Classics/School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures/CASSCS: Funded PhD Scholarship

Classics/School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures/CASSCS: Funded PhD Scholarship

Project Title: A study and critical edition of the Carolingian compilation De Astronomia in Laon, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 422

Supervisor: Dr Jacopo Bisagni (Classics / School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures / CASSCS / NUI, Galway)

Duration: Funded for 4 years (Structured PhD), full-time.

Project description: This Structured PhD project is a component of the larger project ‘Ireland and Carolingian Brittany: Texts and Transmission’ (IrCaBriTT), funded by the Laureate Scheme of the Irish Research Council (IRC) and led by Dr Jacopo Bisagni.
The successful applicant will transcribe, edit and analyse the Carolingian astronomical/computistical compilation titled De Astronomia, contained in the early 9th-century manuscript Laon, Bibliothèque Municipale, 422 (hereafter abbreviated as L).
In particular, thorough source-criticism of L will be aimed at identifying all the sources that underlie this impressive scientific encyclopaedia and the textual strata that compose it. Central to this work will be the attempt to understand the exact relationship between L and other Early Medieval manuscripts that share textual materials with it (especially Cologne, Dombibliothek, MS 83-II): this detailed analysis will focus on (A) the possible role played by Brittany in the creation of some of the textual strata that constitute the compilation De Astronomia, and (B) the exact route of transmission followed by the materials of Irish origin found therein.
The PhD student will moreover study the language of L, in order to retrieve, for example, syntactic and/or lexical peculiarities that may be attributable to specific forms of regional Latinity (e.g. Breton, Irish etc.).
It is expected that the PhD thesis – which will constitute this project’s main deliverable – will contain: (1) a comprehensive study of the contents, underlying sources and overall significance of L; (2) a critical edition of De Astronomia, accompanied by an English translation, a philological apparatus, and further apparati indicating sources and wider parallels; (3) a detailed textual commentary.

Stipend: €16,000 per annum; fees for 4 years: €23,000 (€5,750 x 4).

Entry Requirements:

  • Essential requirements:
    (1)undergraduate or postgraduate degree (awarded or pending) in a relevant academic area (relevant areas include but are not limited to: Classics, Medieval Studies, Celtic Studies, Historical Linguistics);
    (2) at least 1 year of study of Latin at University level (or extensive study of Latin at Secondary School level);
    (3) evidence of basic reading knowledge of French and/or German.
  • Desirable requirements:
    (1) knowledge of Medieval Latin palaeography;
    (2) knowledge of Old Irish and/or Old Breton;
    (3) previous study/research experience in the area of Ancient and/or Medieval ‘scientific’ literature (e.g. computus, astronomy, music, medicine, etc.).

Expected start date: 3 September 2018

How to apply:
Please send the following documents to Dr Jacopo Bisagni, via e-mail to
• a letter of introduction
• a current CV, indicating in particular your research experience
• the names of two referees.
• a writing sample such as an academic essay, an article, a chapter from a dissertation, etc. (samples should preferably be written in English or Irish, although samples in French, German, Italian and Spanish will also be acceptable).
• a personal research statement (max. 400 words), outlining your motivations for applying for this Scholarship, and describing how this project relates to your own research interests.

Closing date for applications: 1 June 2018, 5pm

For informal discussion, contact Dr Jacopo Bisagni at 00353 (0)91 495963 or at the e-mail address
Further information about Classics and the Moore Institute at NUI, Galway is available at and
Further information on CAMPS (the Centre for Antique, Medieval & Pre-Modern Studies at NUI, Galway) is available at
Useful information about PhDs at NUI, Galway can be accessed at