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Editor's preface


Outline summary

Edited text

Translated text

Text and translation

MS Reproductions

MS Transcriptions

– About the transcriptions

– Conventions of transcription

Apparatus criticus

Textual Commentary



MS Transcriptions

Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 402

f1r | f1v | f2r | f2v | f3r | f3v | f4r | f4v

London, British Library, Cotton MS Cleopatra C. vi

f4r | f4v | f5r | f5v | f6r | f6v | f7r | f7v | f8r | f8v | f9r

London, British Library, Cotton MS Nero A xiv

f1r | f1v | f2r | f2v | f3r | f3v

About the transcriptions

The transcriptions have been redone from the manuscripts, using the conventions listed below, but are heavily indebted to the existing transcriptions in the EETS diplomatic editions by Tolkien 1962 (Corpus 402), Dobson 1972 (Cleopatra C. vi) and Day 1952 (Nero A.xiv).

The notes on the transcription of Cleopatra, whose text was extensively worked over by two later annotators, C2 (Dobson's ‘Scribe B’, possibly the author of Ancrene Wisse) and the late-C13 C3 (Dobson's ‘Scribe D’) are not comprehensive; in particular, the numerous alterations to MS punctuation by both scribes are not recorded. Interested readers are recommended to check Dobson's much fuller and more analytical annotations.

Conventions of transcription

These conventions draw (with some minor modifications) on the current general EETS guidelines (Notes for Editors, 1994), and on the conventions observed in earlier EETS editions of Ancrene Wisse manuscripts.

  1. Transcriptions should be unemended (though damaged or missing letters may be supplied); notes on scribal errors and problematic readings may be provided at the editor's discretion.
  2. Abbreviations (including the Tironian nota for ‘and’, and the abbreviation of ‘that’ by thorn with a crossbar through the ascender) should be expanded, and the expansion indicated by italics. ‘Otiose strokes’ in C15 MSS should not be reproduced if they fall in the middle of a word, but should be indicated by an apostrophe if they occur finally.
  3. ‘Manuscript use of ‘u’ and ‘v’ and of ‘i’ and ‘j’ should be preserved. Ambiguous letters, such as ‘y’ / ‘thorn’ or ‘yogh’ / ‘z’ in some manuscripts, should be interpreted according to their phonetic intentions and exceptional cases explained in the prefatory note’ (‘Notes for Editors’). Initial ‘ff’ should be represented as ‘F’. ‘Wyn’ should be displayed as w (though its presence can be recorded in the XML mark-up if required); the special characters ‘eth’, ‘thorn’, and ‘yogh’ should be both recorded in the XML mark-up and displayed where this is practically possible, though alternate characters may be displayed if necessary. This on-line edition, for the reasons given in the Editor's Preface, replaces lower-case ‘yogh’ by the numeral ‘3’, and upper-case ‘yogh’ by ‘3’ underlined.
  4. MS punctuation should be recorded in the mark-up. Where the punctuation cannot be displayed on-screen, alternate characters may have to be used. In this on-line edition, the full stop is used to render the punctus, the semicolon for the punctus elevatus, and the question-mark for the punctus interrogativus. NB this is not a modernization of punctuation but a substitution of characters; the modern symbols in the transcription should be understood as having the function of the medieval characters they replace.
  5. Where letters have been wholly or partially lost, through deliberate deletion or accidental damage, they are placed within square brackets; those which can be reconstructed are in Roman type, those which have not survived but can be supplied in italics.
  6. Manuscript punctuation and capitalization are retained. However, word-division is modernized, to facilitate tagging and searching. For the same reason, unhyphenated word-breaks across lines are indicated by an = sign in the transcription. Where a compound word is hyphenated in the edited text, it is treated as a single word in the transcription.
  7. Marginal and interlinear additions attributed to the original scribe should be enclosed in the text by a backward and forward slash \ /. Those by later scribes should be indicated in the footnotes. There should be no repetition of note-numbers (i.e. no use of ‘fn1’ at several different points in the text to refer back to the same footnote). Footnote-numbering should be continuous (though this may only be by section, if the work is long).
  8. Deletions attributed to the original scribe, whether by crossing-out or by expunction, should be indicated by angle brackets < > .
  9. Coloured initial letters should be represented by red type; size can be indicated, if required, in a footnote.
  10. Where possible, the lineation of the MS should be preserved for easier comparison with MS images; line-numbering should start again with each MS page.