Emanuele Scieri

Emanuele Scieri

Department of Theology and Religion
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

PhD title: The Catenae on the Acts of the Apostles
SupervisorProfessor Hugh Houghton (80%), Dr Catherine Smith (10%), Dr Georgi Parpulov (10%)
PhD Theology and Religion


  • MA in Classical Philology (University of Catania)
  • BA in Classics (University of Catania)


I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Classics and a Master’s degree in Classical Philology at the University of Catania (Italy). During these years, I received a thorough training and education in Ancient Greek and Latin Literature, with focus on Philology and Textual Criticism. My research interests range from Late Antique and Byzantine literature to New Testament studies, with emphasis on Textual Scholarship, and Palaeography.

My BA thesis investigated the role played by cosmology and soteriology in Julian the Emperor’s Hymns, whereas in my MA thesis I produced the first full Italian translation and commentary of Pamprepius’ frg. 3 (ed. Livrea), a fragmentary Late Antique Greek poem belonging to the so-called “School of Nonnus”. The outcomes of this research have led to an article published in 2019 with new philological conjectures on Pamprepius’ text.

My expertise in Palaeography and Codicology was enhanced through an internship at the National Library of the Czech Republic in the winter semester of 2016-2017, during which I joined the “Manuscriptorium project – Digital Library of Written Cultural Heritage”, under the supervision of Dr Tomáš Klimek. Through this training, I learned basic principles of encoding electronic editions of Medieval Latin manuscripts by making use of XML Editor and JEdit as well as correlating texts in XML structure (TEI P5) to the images of digitised manuscripts in the Manuscriptorium database. In addition, I fully transcribed a Humanistic witness to the anonymous Historia Apollonii Regis Tyrii (Cod. Pal. Germ. 154). I also have experience in teaching as an academic tutor for the curriculum of Classics and Cultural Heritage at the University of Catania.


Teaching Associate (PGTA)

  • LI Life After Death - School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion (2021/22)
  • LI Advanced Latin A and B - School of History and Cultures (2021/22)
  • LI Beginner Greek A and B - School of History and Cultures (2022/23)
  • LI Intermediate Greek A - School of History and Cultures (2022/23)


As a member of the CATENA Project research team, the focus of my research is on the Catenae on the Acts of the Apostles. A biblical catena is a particular type of manuscript containing the biblical text and a commentary made up of short excerpts from the Church Fathers strung together like the links of a chain to form a continuous exposition of exegesis. Catena manuscripts may present two types of text layout: either the biblical text is written in the centre of the page surrounded by comments in the margins (frame catena) or the biblical quotation is immediately followed by the commentary as a continuous text (alternating catena).

According to the Clavis Patrum Graecorum, there are three principal types of catena manuscripts on Acts: Andreas’ catena (= C 150), edited by J.A. Cramer (1838), Oecumenius’ catena (= C 151), printed in Patrologia Graeca 118, and Theophylact’s catena (= C 152), published in Patrologia Graeca 125. The previous editors only made use of the few witnesses which were at their disposal. However, in recent years new manuscripts have been brought to light thanks to the joint work of University of Birmingham’s Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing (ITSEE) and Münster’s Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung, (INTF). More specifically, the CATENA project team has released an up-to-date checklist of Greek New Testament manuscripts which contain commentary on the biblical text, including new witnesses absent from the Kurzgefasste Liste. Amongst these, there are catena manuscripts on the Acts whose type has not been identified yet.

The aim of my thesis is to identify the different types of catena manuscripts on Acts, describe the main features of each exemplar (e.g. the text layout, the handwriting, the systems used to connect scholia and biblical text, the presence or absence of source attributions), compare the most significant representatives of each type (e.g. in the number of scholia, selection and treatment of the original source quotations, compilation practice and techniques of abbreviations). The final goal is to determine the relationships between the different catenae on Acts and investigate their origins and development in the surviving manuscript evidence.

Other activities

Honours and awards

  • Master’s Prize “Quintino Cataudella”, 6th edition 2019, for the best Master’s Thesis in Greek Language and Literature. The prize has been conferred by AICC (“Associazione Italiana di Cultura Classica”) headed by Prof. Giovanni Salanitro (25 March 2019)

Research grants received

  • ERC funded Project: CATENA: Commentary Manuscripts in the History and Transmission of the New Testament; PhD student

Editorial Activity

  • Co-editor in C. Bates, J. Marcon, A. Patton, E. Scieri (eds.), That Nothing May Be Lost: The New Testament Text and its Transmission as Observed in Fragment. Papers from the Twelfth Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (Gorgias Press, forthcoming 2022)
  • Peer-review for Vetera Christianorum, Journal of the Department of Antiquity and Late Antiquity of the University of Bari (Italy).


  • Member of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), 2021 – present
  • Member of the European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS), 2021 – present


  • The Exegetical “Fragments” on Acts: preliminary observations on two fragmentary catenae from Vat. Reg. gr. 6 (GA 886). Twelfth Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, 25 March 2021, University of Birmingham (UK).
  • Types and Subtypes of Catena manuscripts on Acts. SBL Annual Meetings, 20-23 November 2021, San Antonio (TX/USA).


  • 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 Papyrology Webinar: Putting Papyrus Editions On-line (Institute for Papyrology in Heidelberg, Germany), 24 April – 24 July 2020
  • La Filologia si fa digitale, MOOC in Digital Philology (Università Co’ Foscari of Venice, Italy): certificate of attendance awarded on the 22 April 2021
  • Introduction to Learning and Teaching (ILT) in Higher Education (University of Birmingham): HEFI Horizon Award certificate awarded on the 20 July 2021
  • British Library’s PhD Webinar (British Library in London), January – February 2022



Peer-reviewed articles

  • E. Scieri, “Note a Pamprepio fr. 3 Livrea”, in Sileno 45 (2019), 261–275
  • E. Scieri, "The Catena Manuscripts on Acts: A Revised Classification", in Vigiliae Christianae (2021), 1–25 (online publication ahead of print)
  • E. Scieri, "Exegetical Fragments: Observations on the Catenae on Acts in Vatican, BAV, reg. gr. 6 (GA 886), in C. Bates, J. Marcon, A. Patton, E. Scieri (eds.), That Nothing May Be Lost: Fragments and The New Testament. Papers from the Twelfth Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (Gorgias Press, forthcoming 2023)


  • E. Scieri, "BiblIndex: Index en ligne des citations bibliques dans la littérature patristique", in Forum Exegese und Hochschuldidaktik: Verstehen von Anfang an 6/1 (2021), 117–135