The version of the Great Stemma in the present edition contains only that content which was observed by the author of the Liber Genealogus G at the time of his reading of the chart in 427 CE.

The graphic versions of the Great Stemma which have come down to us tend to be considerably more extensive than that. Although the many accretions are a hindrance to obtaining the original text, they offer a benefit as well: they allow us to trace how the Great Stemma was used and altered over time. We are able to conjecture the varying states of the diagram at different stages of its transmission.

As an organizing principle, we will distinguish among these recensions by labelling the types with Greek letters. The reader is advised to print out the stemma codicum and keep it at hand before reading the following sections.

To begin with, we apply the siglum Ω (Omega) to the common prototype reflected in the Liber Genealogus G, the furthest back we can reliably trace the Great Stemma, but perhaps even then not the very earliest form in which the Great Stemma was authored. A close reading of G (Appendix) suggests the G author may have worked from a chart containing certain other graphical features which soon after went missing in the copying process. Prime examples of this are roundels for six grandsons of Reuben and Judah (see Arrangement 10 Leah). These are not shown on any surviving graphic version.

The next type generation, a recension for which we adopt the siglum Ψ (Psi), describes the graphic seen by the author of the Liber Genealogus L in 455 CE. This contains fresh graphic modules which thereafter stay with the Great Stemma throughout its history:

The latter synchronism [105,6] indicates the first attempt to realign the diagram's chronology with that laid out by Eusebius of Caesarea.

Still in this trunk stage in the Great Stemma's transmission, we can identify one further version. It pertains to the the late fifth or perhaps the sixth century. For this last trunk recension we adopt the siglum Χ (Chi). This is marked by the loss, perhaps by fault of scribal negligence, of the following two elements:

Knowing of the above omissions it might have been justifiable for the present edition to reconstruct all four missing roundels and insert them, but it has been decided not to do so since we have no certainty about how the rest of the graphic layout was adjusted to accommodate them.[*]The two Judges omissions are later recuperated with new wording in Iota thus: Post Samgar vero servierunt filii Israel Iabin regi Chanaan annis XX, and Post Ysair vero cui fuit iudex Israel servierunt Philistim et filius Ammon per annos XVIII.

Three other supplements which the Zeta editor later recognizes as corruptions are a new graphic module, along with two notable glosses:

The latter two changes can be taken as an indication that the users of the Great Stemma at this time (the sixth century?) were still consulting scripture using the Vetus Latina, not the Vulgate Latin translation. The curious comment on Loth might be the work of a minor patristic writer, but is difficult to place. The argumentation, that the incest was not a serious sin because Lot's drunkenness had deprived him of the intent which is a necessary element in guilt, recalls a view of Origen, who writes in his Homilies on Genesis 5.3: [*]Translation by Ronald E Heine in Sheridan, Mark. Genesis 12-50, 80.

Nor again do I think he should be so accused that he ought to become party to such serious incest .... But neither would he have been ensnared by the girls unless he could have been inebriated. Thus he seems to me to be found partly culpable and partly excusable. For indeed he can be excused because ... he is shown neither to have wished nor consented to those wishing. But he is at fault ... because he indulged in wine too much.

The last, and perhaps most remarkable feature of Chi is an error in the names of the mothers of the Judaean kings, apparently caused by nudging a row of roundels several places to the right while the chart was still in roll form. All of the surviving manuscripts are infected with this Bumped Royal Wives error, which has been repaired by the present edition. The complex defect is demonstrated by an animation.

The fact that this defect is universal in the manuscripts suggests that the transmission of the Great Stemma from late antiquity to the medieval period relied on a single graphic surviving, thwarting any consultation of a more correct source. That copy was most likely one that had already been sectioned up into pages to be conserved in codex form, a Chi junior as it were. Its page division most probably split the whole infographic into eighteen "tables", such as we find in the bibles of Parc, Floreffe and Foigny. Posterior revisions in the sectioning will be discussed below.

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