Mercator Fellow

July 2015 - September 2017


Prof. Dr. Felix Heinzer

Felix Heinzer (born in Zurich, May 9, 1950) is an expert in codicology, liturgy and liturgical poetry, and in the history of monastic libraries (especially those in south-west Germany). His first studies were in Philosophy and Catholic Theology at the Universities of Rome (Gregoriana), Lyon, Chur, Fribourg (Switzerland) and Bonn, and he received his doctoral degree at Fribourg with a thesis on the Christology of Maximus Confessor. After six years as a cataloguer of medieval manuscripts at Karlsruhe (Badische Landesbibliothek), in 1986 he became the Head of the Manuscripts Department at Stuttgart Wurttemberg State Library. In 2005, following his Habilitation at the University of Basel on monastic book culture and ideas of monastic reform in medieval south-west Germany (2001), Felix Heinzer was appointed Professor of Medieval Latin at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität University of Freiburg (Germany). He has also served as the Wolfgang-Stammler-Gastprofessor für Germanische Philologie at the University of Fribourg/ Schweiz (2002-03) and as internal senior fellow at the Freiburg Research Institute for Advanced Studies (2012).
Heinzer, after his retirement in September 2015, is currently the W. John Bennett Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Medieval Studies of the University of Toronto and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and has been invited as Visiting Professor in residence with the University of California's Program in Medieval Studies for fall 2016.
Felix Heinzer has been a member of the Subcommittee of the German Research Foundation (DFG) for the Cataloguing of Manuscripts (1990-2000), of the Committee of the Medieval Studies Working Group in [at/of] the Herzog-August-Library Wolfenbüttel (2003-2013) as well as of the Commission for Medieval German Literature in the Section for Philosophy and History of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (2005-2015). He is also part of the advisory board of the project “Corpus monodicum. The monophonic music of the Latin Middle Ages” (since 2012).

Prof. Dr. Heinzer's Website | Kontakt

Petra Kappert Fellows

October - November 2018


Dr. Patrick Andrist

Patrick Andrist (born 1964 in Lausanne, Switzerland) is a researcher in the field of book and biblical history, codicology and religious polemics in antiquity. After a diploma in Computer Science, he wrote a thesis on the style of Demosthenes at the University of Geneva in 1991 and completed a post-doctoral diploma in codicology and Greek palaeography at the Scuola Vaticana di Paleografia, Diplomatica e Archivistica in 1995. In 2001 he obtained his doctorate at the University of Geneva with a text edition and a commentary on the dialogue between Athanasius and Zaccheus. Until 2010 he was a curator of the medieval manuscripts of the Burgerbibliothek Bern. In 2011 he habilitated at the University of Fribourg/Switzerland on the subject of Byzantine forms of production of handwritten books in the context of anti-Jewish polemics (published in 2016). In 2013 he was co-editor of the book La syntaxe du codex alongside Paul Canart and Marilena Maniaci. Since 2014 he has been working as project leader of the ERC research project "ParaTexBib: Paratexts of the Bible, Analysis and Edition of the Greek Textual Transmission" (PI Martin Wallraff), first at the University of Basel and since 2017 at the LMU-Munich. Patrick Andrist has published several scientific catalogues and descriptions of Greek manuscripts in exhibition catalogues and online publications. He has also published numerous works on the history of the Bible and on ancient polemics.

Dr. Andrist's CV and publications | Contact

Dr. Andrist about his work at CSMC:

I am planning to complete a chapter for the book on the structure of Greek gospel manuscripts during my time here and the revision of the book "La Syntaxe du Codex" before its translation into English.

October - November 2018


Prof. Dr. Michael Grünbart

Michael Grünbart (born 1969) studied Byzantine Studies, Classical Philology and Numismatics at the University of Vienna where he received his doctorate in 2000 (Formen der Anrede im byzantinischen Brief vom 6. bis zum 12. Jahrhundert. Vienna 2005). From 1993 to 2008 he headed the Departmental Library for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Vienna; he habilitated at the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (Inszenierung und Repräsentation der byzantinischen Aristokratie vom 10. bis zum 13. Jahrhundert. Paderborn, 2015) and accepted a professorship in Byzantine Studies at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. He is a member of the board of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (Frühmittelalterliche Studien, De Gruyter) and the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft zur Förderung Byzantinischer Studien (DAFBS; German Association for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies) as well as a member of the advisory board of the Mediävistenverband. He was a Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. (2004) and at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Fate, Freedom and Prognostication” in Erlangen (2017). He led projects within the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” (2009–2017) and the SFB 1150 “Cultures of Decision” (2015–) at WWU Münster.

Prof Dr. Grünbart's website | Contact

Prof Dr. Grünbart about his work at CSMC:

In the course of my stay I would like to work intensively with Greek letters in Byzantine manuscripts and pay particular attention to the fluid tradition as well as the collection compositions. This will provide information on the technique of writing letters, the contemporary classification and the collection of these texts. I also plan to complete the manuscript of the Epistularum Graecarum Initia (extension of the Epistularum Byzantinarum Initia, published in 2001).

August 2018


Prof. Dr. Harm den Boer

Harm den Boer is Professor of Iberoromance Literature at the University of Basel. Den Boer’s research focuses on the literary output and cultural significance of religious minorities and heterodox currents in Early Modern Iberia.
After his PhD thesis on the Spanish and Portuguese Literature of the Iberian Jews of Amsterdam (U. Amsterdam 1992), he has extensively researched and published on Iberian Jewish and Converso literature from the Early Modern Period.
The results of extended and ongoing bibliographic research are found in Spanish and Portuguese Printing in the Northern Netherlands (1584-1825), the digital collection Sephardic Editions 1550-1820 and articles identifying printers, authors and financers that shed more light on the beginning of the Western Sephardi Diaspora in Northern Europe.
Among his main publications on literature are: La literature sefardí de Amsterdam (1996), El Barroco sefardí (together with Kenneth Brown, 2000) as well as other studies on the Spanish Jewish writer Abraham Gómez Silveira (1656-1740) author of a huge oeuvre of manuscript texts. Recently, Den Boer contributed to the edition and study of the Spanish translation of Erasmus’ Moria by Dr. Jorge Ledo (2014), a work long sought-after, of which the Ets Haim Library of the Portuguese Jewish community of Amsterdam has a unique surviving manuscript copy.

