The Codex Bononiensis – International Workshop on the Gothic palimpsest from Bologna

17 april 2015
10:00‑18:00h, followed by drinks
Université de Lausanne, Centre de Linguistique et des Sciences du Langage, organised by Anita Auer & Michiel de Vaan


Recently, a Gothic palimpsest was discovered in Bologna in a manuscript of St. Augustine’s De Civitate Dei. The reading of the Gothic text was published by Finazzi & Tornaghi in 2013, an improved reading by Falluomini 2014.

It is the most spectacular find of Gothic after the rediscovery of the Codex Argenteus in the sixteenth century. Contrary to the other known manuscripts, the Codex Bononiensis contains a collection of Bible citations from various books of the Old and New Testament. In addition, the text features a narrator who gives us glimpses of Gothic free speech. The Bible citations were evidently put together because of their content but the exact purpose of the text remains to be determined.

The Bologna palimpsest raises many new questions for historians of the Goths and early medieval Italy, for linguists studying the Gothic language, for philologists of the Gothic text tradition and the early medieval Bible transmission, for theologists studying the religion of the Goths and early Christianity. The purpose of this workshop is to bring the palimpsest to the attention of a wider scientific audience, and to exchange ideas about the text and its implications for various disciplines.



  • Carla Falluomini (Università degli Studi di Torino)

            Der Codex Bononiensis und die anderen gotischen Handschriften: paläographisch-­‐

            ‑kodikologische und textkritische Anmerkungen

  • Rosa Bianca Finazzi & Paola Tornaghi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuora, Milano)

            Gothica Bononiensia: De la découverte à nos jours

  • Peter Alexander Kerkhof (Leiden University)

            Retracing the Lines: an independent reading of the lacunae in the Bologna fragment

  • Arend Quak (University of Amsterdam & Leiden University)

            Eine gotische Predigt

  • Roland Schuhmann (Universität Jena & Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften)

            Linguistic notes on the Gothica Bononiensia

  • Marcus Sigismund (Bergische Universität Wuppertal & Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal)

            Sermones Bononienses? Annäherungen an Form und Gattung der Gotica Bononiensia

  • Brendan Wolfe (University of Oxford)

            The Bolognia fragments in their historical and theological context


Attendance is free. We encourage all those interested in this topic to take part in the workshop, from all disciplines. For logistic reasons, please inscribe using the following web form – click HERE:


Falluomini, Carla. 2014. Zum gotischen Fragment aus Bologna. Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum und deutsche Literatur 143, 281–305.
Finazzi, Rosa Bianca & Paola Tornaghi. 2013. Gothica Bononiensia: Analisi linguistica e filologica di un nuovo documento. Aevum 87, 113–155.
An English translation of Finazzi/Tornaghi 2013 has appeared in 2014 in Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic Linguistics and Semiotic Analysis 19, 1–57.


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