2020 Winter School in Latin Paleography & Codicology

2020 Winter School in Latin Paleography & Codicology

Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame, Hesburgh Library, Ferrell MS 2.

Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame, Hesburgh Library, Ferrell MS 2.

With the kind collaboration of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (BAV), the University of Notre Dame offers its Winter School in Latin Paleography and Codicology at its Rome Global Gateway. This two-week intensive course will introduce participants to various aspects of Latin Paleography and Western Codicology, offering a balance of theoretical and practical applications.

Participants will develop mastery of abbreviation systems, the ability to identify, classify, localize, and date western book hands (ca. 1100-1500), and an understanding of the historical development and influence of Latin scripts. Western codicological principles and an introduction to analytical manuscript description will enable participants to interpret the manuscript as a complete object by utilizing physical properties such as collation, ruling patterns, and decoration in parallel with the script.

A special feature of the course will be extensive visits to the Vatican Library, which provide the opportunity for participants to apply the skills and techniques from the seminars with medieval manuscripts in situ. Discussion sections will offer a chance for students to share their experiences in a group setting and discuss various problems and difficulties. The course will culminate in a final presentation in which students present the fruits of their research and field questions from the audience. Two evening lectures by specialists will provide in-depth supplementary content to particular aspects of the seminars.

2020 Dates

7–17 January 2020, Rome, Italy / Città del Vaticano.

2020 Application Deadline EXTENDED

The extended deadline is 23 September 2019


Dr. David T. Gura, curator of Ancient of Medieval Manuscripts and concurrent associate  professor of paleography, will teach the course and supervise manuscript research.


Applications from graduate and postgraduate students, and early career faculty in Classics, Patristics, and all areas of Medieval Studies are welcome. Prior and advanced knowledge of Latin is essential. The course will be conducted in English.

Program Costs

The program fee is $1,000 (USD), which includes tuition, course materials, a welcome reception, fives lunches at the ND Gateway sessions, and two dinners.


Participants will secure their own lodging in Rome during the Winter School. A list of participants and contact info will be shared, in the case that participants may rent accommodations together to defray the cost (e.g., Airbnb, etc.).

Application Materials

Applicants should submit a CV and letter of application (be sure to specify Latin language experience, research topic, and the need for training in paleography and codicology), and the contact information for one letter of recommendation using the following link: http://apply.interfolio.com/63202

Payment (Deadline Extended)

Payment instructions will be sent upon confirmation of acceptance. Extended Deadline for tuition payments is now October 21, 2019.

All questions may be directed to: Dr. David T. Gura, Curator, Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts, University of Notre Dame (dgura@nd.edu). 

New Publication: Pecia 20 (2017)

“The Ovidian Allegorical Schoolbook: Arnulf of Orléans and John of Garland Take Over a Thirteenth Century Manuscript,” Pecia (2017): 7-43 is now available online: https://doi.org/10.1484/J.PECIA.5.116320

The article is focuses on the commentary tradition of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in the twelfth and thirteenth century. A paleographical, codicological, and textual exploration of a thirteenth-century schoolbook (Wolfenbüttel Herzog August Bibliothek, Cod. Guelf. 13.10 Aug. 4o) places the manuscript at the center of a paratextual web which portrays a vivid snapshot the accretion, modification, and composition process of glossing and allegorical commentary. This manuscript nexus includes commentaries on other authors and texts which link HAB, 13.10 Aug. 4o to six other manuscripts (s. XII through s. XIV).

The study brings to the fore new Latin texts which are critically edited for the first time: five unknown accessus and a short catena commentary. A new Ovidian commentator active in France c. 1275 is also identified.

The article also includes analytical descriptions of the following manuscripts: Wolfenbüttel Herzog August Bibliothek, Cod. Guelf. 13.10 Aug. 4o; Frankfurt-am-Main, Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek, lat. qu. 21; London, BL, Add. 10090; Montpelier, Bibliothèque Universitaire de Médecine, H 328; Paris, BnF, lat. 8207 and lat. 8253; and Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Poet.et.phil. 4o 34.

