On Friday 7th February, the European Research Council-funded CATENA project hosted a consultation day at the University of Birmingham's Brussels office. Twenty colleagues attended, from Belgium, France and Germany as well as the project team from the UK. Following an introduction from Professor Hugh Houghton, the Principal Investigator of the project, seven leading international academics gave presentations on what they felt were the major tasks currently facing those researching this particular form of commentary on the New Testament.


Dr Parpulov introduces his catalogue

Dr Georgi Parpulov, one of the researchers on the project, then presented his draft catalogue of catena manuscripts on the Gospels. This was followed by a lively discussion, which continued during the lunch break. In the afternoon, Dr Panagiotis Manafis and Professor Houghton demonstrated the electronic edition recently prepared by the Codex Zacynthius project of the oldest surviving catena manuscript. This was the source of much interest, with colleagues staying after the close of events to ask questions about the manuscript and its online presentation. This edition is the first of its kind to link directly to the new Open Access resource Clavis Clavium hosted by the Belgian publishers Brepols and launched last year at the Oxford Patristics conference. 

On returning to Birmingham, Professor Houghton said:

The consultation in Brussels was a very productive occasion and I am delighted that so many distinguished colleagues contributed their time to attend and participated so enthusiastically in the discussions. We will now reflect on their suggestions as we plan the work for the next stage of the project. Indeed, the day was so successful that I hope there will be the opportunity for similar gatherings in the future.


The attendees at the CATENA project consultation