Veronique Winand

A Few Thoughts on the Identification and the Usefulness of Codices Descripti (Vernacular Texts)

  • Abstract

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Keywords: codicological stemmatics; copying mechanisms; vernacular texts; Old French; medieval Italian; Middle English.

The present paper examines theoretical and practical principles for identify- ing codices descripti presented in manuals of Classical and Romance philology, as well in recent theoretical work on the topic. I then discuss the strengths, but also the limits, of the principles put forward in some identifications proposed. I point out a widespread methodological short circuit in the identification of descripti, and its impact on the study of copying mechanisms which rely on the examination of the differences between an exemplar and its descriptus.

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