Prof. Dr. den Boer's website | Contact


Prof. Dr. Carsten Wilke

Carsten Wilke is Professor at the Departments of History and Medieval Studies at Central European University Budapest and Director of CEU's Center for Religious Studies. He obtained his doctorate in Jewish Studies from the University of Cologne (1994) and a Diploma in Religious Studies from the EPHE in Paris. Before his professorship in Budapest, he has been a member of research institutions in Mexico City, Duisburg, and Philadelphia. In his books and articles, he has researched intercultural aspects of Jewish religious history in a wide time frame, with focus areas in Iberian Crypto-Judaism, the Sephardic diaspora, and rabbinic reform movements of the nineteenth century. He authored the monograph publications Jüdisch-christliches Doppelleben im Barock: Zur Biographie des Kaufmanns und Dichters Antonio Enríquez Gómez (Peter Lang, 1994); "Den Talmud und den Kant". Rabbinerausbildung an der Schwelle zur Moderne (Olms, 2003); Histoire des juifs portugais (Chandeigne, 2007); The Marrakesh Dialogues: A Gospel Critique and Jewish Apology from the Spanish Renaissance (Brill, 2014); and Farewell to Shulamit: Spatial and Social Diversity in the Song of Songs (De Gruyter, 2017).

Prof. Dr. Wilke's website | Contact

Profs. Dr. Den Boer and Wilke about their activity at CSMC:

During our fellowship, we have jointly drawn up the plan for a large-scale research project on the vast manuscript literature that circulated in the diaspora communities of the Iberian Jews during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the research proposal that we have composed during our stay at CSMC and that we are about to submit to funding institutions, we aim at a comprehensive study of these manuscripts, which are mostly written in Spanish and Portuguese, with individual items in Latin, Italian, French, Hebrew, and Dutch. We estimate that about 500 manuscript volumes are still extant in collections world-wide, 30 of which are in the State and University Library in Hamburg. Since we are substantially dealing with texts of a polemical nature, defending the doctrines of Judaism against Christian claims, this literature was forbidden and clandestine; yet it held an important place among Sephardic readers, and it also had a significant (after)life among the philosophers of the Early Enlightenment. Conceptually, our research will reveal the transfer of knowledge and doubt between Jewish, Christian and free-thinking literary circles. Our project will establish an online portal, offered in open access, with a large selection of digitized manuscripts. This website will include state-of-the-art tools from material, paleographical and semantical analysis, which we hope to develop in a future cooperation with the CSMC.

July - August 2018


Prof. Dr. William G. Boltz

William G. Boltz obtained his PhD degree in Oriental Languages & Literature at the University of California, Berkeley in 1974, having studied there with Professors Y. R. Chao (Chinese language & linguistics), Peter A. Boodberg (Chinese philology), Kun Chang (Chinese linguistics) and Yakov Malkiel (Romance philology and linguistics). From 1972–1975 he was a Junior Fellow of the University of Michigan Society of Fellows. He assumed the position of Professor of Classical Chinese at the University of Washington, Seattle in 1981 and has remained in that post ever since then. William Boltz has been a Visiting Guest Professor at the University of Hamburg and was also Visiting Guest Professor at the Institute of Sinology and East Asian Studies at the University of Münster on two occasions as well. He has been a research scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin for nearly two decades. He has been affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures and its precursors in one way or another ever since its inception, having participated in the first ʻTomb Text Workshopʼ proposed and organised by Professor Dr Michael Friedrich in the first months of the new millennium (sensu stricto the first months of the last year of the old millennium, viz. 2000), out of which the CSMC has grown.
Boltz’s research focuses on the origin and early development of the Chinese writing system, on the philological analysis and textual criticism of Classical Chinese texts and manuscripts and on Chinese lexicology and etymology.

Prof. Dr. Boltz's website | Contact

Prof. Dr. Boltz about his work at CSMC:

Perhaps the best thing about having the opportunity to join CSMC as a Fellow is how much I learn from talking with other Fellows and visiting scholars.

May - July 2018


Prof. Dr. Scott Reese

Scott Reese (born in 1965) is Professor of Islamic and World History at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, USA. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania (1996). A historian with a strong interest in Islam in Africa and the western Indian Ocean, Reese focuses specifically on comparative history aimed at breaking down many of the regional and geographical categories currently in use across academia. His main research interests are comparative Sufism, modern Muslim discourses of reform, and the construction of world systems since 1500. He is the author of two monographs, Imperial Muslims: Islam, Community and Authority in the Indian Ocean, 1839–1937 (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) and Renewers of the Age: Holy Men and Social Discourse in Colonial Benaadir (Brill: 2008), and is the editor of The Transmission of Learning in Islamic Africa (Brill, 2004). He is also senior editor of Islamic Africa, a peer-reviewed academic journal.

Prof. Dr. Reese's website | Contact

Prof. Dr. Reese about his work at CSMC:

While at CSMC, I will begin work on a new project that examines the development of Arabic-Islamic printing in the western Indian Ocean during the 19th and 20th centuries. This project aims to establish a greater understanding of the print corpus created during the colonial era with the arrival of lino-graphic type in the early 20th century while also developing insight into the impact of print on the intellectual networks of Muslims living under colonial rule. In addition, while in residence, I will also be seeking to develop collaborative projects with colleagues at the Centre aimed at the digitisation and preservation of early print collections in Eastern Africa.

