Talk from Dr Christopher Wojtulewicz
Dr Christopher Wojtulewicz researches medieval mysticism at Kings College, London, although most of his work involves travelling the world investigating documents in archives and lecturing at various universities in places as far flung as Korea, Germany and America. On the evening of Friday 16th January he came to speak to pupils and parents of GCSE and A Level RS and History on the topic of medieval manuscripts in the Vatican in the first of a series of society dinners at Warminster School.
Following a three-course dinner in front of a roaring fire, Dr Wojtulewicz took the audience through the myths and realities of what is in the Vatican library, having spent many months researching there himself. Having explained to the audience how medieval manuscripts were made, Dr Wojtulewicz proceeded to give examples of the kind of detective work which is required to establish the authorship and meaning of these texts, especially how state-of-the-art technology has enabled him to find hidden texts beneath the surface. Dr Wojtulewicz’s work focuses mainly on the documents pertaining to the University of Paris in Medieval times. He explained how there are a handful of well-known figures in this particular place and period, but that there are thousands whose names and work are relatively unknown, and that his work involves identifying them and matching them with their texts, hidden in the Vatican archives.
Pupils, parents and staff alike were astonished at the levels of patience and expertise required for the paleography (study of handwriting) and translation work needed in Dr Wojtulewicz’s field of study, leaving many keen to dust-off their Latin grammar books and book a flight to Rome.