CSLA Summer Funding Feature: Madeline McMahon

Friday, May 1, 2020


Madeline McMahon, a graduate student in the Department of History, received funding from the Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity to spend two months working in archives and libraries in the U.K. 

Below, McMahon shares more about her experiences abroad and how they contributed to her dissertation research:

[My] research, [draws] on manuscripts, early printed books, and annotated copies of books. One of the exciting collections I had the chance to work with was the library of Edmund Grindal, archbishop of Canterbury (from 1576-1583), kept in Queen’s College, Oxford. I am very interested in early modern editions of the writings of great late antique bishops like Ambrose, and Grindal’s copy of Ambrose was outstanding, thanks to the marginalia Grindal entered in the margins. Grindal was punished (and nearly deprived of his office) for opposing Queen Elizabeth I on the issue of puritan prophesyings; he found a model for his opposition to the monarch in the Ambrose’s chastisement of Theodosius. 

I will use this research to write about the early modern reception of Ambrose’s and Theodosius’s altercations. I also hope to incorporate copies of Erasmus’s patristic editions annotated by the upper echelons of the Elizabethan ecclesiastical hierarchy—from the libraries of Edmund Geste, John Jewel, Matthew Parker, Tobie Matthew, and Grindal—into a chapter or article about the ways in which Erasmus’s paratexts served as the point of entry for Elizabethan scholars and clerics into the late antique past.