April - September 2018


Dr. Marco Heiles

Marco Heiles (born 1986) studied German Language, Literature and Culture and Classical Philology at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (BA 2009) and majored in German Studies at the University of Oxford (MSt 2010) with a thesis on medieval German multiple text codices. He was a member of the graduate school, of the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Studies and was promoted with a scholarship by the CSMC in 2012–2015. He defended his PhD thesis on German manuscripts of books of sorts (Losbücher) at Hamburg University in 2016. It was published in 2018 in the series Beihefte zum Archiv für Kulturgeschichte under the title Das Losbuch. Manuskriptologie einer Textsorte des 14. bis 16. Jahrhunderts. Marco Heiles taught medieval German language and literature at the universities in Bonn, Hamburg and Düsseldorf and is currently Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter at the RWTH Aachen University. Marco Heiles is preparing a research project on Sexually explicit writing in medieval and early modern German manuscripts and prints (1100–1600).

Dr. Heiles's website | Contact

Dr. Heiles about his work at CSMC:

During my stay at the CSMC I will prepare a research project on sexually explicit writing and complete a series of research articles on the German multiple text manuscript Hamburg, Staatsbibliothek, Cod. germ. 1 from the mid-15th Century. I am especially interested in the scientific service projects at the CSMS (Z01¬–Z03) and I will try to connect and collaborate with all three of them.

February - March 2018


Dr. Dick van der Meij

Dr. Dick van der Meij (born 1956 in Lisse, the Netherlands) majored in Indonesian Languages and Cultures at Leiden University in 1983 with a MA thesis about secret language use in Jakarta. He defended his PhD thesis at Leiden University in 2002 with a text edition entitled: Puspakrema: A Javanese Romance from Lombok. Apart from other publications pertaining to Indonesian languages, manuscripts and literatures, he has published studies and editions of texts in Javanese (Nabi Aparas [The shaving of the Prophet’s Hair] also from Lombok, 1996), Balinese (on the Abisheka royal ceremony in Gianyar, 1986, Kidung Dampati Lalangon [The Diversion of the Spouses], 2011) and Malay. His latest Malay text edition is The Malay Hikayat Mi‘rāj Nabi Muḥammad. The Prophet Muḥammad’s Nocturnal Journey to Heaven and Hell edited and translated by Th.C. van der Meij and N. Lambooij. Leiden: Brill, 2015. His latest publication on manuscripts is Indonesian Manuscripts from the Islands of Java, Madura, Bali and Lombok published by Brill, Leiden 2017. At present he is editor of the series Bibliotheca Indonesica of Brill with Prof. Edwin Wieringa from the University of Cologne. In 2017, he has continued field work in Bali and his literary preparatory study for a book on Balinese palm leaf manuscripts (to be published with Brill) that focusses on leaf production, writing and many other aspects of palm leaf manuscripts in Bali in the present and in the past seen from the anthropological, philological and material points of view.

Dr. van der Meij's website | Contact

Dr. van der Meij about his work at CSMC:

At the CSMC I expect to prepare work for my study of Balinese palm leaf manuscripts in the field. I wish to expand my knowledge about how to proceed with the physical study of palm leaf manuscripts in order to come up with a reliable method of dating and identifying the geographical origins of these manuscripts when colophons are lacking or unreliable. Also I want to use this method to see if the usual classification of Balinese manuscripts in leaf quality in relation to particular texts is indeed valid.
Apart from this I want to expand my study of the rubrication in manuscripts that contain Javanese poetic texts from Central Java. I want to see if indeed the 19th century ‘modernization’ and the ‘individualization’ of the Javanese people can be traced in the manuscripts they produced in Central Java at the time.

February - April 2017


Prof. Dr. Karl R. Schaefer

Karl R. Schaefer (born 1949) is Professor Emeritus of Librarianship from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. He holds a PhD in Near Eastern Studies from New York University (1985) and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Oklahoma (1992). His primary area of interest is medieval Arabic block printing. He is the author of several articles on this subject as well as the first comprehensive examination of extant examples of the craft: Enigmatic Charms: Medieval Arabic Block Printed Amulets in American and European Libraries and Museums, (Brill, 2006). He is currently at work on a second volume meant to collect recently discovered examples between two covers.

Prof. Dr. Schaefer's website | Contact

Prof. Dr. Schaefer about his work at CSMC:

While at CSMC I shall be involved in a number of different activities. First, I am continuing research on my main area of interes--medieval Arabic block printing. While in residence at the Centre, I am planning to visit three different collections which hold examples of Arabic block printing, one in France, one in Germany and one in Denmark. Second, I am participating in two meetings of the Centre’s “Wirkmacht Group,” which is exploring a relatively new approach to ontology known as “agency.” Third, I shall be conducting a two-day workshop in which participants will attempt to create their own printing blocks and make prints from them. Finally, I shall be presenting a lecture on Arabic block printing and the archive.

January - March 2017


Prof. Dr. Charles Melville

Charles Melville holds a BA Hons. in Oriental Studies (Arabic & Persian, University of Cambridge, 1972), MA in Islamic History (LSOAS, 1973) and PhD. in Oriental Studies (University of Cambridge, 1978). At present he is ad hominem Professor of Persian History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Pembroke College. He has been a long-serving member of the Governing Council of the British Institute of Persian Studies and is currently its Vice-President. Since 1999, he has been Director of the Shahnama Project, and since 2006 he has been President of The Islamic Manuscript Association, both based in Cambridge. He has published extensively on the history and culture of Iran in the Mongol to Safavid periods (13th to 17th centuries), and the illustration of Persian manuscripts as well as on the Shahnama of Firdausi, the illustration of the text and its reception. He recently edited volume X of the History of Persian Literature, on Persian Historiography (London, 2012).

