Ibn al-Haytham’s 11th-century Book of Optics, which was published exactly 1000 years ago, is often cited alongside Newton’s Principia as one of the most influential books in physics. Yet very little is known about the writer, considered by many to be the father of modern optics.January’s Physics World features a fanciful re-imagining of the 10-year period in the life of the medieval Muslim polymath, written by Los Angeles-based science writer Jennifer Ouellette.
Nearly 300 works of art are now on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to mark how the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean underwent important changes between the seventh and ninth centuries. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition represents the first major museum exhibition to focus on this pivotal era in medieval history.
Over 3000 scholars, historians, writers, students and medievalists came to Kalamazoo, Michigan over the last four days, where they took part in the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies.Through 547 sessions, papers were delivered on a wide variety of topics, ranging from “The Trial of the Templars in Germany” to “What Can Games Teach Us and Our Students about the Middle Ages?
The largest exhibition of illustrated Persian manuscripts in Australia’s history is now open at the State Library of Victoria.Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond, an exhibition developed by the State Library of Victoria in partnership with the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, features more than 60 rare Persian, Mughal Indian and Ottoman Turkish illustrated manuscripts from the 13th to 18th century, as well as, editions of European literature, travel books and maps.
A mysterious chamber buried beneath the central part of St Winwaloe’s Church at East Portlemouth in southwest England will be examined by archaeologists thanks to a grant of £12,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), it was announced this week.The present church in the Devon village of East Portlemouth was built around 1200 and enlarged in the 15th century.
Trinity College Dublin historians have reconstructed invaluable medieval documents destroyed during the bombardment of the Four Courts in 1922. The Four Courts was the home of the Public Record Office, which was catastrophically destroyed when it was bombed in the conflict between pro-Treaty and anti-Treaty forces at the start of the Irish Civil War.
Runes, place-names and heavy metal; these are just some of the topics in a new University of the Highlands and Islands’ course. The postgraduate qualification in Viking Studies has been developed by the University’s Centre for Nordic Studies. Modules include Viking History, Runology (the study of Runes) and Vikings in Popular Culture which looks at the way Vikings are portrayed in films, comics, music and the media.
An archaeological investigation at Furness Abbey in northwest England has uncovered the grave of an abbot, which includes an extremely rare medieval silver-gilt crozier and bejewelled ring.The grave, which could date back to the 12th century, was uncovered by Oxford Archaeology North, as they were investigated ways to repair the sinking foundations of the ruined abbey.
The discovery of a mummified Korean child with relatively preserved organs enabled an Israeli-South Korean scientific team to conduct a genetic analysis on a liver biopsy which revealed a unique hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype C2 sequence common in Southeast Asia.Additional analysis of the medieval HBV genomes may be used as a model to study the evolution of chronic hepatitis B and help understand the spread of the virus, possibly from Africa to East-Asia.
It is with sadness that we report the death of Shona Kelly Wray, professor of history at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Professor Kelly Wray passed away suddenly on Sunday, in Florence, Italy. She was 48.The following is a message from Kate Sisil: “It is with great sadness that we write to share the news that yesterday, May 6, Shona Kelly Wray, beloved professor and mentor, passed away.
The Richard III Foundation, Inc. has announced plans for its 2012 conference – “Richard III: Monarch and Man” – which will take place in Leicestershire on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th October 2012.The event starts at the Bosworth Battlefield Centre on the afternoon of Friday 12th October. Historian Mike Ingram will conduct a tour of the battlefield site, starting with the traditional location – including the new Bosworth monument – and then moving on to the site now recognized as the actual location of the battle, where Mike will give an overview of the historic clash between the armies of King Richard III and Henry Tudor.
Margot Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame, was awarded the 2012 Otto Gründler Book Prize for her book The Virgin of Chartres: Making History Through Liturgy and the Arts.The prize was announced on Friday at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University.
Today marks the kick-off of the 2012 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. This year’s Congress, hosted jointly by the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, includes more than 7,000 delegates from nearly 70 associations in Canada’s largest and most significant interdisciplinary academic gathering.
A new series of multimedia exhibitions at the University of York will begin next month starting with the fascinating story of the great lost library of Alcuin and the research of Dr Mary Garrison from the University’s Department of History.In the eighth century, York owed its reputation as one of the most intellectually influential cities in Europe to the library and school headed by the scholar Alcuin.
New research led by the University of Reading has revealed that finds at Glastonbury Abbey provide the earliest archaeological evidence of glass-making in Britain.Professor Roberta Gilchrist, from the Department of Archaeology, has re-examined the records of excavations that took place at Glastonbury in the 1950s and 1960s.
Sulphur and iron compounds have now been found in shipwrecks both in the Baltic and off the west coast of Sweden. The group behind the results, presented in the Journal of Archaeological Science, includes scientists from the University of Gothenburg and Stockholm University.A few years ago scientists reported large quantities of sulphur and iron compounds in the salvaged 17th century warship Vasa, resulting in the development of sulphuric acid and acidic salt precipitates on the surface of the hull and loose wooden objects.
Anyone who has admired centuries-old sculptures and portraits displayed in museums and galleries around the world at some point has asked one question: Who is that?Three University of California, Riverside scholars have launched a research project to test — for the first time — the use of facial recognition software to help identify these unknown subjects of portrait art, a project that ultimately may enrich the understanding of European political, social and religious history.
Leonardo da Vinci’s ground-breaking studies of the human body and anatomy are to go on display this week in London, England. The exhibition, which takes place almost 500 years after his death, will feature 87 pages from Leonardo’s notebooks, including 24 sides of previously unexhibited material. Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist opens at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, on Friday, 4 May.
For the first time a new scientific technique has allowed us into the minds and motivations of medieval people – through their dirty books.A new technique invented by Dr Kathryn Rudy, lecturer in the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews, can measure which pages in medieval manuscripts are the dirtiest, and therefore, the most read.
Evidence that a Florentine merchant house financed the earliest English voyages to North America, has been published on-line in the academic journal Historical Research.The article by Dr Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli, a member of a project based at the University of Bristol, indicates that the Venetian merchant John Cabot (alias Zuan Caboto) received funding in April 1496 from the Bardi banking house in London.
Archaeologists of the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena found one of the oldest archaeological evidence so far of Jewish Culture on the Iberian Peninsula at an excavation site in the south of Portugal, close to the city of Silves (Algarve). On a marble plate, measuring 40 by 60 centimetres, the name “Yehiel” can be read, followed by further letters which have not yet been deciphered.