Monday, January 12, 2009

The Medieval Mediterranean

Hello everyone,

Have you signed up for Medi 305: The Medieval Mediterranean yet? No? Then you must! This class is taught by Dr Eva Baboula ( and runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-3:30. There is plenty of room left in the course and we'd love to see some new faces among us!

The class is based around a series of projects which focus on a medieval Mediterranean city. These projects will coincide with the annual Medieval Studies workshop which will be held on February 7, 2009. The theme of the workshop this year is the Medieval Mediterranean, as is the 1st Annual Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Conference (February 27-28). Be sure to sign up to come to the workshop and the Conference!

If you've always wanted to take a class on the "heart" of the medieval world, or if you're simply wanting to bone up on the Mediterranean before our workshop and conference, sign up and stop on by this Tuesday! Over the next four months, the class will be discussing how the sea shaped the cultures surrounding it and how the sea helped spread Islam, Christianity and Judaism. We will also discuss the plausibility of a "medieval Mediterranean identity." This class is truly interdisciplinary and will cover many topics, which means there will never be a dull moment!

If you'd like further information, you can either email Dr Baboula, Stephanie (, or the MSCU ( The timetable information for the class is as follows: Medi 305 (TT 23659) A01. Hope to see you Tuesday!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Medieval prince overtakes Stalin as greatest Russian

The medieval prince Alexander Nevsky has been named the Greatest Russian of all times in a nationwide poll, leaving behind early 20th century reformer Pyotr Stolipin and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

Prince Nevsky, canonised by the Orthodox Church as saint in 1574, had a winning score of 524,575 votes, overtaking the early 20th century reformer Imperial Premier Pyotr Stolipin with 523,766 nominations trailed by Stalin with 519,071 votes.

The voters had more than six months to choose from among 500 names before the winner was announced last night.

The voting in the poll was suspended in August after Stalin clearly had a majority of the ballots cast the previous month.

The organisers 'zeroed' in the vote, claiming that spammers had attacked the site in order to give Stalin the victory.

This time viewers had a choice of voting method. They could use the phone, text message or the internet. Technically, however, each voter was not limited to one vote casting doubt on the fairness of the poll, conducted for the first time in the history of the country.

The organiser of the Greatest Ever Russian contest, Alexander Lyubimov, said Nevsky's victory in the poll "demonstrates that Russians are dedicated to their ancient history, starting 1,000 years ago."

A Russian prince from Novgorod, Alexander got the nickname "Nevsky" after his victory over an army of Swedes in a battle near the Neva river (in present day St Petersburg) in 1240.

One of the arguments for voting Nevsky was that he took the help of the Golden Horde to fight the West making Russia's choice for a Eurasian identity for the ages to come.

Organiser Alexander Lyubimov said there was awareness in modern Russia that the nation's ancestors "created a multi-ethnic community within the Russian State."