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Anna Persig has been a scholarship holder on the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership in ITSEE since 2017, supervised by Professor Hugh Houghton and Dr Philip Burton in Birmingham and Prof. Thomas O'Loughlin (University of Nottingham). Following the online examination of her doctoral thesis last month, she has now qualified for the award of her PhD.

News of the result at Anna's online viva


Anna's thesis is on The Vulgate text of the Catholic Epistles: Its Language, Origin and Relationship with the Vetus Latina. Over the course of her studies, she has presented at numerous international gatherings in the fields of Latin Linguistics and Biblical Studies. She has been invited to the prestigious Societas Novi Testamenti Studiorum conference this summer, and will also be presenting her research to a study day next month hosted by the Vetus Latina-Institut. She has also published several book chapters related to her research, and will now be working on a monograph based on her thesis.

Her thesis contributes important new insights about the differing origins of the Catholic Epistles which form part of the Latin Vulgate, which may reflect the gradual incorporation of these letters into the canon of Scripture in the West.

The full abstract of her thesis is as follows: 
The Latin Vulgate represents the final stage of the process of the translation of the Bible which began in the late second century with the texts known as the Vetus Latina. This study examines the language of the Latin versions of the Catholic Epistles from the lexical, morphological and syntactical points of view and through a qualitative and quantitative analysis. It investigates their relationship with the Greek text and the presence of non-standard and late Latin features. The comparative examination of Greek and Latin texts casts light on the techniques employed by the Vulgate and the Vetus Latina translators. Diachronic and synchronic descriptions of the language highlight the linguistic peculiarities of these texts and their relationship with contemporary and earlier writings. The statistical examination of the lexicon, participial renderings and word order presents an overview of the variation in each epistle between the Vulgate and the Vetus Latina. The Vulgate, which has traditionally been considered a more refined text than the Vetus Latina is shown here to be equally, and often more, influenced by the Greek language and ‘vulgar’ usages. The differing linguistic character of the individual Epistles and the varying degrees of agreement between the Vulgate and the Vetus Latina reveal that the Vulgate Catholic Epistles do not form a unitary corpus: 1 Peter, 1 John, 2 John and Jude appear to be more conservative and accomplished than James, 2 Peter and 3 John. This variation may be due to their gradual inclusion in the western canon, which could explain their separate origins and different processes of revision. On the other hand, the close relationship between the Vulgate and the Vetus Latina in all the letters demonstrates that the Latin versions known today derive from a common archetype.

Congratulations to Anna on this excellent result!