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.


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 analyse all the catena manuscripts on Acts by selecting significant passages; identify the different types of catena and describe them (paying particular attention to the layout, the different segmentation of the biblical text made by the various exegetes, the various ways in which the compilers used and adapted the sources, the techniques of abbreviation, etc.); select a type to work with and identify manuscripts to transcribe in full.

The final goal is to produce a critical edition of a significant and as yet unedited catena type as well as investigate the relationship between all the existing types.

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


  • 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)



  • E. Scieri, “Note a Pamprepio fr. 3 Livrea”, in Sileno 45 (2019), 261-275 (5,970 words)