The Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies organises a lunch meeting each block, during which Utrecht medievalists present their research (either just published or work in progress) to colleagues and students in an informal setting. You are invited to bring your own lunch, while UCMS provides coffee, tea etc. During this lunch meeting Irene O’Daly will present her research. O’Daly is a member of the ‘Art of Reasoning’ project based at Huygens ING.
UCMS Lunch meeting: Irene O’Daly
In this short paper, I will explore some of the discourse around the use of diagrams in the twelfth- and thirteenth-century medieval classroom. I will look at instances where diagrams were cued by a particular set of words or prompts in either the gloss or main text. I will also investigate cases where the absence (or virtual presence) of a diagram in a manuscript may be intuited from textual or codicological clues.
My examples will probe the mechanisms behind the execution of diagrams - why were they sometimes executed with care, but sometimes omitted entirely or presented in a sloppy manner which obscured their application? – as well as looking at their theoretical functionality. Verbal and visual clues to the presence of diagrams in texts help us understand what their intended pedagogic function was, and allows us to appreciate their role in the teaching of the trivium in the Middle Ages.