Prof. Dr. Melville's website | Contact

Prof. Dr. Melville about his work at CSMC:

My research is currently concentrating on the topic of the ‘Illustration of history’, that is, examining the way various chronicles were illustrated (or not) – what lay behind the choices of which text to illustrate and which scenes to depict within those chronicles, and how the painting relates to the written text. I am also seeking to expand my work into Central Asia (Transoxiana) and northern India, to explore the shared political notions of government and common themes of historical literature, especially between Safavid Persia, Mughal India and Uzbek Central Asia.

April - June 2016


Dr. Kallia Lempidaki

Dr. Kallia Lempidaki studied Greek and Latin epigraphy at the section for Greek and Roman Antiquities of the National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF) and at the Aristotle-University of Thessalonike. Her dissertation “Funerary fines and curses in ancient Greece: multa sepulcralia from the Roman provinces Macedonia, Thracia and Achaea” from 2015 she analyses the legal aspects of funerary inscriptions containing prohibitions as well as their relation to the legal and historical conditions of these parts of the Roman Empire. The main focus of her research lies on the juridical aspects of the ample epigraphic evidence from mainland Greece. At the moment she is preparing the publication of her PhD-thesis in the series Μελετήματα of the NHRF.

Dr. Lempidaki's website | Contact

Dr. Lempidaki about her work at CSMC:

Private regulations for the use of a funerary monument, as well as prohibitions and sanctions protecting these rules, were usually written down on perishable material, mostly papyrus. These texts had the form of a cheirographon, a special juridical deed, written from a subjective perspective in the first person. Unfortunately we have neither papyri from Greece nor from Asia minor. On the other hand these deeds formed the basis for the funerary inscription, which survived, chiselled in stone. My analyses focus on the transition of the personal manuscripts to the deeds on stone, which were conceived as permanent forms of information and communication between the founder of a grave and the readers of the text. At the moment I am turning my attention mainly to the presentation of the texts, the visual organisation on the relevant media and the primary archaeological context.

March - April 2016


Dr. Stefano Martinelli Tempesta

Dr Stefano Martinelli Tempesta, PhD in Classical Philology, is a research assistant in Ancient Greek Language and Literature at the State University of Milan, Italy, where he teaches Textual Transmission of Greek Literature. The main field of his studies is the textual tradition of ancient Greek authors both with respect to its material aspects and its historical and cultural background. He has published papers and monographs on the manuscript tradition of Euripides, Plato, Aristotle, Isocrates, Demosthenes, Plutarch, Quintus Smyrnaeus, on methodological issues concerning textual criticism and editorial technique and on the constitutio textus of Sappho and Pindar. Another focus of his is the Byzantine and humanistic transmission of ancient Greek texts and the Latin translations of Greek texts during the period of Humanism and the Renaissance as well as the editions of Greek texts printed between the 15th and 16th centuries. Dr Martinelli Tempesta has also studied manuscript marginalia in several copies of early printed editions of Plato, Plutarch and Isocrates as well as the restoration of Greek quotations made by Latin authors such as Aulus Gellius in the 15th century. He has published several critical editions of works, including Plato’s Lysis and some Latin translations of Plato and Isocrates. He is currently preparing a new critical edition of Plutarch’s De tranquillitate animi and is leading the editorial team of the new Oxford Classical Texts (OCT) edition of Isocrates’ Orationes et epistolae. In co-operation with Giuseppe De Gregorio, Antonio Rollo and David Speranzi, he is also working on an Italian project called ‘Repertorio dei copisti greci nelle biblioteche italiane’.

Dr. Martinelli's website | Contact

Dr. Martinelli about his work at CSMC:

During my two-month stay at CSMC, I will be working to complete my Oxford Classical Texts (OCT) edition of Isocrates. I also plan to start preliminary work on the manuscript tradition of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (more than 120 mss.), starting with the examination and the collation of a large number of manuscripts of the fifth book.

October 2015 - April 2016

De Simini

Dr. Florinda De Simini

Florinda De Simini is a post-doctoral researcher and adjunct professor for the History of Ancient and Mediaeval India at the University L’Orientale, Naples. She graduated in Classics (BA) at the University of Naples Federico II in 2004 and in Classics with Sanskrit (MA) at the University of Naples L’Orientale in 2008. Her PhD in Indic and Tibetan Studies was completed in 2013 at the University of Turin. Her main areas of expertise are the study of mediaeval traditional literature in Sanskrit as well as the religious and ritual aspects characterising the manuscript cultures of India. She is currently conducting research on rituals, thereby focusing on manuscripts in the Hindu traditions and on the transmission and diffusion of the Śivadharma Corpus.

Dr. De Simini's website | Contact

Dr. De Simini about her work at CSMC:

During my stay at CSMC, I plan to finalise a book that I have been working on for the past year and which represents the outcome of the PhD thesis I defended at the University of Turin in the summer of 2013. The main topic of this book, which is due to appear in CSMC’s series of monographies in 2016, is the different rituals focusing on manuscripts, reconstructed on the basis of early mediaeval, mediaeval and early modern Sanskrit literary sources. The broader aim of this work is to enrich our understanding of the manuscript cultures of India by stressing the iconic value attributed to manuscripts in all the religious traditions originating in the subcontinent and analysing their uses in the contexts of ritual and performance. I believe my research stay at the Centre will be a valuable opportunity for me to broaden my knowledge of the study of manuscript cultures as an independent field of research and to learn from comparing my case studies with analogous phenomena in different cultures.

