Translation Theory and Practice in the Later Middle Ages: the Bible and Beyond

translation theory workshop manuscript image

This workshop explores the theory and practice of medieval translation in biblical, academic, literary and pastoral contexts through multiple perspectives on language, politics, ideology, dissemination, cultural transmission and making translations accessible to modern audiences. Several papers focus on theoretical discussions of translation in the later Middle Ages, particularly as witnessed by surviving contributions to an academic debate about biblical translation in Oxford around 1400. The workshop will mark the completion of work on ‘Butler, Palmer, Ullerston: an Oxford debate c.1400 on biblical language’, an edition of four treatises on translation by J. Catto, A. Hudson and E. Solopova (Toronto, forthcoming). The conference will be held in memory of Dr Jeremy Catto (1939-2018), Tutorial Fellow in Medieval History at Oriel College (1970-2006).

Registration closed 28 February 2019.

The Programme

9.00-10.30am The Oxford Debate on Biblical Language

Welcome: Elizabeth Solopova (New College) Opening Remarks: Sean Power (Oriel College)

Anne Hudson (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford), ‘“All Languages are Equal” Agree?/Disagree? If not, why not?’ An Oxford debate c. 1400

Vincent Gillespie (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford), Translation after Arundel: Ullerston, Chichele, and the Birth of Aureate Diction

Ryan Perry (University of Kent), A New Look at ‘First Seth Bois’: Reception and Production Contexts

10.30-11.00am Coffee

11.00-1.00pm Communities and Identities

Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (President, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Corpus Christi, Oxford), Translating Psalms from Hebrew in Medieval England: MS Longleat House 21

Marina Benedetti (Università degli Studi di Milano), Translating Medieval Waldenses: Religious Books and Inquisitorial Trials

Mishtooni Bose (Christ Church, Oxford), Reginald Pecock and Biblical Translation after the Wycliffite Controversies

Adinel Dinca (University of Cluj), Bibles and Bible-Translations in Late Medieval and Early Modern Transylvania

1.00-2.00pm Lunch

2.00-3.30pm Editing Biblical Translations

Angila Vetter (Universität Augsburg), Ob man sie in dewtz zung von latteyn pringe -- Translation Strategies of the Austrian Bible Translator in the “Gospel Works”. ‘Der Österreichische Bibelübersetzer’ Project

Elizabeth Solopova (New College, Oxford), Towards a New Edition of the Wycliffite Bible

Hannah Schühle-Lewis (St Edmund Hall, Oxford), Trinity College Oxford MS 93: Editing a Middle English ‘Summary’ of the Bible

3.30-4.00pm Coffee

4.00-5.30pm Translations in Academic and Pastoral Context

Ian Johnson (University of St Andrews), Academic Devotional Affectivity in Middle English Translation

Stephen Morrison (Université de Poitiers), ‘A Huge Success’: the Wycliffite Bible(s) in the Hands of Fifteenth-century Orthodox and Lollard Preachers Alike

William Marx (University of Wales), John Warrin’s Book: the Medieval Tradition and the English Catholic Community


Please contact Dr Elizabeth Solopova ( with any queries.

The workshop is free and open to all, but registration is required for security purposes. Please register by 28 February 2019 – click here to register.

To access the Harris Lecture Theatre, consult the Oriel College Porters Lodge for the 4-digit passcode and enter by gate.