FAU Lectures and Exhibition Mark the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta

by FAU College of Arts and Letters | Thursday, Oct 22, 2015
FAU Lectures and Exhibition Mark the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta

FAU's Department of History will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta with several lectures. On Thursday, Nov. 5 at 4 p.m., Ralph V. Turner, Ph.D., professor at Florida State University, presents the keynote lecture "Magna Carta and the Medieval English Nobility." Then on Friday, Nov. 6 at noon, there will be a panel discussion titled "Magna Carta in English and Early American History." Panelists include FAU's British historians Boyd Breslow, Ph.D., Ben Lowe, Ph.D., and Douglas Kanter, Ph.D. All events will take place on the fifth floor of the Wimberly Library, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus and are free and open to the public.

The Magna Carta, a charter of rights and liberties, is the core of English and American law and has influenced the legal systems of many other democratic nations. These lectures and a related exhibition trace the story of how this medieval charter became an enduring symbol of liberty and its' influence on America's founding fathers and the United States Constitution.  

Turner received his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, where he wrote his thesis on the English royal courts of justice under King John and Henry III. A revised and expanded version was published as "The King and his Courts" by Cornell University Press (1968). He has spent most of his academic career doing research on medieval English history, chiefly on the Angevin kings and their government. This interest led him to turn to study of Magna Carta and its impact on Anglo-American government and politics, "Magna Carta through the Ages" (Pearson 2003).

Breslow specializes in Medieval European studies and the ancient world; Lowe studies Tudor-Stuart England, Early Modern Europe, and European Religious and Intellectual History; and Kanter specializes in Modern Britain, Modern Ireland and the
British Empire. 

Events will be accompanied by an exhibit on the history of English and American liberties titled "Magna Carta 800 years: Legacy of Liberty." The exhibition runs from Thursday, Nov. 5 through Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, and will be closed for the winter holidays. Exhibition hours are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The exhibition features rare books, documents, pamphlets and historical items from FAU Libraries' Marvin and Sybil Weiner Spirit of America Collection. An original 13th century broadsword and an array of 18th century and modern replica artifacts from Robert Feeney's personal collection also will be on display.

For more information, call 561-297-3840 or visit www.fau.edu/history.

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