October - December 2014


Dr. Anna Rita Coppola

Anna Rita Coppola studied African History at the University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’. She graduated in 2004 with a thesis on East African historiography entitled ‘The Origin of the Swahili Islamic Civilization: the Kilwa Chronicles’ and received her PhD in Islamic Civilization: History and Philology at the University of Rome with a dissertation entitled ‘Nūr al-Dīn al-Sālimī and his Tuḥfat al-A‘yān bi-sīrat Ahl ‘Umān: Omani Historiography between Tradition and Modernity’. She spent eight months in Musqat at the Shari’a Institute to study Omani history, Arabic and theology in more depth. Since then, she has continued her research on Omani and Swahili historiography as an independent scholar. Her main interest is in contextualising the writing of history relating to categories such as identity and politics in East Africa during the era of the Omani Sultanate and the colonial period, and how the past was narrated in Swahili society, what people actually recorded of their past, when they talked about it, who did so and why.


Dr. Anna Rita Coppola about her work at CSMC:

During my stay at CSMC, I plan to further explore the link between historiography, identity and politics in Swahili historiography and to write a paper on the historiographical production in East African in the 19th and 20th century with a focus on manuscripts.

June 2014


Prof. Dr. Jeffrey F. Hamburger

Professor Hamburger holds both his B.A. (1979) and Ph.D. (1987) in art history from Yale University. Before being first a full professor (2000-2008) and then being appointed the Kuno Francke Professorship (2008) at Harvard University he held teaching positions at Oberlin College and the University of Toronto. He has been a guest professor in Zurich, Paris, Leuven, Oxford and Fribourg, Switzerland.
Professor Hamburger's teaching and research focus on the art of the High and later Middle Ages. Among his areas of special interest are medieval manuscript illumination, text-image issues, the history of attitudes towards imagery and visual experience, and German vernacular religious writing of the Middle Ages, especially in the context of mysticism. Beginning with his dissertation on the Rothschild Canticles (Yale, 1987), much of his scholarship has focused on the art of female monasticism, a program of research that culminated in 2005 in an international exhibition, Krone und Schleier (Crown and Veil) that was sponsored by the German government and held jointly in Bonn and Essen. An English translation of the essays in the exhibition catalog was published by Columbia University Press in 2008. His current research includes a project that seeks to integrate digital technology into the study and presentation of liturgical manuscripts, a study of narrative imagery in late medieval German prayer books and a major international exhibition on German manuscript illumination in the age of Gutenberg. The recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Humboldt-Stiftung, Prof. Hamburger was elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 2001 and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009. He serves on numerous advisory boards, among them, those of the German Manuscript Cataloguing Centers, the Europäisches Romanikzentrum, the Centre International de Codicologie, Bibliothèque Royale Albert Ier, Brussels, and the Katalog der deutschsprachigen illustrierten Handschriften des Mittelalters, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Munich.
In addition to numerous articles, Prof. Hamburger's books include: Script as Image (Leuven: Peeters, 2014); The Mind's Eye: Art and Theological Argument in the Medieval West , co-edited with Anne-Marie Bouché (Princeton: Department of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University, Princeton University Press, 2005); and The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany (New York: Zone Books, 1998)

Prof. Dr. Hamburger’s Website | Contact

Prof. Dr. Jeffrey F. Hamburger about his work at CSMC:

During my stay stay in Hamburg, I will be working to complete my book on the liturgical manuscripts from Paradies bei Soest, to be published by Aschendorff Verlag, Münster, in 2015/16 (co-authored with Eva Schlotheuber, Susan Marti and Margot Fassler).

Mai 2014 – Juni 2014 | June – July 2018 | November 2018


Prof. Dr. Marilena Maniaci

Marilena Maniaci is full professor of Paleography at the “Università degli studi di Cassino e del Lazio meridionale” since 2008. Her research interests focus on the history of Greek and Latin handwritten book materials and techniques and the development of appropriate methods of analysis and description of medieval manuscripts. She has published several monographs on book terminology, including a terminology of manuscripts (Terminologia del libro manoscritto 1996, 1998), the layout of Byzantine parchment manuscripts (Costruzione e gestione della pagina nel manoscritto bizantino, 2002), and more recently a monograph on the structure and description of the medieval codex (La syntaxe du codex. Essai de codicologie structurale, 2013, with Patrick Andrist and Paul Canart). She has written articles on the materials and techniques of Greek and Latin manuscript manufacture (parchment, inks, dimensions, ruling methods, layout formulae, glossed texts, etc.), on the structure and description of complex codices and on the codicology of the Latin Bible and of Greek and Latin liturgical rolls.
Marilena Maniaci belongs to the boards of a number of renowned scientific journals and is currently president of the international association “Apices. Association paléographique internationale culture écriture société” (until 2018). She leads the team “Codicology and Paleography” within the ESF project “COMSt. Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies” (, and collaborates with the “Sonderforschungsbereich 950 - Manuscript Cultures in Asia, Africa, and Europe”, as an advisor for the publishing of the Encyclopaedia of Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa. She has been member (2007-2012) of the advisory board of the German manuscript cataloguing centers (“Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Handschrifenzentren”). In 2010 she has been ESAJS (European Seminar on Advanced Jewish Studies) Fellow at the “Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies”.
Marilena Maniaci was selected as a member of the “European Science Foundation Pool of Reviewers” (2009-2012) and of the group of experts appointed by the Italian national agency (ANVUR) for the quality evaluation of scientific research (VQR 2004-2010); she also acts as a reviewer for international projects and institutions (among which the Italian Ministery of Research, the Israel Academy of Sciences, the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, the Facultés universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix de Namur) and for several international journals.

Prof. Dr. Maniaci’s Website | Contact

Prof. Dr. Marilena Maniaci about her work at CSMC:

My two-month stay in the CSMC is dedicated primarily to the completion of an article on the new dating and contextualising of a group of XII century Beneventan manuscripts, and to the drafting of another article on annotations and additions in XI century Italian Giant Bibles. I will also collect comparative evidence for an ongoing research project on Byzantine liturgical rolls and contributing to the editing of the Introduction to Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies, to be published by the end of 2014.

