Texts and Contexts

Naples Text

Our research spans a number of different interests, from textual exegesis to critical theory, and crosses time, from ancient Egypt and early Greek narrative to modern performance, passing though the literatures of the Roman Empire, the Chinese world, the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern period.

Our primary focus is the spoken and written word. Creative writing publications in prose, poetry and drama sit alongside, and are informed by, research on contemporary texts. Interests lie through as well as within time periods: for instance, in the reception of the epic tradition or the portrayal of the nightingale.

Stimulus is given through cross-over with interests in science (as shown by the study of texts in the context of anatomy) and material culture (as evidenced by a project on the literary depiction of Roman textiles).

Narratological literature continues to be a focus of study for the Classicists since the founding in 2004 of KYKNOS, the Swansea and Lampeter centre for research on the narrative literatures of the ancient world.

Research Activities

The Cult of Saints in Wales (Prof. Jane Cartwright) 

AHRC-funded research project- transcriptions, editions and translations of hagiographical texts, along with images of the manuscripts and public lectures will be made available throughout 2017 on the project website.

F.E.R.C.A.N Project (Dr Ralph Haeussler)

The aim of the F.E.R.C.AN. (Fontes epigraphici religionum celticarum antiquarum) project is a better understanding of ‘Celtic’ deities, cults and religion(s) in Iron Age and Roman Europe. The project focusses on the analysis of the rich epigraphic evidence in Latin (as well as Celtiberic, Lepontic, Gallo-Greek, Gallo-Latin ones) in a wider socio-religious context.

Middle English Texts (Dr William Marx, FLSW, FEA, FRHS)

William Marx is one of three general editors for the series Middle English Texts; the other general editors are Dr Margaret Connolly from the University of St Andrews and Professor Hans Sauer of the University of Munich.  This is a long-term international project to make available critical editions of previously unpublished texts composed in or translated into Middle English.  The series is published by Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg.  It was established in 1975 and to date has published 54 volumes, with a number of editions in preparation. Volume editors are from the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Africa, US, Canada, and Japan.

William is a Member of the Council of the Early English Text Society.

In press or in preparation

Bunt, Gary. ‘The Qur’an and the Internet’, chapter in Maria Dakake and Dan Madigan, Eds. Routledge Companion to the Qur’an (in press)

Haeussler, Ralph (with contributions by A.C. King, R. Jackson and R. Tomlin). Corpus-F.E.R.C.AN. (Fontes Epigraphici Religionis Celticae Antiquae), fascicule: Britannia. Wien/Vienna: ÖAW, The Austrian Academy of Science. 2 vols. (in preparation for 2017-2018).

Haeussler, Ralph. Corpus-F.E.R.C.AN. (Fontes Epigraphici Religionis Celticae Antiquae), fascicule Gallia Narbonensis. Wien/Vienna: ÖAW, The Austrian Academy of Science. 2 vols. (in preparation for 2017-2018).

Jansen, Thomas. “The Sacralization of Landscape as Memory Space in Early Medieval China.” In: R. Haeussler, E.M. Betts, G. F. Chiai (eds.). Sacred Landscapes: Creation, Manipulation & Transformation. Oxford: Oxbow, forthcoming.

Zinn, Katharina. Creation and conservation of Sacred Landscapes: Amarna and Abydos – keeping the spirit alive? In: R. Haeussler, E.M. Betts, G. F. Chiai (eds.). Sacred Landscapes: Creation, Manipulation & Transformation. Oxford: Oxbow, forthcoming.

Zinn, Katharina. Literacy in pharaonic Egypt. In: A. Kolb (ed.) Literacy in ancient everyday life – Schriftlichkeit im antiken Alltag. Berlin: De Gryuter (in preparation for 2017-2018).


Bunt, Gary. ‘Social Media and the Internet’, in Macmillan Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Muslim World, Richard C. Martin (editor), (New York: Macmillan Reference, 2016)

Cartwright, Jane (ed.). The Cult of St Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2016).

Jansen, Thomas. “Embodied spirituality and self-divinization: A re-reading of the Legend of Princess Miaoshan.” In Exploring the Materiality of Food “Stuffs”: Archaeological and Anthropological Perspectives. Ed. by Louise Steel and Katharina Zinn. London: Routledge, 2016, pp. 103-117. 

Marx, William, ‘St Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins: the Middle English Legenda aurea Tradition’, in The Cult of St Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins, ed. by Jane Cartwright (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2016), pp. 143–62.

