My research and teaching experience spans both the Ancient and Early Medieval Latin worlds, with an emphasis on the multiplicity of ways in which they are connected. My interests lie in investigating the transmission and reception of texts, including their continuity across conventional scholarly boundaries. My work also encompasses the medium of transmission, the manuscript, as offering integral evidence to this type of research.

My current role is a component of Dr Jacopo Bisagni’s Ireland and Carolingian Brittany: Texts and Transmission (IrCaBriTT) project. The aim of this IRC Laureate project is to use a detailed philological and palaeographical study of newly identified manuscripts to investigate the intellectual connections between early medieval Brittany and its neighbours: Ireland, Britain, and France in particular.

My focus is a compilation of Latin exegetical material containing glosses in both Old Breton and Old English. In addition to the use of these medieval vernaculars, the text and its two manuscripts evidence a complex regional network of intellectual and scribal activity. A complimentary aspect of my work is the survey and analysis of exegetical scholarship among the Bretons more broadly.

Previous to this I held a two-year IRC postdoctoral fellowship (2017–2019), under the mentorship of Dr Anthony Harvey at the Dictionary of Medieval Latin for Celtic Sources, RIA, Dublin. My project was ‘Intertextuality in early medieval exegesis: the composition and reception of the commentary on Exodus in In Pentateuchum Commentarii’. It employed a detailed textual and intertextual investigation of this text to investigate three aspects of it that have a wider significance to the field:

  • the manipulation and adaptation of Late Antique and Patristic sources by early medieval authors seeking to communicate with new readers in new cultural contexts.

  • the reception of early medieval compositions and their exegesis in a wide range of literary genres.

  • the role of Irish scholar-authors in this dynamic literary tradition.

My completed my PhD in Classics at NUI Galway (2017), supervised by Professor Michael Clarke. My thesis, ‘Images and representations of the sea in early medieval Hiberno-Latin and vernacular literature: studies in intertextuality and innovation’, looked at four genres of text: exegesis and hagiography, visions and voyages, martyrologies, and scholastic texts. It found new evidence for Continental Latin sources used in Irish works and demonstrated that the Irish authors of these works participated in the international mainstream while also adapting established and ancient Latin sources in innovative and creative ways to serve new purposes.


PhD Classics (2017), National University of Ireland Galway (‘Conceptualisations of the sea in early medieval Hiberno-Latin and Latinate literature: studies in intertextuality and innovation’)

MA Medieval Studies (2008), National University of Ireland Galway

BA Classics and English (2006), National University of Ireland Galway



(2022) ‘Tracing Breton footprints from Fleury to Reims: the codicological evidence for the exegetical compilation in Orléans 182 and Reims 395’, Études celtiques, 48, pp. 119–52.

(2022) ‘Incrementally does it: new perspectives and new opportunities in Early Medieval Digital Humanities’, Studi Irlandesi, 12, pp. 57-71. https://doi.org/10.36253/SIJIS-2239-3978-13742

(2020) ‘Schroeder, Joy A. The Book of Jeremiah. The Bible in Medieval Tradition. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans , 2017. pp. x, 323. ISBN: 978-0-8028-7329-3 (paperback).’, The Medieval Review. Available at: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/tmr/article/view/29907

(2019) ‘In Pentateuchum commentarii on the Red Sea crossing: content, composition, and coherence’, The Journal of Medieval Latin, 29, pp. 21–58. https://doi.org/10.1484/J.JML.5.118572

(2013–2014) ‘Hisperic Enigma machine: sea creatures and sources in the Hisperica famina’, Peritia, 24/25, pp. 58–72. https://doi.org/10.1484/J.PERIT.5.102738

Other publications:

(2022) ‘Talking the Talk: Gilgamesh in Conversation’ Western Classics, 4. Available at: https://www.nuigalway.ie/classics/news/newsletter/

(2021) ‘It’s Not What You Said—It’s How You Said It…’, Moore Institute, 25 August. Available at: https://mooreinstitute.ie/2021/08/25/its-not-what-you-said-its-how-you-said-it/

(2019) ‘Adventures in Zero G: Knowledge Exchange in Early Medieval Digital Humanities’, Moore Institute, 13 November. Available at: https://mooreinstitute.ie/2019/11/13/adventures-in-zero-g-knowledge-exchange-in-early-medieval-digital-humanities/

(2019) ‘Taking Manuscripts to School’, Western Classics, 2. Available at: https://www.nuigalway.ie/classics/news/newsletter/


Ancient Classics in Modern Galway (2022), organiser

NUIG Moore Institute Galway 2020 fund, €3,500

Event 1: Gilgamesh in Conversation

This public event comprised an interview with Professor Michael Clarke (Classics NUIG; author, Achilles beside Gilgamesh: mortality and wisdom early epic poetry), Marina Carr (playwright, Gilgamesh—a Galway 2020 commission), and Noeline Kavanagh (MACNAS; director, Gilgamesh—a Galway 2020 commission) at Galway City Museum, focussing on their individual engagements with this ancient epic and their view of its relevance to a modern audience. This hybrid event had live audience and was live-streamed on YouTube.

View recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6o1xWDTD6Y&feature=youtu.be

Early Medieval Digital Humanities project (2019), organiser

IRC New Foundations grant, €4,960

Development and dissemination of methodologies for the integration of early medieval studies with the digital humanities; establishment of networks of communication and collaboration between projects and individuals working in Early Medieval Digital Humanities in NUIG, Trinity College Dublin and Huygens Institute (Amsterdam, The Netherlands); transfer of essential technical and subject-specific skills, including training in Classical Text Editor software, TEI XML, and Edition Visualisation Software.

Planet Ocean workshop (2019), consortium member

IRC Creative Connections grant, €6,417

Participants from NGOs and cultural institutions as far afield as Singapore and Germany shared a wide array of experiences and perspectives on our ocean environments and communities. Inviting open discussion between contributors and audience, the workshop aimed to better understand how people study, engage with, and learn about the ocean, and so to highlight the importance of the global marine environment. [https://www.irishhumanities.com/blog/planet-ocean-workshop/]

Upcoming Talks and Conferences


Manuscripts and Written Culture in Early Medieval Brittany, NUIG, 10 June 2022: ‘Breaking up the collection: compilation process behind the Glossae in Vetus et Nouum Testamentum in Orléans 182 and Reims 395’

International Medieval Conference, University of Leeds, 9 July 2021: ‘Exegesis among Bretons at home and abroad in the Early Middle Ages’

International Congress Of Celtic Studies, Bangor University, 23 July 2019: ‘Textual transmission between Ireland, Brittany and Francia in the Carolingian age: the exegetical evidence’

International Conference in Patristic Studies, Oxford University, 22 Aug. 2019; ‘Anonymous authority: collating versions and compiling sources in In Pentateuchum Commentarii and its manuscripts’

Sarah Corrigan

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