Monday, September 14, 2020

New Open Access Handbook of Stemmatology


De Gruyter has just published a major new handbook on stemmatology, i.e., the study of textual relations. The full title is Handbook of Stemmatology: History, Methodology, Digital Approaches. I sampled a few chapters over the weekend and I am looking forward to reading further. The format recalls another major open access introduction, Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies: An Introduction. Like that volume, this one is organized by subject areas that each have their own subeditor and contributors. Many of the names I recognize as leaders in the field. As with most handbooks, the goal is not to break new ground so much as to give the lay of the land. 

Here is the publisher’s description:

Stemmatology studies aspects of textual criticism that use genealogical methods to analyse a set of copies of a text whose autograph has been lost. This handbook is the first to cover the entire field, encompassing both theoretical and practical aspects of traditional as well as modern digital methods and their history. As an art (ars), stemmatology’s main goal is editing and thus presenting to the reader a historical text in the most satisfactory way. As a more abstract discipline (scientia), it is interested in the general principles of how texts change in the process of being copied. Thirty eight experts from all of the fields involved have joined forces to write this handbook, whose eight chapters cover material aspects of text traditions, the genesis and methods of traditional “Lachmannian” textual criticism and the objections raised against it, as well as modern digital methods used in the field. The two concluding chapters take a closer look at how this approach towards texts and textual criticism has developed in some disciplines of textual scholarship and compare methods used in other fields that deal with “descent with modification”. The handbook thus serves as an introduction to this interdisciplinary field.

– First systematic coverage of stemmatology as a field within textual criticism.
– Written by 38 experts in fields from various philologies to biology and information theory.
– Illustrations and many practical examples from a wide range of disciplines are provided to render the content more accessible.

H/T: Georgi Parpulov 

1 comment

  1. "The first two Greek Bibles (Septuagint + NT), which are also the most important,
    are the Codex Sinaiticus (א.01), copied in Caesarea around 330, reproducing the recension of Pamphilus of Caesarea, Origen’s successor, and the Codex Vaticanus
    (B.03), copied around 340, reproducing the Alexandrian recension of Hesychius of
    Alexandria. These two recensions are different but related, and constitute the Alexandrian text of the fourth century."

    . . .
    . . .
    . . .