Editorial Principles


Editing an antique infographic in a digital medium is an experiment with few precedents in the study of classical or late antiquity. The alternative, to have rendered the diagram in a printed book, even with a foldout chart, would not have done such a complex creative work justice.

The most important adaptation has been to separate the critical apparatus into several standalone sets:

After a great deal of investigation and experimentation it was settled that the original Great Stemma was laid out on a grid ten rows high. Its author preserved blank space in the centre of the diagram to make the separations between the sections clearer. This principle has guided the work of graphic reconstruction.

The textual apparatus and source tables are numbered according to the columns and rows of the graphic. The coordinates used are comma-separated: to the left of the comma is a column number (counted from left, 1-117) and to the right of the comma is a row number (from the top, 0-9). The tables are as comprehensive as possible, including a great many comments by medieval readers which are not part of the original Great Stemma. However the tables do not include the copious citations from Isidore in the Iota bibles or the Ordo Annorum Mundi. Nor do they include the brief summary of the Alexander Romance penned in P.

Additional study material is available in the downloadable database, including readings from the Foigny bible, a field containing the paragraph numbers of matching entries in Mommsen's composite edition of the Liber Genealogus and translations to Spanish, French and German.

Given that the great part of the Great Stemma text comprises more than 500 names taken from the Vetus Latina bible, its importance to Latin philology is limited, so no overly rigid principles have been applied in re-establishing these names. The readings are generally taken from Ac, with Ro supplying emendations when Ac is clearly in error and P being the manuscript of last resort. In some cases, the Freiburg Vetus Latina has been consulted or direct transliterations from the Septuagint Greek have been used as a guide.

Wherever the manuscripts contain e for classical ae or -cio for –tio, this orthography has been reproduced in the tabulations. However manuscript distinctions between u and v have been normalized to 20th-century practice in Latin printed books in the English-speaking world, with v representing consonantal use and u representing vowel use. Abbreviations such as the Tironian et or a p with a horizontal stroke through its descender have been routinely and silently expanded. Variations in the form of i (j) or s have been ignored, with the plain transcription i and s used throughout.

The graphic object contains little or no punctuation, since every phrase is graphically separate. The initial letters of names and sentences have been capitalized in accord with modern English practice.

The English translations in the textual apparatus were prepared by Seumas Macdonald. Any errors are entirely the fault of the editor interfering. The English forms of the names are largely those found in the Jerusalem Bible, but in some cases its transcriptions have been set aside to instead reflect wider English convention.

The sigla used in this edition are those used by Załuska, extended where necessary by the editor. To avoid disrupting Załuska's sigla for the recensions, her sigla from the beginning of the Greek alphabet have been retained, while Greek letters from Omega backwards have been chosen by the editor for the hyparchetypes. Manuscripts which had no siglum from Neuss or Załuska have been given sigla. These are laid out in the table of manuscripts.

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