Nina Sietis, Reading ‘la plume à la main’: Case Studies of Secondary Metrical Paratexts

The second lecture in the online lecture series Speaking From the Margins. DBBE Online Lectures, Spring 2022 Series will be given by Nina Sietis (University of Cassino and Southern Lazio).

Nina Sietis is currently Assistant Professor (Ricercatrice a tempo determinato) at University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, were she contributes to the activities of the project MeMo – Memory of Montecassino ( and teaches History of the Book. Her research interests lie primarily in Greek palaeography and codicology: she published papers and gave talks concerning different topics over the long course of Greek writing history.


Medieval men used to read the manuscripts they came across «la plume à la main» and to leave notes on them. These texts are invaluable evidence for understanding interests and habits of readers during the Middle Ages. The aim of my paper is to show how metrical annotations added by later readers, namely what I call ‘secondary metrical paratexts’, offer an invaluable insight into the reconstruction of the links between different manuscripts and textual traditions. I will firstly focus on a prolific but anonymous reader from the late 11th century and the manuscripts he owned. The last part of my speech will be devoted to some notes added in the margins of manuscripts of the Monastery of St. John Prodromos of Petra in Constantinople.

Practical information

Date & time: Thursday 17 March 2022, 4:00pm (CET)

No registration required. The lecture is freely accessible via Zoom:

  • Meeting ID: 973 6023 5794
  • Passcode: t7pA7uEu

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