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The CATENA Project has published the first-ever catalogue of Greek New Testament Catena Manuscripts along with a searchable online database. 

ITSEE is delighted to announce the publication of Catena Manuscripts of the Greek New Testament: A Catalogue by Dr Georgi Parpulov, research fellow on the ERC-funded CATENA project. The book is a synoptic catalogue of a large class of Greek manuscripts: it describes all pre-seventeenth century copies of the Greek New Testament in which the biblical text is accompanied by commentary. Manuscripts where this commentary consists of combined excerpts (catena) from the works of various authors are described in particular detail. Those that have similar content are grouped together, so that the potential relatives of any given manuscript can be easily identified. Several previously unknown types of catenae are distinguished and a number of previously unstudied codices are brought to light for the first time.


The catalogue is published in Open Access and can be downloaded as a PDF from the University of Birmingham Research Portal. In addition, a searchable database has been released by the CATENA project of the 688 manuscripts examined by Dr Parpulov for his catalogue. This enables users to identify all Greek New Testament catena manuscripts in a particular library, the Gregory-Aland and Pinakes identifications of individual documents, or all witnesses to a particular type of catena listed in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum. The freely-accessible online catalogue is hosted by ITSEE and will be maintained and updated with  further discoveries.

Professor Hugh Houghton, the Principal Investigator of the CATENA project, said:

I am delighted to see the appearance of this catalogue and online database, which is a major milestone in the CATENA project. Dr Parpulov's research has led to significant new findings along the way, as we anticipated at the beginning of this project: he has added or updated 50 Greek New Testament manuscripts in the Kurzgefasste Liste as well as identifying 20 types of catena not in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum. This comprehensive catalogue at last provides a sound foundation for further work on this fascinating type of New Testament manuscript: many of us at ITSEE are already using it as the basis for our investigation of catenae. I'd also like to thank the colleagues from across Europe who attended the consultation meeting in Brussels in February 2020 which provided feedback on an early draft of this catalogue and made helpful suggestions about the database.

Updates or questions about the database may be addressed directly to Prof. Houghton.