The list below includes some of the current and recent projects involving staff based at ITSEE, including collaborations with other institutions.
This is a five-year European Research Council-funded project on the commentary tradition of the Greek New Testament, running from 2018 to 2023. The project will create the first full catalogue of these manuscripts and examine how the different types are related. Catenae will also be examined in detail as sources for the biblical text.
Codex Zacynthius is the oldest manuscript of the Greek New Testament to contain extracts from writings by early Christian theologians, known as a catena, as well as the biblical text. It is what is known as a palimpsest: in the thirteenth century, the manuscript was dismembered and as much as possible of the ink scraped off. It was then reconstructed in a new shape and used to make a lectionary manuscript of the Gospels, written at right-angles to the original text. As a result, the older text is incomplete and much of it has been illegible ever since. Using multi-spectral imaging, the original underlying text will be readable for the first time, enabling the team to make the first complete transcription.
The Greek New Testament Editio Critica Maior
ITSEE is home to a critical edition of the Gospel according to John, prepared by members of the International Greek New Testament Project and the Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung (INTF) in Germany. This has included formal collaboration on the development of digital tools to create the edition. The production of the ECM of the Pauline Epistles is also overseen by Professor Hugh Houghton, Director of ITSEE, who is working with teams in the USA, Greece and Germany (as well as Birmingham!) on this major new edition.
The Estoria de Espanna Digital
The Estoria de Espanna is an extensive thirteenth-century history of Spain composed under the direction of Alfonso X of Castile and Leon (reigned 1252-1284). It runs from the origins of Spain to the death of Alfonso’s father Fernando III in 1252. It is the history of the people who ruled the empire and therefore deals with Roman history, the history of the Goths and the history of the Christian kingdoms of the Peninsula after the Arab invasion of 711 which Alfonso regarded as the inheritors of Rome. The Estoria de Espanna is the centerpiece of the medieval Castilian historiographical tradition, the first and greatest medieval history of Spain written in romance, and was originally conceived as part of an all-encompassing politico-cultural project by the king. An AHRC-funded project between 2013 and 2016 created a online environment with transcriptions of five complete manuscripts as well as tools for the crowdsourcing of other witnesses. .
ITSEE is a contributor to the European Research Council-funded Multimedia Yasna (MUYA) project led by Professor Almut Hintze at SOAS, University of London from 2016–20. The project will include editions of manuscripts of the Yasna, the liturgical text of Zoroastrianism, in several different languages.
This European Research Council-funded project investigated early Latin and Greek commentaries on Paul as sources for the biblical text from from 2011–16. Its extensive outputs, including five books and over twenty articles and chapters, are listed on the project homepage.
The Virtual Manuscript Room and Workspace for Collaborative Editing
Following the development of the Birmingham Virtual Manuscript Room in conjunction with the University's Special Collections Department (now the Cadbury Research Library), funded by JISC in 2008–9, ITSEE joined forces with the INTF in Münster and the Trier Centre for Digital Humanities to develop tools to make online editions. The Workspace for Collaborative editing was a joint project of the AHRC and DFG between 2010 and 2013.
Vetus Latina: The Old Latin versions of the New Testament
Since 2002, ITSEE staff have collaborated with the Vetus Latina Institut in Beuron, Germany on the critical edition of the Old Latin translations of the New Testament. Work continues on the Gospel according to John, for publication in both electronic and print format, and a database has also been created of biblical quotations in early Latin Christian authors. ITSEE also runs a mailing list for scholars working on the Old Latin Bible.
Codex Sinaiticus project
A digital edition of Codex Sinaiticus, prepared in collaboration with the four libraries holding parts of the manuscript.
Phylogenetic analysis of Qur'anic manuscripts
ITSEE provided technical support for this postdoctoral research project led by Dr Alba Fedeli at the Central European University, Budapest between 2015 and 2017.