Saturday, August 22, 2020


Worrisome Developments

Richard Tarrant, Texts, Editors, and Readers: Methods and Problems in Latin Textual Criticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), p. 149:
I do not believe that technological advances will fundamentally alter the way that classical texts are edited, but there have already been significant changes in how editions are constructed and how the information they contain is disseminated.

Some of those developments are distinctly worrisome. For example, what happens to textual criticism's focus on establishing the most reliable possible text in an environment in which texts circulate in electronic form and are downloaded from out-of-date or uncritical editions? In some respects, the use of electronic databases marks a return to conditions in the early days of printing, when editions of classical texts were usually reproductions of late manuscripts of no special merit.

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