June 2013 – August 2013


Prof. Dr. Jost Gippert

Jost Gippert has been teaching Comparative Linguistics at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main since 1994. After having completed his studies of Comparative Linguistics, Indology, Japanology, and Sinology in Marburg and Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin), he received his Ph.D. for his thesis on the syntax of infinitive constructions in the Indo-European languages. From 1977 to 1990, Jost Gippert held different positions as a lecturer, research associate and assistant professor at the Universities of Berlin, Vienna and Salzburg. While working as a research assistant in the field of Computer Linguistics of Oriental Languages, he habilitated on Iranian loanwords in the Armenian and Georgian languages at University of Bamberg in 1991. He has been an External Member of the Gelati Academy of Sciences (Georgia) since 1996 and a member of the Turfan Committee of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities since 2002 and of the Centre for Language of said Academy since 2007. In 1997, Jost Gippert was bestowed the Distinguished Professor title by Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani Tbilisi State Pedagogical University (Georgia). Furthermore, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (Georgia) in 2009 and by Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University (Georgia) in 2013.
Jost Gippert is the founder and director of the TITUS Project (Thesaurus of Indo-European text and language material), which aims at preparing a complete electronic collection of the entire texts handed down in old Indo-European languages and their adjacent idioms (since 1987). Since 2010, he is heading the “Digital Humanities Hesse: Integrated Editing and Evaluation of Text-based Corpora” Centre within the research funding programme of the German state Hesse „Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz (LOEWE)” (joint project of Frankfurt University, Technische Universität Darmstadt and Freies Deutsches Hochstift/Frankfurter Goethe- Museum). Jost Gippert has studied oriental manuscripts since the mid-1990ies within the scope of projects aiming at manuscript digitization (e.g. of the Tocharian manuscripts of the Berlin Turfan collection) or palimpsest edition (e.g. the Caucasian-Albanian palimpsest manuscripts from Sinai).

Prof. Dr. Jost Gippert’s Website | Contact

Prof. Dr. Jost Gippert about his work at CSMC:

During my first stay as a visiting fellow in the Research Group “Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa” in the summer of 2009, my work was dedicated primarily to the review of palimpsests originating from Caucasus. My stay in the CSMC in the summer of 2013, thus already my second longer stay within the group of manuscriptologists at Hamburg University, focused on preparatory work for the Encyclopaedia of Manuscript Cultures of Asia and Africa and the handbook Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies, the drafting of an article on a Georgian gospel manuscript for “The Secondary Life of Manuscripts” Conference as well as the completion of an article on Buddhist Inscriptions from the Maldives.

June 2013 – July 2013


Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Perilli

Lorenzo Perilli is a classicist at the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’. In teaching and research, he particularly focuses on ancient Greek medical and philosophical texts as well as the methodological aspects of classical studies, ancient and Byzantine lexicography, and the Digital Humanities. His field of research includes Hippocratic and Galenic medicine, empirical medicine in ancient Greece and Rome, pre-Socratic philosophy and, more recently, the dissemination, preservation and transmission of scientific knowledge from Antiquity. Lorenzo Perilli has been preparing the editio princeps of the so-called Hippocrates Glossary by Galen for several years, focusing on a profound analysis of the handwritten tradition.
Lorenzo Perilli was a visiting scholar at several European universities: first, he was granted a scholarship by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Munich, then he was a research associate at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College in London (UCL), and, later on, he joined the Classical Philological Seminar at University of Zurich as a visiting fellow. Furthermore, he was a visiting fellow in Utrecht and Vienna and, for a longer period, in Berlin at the Corpus Medicorum Graecorum (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities) and at Humboldt University in Berlin. Lorenzo Perilli was awarded several international research grants and prizes, among them the “G. Borgia” award from the Italian Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in 1997, the Award of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage in 2001, and the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel International Research Award from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2007.

Prof. Dr. Perilli's website | Wikipedia entry | Contact

Prof. Dr. Perilli about his work at CSMC:

My stay in the CSMC is dedicated to in-depth research into the handwritten tradition of the Hippocrates Glossary by the Greek physician Galen. The text has been handed down in 28 manuscripts that are dated to the 10th to 17th century. Some of these codices have only recently been rediscovered after they had been presumed lost for centuries. Determining the relationship between the manuscripts and their dependency is a complex and difficult task which shall be further advanced over the next few weeks. Attention will be paid to those codices where the text is not arranged in alphabetical order and which played an important role in the formation and transmission of the Glossary.

October 2012 – March 2013


Prof. Dr. Tilman Seidensticker

Tilman Seidensticker pursued Arabic and Islamic studies with philosophy and classical studies as minor at the Universities of Göttingen and Tübingen. After having received his Ph.D. in Tübingen, he worked first as assistant professor, then as associate professor at the University of Gießen from 1983 until 1995. Ewald Wagner, then chair for Oriental Studies at Gießen, introduced him to the research field of Arabic manuscripts. In 1995, Tilman Seidensticker accepted the chair for Islamic studies at the University of Jena where he is also heading the section for “Arabic Manuscripts” of the long term project “Cataloguing Arabic Manuscripts in Germany” (Academy of Sciences of Göttingen) since 1997. He has been involved with manuscript studies in Hamburg already since 2008 when he joined the former research group “Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa” (2008-2011). Further research interests include pre-Islamic religious history, early Islamic poetry and aspects of contemporary Islam.

Prof. Dr. Seidensticker's Website | Contact

Prof. Dr. Seidensticker about his work at CSMC:

During my stay in the CSMC I plan to intensify the cooperation with my Hamburg colleagues in the first place and supervise the two PhD theses on the layout in Arabic manuscripts (sub-project B05). Furthermore, as Regional Editor of the Encyclopaedia of Manuscripts in Asia and Africa I will continue to advance the assignment of tasks in the field of the Arabic-Persian-Turkish manuscript culture. Finally, inspired by the CSMC Workshop on "Manuscripts in Motion" I plan dealing with the question of "How Arabic manuscripts moved to German libraries.

