Graphical Apparatus


A graphical apparatus is still a novelty among the editions of ancient literature. In the case of the Great Stemma, careful comparison of the extant layouts is of greater importance to reconstructing an ur-archetype than the collation of a text which has few surprises on offer.[*]Ken Saito's work to reconstruct the diagrams of Euclid without anachronism by plotting the chief witnesses is among exemplary diagrammatic editing projects, as is Reviel Netz's Works of Archimedes.

Each page of this apparatus consists of:

The capital manuscripts for the purpose of graphical reconstruction are P (blue) and Ro (clay-colored), and as these mostly provide the chosen reading, they are usually the points of departure for any comparison. Lesser witnesses are adduced only where they may add to our understanding of the Great Stemma author's intention. The commentary attached to each section draws attention to the clues, explores the docking notation and occasionally, as in the case of the Horrites, extends to the transmission of the work and difficulties thrown up by the later recensions.

This edition's reconstructions are based on several cardinal assumptions:

The superficial resemblance of the stemmata to a modern family tree is misleading. The connectors between the roundels vary in their connotations according to context. Roundels do sometimes dock onto other roundels in ramifying patterns, but they can also dock together to form chains, both vertical (pendants) and horizontal (necklaces). When roundels dock to a bar, this may either signify a harem or the fact that a line of descendants exists through divine guidance. The following tabulation of the patterns used is taken from my book Mind's Eye, where the issue is discussed in detail:[*]Piggin, Jean-Baptiste. Mind's Eye. Auckland: Cernimus, 2018.

Docking form Relationship Type Example
Ramification Patriarchs’ and matriarchs’ children Rachel’s sons
Pendant chain Nether descendants, grouped Rachel’s great-grandchildren
Necklace Dynastic Descendants of Cain
Queue Passage of historical time Seven phases after Ibzan’s judgeship
Bar-docked (filum) Divinely guided procreation Fila from Adam to Christ
Bar-docked (harem) Polygamy David’s wives

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Creative Commons License The Great Stemma: A Graphic History in the Fifth Century by Jean-Baptiste Piggin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.