Medieval Metamorphoses @ the Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome

Medieval Metamorphoses: A Workshop on Ovid and Medieval Commentary Culture.

20-22 March 2019 at the Svenska Institutet I Rom:


Wednesday 20 March

14:00: Opening remarks

Session 1: 14:00-16:00

  Frank T. Coulson, “Cataloguing the Manuscripts of Latin Commentaries on theMetamorphoses: Problems and Pespectives”

 Robin Böckerman, “The Metamorphoses and the Twelfth Century”

 David T. Gura, “The Auctor iste Commentator and Ovid's Metamorphoses”


Session 2: 16:30-18:30

  Marek Thue Kretschmer, “Explanations of the Theban Narrative in the Ovide moralisé and the Ovidius moralizatus”

  Pablo Piqueras Yagüe, “The Order of the Fables in the Ovidius moralizatus”

  Irene Salvo Garcia, “Commentary Tradition and Cultural Heritage: the Classical Past in Vernacular Languages”


Thursday 21 March

Session 3: 10:00-12:00

  Margareta Fredborg, “Ovidian Quotations in Twelfth-Century Horatian Commentaries”

Lisa Ciccone, “Reading the auctores to Become a Poet: the Role of Fourteenth-Century Commentaries on Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Horace’s Ars poetica”

  William Little, “What Commentaries on the Epistula Sapphus Tell Us About Humanist Attitudes Toward Ovid and Sappho


Session 4: 14:00-16:00

  Eric Cullhed, “Beauty in Homeric Exegesis”

  Pádraic Moran, “Glossing Ovid in Ninth-Century Irish and Welsh Manuscripts”

  Marjorie Curry Woods, “Owning Earlier Literatures”

16:30-18:00: Panel discussion 1: Research update


Friday 22 March

10:00-11:00: Text seminar 1: “Quidam philosophi fuerunt: Ovid and Philosophical Explanations in the Commentaries”

11:00-12:00: Panel discussion 2: Editorial challenges: a micro workshop LUNCH

13:00-14:00: Text seminar 2: Marjorie Curry Woods, “Evidence of performance in the Medieval Classroom: A Discussion of ‘Boys Performing Girls (and Men)’”

14:00-15:00: Panel discussion 3: Strategies for the future 15:00 Concluding remarks


Robin Wahlsten Böckerman, Stockholm University/University of Southern Denmark
Lisa Ciccone, University of Zurich
Frank T. Coulson, The Ohio State Unversity
Eric Cullhed, Uppsala University
Margareta Fredborg, Copenhagen
Irene Salvo Garcia, University of Southern Denmark
David T. Gura, University of Notre Dame
Marek Thue Kretschmer, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
William Little, The Ohio State University
Pádraic Moran, National University of Ireland, Galway
Marjorie Curry Woods, The University of Texas at Austin
Pablo Piqueras Yagüe, Universidad de Murcia

Organiser: Robin Wahlsten Böckerman, Stockholm University/University of Southern Denmark For more information contact the organiser at rwb [at] su [dot] se.

Sessions 1-4 are open to the public. If you are interested in attending, please notify the organiser": rwb [at] su [dot] se.

Latin Paleography Spring 2019

Latin Paleography is now scheduled for Spring Semester 2019!

The course is available through the Medieval Institute and cross-listed with Department of Classics. It will be of great interested to graduate students and advanced undergraduates interested in all facets of Medieval Studies, Classics and Classical Reception, and Early Christian Studies. 

Course Description: The course is an intensive survey of Latin scripts from antiquity through the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Students will be able to accurately read and transcribe Latin scripts, expand systems of abbreviation, identify, date, and localize (when possible) different hands, and defend their interpretations. There will be a strong emphasis on the different varieties of Gothic script (textualis, cursiva, hybrida, etc.). Once the class reaches the twelfth century, students will work extensively with Notre Dame¹s medieval collection of over 300 manuscripts and fragments. Aspects of practical applications and textual criticism will be addressed at the end of the course.  Proficiency in Latin is required.