Marx, William, ‘Peculiar Versions of the Middle English Prose Brut and Textual Archaeology’, in The Prose Brut and Other Late Medieval Chronicles: Books Have Their Histories, Essays in Honour of Lister M. Matheson, ed. by Jaclyn Rajsic, Erik Kooper, and Dominique Hoche (Woodbridge: York Medieval Press, 2016), pp. 94–104.

Parkes, Ruth. 'Claudian (Claudius Claudianus)''. In Oxford Bibliographies in Classics. Ed. Dee Clayman. New York: Oxford University Press. 2016.

Williams, Catrin H. “Text and Experience: Reflections on ‘Seeing’ in the Gospel of John”, in B. Schmidt (ed.), The Study of Religious Experience (London: Equinox, 2016), 135-50.

Williams, Jeni. “Place, Space and Self: Site-Responsive Art in a Globalised World”, Journal of Writing and Creative Practice special edition: Place-based Arts (January 2016)


Parkes, Ruth. ‘Reading Statius Through a Biographical Lens', in C. Newlands, W. Dominik, and K. Gervais (edd.), Brill's Companion to Statius (Brill, 2015), 463-78.

Parkes, Ruth. 'Love or War? Erotic and martial poetics in Claudian's De Raptu Proserpinae', Classical Journal 110.4 (2015), 471-92.

Marx, William, ‘Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, MS Peniarth 12: The Development of a Bilingual Miscellany – Welsh and English’, in Insular Books: Vernacular Manuscript Miscellanies in Late Medieval Britain, ed. by Margaret Connolly and Raluca Radulescu, Proceedings of the British Academy, 201 (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 2015), pp. 247–62.


Ihssen, Brenda Llewellyn. John Moschos’ Spiritual Meadow: Authority and Autonomy at the End of the Antique World. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2014.

Jansen, Thomas. “Sectarian Responses to Foreign Presence in China in the Nineteenth Century: The Wanba baojuan 萬寳寶卷 (1858) and other examples.” In: Globalization and the Making of Religious Modernity in China: Transnational Religions, Local Agents, and the Study of Religion, 1800-Present. Edited by Thomas Jansen, Thoralf Klein and Christian Meyer. Boston: Brill, 2014. 115-35.

Parkes, Ruth. ‘The 'Argonautic' expedition of the Argives: models of heroism in Statius' Thebaid', Classical Quarterly 64.2 (2014), 778-86


Cartwright, Jane. Mary Magdalene and her Sister Martha: An Edition and Translation of the Medieval Welsh Lives (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University Press, 2013) Winner of the Vernam Hull Prize

Ihssen, Brenda Llewellyn. “Money in the Meadow: Conversion and Coin in John Moschos’ Pratam Spirituale,” Studia Patristica Historica, Biblica, Theologica et Philosophica. Markus Vinzent, ed. Peeters, Leuven, Belgium.

Marx, William, ed., The Middle English ‘Liber Aureus and Gospel of Nicodemus’, edited from London, British Library, MS Egerton 2658, Middle English Texts, 48 (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2013).

Marx, William, ‘The Devil as Narrator in the Life of Christ and the Sermo Literarius’, in Preaching the Word in Manuscript and Print in Late Medieval England, ed. by Martha W. Driver and Veronica O’Mara, Sermo, 11 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013), pp. 63–81.

Marx, William, ‘The Liber Aureus and Gospel of Nicodemus: A Middle English Reading of the Meditationes Vitae Christi’, in The Pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ: Exploring the Middle English Tradition, ed. by Ian Johnson and Allan F. Westphall, Medieval Church Studies, 24 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013), pp. 283–310.

Zinn, Katharina, “Education, Pharaonic Egypt”. In: Encyclopedia of Ancient World. R. Bagnall et al. (eds.). Oxford: Blackwell, 2013. 2318–23.

Zinn, Katharina, “Libraries, Pharaonic Egypt”. In: Encyclopedia of Ancient World. R. Bagnall et al. (eds.). Oxford: Blackwell, 2013. 4061–63

Zinn, Katharina, “Literacy, Pharaonic Egypt”. In: Encyclopedia of Ancient World. R. Bagnall et al. (eds.). Oxford: Blackwell, 2013. 4100–04. 


Jansen, Thomas. “Sacred Text.” In: The Blackwell Companion to Chinese Religions. Ed. by Randall L. Nadeau. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 285-308. 

Marx, William, ‘What is Heard and What is Seen: Rhyme and Stanzaic Integrity in the A and B Versions of The Devils’ Parliament’, Leeds Studies in English, n.s. 41 (2012), pp. 123–33.

