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Methodology: the editions

Text selection

We decided to edit individual witnesses, not to try to recover a possible critical “authorial” text.

The focus of our interest is on first editions, both for the original texts and for the selected translations.

In the case of complex textual traditions, in which one work was subject of extensive revisions by the author, we opted to treat the base text as a multiversion text in itself. Two solutions were adopted for these cases:

  1. To include in the source text the variants of other editions different from the princeps which may have been the source for some of the translation (as in Sales’ Philotea).
  2. To propose a double edition of the text, alligned in each case with the corresponding translations of each of the versions (as in Scupoli’s Combattimento spirituale).

Apart from these general criteria, the research works carried out for each of the texts have lead us to take partially different options in some cases. These decisions are justified by some fisical or technical impossibility (e.g. the impossibility to access a specific editio princeps as with Scupoli’s text).

In the case of Saint Francis of Sales’ Introduction à la vie dévòte, on the other hand, the knowledge of the complexity of the textual tradition of the original made it advisable to choose the canonical 1629 edition as the base text for the allignment, an election that was complemented after the investigation of the alligned texts with the incorporation of the variants of the 1610 edition, which was in fact the source of some of the translations.

Criteria for the editions

Given the general objective of our project, which consists on presenting an alligned version of the base text and its translations, to offer a better knowledge of the transmition of each of the works, we considered that it was sufficient to offer a conservative edition of the chosen witnesses. Therefore, we preserve in general aspects of the dispositio such as ortography, all of which is made explicit in the criteria of each of the editions.


Regarding mark-up, we follow the generally accepted xml-TEI P5 standard. Apart from the header, which incorporates information on the text and the edition, the tags inserted into the texts add information on other elements such as editorial interventions, document deteriorations, quotes or excerpts in foreign languages, identification and anotation of people and place names, and the segmentation for allignment.

Edition states

We distinguish three phases in relation with edition states:

  1. Texts that have been digitalized and have been revised only privisionally.
  2. Texts that have suffered a second revision, but may still suffer minor changes
  3. Editions in their definitive form.