Jacopo Marcon

Jacopo Marcon

Department of Theology and Religion
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

PhD title: The Pseudo-Oecumenian Catena on Romans
Supervisor: Professor Hugh Houghton
PhD Theology and Religion


  • MA in Classics: Archaeology, History and Literature (University of Udine)
  • BA in Classics (University of Udine)


Whilst in Italy, my training was focused primarily on literary -philology, more specifically, the study of Latin Palaeography and Classical Philology. My BA thesis was about a paper fragment written in a humanist script, kept in the Guarneriana Library of San Daniele del Friuli. This led to the opportunity to present my research at a public conference at the Guarneriana library.

In addition to my theoretical knowledge of manuscript studies, my understanding of the codicological, palaeographical, and philological aspects of codices were reinforced by my experience of completing my MA thesis.

During my MA I spent six months as an Erasmus student at Leiden Universiteit in the Netherlands. I was also a university tutor for the curriculum of Classics: Archaeology, History and Literature at the University of Udine, and a student delegate in the faculty and department committee of the same university. 


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.

Other activities

  • Public conference: Scritture, parole e storia in un pezzo di carta. Uno sconosciuto frammento umanistico alla Guarneriana (Scripts, words and history on a piece a paper. An unknown humanistic fragments at the Guarneriana Library), San Daniele del Friuli, Civica Biblioteca Guarneriana, with Professor Laura Pani
  • ERC funded Project: CATENA: Commentary Manuscripts in the History and Transmission of the New Testament; PhD student
  • https://uniud.academia.edu/jacopomarcon


  • Dante a San Daniele del Friuli: Acqarelli, Miniature e Inchiostro, Dante in San Daniele del Friuli: Watercolors, Miniatures and Ink; Udine, Caffè Caucigh, Dante in Festa, 29th June 2018.
  • The Manuscripts of the Pauline Letters: a Palaeographical and Philological Study of the Textual Tradition of Paul (Exeter Classics Postgraduate Seminars (ExeWip), University of Exeter, 26th April 2019).
  • The Marginalia of the Pseudo-Oecumenian Catena on the Pauline Epistles: a Panorama on the Use of Catenae in the Byzantine Era (with a special reference to Romans) (EABS Annual Conference, University of Warsaw, 11-14 August 2019, 12th August 2019).
  • The Use of the Greek Fathers in the Pseudo-Oecumenian Catena on Romans (Eighteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies, Oxford, 19-23 August 2019, 22nd August 2019).
  • Interpreting the Greek New Testament in Byzantium: a Palaeographical and Codicological Examination of Commetaries and Catenae (FuMaSt. The Future of Manuscript Studies. 1st International Contest. Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale. Gaeta, Angevin-Aragonese Castle, 3-4 October 2019, 4th October 2019).
  • Oecumenius, Photius and the others: the marginal comments of the Greek Church Fathers in the Ps. Oecumenian Catenae on the Pauline Epistles (University of Bristol, PGR, Work in Progress Seminar, 4th June 2020).
  • A codicological, palaeographical and philological examination of two manuscripts of the Ps. Oecumenian Catena on Romans: preliminary observations (University of Birmingham, Text Critical Thursdays, 2nd July 2020).
  • Beyond the borders of the pages: a codicological and historical investigation of additional material in Catenae (Virtual IMC 2020, University of Leeds, 10th July 2020; Panel: On the Borders of Manuscripts and Incunables, Preliminary and Final Additions to the Original Text, I).
  • The critical edition of the Ps. Oecumenian Catena on Romans: first considerations (University of Birmingham, Biblical Studies Seminars, 21st October 2020).
  • The critical edition of the Ps. Oecumenian Catena on Romans: first considerations (SBL 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting, 7th December 2020).


  • Παῦλος ὁ μύστης τῶν ἀπορρήτων λόγων: on the use of the book epigrams in New Testament Catenae on Paul (Growing Corpora conference, DBBE, Ghent University, April 2021).

Chairing session: Copyists and Editors at the 11th Birmingham International Colloquium on the New Testament Textual Criticism (At One Remove: Versions and Other Indirect Evidence for the New Testament, University of Birmingham, 4-6 March 2019).


  • CATENA CONSULTATION:  A discussion of the current state and tasks of research on catenae, with a presentation of the manuscript catalogue of the CATENA project (Greater Birmingham West Midlands Brussels Office, Brussels, 7 February 2020). 
  • Digital Workshop: Digital Approaches in Greek Palaeography (London, 14th December 2018) and the seminars: The Greek book: from Papyrus to Print: an introductory seminar (University of Oxford, Weston Library, 14th and 21st May 2019).  
  • Codex Zacynthius: Retracing the Words of Scribes and Early Christian Writers, Oxford, Oriel College, 5th December 2019 


  • Derek Krueger and Rober S. Nelson (eds.), 2016. The New Testament in Byzantium. Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks (book review) in Rosetta Journal, University of Birmingham, 24 (June 2019), pp. 69-72; 
  • THE CATENA PROJECT: The Pseudo-Oecumenian Catena on Romans, Supplementum, in Diogenes, University of Birmingham, pp. 78-81; 
  • Agnes Lorrain, Le Commentaire de Théodoret de Cyr sul l’épître aux Romains. Études philologiques et historiques.  Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie dew Wissenschaften: De Gruyter, 2018 (book review) in BMCR, Bryn Mawr Classical Review.