October 2012 – December 2012


Dr. Uta Lauer

Uta Lauer has been working as a guest professor at the University of Stockholm since 2007 and teaches Chinese art and art history there. Before moving to Sweden, she spent two years working as a guest professor at Huanan Normal University in Guangzhou and at Shanghai Normal University. A research scholarship from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation enabled her to work on a project on the iconography of the banana plant in Chinese art, which led her to write a number of scholarly articles and talks on the subject which she held at conferences, culminating in a book that is to be published. Dr Lauer first began to focus her attention on the academic study of Chinese writing and calligraphy much earlier in her career when she was a college assistant at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She has been the editor of an academic journal called Studien zur Ostasiatischen Schriftkunst [Studies on East Asian Calligraphy] for a number of years now. She reviews academic publications for several international journals and also works for the German Research Foundation as an expert reviewer. At the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the University of Hamburg, she will be chairing the ‘Manuscripts in Motion’ workshop in November 2012 and is to hold a talk entitled ‘Shattered Frames – Challenging the Credibility of Colophons’ in January 2013 as part of the conference called ‘Edges and Frameworks on Manuscripts’. Her work on the relationship between calligraphy and the writing of Buddhist sutras is expected to be published in issue no. 5 of manuscript cultures.


Dr. Lauer about her work at CSMC:

At CSMC, I particularly like the regular talks held on Thursdays as I can discuss questions that relate to all of the writing cultures concerned with colleagues from round the world and from all kinds of disciplines. The various workshops and conferences are also extremely worthwhile and give me a lot of new ideas for my own work.

September 2012 – February 2013


Prof. Dr. Giuseppe De Gregorio

Prof Dr Giuseppe De Gregorio was born in Rome in 1962. He studied Palaeography and Diplomatics as well as Classical Philology at the University of Rome "La Sapienza" where he also pursued Byzantine and Medieval Studies (from 1981 to 1986). Giuseppe De Gregorio continued training with Prof Dr Dieter Harlfinger in Berlin and Hamburg, Germany, between 1987 and 1992. From 1992 to 1998, he worked as a research assistant in Greek Palaeography at the University of Rome "La Sapienza" before he accepted a chair in Greek Palaeography and Byzantine Studies at the University of Salerno in 1998 (from 1998 to 2001 as an associate professor, and, since 2002, as a chair). Furthermore, he is teaching Greek Palaeography at the Scuola Speciale per Archivisti e Bibliotecari of the University of Rome "La Sapienza" since 2007. Giuseppe De Gregorio is coaching Master students and doctoral candidates at the University of Salerno and the University of Rome "La Sapienza". From 2005 to 2011, Giuseppe De Gregorio was a member of different scientific institutions of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Committee for Byzantine Studies, Board of Trustees of the Institute for Byzantine Studies, Advisory Council for the Centre of Medieval Studies); in Vienna, he participated among other things in cataloguing projects and in preparing new projects in Byzantine studies (the scribes of the Viennese Greek manuscripts, the Patriarchal Register of Constantinople, the Viennese Greek palimpsests). Furthermore, as a member of the Committee "Indici e cataloghi delle biblioteche italiane" of the Italian Ministry of Culture, Giuseppe De Gregorio is in charge of a project for cataloguing the Greek manuscripts of the National Library Vittorio Emanuele II in Rome. In addition, he headed a research group for "Interaction between the East and the West in the Byzantine World: Literary, Hagiographical and Liturgical Aspects of Manuscript Production from the 6th to the 15th Century" (2000-2003). Furthermore, he is a member of the Comité International de Paléographie Grecque and became President of the Italian Palaeographical Society in 2006. Giuseppe De Gregorio’s research interests focus among others on Greek literary and book culture in the Palaiologon period and Renaissance, the reception of the Greek Epigrammar in Byzantine poetry, the written records of Byzantine anti-Jewish treatises and the study of texts and documents on Byzantine monastic foundations; his scientific work is also generally focused on the cataloguing of Greek book inventories (with a particular focus on the written records of the Corpus Aristotelicum) as well as the study of the development of Greek book minuscules.

Prof. Dr. De Gregorio's website | Contact

Prof. Dr. De Gregorio about his work at the CSMC:

While working at the CSMC, I plan finishing two articles. The first article is focusing on aspects of the transmission and reception of ancient and Byzantine authors during the Palaiologon period with a particular focus on Maximos Planudes (between Constantinople and Thessaloniki) and his copies of philosophical-rhetorical texts (particularly Libanios, Aristeides and Philo of Alexandria) and on the reception of the Epigrammar; as to Philo I will try to reconstruct a distinctive Constantinopolitan tradition by identifying hands from the Emperor’s chancellery.
The second article will deal with aspects of the manuscript production of Byzantine anti-Jewish treatises. While working on my project in Hamburg, it will be possible to analyze by means of concrete examples some phenomena in terms of transmission and reception that are characteristic of the Greek East and examine at the same time certain aspects of the manuscript culture in the late Byzantine society and Osman Constantinople of the 16th century.
Furthermore, I am planning to start preliminary work in connection with a study of membra disiecta (fragments of one single codicological unit which today are kept in different libraries) with a particular focus on specific manuscripts existing in Germany and Italy.

June 2012 – August 2012


Dr. Imre Galambos

After having received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002, until now Imre Galambos has worked for the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) at the British Library. In the autumn of 2012, he begins his new post as Lecturer in pre-modern Chinese studies at the University of Cambridge. Initially, his field of research was early China, particularly the scripts of the Warring States period as seen in newly excavated texts. This is the topic to which his first book was devoted (Orthography of Early Chinese Writing, 2006). However, since his involvement with IDP, he became interested in the manuscript culture of Dunhuang and his focus changed to the medieval period. His second book, co-authored with Tibetologist Sam van Schaik, analyses a group of manuscripts from Dunhuang that used to belong to a Chinese monk passing through the Hexi region on his way to the holy sites of India (Manuscripts and Travellers: The Sino-Tibetan Documents of a Tenth-century Buddhist Pilgrim). In addition, Imre Galambos has also been studying Tangut texts from Khara-Khoto and is currently preparing a full study of a manuscript held at the Stein collection of the British Library.

