Digital documentary editing of St Patrick’s epistles Linking the manuscript witnesses to the canonical text

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Roman Bleier


St Patrick of Ireland, the fifth-century missionary and bishop, wrote two epistles which are commonly referred to as Confessio and Epistola ad milites Corotici. These two texts survive in seven medieval manuscript witnesses which were copied centuries after Patrick’s time. This article discusses digital transcriptions of these manuscript witnesses. The transcriptions were encoded using the encoding standard of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) following a documentary editing approach. The transcriptions will be the core of a new digital documentary edition. This edition is meant to be a research tool for the exploration of the medieval documents, but at the same time it is a mediator between the manuscript witnesses and existing text-critical editions and translations of the texts. This mediator function is achieved by including markers of lines and chapter of a canonical edition and links to an existing text-critical edition online. In the final section a few examples will briefly  be look at that illustrate what kind of analysis will be possible and what visual presentations of the transcriptions will be incorporated in the new edition.

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How to Cite
BLEIER, Roman. Digital documentary editing of St Patrick’s epistles. Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai Digitalia, [S.l.], n. 1, p. 9-25, july 2017. ISSN 2559-6721. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 sep. 2017. doi:
Digitising the Humanities