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Name: Anna Persig

PhD: Latin New Testament, the Vetus Latina and the Vulgate

Department: Theology and Religion (University of Birmingham)

Thesis Title: The Revision of the New Testament Epistles in the Latin Vulgate 


Thesis Description:

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.


Supervisors and Institution(s):

Prof Hugh Houghton (University of Birmingham)

Dr Philip Burton (University of Birmingham)

Prof Thomas O' Loughlin (University of Nottingham)

Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing (ITSEE)

Conference Papers

  • 'Jerome as the Reviser of the Vulgate Epistles: Status Questions and New Approaches' presented at Hieronymus noster. International Symposium on the 1600th Anniversary of Jerome's Death (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, 24th October 2019)
  • 'The Citations of the 'Pelagians' from the Catholic Epistles: Disunity of Thought as well as of Biblical Text?' presented at the XVIII. International Conference on Patristic Studies (University of Oxford, UK, 21st August 2019)
  • 'On the Renderings of Greek Participles in the Latin Versions of the Catholic Epistles' presented at the 20th International Colloquium on Latin Linguistics (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 19th June 2019)
  • ‘The Character of Pseudo-Rufinus the Syrian’s Quotations from the New Testament Epistles’ presented at the Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology Work in Progress Seminar Series (University of Liverpool, UK, 9th May 2019)
  • ‘The Affiliation of Pseudo-Rufinus the Syrian’s Biblical Text in the Quotations from the Pauline and Catholic Epistles’ presented at the 11th Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (University of Birmingham, UK, 5th March 2019)
  • '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 UniversityBudapest, Hungary, 3rd - 7th September 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, 30th July - 3rd August 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, 24th May 2018)
  • '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, 8th February 2018)


Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):


  • I gave a guest lecture ('An Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism') to the Introduction to Biblical Studies class at the University of Birmingham (3rd February 2020)
  • Teaching assistant of Roman Literature – University of Birmingham, Spring term 2019
  • Teaching assistant of Roman Literature and marking of the exams – University of Birmingham, Spring term 2018

 Other professional activities (e.g. your membership of professional associations, editorial boards of journals etc.)

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

Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

year 2020:

  • Visiting PhD student at the University of Gent, Belgium (March 2020)

year 2019:

  • I was selected to participate in the Latin Lexicography Summer School organised by the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Munich, Germany, 22nd - 26th July 2019)  
  • Chaired a session at the 11th Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (University of Birmingham, UK, 4th - 6th March 2019)
  • Peer Reviewer for Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
  • Transcriber of Latin manuscripts for the Insular Gospel Books Transcription Project:

year 2018:

Other Research Interests:

  • Latin linguistics 
  • Textual criticism of the Latin and Greek New Testament
  • Late Latin
  • Palaeography and manuscript tradition of the New Testament
  • Patristics


University email address:




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