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 several catena types and investigate the origin and development of the catena of Acts in all the existing manuscripts.