Universiteit Leiden

Reading your sources My first aha moment

My first aha moment

Contribution: Wilfred Simons (Leidsch Dagblad reporter, history alumnus)

I embarked on the 1981 summer holiday with a pile of medieval history textbooks. I read about Fulk Nerra (970-1040), Count of Anjou, and his consolidation of power in ‘The Making of the Middle Ages’ by R.W. Southern. This Oxford don had an eye for the extraordinary, something that caught me completely off guard. 

Southern told how a meteorite landed in Fulk Nerra’s castle garden. I thought he was concerned about the impact, but no. As the meteorite rammed its way into their lawn, the count and his wife sat by the open window at the top of the castle. Look, he said, this is how Anjou nobility lived in the 11th century. 

Aha! So you could read your sources like that too: not for the meteorite, but for the private lives!

Image: seal of Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou.

 

Memorable encounters The FooBar

Hopping rabbits

 

View from the campus Hopping rabbits

Niels Stensen

 

Leiden’s first geology star Niels Stensen

Queen Beatrix’s honorary degree

 

Éducation permanente Queen Beatrix’s honorary degree

At the heart of the city

 

At the heart of the city

The true sensation of Leiden

 

Intangible but ever-present The true sensation of Leiden

Guided tour of the Academy Building

 

A real-life fairy tale Guided tour of the Academy Building

 

From sub-faculty... to city hall

Canal Watch (De grachtwacht)

 

Canal Watch (De grachtwacht)

The cortège

 

In academic gown The cortège

A new  Cleveringa

 

A new Cleveringa

Development opportunities

 

Job hopper Development opportunities

Camaraderie

 

Thriving community Camaraderie

City criminologist

 

City criminologist

The Cleveringa meetings

 

The Cleveringa meetings

Knowledge centre

 

Children and anxiety Knowledge centre

 

That ‘my’ Leiden University feeling

Lipsius

 

Unlovely but loved Lipsius

Academic ceremonies

 

Party! Academic ceremonies

Christiaan Huygens

 

ChatGPT Christiaan Huygens