Marx, William, ‘An Absent King: Perceptions of the Politics of Power in the Reign of Richard II and the Middle English Prose Brut’, in Chaucer in Context: A Golden Age of English Poetry, ed. by Gerald Morgan (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2012), pp. 135–52.

Parkes, Ruth. Statius, Thebaid IV. Edited with a translation and commentary (OUP: Oxford Classical Monographs series).


Marx, William, ‘The Conflictus inter Deum et Diabolum and the Emergence of the Literature of Law in Thirteenth-Century England’, Thirteenth Century England, XIII (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2011), pp. 57–66.

Marx, William, ‘The Edge of Orthodoxy: The Virgin Mary, St Bernard, and the Quis dabit’, in Fact and Fiction: From the Middle Ages to Modern Times, Münchener Universitätsschriften, 37 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2011), pp. 127–39.

Zinn, Katharina. “Temples, Palaces and Libraries – a search for their alliance between archaeological and textual evidence”. In: K. Spence, R. Gundlach Fifth Symposium on Egyptian Royal Ideology: Palace and Temple – Architecture, Decoration, Ritual. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2011 (Königtum, Staat und Gesellschaft früher Hochkulturen; 4,2), 181-202.

A seclection of recent events 

March 2017: Dr Maria Fleischhack, Leipzig University “Narrating Ancient Egypt: Egypt in the 19th and early 20th century Victorian Literature”

February 2017:  Dr William Marx, ‘John Warrin’s Great Book: National Library of Wales MS 5006’, Aberystwyth Bibliographical Group, Methodist Centre, Aberystwyth.

November 2016: Dr Amy Maitland, UCL “Hands in Context: Gesture, Communication and Meaning in Maya Art”

January 2016: BANEA Conference Sacred Nature & Structuring the Sacred: Constructing and Re-Writing Sacred Landscapes in the Ancient Near East. Convenors: Dr Ralph Haeussler (UWTSD), Gian Franco Chiai (BBAW, Berlin)

November 2015: Dr Peter Mitchell, ‘Pilgrimage “into the maine”: Anatomical and Colonial Encounter in Works by John Donne and Samuel Purchas’, The Marcher Metaphysicals, Gregynog Hall, Powys: conference of the George Herbert Society and the Vaughan Association, organised by Bangor University and Aarhus Universitet.

September 2015:  Dr William Marx, ‘Middle English Texts: Past, Present, and Future’, conference ‘Editing and Interpretation: Literatures of Medieval England’, University of Hull.

July 2015:  Dr William Marx, ‘Refashioning the Life of St Ursula: Chronicle and Legend’, conference ‘Telling Tales: Manuscripts, Books and the Making of Narrative’, Early Book Society Conference, Saint Anne’s College, Oxford.

October 2014: Dr William Marx, ‘The Devil as Advocate in Medieval Literature’, English Research Seminars, University of Hull.

October 2014: Dr Peter Mitchell, ‘Early Modern Anatomical Book Illustration’, Aberystwyth Bibliographical Group, National Library of Wales.

October 2014: Dr Peter Mitchell, ‘Figuring Cardio-vascular Anatomy in Phineas Fletcher’s Purple Island (1633)’, Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) research seminar series.

August 2014: Workshop on the internet and Islam (chair, convener and presenter: Prof. Gary Bunt): ‘Islamic Big Data.’ International Society for Media, Religion and Culture, International Conference. University of Canterbury.

May 2014: ConferenceSacred Landscapes: Creation, Manipulation & Transformation”. Convenor: Dr Ralph Haeussler (UWTSD).

May 2014:  Dr William Marx, contributions to workshop on the culture of the medieval Welsh Marches, St John’s College, Oxford.

May 2014:  Dr William Marx, contributions to Early English Text Society, postgraduate training conference on editing, St Anne’s College, Oxford

April 2014:   Dr William Marx, ‘Affective Piety and Editing the Middle English Liber Aureus and Gospel of Nicodemus’, Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto.

Academic year 2016-17: Extracurricular interactive workshops with Dr Maria Fleischhack (Leipzig University) on narrating history and cultures, covering Creative Writing, English, History and Egyptology:

  • The many faces of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Return of the Mummy – Ancient Egypt and the British Empire

Dr Peter Mitchell, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, has curated several exhibitions on John Milton, for example:

April 2012: ‘John Milton: First and Early Editions; Burgess and the Authorship Controversy over De doctrina christiana ’, Roderic Bowen Library & Archives, UW Trinity Saint David (in conjunction with the Society for Renaissance Studies Inaugural Annual Welsh Lecture)

The Faculty publishes its own student-led journal of undergraduate research, The Student Researcher.


Oedipus Text

Ancient Greek Texts