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Junius Symposium: exciting new research on Old Germanic studies

While Old Germanic studies might seem dated and, regrettably, occupies a less than secure position in various academic institutions, exciting new research presented by young researchers shows that the field is still vibrant and may have a bright future. On Thursday, the 7th of April, the ‘Junius Symposium voor Jonge Oudgermanisten’ is organised for the second time, by Peter Alexander Kerkhof (LUCL) and Thijs Porck (LUCAS).

Following a successful first edition in 2015, the symposium brings together junior researchers in the field of Old Germanic Studies and caters to anyone interested in the language, culture and history of the Germanic speaking peoples in the Middle Ages. The symposium is generously sponsored by LUCAS, LUCL and the Vereniging van Oudgermanisten (VOG).

Programme: From the ‘beasts of battle’ in Old English poetry to vowel epenthesis in runic inscriptions

The Junius Symposium offers a podium to beginning scholars (MA-students, PhD’s and postdocs) in Old Germanic Studies. The speakers at the symposium reflect the diverse and multi-disciplinary nature of the field: there are historians, linguists and literary scholars who each present a sample of their own research on the history, language and culture of the Germanic speaking peoples in the Middle Ages. Topics to be discussed range from the ‘beasts of battle’ in Old English poetry  to vowel epenthesis in early Germanic runic inscriptions and include a discussion of strong and weak verbs in Germanic languages, the Old English glosses to the Lindisfarne Gospels, the negative particle ne in Middle Low German and the role of the Germanic languages in the early medieval baptism ritual. 

Keynote: Guus Kroonen (Københavns Universitet) on the future of paleolinguistics

The keynote speaker at the Junius Symposium will be dr. Guus Kroonen (Københavns Universitet), who will speak about how historical linguistic research can be combined with archaeology and genetics to shed new light on Germanic prehistory. Guus Kroonen studied Scandinavian languages and cultures at the University of Amsterdam and comparative Indo-European linguistics at Leiden University. 

The Junius Symposium will be opened with a short talk about the status of the field of Old Germanic Studies by prof. dr. Arend Quak (LUCL), Extraordinary Professor of Old Germanic Philology.

More information about Junius Symposium voor Jonge Oudgermanisten

Patron: Franciscus Junius (1591-1677)

The Junius Symposium is named after Franciscus Junius (1591–1677), a former student of Leiden University and a pioneer in the field of Old Germanic Studies. Having become interested in the history of the Dutch language, Junius soon developed a fascination for the earliest phases of all Germanic languages. He published a number of important commentaries and editions of works in Old High German, Old English and Gothic (the first edition of Wulfila’s Gothic Bible is by Junius). He also began collecting medieval manuscripts and his collection included the so-called ‘Caedmon Manuscript’ of Old English poetry, which is otherwise known as ‘the Junius Manuscript’. Thus, his publications and manuscript collection laid the foundations for the scholarly pursuit of Old Germanic Studies.

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