On 16 March, Dr Carine van Rhijn, lecturer and researcher in medieval history, and Dr Bastiaan Waagmeester, postdoctoral researcher in medieval history at the University of Tübingen, will deliver the lecture ‘What it means if mice eat your clothes in Gemini. An investigation and digital presentation of the Tabula pronustica Salomonis’.
The Salomon Project was one of the more positive things coming out of the COVID pandemic: during lockdown, a small team consisting of (now former) RMA students and scholars worked on the investigation of a totally unknown prognostic table, which promises to reveal the near future on the basis of unexpected incidents. This lecture, first of all, presents the text and the most important findings thus far. This part of the story will take us from an eleventh-century Lotharingian manuscript to a very prolific Arabic sultan of the thirteenth century, to the court astrologer of Brandenburg and a forbidden ‘Book of the Wizard’ in early modern Russia.
In the second part, a digital presentation of the text in its earliest versions will take centre stage. It will explain how an otherwise unknown and hard to understand prognostic table was made accessible through digital means and what choices had to be made in the process. Especially for humanities scholars, the question how digital tools can help to create access to such complex material is a relevant and pressing one.
Bastiaan Waagmeester studied medieval history at the Universiteit Utrecht and obtained his doctorate from the Universität Tübingen, where he currently employed as a post-doc on the joint UK-German project ‘Priests in a post-imperial world, c. 900-1050’. He works on early medieval written culture and is particularly interested in handbooks for bishops and priests, as well as the compilation and exchange of manuscripts and texts during that period.
Carine van Rhijn teaches medieval history in Utrecht, and has an on-going research project on prognostic texts in early medieval Latin Europe. Her research focusses on the religious and cultural history in the early medieval period through manuscripts, with a special focus on the history of knowledge and its connections with worlds beyond Latin Europe.