CATENA: The Project

The project released its first checklist of Greek New Testament manuscripts which contain commentary on the biblical text on the University of Birmingham ePapers repository in August 2018. This comprises 646 items in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, including 50 new witnesses not included in the preliminary checklist published in 2016. Thirty-five of these manuscripts are not listed in the standard register of Greek New Testament manuscripts, the Kurzgefasste Liste. Updates to this checklist will be released in due course, and a formal catalogue published by the project.

The project has identified four new manuscript witnesses to the Greek New Testament held by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Alexandria. One of them is a tenth-century gospel catena manuscript, which has been allocated the number GA 2937. The others are three lectionaries, copied between the tenth and sixteenth century, which have been added to the Kurzgefasste Liste as L2477, L2478 and L2479. News of the discovery was released on the NT.VMR blog in April 2019. A full description of the manuscripts, with illustrations, has been published in the Journal of Theological Studies (2020)

In summer 2019, the Principal Investigator of the CATENA project teamed up with the ERC PLATINUM project to produce an edition of Latin Christian papyri. This led to the identification of the earliest known witness to two works of Augustine in a sixth-century manuscript which was later palimpsested and found in the Cairo Genizah at the end of the nineteeth century. It is now held in Cambridge University Library. An edition of these texts was published in the 2019 volume of the journal Sacris Erudiri.

The project held a consultation on catenae at the University of Birmingham's Brussels office in February 2020. In addition to the project team, twenty experts from Belgium, France and Germany attended to discuss the current state of the question in the study of catena manuscripts.

The first two books from the project are set to be published in summer 2020. The first is a monograph by Dr Panagiotis Manafis on collections of Greek historical extracts: (Re)writing History in Byzantium. A Critical Study of Collections of Historical Excerpts (Routledge, 2020). The second is a printed edition of the Greek text of the catena in Codex Zacynthius with an English translation, based on the electronic edition produced by the Codex Zacynthius project. This will be published as The Palimpsest Catena of Codex Zacynthius: Text and Translation (Gorgias Press, 2020).

The two doctoral students of the project are working on editions of the Pseudo-Oecumenian Catena on Romans (Jacopo Marcon) and the Catena on Acts (Emanuele Scieri). 

Further details of the project will be posted here as it progresses. There is also a page dedicated to project publications, with links to open access downloads.