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Natalia Smelova is an Honorary Research Fellow. She worked as a Research Associate in the AHRC funded project "The Syriac Galen Palimpsest: Galen's On Simple Drugs and the Recovery of Lost Texts through Sophisticated Imaging Techniques". Her research tasks included identification and transcription of the undertext in the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, studying the overtext in the context of Melkite liturgy and hymnology, and codicological description of both the original and the secondary manuscripts.


After graduation from St Petersburg State University as Historian/Lecturer in History (Medieval and Early Modern Studies) Natalia took postgraduate training at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences specialising in Syriac and Manuscript Studies. Her PhD thesis is focused on identification and diplomatic edition of selected liturgical texts belonging to the Syriac Melkite tradition and broader research interests include the study of textual transmission between Greek, Syriac, Armenian and Arabic traditions in the Middle Ages as well as the manuscript production in Byzantium and the Middle East. Her publications cover the fields of hymnology, patristic literature, codicology, and Syriac manuscripts from Central Asia. Before joining the University of Manchester, Natalia curated Syriac collections at the Intitute of Oriental Manuscripts in St Petersburg and held research fellowships at the French School in Rome, the Warburg Institute (University of London), Laboratoire des études sémitiques anciennes (CNRS - Collège de France) and the John Rylands Research Institute (Project: 'Studies in the History of the Syriac Octoechos', 2015).

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, University College London (UCL)

1 Oct 20131 Nov 2018

Award Date: 1 Nov 2018

Doctor of Philosophy, History (Syriac Studies), Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences

1 Oct 200031 Oct 2007

Award Date: 1 Oct 2007

Bachelor of Arts, History (Medieval and Early Modern Studies), St Petersburg State University

1 Sept 199530 Jun 2000

Award Date: 1 Jun 2000

Areas of expertise

  • PJ Semitic
  • Syriac
  • DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
  • Byzantium
  • Middle East (Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Syria, Lebanon
  • Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Codicology
  • Z665 Library Science. Information Science


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