Thursday, May 13, 2010

Homer Multitext to collaborate with E-codices of Switzerland

As part of a Mellon funded project, the Homer Multitext will collaborate with E-codices of Switzerland to publish the thirteenth century manuscript of the Iliad known as the Genavensis. For several years Neel Smith has been working on creating electronic editions of ten sets of scholia in which individual scholarly notes are coordinated so that we can, for the first time, systematically analyze their distribution across the manuscripts where they are attested.  Cluster analysis identifies clearly distinct groups of comments that appear together in particular sets of scholia, and suggests that, far from slavishly reproducing a single archetype, scribes could combine material from multiple, distinct sources. An initial methodologically independent measurement of vocabulary similarity isolates precisely the same clusters of scholia: the obvious historical conclusion is that scribes drew on different sources for their differing scholarly content.[1] This completely overturns traditional attempts to construct a single stemma, or “family tree,” of manuscript scholia, and means that we urgently need to reassess the relation of the important scholia in the  Codex Genavensis 44 to the other scholia we have already studied. 

The goal of the e-codices project is to provide access to all medieval and selected early modern manuscripts held in Switzerland via a virtual library At the moment, the virtual library contains 605 manuscripts from 25 different libraries. We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with E-codices to bring this manuscript on-line with high resolution images. The manuscript is being carefully restored in preparation for imaging. We anticipate that the imaging will take place in Spring 2011.

[1] Preliminary results have been presented at the conference "Text Mining Services" (Leipzig, 2009) and are forthcoming  forthcoming in the conference proceedings (Springer Verlag, 2009) as Gabriel Weaver and Neel Smith, "Applying Domain Knowledge from Structured Citation Formats to Text and Data Mining: Examples Using the CITE Architecture."