University’s window on the past

Caroline Yeldham Durham University's historical food expert who works with the Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Caroline Yeldham Durham University's historical food expert who works with the Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
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TAKE a step back in time to the medieval era with a little help from a North East university

Durham University is aiming to make the lives and beliefs of people in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance more accessible with a new research institute.

Professor Faith Wallis of Montreal's McGill University who is visiting Durham University to launch her book on the Venerable Bede.

Professor Faith Wallis of Montreal's McGill University who is visiting Durham University to launch her book on the Venerable Bede.

The launch of the Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (IMRS) coincided with the launch of a new book on Jarrow’s celebrated seventh-century scholar, the Venerable Bede.

Other events included the opening of a medieval garden at the university, an authentic medieval banquet and two international conferences.

Professor Faith Wallis visited from Montreal’s McGill University to launch her new book – Bede: On The Nature of Things and On Times – which includes translations of his works, and she will also give a lecture about him.

Prof Wallis said: “Bede had a majestic vision of the coherence of the natural world and human experience. His still outstanding intellect defies our modern categories of separate subjects and areas of study, especially when it comes to thinking about science, history and God. He is a fitting emblem for the mission of the IMRS.”

IMRS director Professor Corinne Saunders, said: “We’re delighted to be able to formally launch the IMRS with this series of events. The sources we have at Durham are unique. The collection of manuscripts and early printed books are unparalleled outside Oxford, Cambridge and London, and our university’s unsurpassed history, architecture and staff also help make the IMRS special.”

The medieval banquet marked a return visit for historical food expert Caroline Yeldham. The IMRS Medieval Garden at the Fulling Mill Archaeology Museum on the Durham World Heritage Site marks the start of research into species listed in medical and magical recipes in English medieval documents.

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