Anna Persig presents "Unity and authorship in the Vulgate of the Pauline Epistles: a new methodology for the analysis of the Latin New Testament"

Anna Persig in Helsinki 2018

ITSEE doctoral student Anna Persig has been presenting her work at the SBL International Meeting in Helsinki.

Anna's doctoral work is funded by a scholarship from the AHRC Midlands3Cities consortium, and she is supervised by Professor Hugh Houghton and Dr Philip Burton in Birmingham and Professor Thomas O'Loughlin in Nottingham. Her paper abstract for the presentation she gave at the SBL International Meeting in Helsinki on 31 July is as follows:

"The Vulgate revision of the Pauline Epistles was traditionally attributed to Saint Jerome although it is probably the work of an anonymous author that scholars identify with Rufinus the Syrian. To date the language and the style of these texts have not been thoroughly studied and many uncertainties regarding the authorship, the unity and the model of the Vulgate still remain. My paper aims to describe an innovative approach that can be highly effective in addressing these issues. This methodology is combined with the use of new digital tools which make possible to carry out a more extensive and accurate analysis than those previously undertaken. The method is meant to be internal as well as external and is based on a double approach combining quantitative analysis with qualitative examination of particularly interesting features. It consists of four stages:

  1. The collection of data and creation of spreadsheets containing the lexical and syntactical renderings that differ in the Vetus Latina and the Vulgate of each epistle and cannot be attributed to variant readings present in the Greek text;
  2. The analysis, namely the attempt to figure out the reason of these variations;
  3. An internal examination in order to clarify the relationships between the Vetus Latina and the Vulgate within each epistle;
  4. An external comparison among the letters to understand if they constitute a unitary translation or are independent from each other. The results are then shown with graphics.

Finally my contribution will give the opportunity to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of grouping the direct tradition and patristic citations in “text types” and to reflect on the textual tradition of the epistles more generally."

Anna was very pleased with how the presentation went and the feedback she received.