Anna Persig

Department of Theology and Religion
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

PhD title: The Revision of the New Testament Epistles in the Latin Vulgate
Supervisor: Professor Hugh HoughtonDr Philip Burton, and Professor Thomas O'Loughlin
PhD Theology and Religion


  • BA (University of Pisa)
  • MA (University of Pisa)


I graduated cum laude in Classics and then in Classical Philology and Ancient History at the University of Pisa, Italy. My interest for the textual criticism of the New Testament has increasingly developed since I wrote a MA dissertation on the linguistic characters of the Latin translations of the Acts of the Apostles. I am currently undertaking a doctorate on a related subject, the Vulgate Epistles, at the Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing (ITSEE), at the University of Birmingham, and I am teaching assistant of Roman Literature at the same university. I have presented several papers on my research at national and international conferences. 


Teaching assistant of Roman Literature and marking of the exams - University of Birmingham, Spring term 2018


My research project aims to investigate the source of the Latin Vulgate texts of the Pauline and Catholic Epistles and address the issue of their attribution. This has long been the subject of scholarly debate, although the discussions have been often inconclusive. New digital tools, however, now make it possible to provide a more extensive and detailed analysis. The methodology of the research 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 lexical and syntactical renderings. I examine the question using a linguistic and stylistic approach, comparing the Vulgate Epistles with the Vetus Latina, the texts prior to the fourth century revision, widely considered an unusual linguistic source as it was closer to spoken than written Latin of the time. A comparison between the Vetus Latina and the Vulgate will enable us to establish the nature of the modifications introduced in the Vulgate and systematically group them into characteristic patterns. Some are likely to represent the use of a different Greek text, but others are changes in Latin style which allow us to clarify the intentions and possibly the identity of the reviser(s) of these texts. The purpose of the research is to cast light on the origin of the Vulgate Epistles, its early attestations in the manuscript tradition and in the biblical citations of the Church Fathers with the intention of promoting philological and theological discussion concerning the text and exegesis of the Latin New Testament among scholars in the fields of Theology and Classics.

Research interests:

  • Classical literature and classical philology
  • Textual criticism of the Latin and Greek New Testament
  • Late Latin
  • Palaeography and manuscript tradition
  • Patristics

Other activities

  • Member of the European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS)
  • Member of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)


  • 'The Vulgate New Testament outside the Gospels' (forthcoming 2020) in the Oxford Handbook of the Latin Bible, OUP.

Conference papers

  • 'Literalism and linguistic improvements in the Latin translations of the Epistle to the Hebrews' presented at the University of Edinburgh Classics Postgraduate Seminar Series (University of Edinburgh, UK, 8 February 2018)
  • 'The Latin versions of the Pauline Epistles: an investigation into their language, origin and authorship' poster presented at the Midlands3Cities Research Festival 2018 (Birmingham, UK, 24 May 2018)
  • 'Unity and Authorship in the Vulgate of the Pauline Epistles: A New Methodology for the Analysis of the Latin New Testament' presented at the EABS-SBL International Meeting (University of Helsinki, Finland, 30 July - 3 August 2018)
  • 'Literalism and linguistic improvements in the Latin translations of the Epistle to the Hebrews' presented at the International Colloquium on Late and Vulgar Latin - Latin Vulgaire - Latin Tardif XIII (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, 3-7 September 2018).