There was a fascinating example of cross-curricular
scholarly cooperation between the English and Physics Departments on the evening
of Thursday, February 4th – when the ‘Literary Society’ held a talk
on ‘Chaucer and Astronomy’ in the Science Lecture Theatre.
Head of Science, KAM and ARR, representing the English Department,
spoke together about the Night Sky in Chaucer’s times, the 1380s, and the
astonishing accuracy of his many references to the sun, moon and constellations
in ‘The Canterbury Tales’: using the website www.stellarium
to recreate the Fourteenth Century skies as a backdrop. They also outlined the many
uses of the Astrolabe (pictured above), the main instrument for measuring the stars and skies,
at this time.
All in all, this proved an original, highly-stimulating
insight into Chaucer’s great work.