My research focuses on a particular type of commentary manuscript called Catenae. More specifically, it focuses on the Pseudo-Oecumenian Catena commentary of the Pauline Epistle to the Romans. Biblical catenae are manuscripts that contain the biblical text and a commentary, made up of excerpts from multiple sources. The text is organized either continually to follow the biblical quotation (alternating catenae), or around the passage, which is in the middle of the page (frame catena). Sometimes the biblical text and commentary are evenly divided into two columns. The aim of my research is to make the first ever critical edition of this, the most common catena on Romans. This will involve identifying and examining the manuscripts in which it is attested, and selecting witnesses for an edition. On the basis of Theodora Panella’s thesis concerning the Pseudo-Oecumenian Catena on Galatians, my research will firstly analyze the layout of the manuscripts with relation to the different types of Scholia. There are three of these: one set is numbered, one is known as the Corpus Extravagantium, and the third is the Scholia Photiana. What is the relationship between these different types of comments? When and how were the comments by the Byzantine scholar Photius added in a second stage in the manuscripts? Is there a Urform (an original form of Catena, only with the numbered set) for Romans, as for Galatians? This work is useful for the analysis of the pattern of biblical quotations, the reconstruction of the author’s citation technique, and the identification of the anonymous scholia in the commentary. The work will shed new light on the history of the tradition of the Pauline Epistles’ commentaries, and aims to retrace the original pattern of the Pseudo-Oecumenian Catena on Romans and its evolution during the centuries.
The project is funded by the ERC consolidator grant, CATENA: Commentary Manuscripts in the History and Transmission of the New Testament, and its director, Professor H.A.G. Houghton, is my main supervisor. Like the project, I am based in ITSEE (the Institute of Textual Scholarship and the Electronic Editing), in the Department of Theology and Religion of the University of Birmingham.