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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

Time and the Body in MS Durham Hunter 100 (ca. 1100).

23rd October 2012, 17:30, The Birley Room, Hatfield College , Professor Faith Wallis (McGill University, Montreal)

Durham Dean and Chapter Library MS Hunter 100 has been aptly described by R.A.B Mynors  as  "a masterpiece of calligraphy on a small scale". Its core is the classic computus album, comprising a calendar, Paschal cycles, computus tables, and astronomica. It also incorporates a very up-to-date text: Robert of Hereford's manifesto for the reform of Christian chronology, composed in 1082.

The Durham volume is remarkable, however, for its array of medical material. These texts on humoral physiology and pathology, collections of recipes, lists of herbal materia medica, and surgical drawings were conceived as an integral part of this volume about time. This address explores this convergence of time and the body in the context of the dialogue of traditional and innovative science and medicine at the cusp of the 12th century.

Faith Wallis holds professorial appointments in the Department of History and the Department of Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She has translated Bede's scientific works ('The Reckoning of Time', 'On Times', and 'The Nature of Things') for Liverpool University Press, and has published widely in the field of medieval science, particularly computus, and medieval medicine.

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