Giovanni Battista Palumbo


In Medieval Europe, scribes continuously adapted the texts they copied. Transcribing texts into a new manuscript enabled to rework them in terms of language and style, as well as content. A text could therefore undergo significant changes in the course of its transmission, which could lead to a number of different textual versions.

These versions are of great interest as they are the witnesses to textual usage and changing cultural contexts.



Complex textual traditions raise numerous challenges. 

How were these texts adapted to meet the expectations of new readers? Which role did the medieval author, compiler or scribe have in adapting the text? How can we trace the genealogical relationship among textual witnesses? Which methods can be used to present the various stages in the historical development of a text to modern readers, from the (often lost) original to its later redactions?

Our research explores these fundamental issues, and currently focuses on: 

  • The edition of the French Corpus of the Song of Aspremont (collaborative project)
  • The elaboration of an encyclopedic dictionary of (medieval) textual editing (collaborative project)
  • The theoretical framework for textual editing in relation to the theory of restoration (individual project)


Giovanni Palumbo's NARC fellowship started on 1 October 2018 and finishes on 30 September 2020.


Other UNamur memberships


Lino Leonardi

Prof. Lino Leonardi

CNR Opera del Vocabolario Italiano 

University of Sienna, Italy


Francqui research professor mandate

Académie Royale de Belgique

Membre titulaire de la Classe des Lettres et des Sciences morales et politiques (2016)

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