Medieval graffiti: reading the writing on the wall?

24 January 2018 1.00pm 1.45pm

Venue:

Lecture Theatre, Weston Library (Map)

Speaker(s):

Matthew Champion

Contact:

Janet Walwyn | janet.walwyn@bodleian.ox.ac.uk | 01865 287156

Description

Today most forms of graffiti are regarded as destructive, as anti-social, and certainly not something that we should encourage or welcome on our historic buildings. However, that attitude is largely a modern construct, dating back only to the middle decades of the nineteenth century.

Prior to then all forms of graffiti were, like the outrageous marginalia of a medieval manuscript, at least accepted. As a result our medieval churches, cathedrals and castles are covered in hundreds of thousands of largely unrecorded inscriptions. Inscriptions that deal with matters of faith, of commerce, and of life and death. Waiting only for someone to read them...

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This event is listed under: Lectures and talks; Free events
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