Manuscripts & Text Editing


Folio 125r, 12 scenes from the Passion in the Augustine Gospels

My research specialty as an academic is the Latin manuscript tradition. I typically focus on Late Antique texts, thus far largely papal letters and canon law, but I have spent time enjoying the riches that the world of medieval manuscripts has to offer. I have studied over 200 manuscripts, many in person in the wonderful libraries of Europe, many online, several in microfilm or microfiche. Besides canon law manuscripts, I’ve also taken a peek at Bibles, Cicero, missals, Prudentius, and more.

A manuscript is not simply a window onto a text, be that text ancient, medieval, modern. It is also a window into the person who wrote it. Thus, my interest in manuscripts extends beyond Late Antique Latin across the whole Middle Ages, considering the persons and contexts who copied, transmitted, modified, and digested the texts associated with my research.

My Ph.D. was a study of the manuscripts of the letters of Pope Leo the Great, a corpus I hope to edit some day. In the meantime, here is a working edition of one of his lettersEp. 167 to Rusticus, Bishop of Narbo (modern Narbonne, France): Epistula 167

I was also please to see one of my text-critical studies published in Sacris Erudiri in 2016: The Vulgate Contamination of Leo the Great’s Scriptural Quotations’, in Sacris Erudiri 55 (2016): 157-93.

Various manuscript-related posts on this blog:

The Durham Gospels

Discover Sixth-century Manuscripts

What We Can Learn from One of Our Oldest Canon Law Manuscripts (with a follow-up)

The Story in a Canon Law Manuscript

Why Do Canon Law Manuscripts Have Lists of Roman Provinces in Them?

A Manuscript from Cologne

‘Dupplicatio’ and Other Things That Catch My Eye in Manuscripts

Work with Manuscripts Can Be Exciting

If perusing this blog gets you curious or excited about manuscript studies, one of my favourite recent books is Christopher de Hamel, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts. The skills you’ll need to get serious are discussed in Clemens and Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Studies. Or you could browse some manuscripts online yourself at the Bibliothèque nationale de France or the Vatican Library (the two libraries where I’ve spent the most time!).