Saint Louis University

Center for Digital Humanities


Case Testers

1.Edition of God that All this World Can Make and The Battle of Agincourt

Project Tester: Alison Walker holds a Ph.D. in English from UCLA. She studies digital humanities and culture in conjunction with paleography and manuscript studies, particularly as they contribute in the history and future of the book. Last year, Alison worked on the T-PEN project as the postdoctoral fellow. Prior to her involvement with the Center for Digital Theology, Alison worked on a number of digital humanities projects, including the British Library’s Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts. Her research has been published in venues such as Digital Humanities Quarterly, Extrapolation, and the Electronic British Library Journal. She is currently completing a book entitled In Conversation with the Past: Medieval Manuscripts and New Media.



2. Edition of William of Auvergne’s Tractatus novus de poenitentia and Supplementum Tractatus novi de poenitentia

Project Tester: Winston Black is a historian of medicine and religion in high medieval England and France, and is an editor of medieval Latin poetry. Holding a doctorate in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto, Winston was the 2011-2013 Haslam Postdoctoral Fellow in Medieval Studies at the University of Tennessee, and will be the new assistant professor of medieval history at Assumption College beginning in 2014. Winston published the edition, translation, and commentary of Henry of Huntingdon, Anglicanus Ortus: A Verse Herbal of the Twelfth Century (Toronto and Oxford, 2012), as well as several articles and chapters on the teaching of medicine and pastoral care. He won the 2012 Jerry Stannard Memorial Prize, for the best essay in the history of materia medica, medicinal botany, or pharmacy, for his essay "'I will add what the Arab once taught’: Constantine the African in Northern European Medical Verse".


3.Editing the Antidotarium magnum.

Project Director: Monica Green is Professor of History at Arizona State University where she teaches medieval history and the global history of health. Together with a group of colleagues, she has been engaged the past several years on compiling a comprehensive database of all Latin medical manuscripts written between the time of Constantine the African in the late 11th century and the first quarter of the early 13th century. In 2013-14 she will be at the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton working on a book that comes out of this research. Click here for a short description of her work.

Project Specialist: Kathleen Walker-Meikle completed her PhD at University College London. Her most recent appointment was as a Wellcome Trust research fellow at the University of York, working on animal bites and venoms in medieval medicine. Her field of interest is the history of animals in the Middle Ages, in particular the intersection between natural history and medicine.

Project Description: This project will produce a working edition of the Antidotarium magnum (“Large Antidotary,” hereafter AM), a late-eleventh-century collection of as many as 1300 named medical recipes in alphabetical order. Extant now in at least 28 copies, the AM is largely unknown, as much to historians of medicine as to other scholars of medieval culture. Yet this work helped create a standard materia medica and pharmacology in the later Middle Ages, drawing European apothecaries and their clients into the same global networks of trade that tied together the rest of Eurasia as well as northern and eastern Africa. Although lacking a theory of drug action, it was part of an explosion of new work coming out of southern Italy that would lay the foundations for learned (and eventually university) medicine throughout western Europe. Because the AM was an inherently unstable text (it was constantly being added to or abbreviated), it is an ideal candidate for production as a digital-only edition, a format that will allow hypertext additions of variant readings and facilitate the future contributions of other scholars as further sources and parallels to its content are identified.


4. Towards a Libellus Variorum Edition: A Comparative Study and Edition of Five Texts on Music

Project Director: Giuliano Di Bacco is a medievalist and musicologist whose research interests focus on fourteenth-century France and Italy (polyphony, music theory, archival and manuscript studies). Previously in Bologna, Cambridge and Exeter (UK), since 2011 he has been Director of the Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. As a digital humanist, he designed the architecture of the catalogue of manuscripts for the Parker-on-the-Web project (Corpus Christi College Cambridge & Stanford University), and from 2012 he is project director of the Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum, an online archive of texts on music from the late Antiquity to 1700.

