Errors, Corrections and other Textual Problems in Three Copies of a Middle English Antidotary

Teresa Marqués-Aguado


Error analysis has been traditionally conceived as the step prior to any critical editing, providing the editor with grounded arguments to devise a stemma that would accurately reflect the relationship between the extant copies. Yet, the scenario for texts other than literary changes, as with scientific texts, in which accuracy in terms of content stands out over faithfulness to the original in terms of form. Anyway, errors and other textual problems may provide clues as to how manuscripts circulated and scientific knowledge was disseminated. This article analyses scribal practice in three copies of the same Antidotary, focusing on scribal errors, corrections and other textual problems, which will serve to account for the divergences and similarities they show. For the purpose, each copy is described and their individual textual problems are categorised and discussed. This will help to illustrate the dissemination of scientific knowledge, as well as varying scribal practice, which will in turn point at the possible relation between the copies.


Middle English; scribal error; scribal correction; textual problem; scientific text; antidotary

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