Anglo-Saxon Plant-Name Survey

Early Mediaeval Plant Studies: The First ASPNS Symposium

5th - 7th April 2000
University of Glasgow, U.K.

Information and Programme

You are invited to attend a multidisciplinary and varied symposium on plant studies relevant to the early mediaeval period. The symposium is presented by the Anglo-Saxon Plant-Name Survey (ASPNS), a research project of the Institute for the Historical Study of Language, University of Glasgow. The papers to be presented will range across subjects such as medicine, agriculture, food studies, dyes, place-names, art history, archaeology, and more. The informal social programme comprises receptions, including one in the Kibble Palace of Glasgow's Botanic Gardens, dinners, and a half-day excursion to Crarae Gardens and Inveraray in the Scottish Highlands.

Symposium organisers: Dr Carole Biggam (Director of ASPNS) and Prof. C. Kay, both of the Department of English Language, University of Glasgow.

Dates: Wednesday, 5th April (mid-day) to Friday, 7th April (mid-day). An optional excursion is available for the afternoon of 7th.

Cost: The fee for non-speakers is £60. This includes three lunches, all refreshments, two receptions, and the registration fee. Speakers will be charged £45. Delegates can also attend the symposium for one or two days, rather than three. For non-speakers, the fee for Wednesday and Friday is £15 for each day, and the fee for Thursday is £30. There are reduced rates for speakers. Optional extras are the dinners, charged at £18 each, including drinks, and the half-day excursion which costs £15. The fee does not include accommodation.

Accommodation: This can be booked, from a restricted range of accommodation types, through the University's Conference Office (see 'Registration' below), or delegates can make their own arrangements, either through the Glasgow Tourist Office, or by themselves.

Displays: There will be displays at the symposium venue from the following companies:

  1. John Smith & Son (Bookseller): a display of new books for sale on subjects appropriate to the symposium.
  2. Wigtown Book Town: a display of out-of-print and second-hand books for sale, also on plant studies.
  3. Busy Bee Crafts: a display of craft-work by Ms Andrea MacMahon, who will also demonstrate traditional dyeing methods.

Registration: Registration is now open. Please print out the registration form and post it to the address below. The Conference Office can also answer any queries about registration, food or accommodation.

Mail: Conference and Vacation Office, University of Glasgow, 3 The Square, Glasgow G12 8RR, U.K.

Telephone: 0141 330 5385 (International: 44 141 330 5385)
Fax: 0141 334 5465
(International: 44 141 334 5465)

Contact: If you have questions about matters other than accommodation, registration, or food, please feel free to contact Dr Carole Biggam:

Mail: ASPNS Symposium, Dept of English Language, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, U.K.
Telephone: 0141 548 4498 (International 44 141 548 4498)
E-mail: or

Offer of papers: Offers of papers are still welcome, as one or two more could be accepted for the final programme. Anyone thinking of doing this, should note that the original deadline of 31st December 1999 still applies.


Wednesday, 5th April

11.00 - 14.00
Registration (buffet lunch, 12.00-13.55)

13.55-14.00 Welcome

Session 1 Chair: Prof. Christian Kay (University of Glasgow)
Dr Della Hooke (University of Birmingham): Trees in the Landscape: Evidence from Anglo-Saxon Charters.
Dr Carole Biggam (University of Glasgow): The Aspen Tree in Early Mediaeval Times.


Session 2 Chair: Prof. Hans Sauer (University of Munich)
Prof. Peter Bierbaumer (Karl Franzen's University, Graz): Real and Not-So-Real Plant-Names in Old English Glossaries.
Prof. Philip Rusche (University of Nevada, Las Vegas): Old English Plant-Names: the Evidence from Glossaries.

Free time and/or reception, University of Glasgow College Club. The reception is kindly sponsored by the Institute for the Historical Study of Language.

Dinner: College Club or own arrangements

Session 3 Chair: Dr Carole Biggam (University of Glasgow)
Dr Carole Hough (University of Glasgow): Place-Name Evidence for Anglo-Saxon Plant-Names.

Thursday, 6th April

Session 4 Chair: Prof. Maria D'Aronco (University of Udine)
Dr Ralph Forbes (Queen's University of Belfast): The Landscape of Romanitas: Botanical Information in the Vergilian Commentaries.
Dr Jane Hawkes (University of Cork): The Plant-Life of Early Christian Anglo-Saxon Art.


Session 5 Chair: Prof. Philip Rusche (University of Nevada, Las Vegas).
Prof. Hans Sauer (University of Munich): The Morphology of the Old English Plant-Names.
Prof. Cathair O'Dochartaigh (University of Glasgow): The Structure of Plant-Names in Irish.


Session 6 Chair: Dr Jane Hawkes (University of Cork)
Dr Allan Hall (University of York): Picking Over the Traces: Exploring Early Medieval Plant Use Via the Archaeological Record.
Ms Andrea MacMahon (Busy Bee Crafts): The Practical Art of Natural Dyeing


Session 7 Chair: Prof. Peter Bierbaumer (Karl Franzen's University, Graz)
Dr Debby Banham (University of Cambridge): 'Be hlaf and be wyrtum': Food Plants in Anglo-Saxon Society and Economy.
Prof. Maria D'Aronco (University of Udine): Anglo-Saxon Plant Pharmacy and the Latin Medical Tradition.

Free time and/or reception in Kibble Palace, Botanic Gardens. The reception is kindly sponsored by the City of Glasgow.

Dinner: Dining Room or own arrangements

20.30-21.30 Chair:
Ms Susan Mills (Clackmannanshire Museum and Heritage Service): An 'Early Mediaeval' Farming Experience at Bede's World, Jarrow.

Friday, 7th April

Session 8 Chair:
Dr Jennifer Neville (University of London): Leaves of Glass: Plant-Life in Old English Poetry.
Mr Anthony Esposito (Oxford University Press): Mediaeval Plant-Names in the 'Oxford English Dictionary'.
Prof. Mats Rydén (University of Uppsala): William Turner: the First English Plant-Name Scholar.


Excursion people: Refreshments (11.05-11.30), collect packed lunch.
Non-excursion people: Refreshments (11.05-11.30).

Excursion people: Depart for excursion.
Non-excursion people: buffet lunch (12.00-14.00). The symposium premises will be available until 17.00 for discussion and relaxation. For those who wish to explore the near-by shops until they have to leave, luggage can be left on the premises at their own risk.

Excursion programme:
12.00 Excursion departs from the symposium premises. (Packed lunches to be eaten on the way).
14.00 Arrive Crarae Gardens (includes Visitor Centre with souvenirs, snacks, drinks, toilets). Welcome and introduction from Sir Ilay Campbell.
15.30 Depart Crarae Gardens.
15.50 Arrive Inveraray (possibilities for shopping, eating, buying snacks for the return journey, strolling, toilets).
17.00 Depart Inveraray.
17.17 Arrive The Tree Shop, Clachan (woodcraft souvenirs, plants). Snacks, drinks, toilets available.
18.00 Depart Clachan.
approx. 20.00 Arrive in Glasgow.

Symposium ends on return to Glasgow.

Please print out the registration form and post it to the address below. The Conference Office can also answer any queries about registration, food or accommodation.
Mail: Conference and Vacation Office, University of Glasgow, 3 The Square, Glasgow G12 8RR, U.K.

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