Paolo Monella, Elena Spangenberg Yanes The new edition of Priscian's Ars grammatica: history of the tradition and innovative digital models Durham (online), July 13, 2021

Italiano English

Durham 2021


Title The new edition of Priscian’s Ars grammatica: history of the tradition and innovative digital models
Speakers Paolo Monella (1st part of the paper), Elena Spangenberg Yanes (2nd part)
Conference Text and Textuality Conference (programme)
When July 13 ,2021
Where Online (Zoom)
Organisation University of Durham, UK
Language English


Titolo The new edition of Priscian’s Ars grammatica: history of the tradition and innovative digital models
Relatori Paolo Monella (1a parte del contributo), Elena Spangenberg Yanes (2a parte)
Convegno Text and Textuality (programme)
Quando July 13 2021
Dove Online (Zoom)
Organizzazione University of Durham, UK
Lingua Inglese




The ERC project PAGES (Priscian’s Ars Grammatica in European Scriptoria), led by Michela Rosellini at Sapienza University of Rome, sets forth to produce a new critical edition of the Ars, a long-time desideratum in Latin philology. PAGES applies the Lachmannian method with the aim of producing both a print and a digital critical edition, based on a new comprehensive recensio of the manuscript and early print tradition of the work.

The first part of the paper focuses on the digital methodology of the project, which provides additional features that the print medium could not have hosted. The digital infrastructure is built around Cadmus, a modular open source software framework whose data structures allow to model complex objects with more flexibility than through the TEI-XML single-hierarchy structure (although Cadmus can still export to TEI-XML). In the instance of Cadmus tailored for PAGES, Priscian’s Latin text with critical apparatus and English translation is integrated with: diplomatic transcriptions of the Greek parts and the literary fragments in the Ars; collections of the early medieval glosses on Priscian’s Graeca and of the Humanistic interpolations in the Ars; a catalogue of Priscian’s 8th-10th-century mss. Digital markup will be provided for the literary citations and the linguistic content of the work.

The second part of the paper presents the first outcomes of the collation, with particular regard to the geographical characterisation of the main traditional branches. Not only the southern-Italian tradition is independent of the Carolingian one, as De Nonno demonstrated long ago, but within the Carolingian branch it is possible to detect several manuscripts higher in the stemma than the witnesses used by the former editor, Hertz (1855-59). Another important feature of the transmission is the derivation of surviving witnesses or even lost hyparchetypes from multiple antigraphs: the textual and codicological evidence demonstrates that several manuscripts change their position within the stemma from one section of the Ars to another. The better understanding of the medieval tradition enables various improvements of the constitutio textus, as it will be shown through selected examples.