Anna Branford (2012, Modern Languages) has been awarded the first Rhabanus Maurus Travel Grant to conduct research into modern languages.

The fund was generously established by Catherine Hughes (College Principal, 1989-1996), who recently visited the College to deliver two cheques in person, one for the Alcuin Fund for History, the other for the Rhabanus Maurus Fund. Rhabanus Maurus, who lived in the ninth-century, was a leading Carolingian scholar and wrote, among other works, an encyclopaedia called ‘On the Natures Of Things’ (De Rerum Naturis).

“I was thrilled to find out that I had been awarded the Rhabanus Maurus grant and feel very privileged to be able to make this trip with the support of college,” said Anna.

Anna will use the award to fund a research trip to visit some of the leading French sites linked with Occitan culture during the Middle Ages. Beginning in Poitiers, she plans to see a number of Romanesque and Gothic churches on her way to Toulouse, where she will visit the Ostal d’Occitània (a centre dedicated to preserving Occitan culture). Her trip will end in Carcassonne, with its restored medieval citadel and historic importance for the troubadour lyric tradition. Its library holds the only copy of the Roman de Flamenca, which Anna is studying this term.

“My imagination was captured by medieval literature and the courtly culture surrounding it, especially the songs of the troubadours,” said Anna. “I am especially excited about visiting the restored medieval citadel in Carcassonne, a major landmark in the Albigensian Crusade and, hence, in the history of Occitania.”

The College is delighted to celebrate Anna’s success and grateful for Catherine Hughes’s generosity. Further details of existing awards and grants can be found on the page: College Funds for Student Support.

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