day”

Scribal loyalties: A note from a new post-doc.

Reading and transcribing medieval manuscripts is a task that is humbling and exhilarating in equal measure. It is a very immediate way in which to bring the past back to life; a direct link to the physical presence of the great thinkers and writers we study. They bear witness to profound achievements attained without theContinue reading “Scribal loyalties: A note from a new post-doc.”

Ordered Universe at the Festival of Humanities

Being Human, the Festival of the Humanities is now a little under a month away. Ordered Universe team members at the Dark Ages to Dark Matter activities will include: Giles Gasper, Tom McLeish, Hannah Smithson, Richard Bower, Brian Tanner, Mike Huxtable and Sigbjørn Sønnesyn. There will be a number of Durham students involved as well,Continue reading “Ordered Universe at the Festival of Humanities”

Ordered Universe 2010-2014: a Visual Compilation

The Ordered Universe Project completed its 12th research symposium with the Mahfouz Forum on De generatione sonorum [‘On the Generation of Sounds]. For those that couldn’t be there the public lectures will be available soon, but in the meantime, there is available here a conspectus in visual form of our activities: pick your own sound-track (and watchContinue reading “Ordered Universe 2010-2014: a Visual Compilation”