A man with a book
Panagiotis with a copy of his book

This week sees the publication of the fifth book produced as part of the European Research Council-funded CATENA project at ITSEE in the University of Birmingham.

Entitled Exegesis of the Gospel of Luke: Codices Singuli and Catena C139.1, the volume provides a critical edition of the exegetical scholia in the catena commentaries on the Gospel according to Luke which are only attested in individual manuscripts.

Several of these commentaries were only identified as part of the CATENA project, being listed in the Catena Catalogue created by Dr Georgi Parpulov (also available online) and assigned new identifiers in the Clavis Clavium register. A number of these extracts from early Christian authors are here published for the first time, shedding fresh light on the early interpretation of the gospel. In addition, there is no previous edition of the new C139.1 catena, found in four manuscripts copied between the tenth and thirteenth centuries.

The book is published by De Gruyter in the series Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur and is available both as a printed edition and a free Open Access download.

The publisher's description of the book is as follows:

This volume examines the Byzantine manuscripts which transmit unique collections of Greek exegetical extracts on the Gospel of Luke. These codices singuli contain compilations which differ in content and sequence of scholia from all the other known catena types of this Gospel.

The Clavis Patrum Graecorum volume on catenae, updated by Jacques Noret in 2018, briefly discusses these individual manuscripts in the codices singuli section (C137). The witnesses are: Vindobonensis theol. gr. 301 (C137.1); Monacensis graecus 208 (C137.2), Codex Zacynthius (C137.3); Vaticanus graecus 349 (C137.4), Palatinus graecus 273 (C137.5), and Laurentianus Conv. Soppr. 159 (C137.6). To these, Parpulov’s 2021 catalogue of Greek New Testament Catenae added four further codices singuli: Parisina supplementa graeca 612 and 1248 (C137.7), Prague, Národní Knihovna České republiky, XXV B 7 (C137.8), Venice, BNM, Z.495 (1048) (C137.9) and Drama, Μ. Κοσινίτσης, 3 (C137.10). It also adds a new catena type, C139.1, attested by four manuscripts.

These updates have been incorporated in the online Clavis Clavium. Further research, however, has shown that Codex Zacynthius, Palatinus graecus 273 and Prague, Národní Knihovna České republiky, XXV B 7 all transmit the same compilation; Vindobonensis theol. gr. 301 contains a collection of comments similar to C132 and is not a codex singulus; Parisinum supplementum graecum 1225, previously identified as C131, is a separate catenae type which may be assigned the siglum C137.11. This present volume provides the editio princeps of four of the unique catenae on Luke which have not previously been published (C137.2, C137.4, C137.6, C137.11) and the new catena identified as C139.1. It includes a thorough examination of the content and structure of each manuscript and an investigation of the direct and indirect sources used by their compilers.

Dr Panagiotis Manafis was a research fellow on the CATENA project and has now taken up a position at the Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece.