Thirteenth Century England XV, Aberystwyth and Lampeter 2-5 September 2013

Sophie Ambler reports on TCE XV:

Old College, Aberystwyth

The Old College, the appropriate setting for the Aberystwyth part of the conference.

Medievalists from around the world converged on Aberystwyth this week to attend the fifteenth Thirteenth Century England conference, which focused on the theme of ‘Authority and Resistance in the Age of Magna Carta’. TCE XV was held in the university’s imposing neo-gothic sea-side building, in the shadow of the castle begun by Edmund of Lancaster after 1277. The programme was opened by one of the organisers of the original TCE conference (held in Newcastle in 1985), Peter Coss, who explored the background of the knights accused of treason against Henry III in 1225. On Tuesday proceedings moved to Trinity St David in Lampeter, where delegates viewed a sample of manuscripts from the university’s archive,  and heard talks from Ian Forrest, Jennifer Jahner, Judith Collard and John Sabapathy on topics ranging from political poetry to the illustrations of Matthew Paris. Back at Aberystwyth on Wednesday, speakers Rhun Emlyn and Owain Wyn Jones considered thirteenth-century rebellion from a Welsh perspective, while Philippa Hoskin, Fergus Oakes and Richard Cassidy considered various aspects of the reign of Henry III and the period of reform and rebellion 1258-65, and Beth Hartland introduced the Breaking of Britain project  and the People of Northern England database (PoNE). The final day saw papers by Helen Birkett, Sita Steckel and Melissa Jones before a trip to see the medieval seals and manuscripts held by the National Library of Wales. Congratulations and thanks must go to Björn Weiler, Janet Burton and Philip Schofield for organising another super conference. This was the last TCE conference hosted by the team from Aberystwyth and Lampeter, who will be handing over the reins to new organisers in Cambridge for the 2015 conference.

Aberystwyth castle

The genuinely medieval castle, which overlooks the Old College.

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