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By Samuel Huskey | September 17, 2015

This morning, I came across a good example of how the DLL is working to improve critical editions, so I thought I would share it here.

In Giarratano's edition of Calpurnius Siculus' Bucolica , this appears in the apparatus criticus to poem 1, line 32:

praelege Gudius.

Praelege Gudius

That's it. Giarratano doesn't refer to a "Gudius" anywhere in his bibliography or introduction, so the reader has only this bit of information. Some research revealed that "Gudius" was the Latin name of Marquard Gude (1635–1689), a German archaeologist and classical scholar. Thank goodness that the Wikipedia article on Gude (!) mentions that Pieter Burmann edited his correspondence and included his notes in some of his (Burmann's) editions.

As it happens, Burmann published an edition that contains Calpurnius Siculus' Bucolica "cum integris Doctorum Virorum Notis, & quorumdam excerptis." I checked the edition on Google Books and found this in the note to line 31:

Gudius malebat etiam, praelege carmen.

If I hadn't had access to these resources, it would have taken me much longer to track down the reference. But it took some time even with these resources. If the identifier "Gudius" had been encoded in a digital edition as a person cited by Burmann in his edition, with a link pointing to the location of the citation, I would have known instantly what I was dealing with, and I could have saved myself several steps.

The point is that we're working to find ways to decode the traditional conventions of the apparatus criticus by—and I understand the irony here—encoding them digitally in such a way that the information doesn't require so much sleuthing.