Annual St John's College Lecture: Networking Vikings: Medieval Learned Contacts and Connections in the North of England and Beyond
Taking the north of England a millennium or so ago as its starting point, this lecture will focus on its place in an important cultural network extending westwards to Ireland, northwards to Scandinavia and southwards to France and beyond. Through intensive political relations and extensive religious affiliations, a web of cultural contacts was created and maintained and the north of England was a central node in this exchange. How the intellectual milieu and learned activities this network supported functioned will be an overarching theme of this talk, as will its facilitation of exchange of specific texts and ideas. In this way, the centrality of networking Vikings will be illustrated, as will the significant place of the north of England in a learned medieval world.
Máire Ní Mhaonaigh is Professor of Celtic and Medieval Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John’s College. She did her first degree at University College Cork and postgraduate work at the University of Bonn and the University of Aberystwyth. She has been a research scholar at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and a Humboldt Fellow at the universities of Munich and Marburg.
Her main area of interest is the medieval insular world in its broader European context. She has published widely on aspects of medieval Irish literature and history in particular, including a biography of medieval Ireland’s best-known king, Brian Boru. Recent collaborative work has included a multi-disciplinary two-volume work spanning Ireland, Britain and Scandinavia, Converting the Isles and a co-authored volume, Norse-Gaelic Contacts in a Viking World, is in press. She is also currently involved in the revision and augmentation of the electronic Dictionary of the Irish language (www.dil.ie) under the auspices of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.