Here are details of Winter 2014 Study Days.  Click here for the current Study Days .

Jan. 18th

An Introduction to Beowulf and Sutton Hoo (Dr Sam Newton)
An introduction to the study of the Old English epic of Beowulf and its implications for our understanding for the archaeology of Sutton Hoo. We shall see how the splendid language of the epic brings to life the bare bones of the archaeology, which in turn reveal the reality of the heroic world of Beowulf.

Full – email to be added to the waiting list

Jan. 25th

What was Byzantine Christianity? (Charles Freeman)
The Byzantines claimed that they were the original Christians and the Latin church the usurpers. This study day will explore the rituals, hierarchy and magnificent buildings of the Byzantine church up to the final break with Rome in 1054.

Nearly Full

Feb. 1st

The Land of Boudica (Dr John A. Davies FSA, Chief Curator of Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service)
We will look at aspects of Roman East Anglia, predominantly Norfolk and Suffolk, showing the episode in its wider context. It will start with a consideration of the pre-Roman Iron Age and will also look at the region in the context of its role within the Roman Empire.

Full – email to be added to the waiting list

Feb. 8th

Burial and Belief in Anglo-Saxon East Anglia (Dr Richard Hoggett, Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service)
This study-day uses the rich East Anglian burial record to explore the rites and religions of the Anglo-Saxons and examine the impact which the coming of Christianity had on attitudes towards the dead in Anglo-Saxon society. The day incorporates the results of several recent research projects and much newly excavated material.

Full – email to be added to the waiting list

Feb. 15th
An Introduction to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Dr Sam Newton)
An illustrated introduction to one of the major documents of early English culture, which contains some of the first original compositions in English prose, the language of which anticipates the King James version of the Bible. Its great narrative scope also provides an Old Testament of English history. We shall explore this wonderful document in the light of Anglo-Saxon art and culture.

Full – email to be added to the waiting list

March 1st
St David and the Saints of Wales (Dr David Parsons, University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Research)
On St David’s Day we will consider the history, literature and traditions of the medieval Welsh saints. What do we know of their origins? What kinds of stories were told about them? Why is Wales such a ‘land of saints’?
March 8th
The Helmingham Recipe and Medical Manuscripts, 1580-1612 (Moira Coleman)
Using a range of 16th-century archives from Helmingham Hall, we will explore one topic in each session, looking at ingredients, costs, equipment and techniques behind (1) food to impress; (2) perfumes to delight; (3) colours to astonish and (4) medicines to amaze.
March 15th
Hwæt! Reading Old English Poetry (Dr Richard Dance, University of Cambridge)
This study day will be dedicated to Old English poetry, one of the most significant and enduring products of Anglo-Saxon culture. We will investigate the form and style of this verse, comparing the original language with modern English translations, and read together some of the most compelling shorter poems of the period.
March 22nd
‘We see nothing truly till we understand it’ An Exploration of the History of the East Anglian Landscape (Edward Martin, Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service)
We will use the evidence of geology, archaeology and history to piece together an understanding of the formation of the East Anglian landscape and the ways that its inhabitants have shaped it over the thousands of years since they first settled on it, imprinting it with the shapes of their fields, greens, and settlements.

Full – email to be added to the waiting list

March 29th
Surviving the Reformation: Catholic Families in East Anglia (Francis Young, The King’s School, Ely)
In spite of the Reformation, the ‘Old Religion’ never went away in East Anglia; Catholicism survived through the patronage and influence of a close knit group of gentry families. This course examines those families, the unique challenges
April 5th
Introduction to Middle English and Arthurian Literature (Dr Sam Newton)
An introduction to the richness of the English language and its literature after the coming of Norman-French as the language of the establishment in 1066. We shall see how the language appears to have “moved out to the country”, where it flourished, to eventually re-emerge with all the timeless vigour of human life. To begin with we shall look at some of the late entries in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which was maintained in Peterborough Abbey up to 1153. We shall also consider the finest English texts of “Arthurian” literature, Layamon’s epic Hystoria Brutonum, and the majestic and mysterious Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
April 12th
The Eastertide Festival in Early England (Dr Sam Newton)
Beginning with a look at the Old English calendar, which reveals how the pre-Christian year was structured, we shall then consider how this calendar was transformed into the Christian year – how, for example, did the month of the Old English goddess Éostre become the great Easter festival? We shall also consider the Council of Whitby and some of the ways in which Eastertide came to be celebrated in England, with special attention to the Cult of the Cross, using examples from medieval art and literature.

See Current List of Study Days