Dr. Galambos's website | Contact

Dr. Imre Galambos about his work at the CSMC:

During my stay at the CSMC I plan to work on my new book on a Tangut manuscript from Khara-Khoto, which is a translation of Jiangyuan (‘General’s Garden’), a Chinese military treatise attributed to Zhuge Liang. Since the earliest Chinese editions of the text date to the Ming dynasty, the Tangut translation is in fact the earliest surviving version and may help us not only to reconstruct a lost Song edition of the text but also to date the work with higher precision. The manuscript, along with a series of translations of other military texts, also provides valuable information on when, why and how secular Chinese texts were translated into Tangut. Finally, much can be learned about Tangut manuscript culture, a subject that has been relatively neglected in the past, as the field has been mostly concerned with matters of linguistics and philology. While there have been studies of the role of the Tangut in the history of printing, especially their use of moveably types, the manuscript tradition of the Western Xia is a field that is still largely unexplored.

April 2012 – September 2012


Prof. Dr. Alexis G. J. S. Sanderson

After taking an undergraduate degree first in Classics (1969) and then in Sanskrit (1971) at Balliol College, Oxford, Alexis Sanderson spent six years in Kashmir, studying with a scholar and traditional guru of Saivism. He was Lecturer in Sanskrit in the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wolfson College from 1977 to 1992. From 1992 to the present he has occupied the Chair of Eastern Religions and Ethics in the same university, and as the holder of that post became a Fellow of All Souls College. His field is early medieval religion in India and Southeast Asia, focusing on the history of Saivism, its relations with the state, and its influence on Buddhism and Vaishnavism. In addition to his research, he trains both undergraduate and postgraduate students at Oxford, especially those undertaking the M.Phil. in Classical Indian Religion and those preparing theses for the D.Phil.

Prof. Dr. Sanderson's website | Contact

Prof Dr Sanderson about his work at the CSMC:

During my stay in the CSMC I plan to complete two books. The first, The Śaiva Age, seeks to demonstrate and explain the rise to dominance during the early medieval period in India and Southeast Asia of newly developed forms of religion collectively termed Śaivism that are centred on the propitiation of the god Śiva and various goddesses accommodated as his consort. The evidence I am examining is epigraphic, material, and textual. In the last of these three, which is much the most abundant, I am showing how each of Śaivism’s principal rivals for patronage, the Vai. sn. avas, the Buddhists, and the Jains, adapted themselves to Śaivism’s success by developing new ritual systems along Śaiva lines, and in doing so produced new scriptural corpora in which there is extensive evidence of the wholesale incorporation of Śaiva scriptural material, often with less than effective efforts at disguising the origin of these passages through revision.
At this stage the book requires a certain amount of minor work throughout but also the addition of a chapter in which I shall set forth evidence that I have recently uncovered of such ‘pious plagiarism’ by the Jains, notably that the Jain Nirvān. akalikā, a standard work on the procedures for regular worship, initiation, and the consecration of idols and temples, is in fact a redaction of the as yet unpublished Śaiva ritual manual Siddhāntasārapaddhati of Bhojadeva that survives in two early palm-leaf manuscripts in Nepal photographed by the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project (NGMPP).
The second book, Śaivism and Brahmanism will examine the shifting relations during the same period between the rising Śaiva tradition and the brahmanical mainstream. The book will chart a process of increasing distancing and mutual hostility followed by one of rapprochement that eventually threatened Śaivism’s sense of itself as a separate and superior religion and by a concomitant reaction against this rapprochement in various Śākta Śaiva cults of an antinomian character that were taken up in certain elite circles as the means of transcending the restraints and inhibitions of brahmanical orthopraxy. The last section of the book, in which this reaction will be explored, will be written here.

October 2011 – March 2012


Dr. Mauro Nobili

Mauro Nobili graduated in 2004 in the Department for Arabic and African Studies with a thesis on Islam and Traditional Religions in the Empire of Mali and in 2008 received his Ph.D. in African Studies with a dissertation titled The Formative Period in Timbuktu's History, both at the University of Naples «L’Orientale». In spring 2012 he will join the University of Cape Town as a fellow.
His main fields of interest are the history of pre-colonial West Africa and the manuscript traditions in this region. He has been working for the Series Catalogorum, an Italian-French project of cataloguing Islamic manuscripts that involves the Instituto per L’Oriente «C.A. Nallino» (Rome) and the CNRS – Monde Iranien et Indien (Paris). His most recent contributions focus mainly on the script styles displayed in West African manuscripts.

Dr. Nobili's website | Contact

Dr. Nobili about his work at the CSMC:

During my stay at CSMC I plan to finalize my full scale catalogue of the De Gironcourt collection of West African Arabic manuscripts, hosted at the Institut de France in Paris. I am also developing a database of catalogues of Islamic manuscripts from sub-Saharan Africa and I am writing an article for the CSMC journal about the state of the catalogues of West African collections. I will also complete an article on the West African script style from the Saharan region between Timbuktu and the Atlantic shores which is part of my forthcoming project as Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Cape Town.
I am organizing two public lectures by Shamil Jeppie (Tombouctou Manuscripts Project, University of Cape Town, South Africa) and by Terence Walz (Independent Scholar, Washington DC) and, with Dmitry Bondarev, the international workshop “West African Arabic Manuscripts. Encyclopaedic Dimension of Study,” scheduled for March 2012.