Books for mind and community in 12th-century Oxford and Cirencester
Leading up to the creation of the University, the priories of the Augustinian canons were among the most prominent intellectual foundations in twelfth-century Oxford. One of the earliest known lecturers in the town was Alexander Neckam, working at St Frideswide (now Christ Church) from around 1190, who practised a brand of education that promoted the development of individuals and the health of communities. Through manuscripts housed at the Bodleian, it is possible to trace the development of his work, and to uncover his peers at his later home in Cirencester. They emerge as precise scholars who produced books collaboratively, and later created a monument to his writings in an exchange with Malmesbury Abbey.