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My Adventure to Digital Humanity Project - Editions and Copyright Issues (Episode 2)

Before anyone can proceed with medieval project, there are two BIG questions: which edition to choose and how to deal with a copyright situation. First, it is common, at least among medievalists and linguists, that a later manuscript edition is usually more accurate (in its interpretation). Here is the dilemma:

  1. More recent edition > more accurate interpretation > more likely copyrighted > :(
  2. Older edition (before ~ 1920, I believe) > less accurate interpretation > more likely open source > :)

Consider for example the following line from the 13th-century Occitan verse:

old version (Meyer 1905) - Vostre cor nom tengas cubert 

recent edition                     -  Vostre cor no.m tengas cubert

                                              "Do not hide your feelings from me"

The solution, at least in my case, is to select an older edition (old editions are usually available on google in a scanned format) and to make references when the interpretation is different. If you have any other suggestions, please share them with us!

Bonus for today - the 13th-century Old Occitan Romance of Flamenca's plot:

Archambaut  marries a young beautiful Flamenca but the jealousy drives him so mad that he locks up Flamenca in a tower. She is only allowed to go to church and to the local baths. Guillem, a young sharp-witted knight, hears about Flamenca, falls in love and decides to rescue her. Since Archambaut is constantly spying on his wife, Guillem develops a brilliant plan: Over the course of several weeks, he is exchanging with Flamenca one word at a  time, and he is also building a tunnel under the local baths.

But I am not going to spoil the rest...

In my next episode, we will talk about tols that can help to correct scanned pages, such as OCR and tesseract . Stay tuned!


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