Project Description: This project will produce an edition of five unpublished texts, three in Latin and two in vernacular Italian, all derived from one of the most influential music treatises of the fourteenth century commonly known as Libellus cantus mensurabilis—a conventional title chosen by its first editor who credited it to the French polymath Johannes de Muris, an attribution which today is to be discounted. Most of the importance of the treatise, a set of practical instructions on rhythmic notation, lies on its exceptionally wide diffusion: around fifty copies are extant, produced throughout Europe over more than a century. In addition to this, a number of formally independent texts were grafted onto it by later masters, and translations into vernacular Italian produced. As a result, the Libellus and its alleged author are among the authorities most often cited by late-medieval and early modern authors, as well as by modern scholars. The project proposed for “Tradamus” stems from a larger endeavor to examine the complete tradition of the Libellus as a hypertextual edition. In particular, the long-term project aims to analyze those branches of the tradition more openly departing from what is today considered the original text, and to shed new light on the geography and chronology of the grafting of the old text into the new ones. One aspect of relevance of this use-case is the opportunity to test encoding/processing/editing procedures not only for the verbal text but also for music notation, since the Libellus text is interleaved with a number of musical examples.


5. Early Common Petitions in the English Parliament, c. 1290-c. 1400

Project Director: Mark Ormrod is Professor of History and Academic Co-ordinator for the Arts and Humanities at the University of York. His research interests lie in the political structures and ideas of later medieval England. In 2003-7, he led two successive projects (Medieval Petitions: A Catalogue of the 'Ancient Petitions' in the National Archives' and 'Medieval Petitions: A Catalogue of the Gascon, Chancery and Exchequer Petitions in the National Archives'), funded by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council which provided a comprehensive index and summaries of the contents of the major series across which most early common petitions are now scattered: the 'Ancient Petitions' (SC 8) in The National Archives, London (TNA). In a current project, 'Making Medieval Manuscripts: New Knowledge, New Technologies' (part of a University of Toronto cluster led by Professor Alexandra Gillespie and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Ormrod and his collaborators have been investigating the hand, form and rhetoric of the wider body of material contained in the 'Ancient Petitions.'

Project Specialist: After completing a BA in History and MA in Medieval Studies at University College London, Hellen Killick did her PhD at the University of York. Her thesis, which was part of the Medieval Scribes project, examined the late medieval poet Thomas Hoccleve in the context of his career as a clerk of the Privy Seal office. After completing her PhD, she worked on ‘The Writing of Petitions in Later Medieval England’, part of the University of Toronto’s cluster of projects entitled ‘Making Medieval English Manuscripts: New Knowledge, New Technologies’, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. As one of the test cases for TRADAMUS, she is working with Professor Mark Ormrod at the University of York to produce a comprehensive diplomatic edition of the common petitions presented in the fourteenth-century English parliament, now residing in The National Archives, London. Her research interests include the late medieval English government administration, London scribal networks, and the relationship between Middle English and Anglo-Norman French in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Project Description:The project aims to produce a diplomatic edition of the common petitions in the English Parliament c. 1290-1400. This body of material, which has hitherto been neglected, provides the earliest positive evidence that we have of the ability of political groups within and outside Parliament to act collectively and purposefully as lobbyists and legislators. From the late thirteenth to the late fourteenth century, common petitions were broadly defined in two ways. Firstly, there were petitions that were submitted explicitly (or sometimes implicitly) in the name of the community of the realm of England (and analogous formulations). Secondly, these petitions tended to be heard not by the committees of triers delegated by the crown to hear private petitions in Parliament, but were sent directly to the king and council for consideration, an important marker of their common application and resulting political significance. Common petitions were often the basis on which the crown determined remedial legislation, issued in the form of statutes and announced at the end of the relevant Parliament. There is no straightforward equation between early common petitions and the Commons, the elected representatives who became a regular feature of Parliament from the late thirteenth century onwards; however, from the 1320s onwards, there are strong arguments for considering that the common petitions were, in effect, the Commons' petitions. By the 1370s, private petitioners were presenting their own cases to the Commons, who began to avow or adopt the issues thus raised as part of their general political agenda. In spite of the ambiguity over who inspired and wrote the earliest such documents, the history of the common petitions over the course of the fourteenth century therefore sits at the very heart of the explanation as to the emergence of the Commons as a distinct political force in the English Parliament.


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