Maria Rita Digilio

Substantive and non-substantive Variants in the Philology of Medieval German Texts. Case Study: the Heliand Editions.

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Heliand; Old Saxon; editions; substantive variants; non-substantive variants.

The distinction between substantive and non-substantive variants is a principle generally followed by the editors of early medieval German texts. A different approach has been proposed, among others, by Bumke but it can be productive only for texts in which there is a high rate of the so-called epische Variation. Starting from these premises, this essay focuses on the Old Saxon poem Heliand, to underline how the Behaghel edition fully accept Sievers’ evaluation regarding the substantive preminence of the Codex Monacensis. Finally, it is observed that even the supposed formal superiority of the Codex Cottonianus is probably to be re-considered in the light of some linguistic evidence.

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