Paolo Monella, Why are there no comprehensively digital scholarly editions of classical texts?

Currently, no 'canonical' classical text with a multi-testimonial tradition has a digital scholarly edition based on a complete digital transcription of all primary sources, and on the automated collation of those transcriptions. Most classicists simply do not feel that they need such editions. I argue that this is ultimately due to the 'canonization' of the corpus of classical texts. Classicists are more focussed on the 'Text' than on the documents (manuscripts) and their texts: they tend not to consider the textual variance in the manuscripts as culturally meaningful in itself, but merely instrumental in view of the constitutio textus. I suspect that we will not have 'comprehensively digital' editions of 'canonical' classical texts with a multi-testimonial tradition until classical philology broadens its research agenda.

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