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The Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism


looking at the nine quartos. Among other things, he superimposed the title page of
Pericles (which admitted being printed in 1619) with that of The Merchant of Venice
(which claimed a date of 1600).
The two layouts matched. The titles were different, of course, but the bottom part of the
plates were identical except for the dates. This included even such details as the nicks
in the type. There was no question: The title pages of Pericles and The Merchant of
Venice were printed at the same time. In 1619, obviously. The dating on the Merchant of
Venice quarto is false.
Early Printed Editions from Lost Manuscripts
The following list (which is very far from complete) describes some of the various
ancient documents for which printed editions are essential tools of textual criticism.
Works of Significance to Biblical Criticism
Josephus, Against Apion. All surviving manuscripts are derived from Codex
Laurentianus of the eleventh century; the only other sources are the (poor) Latin
translation and the extracts in Eusebius. The ?rst edition (Basel, 1544) seems to have
been checked against a now-lost manuscript.
Josephus, Antiquities. As with the Against Apion, the Basel edition seems to have used
a lost manuscript. The manuscript tradition for the Antiquities is much richer, so the
Basel edition is of somewhat less importance, but it still has hints of a lost source.
Secular Works
Asser, Life of Alfred. Only one copy survived to the era of printing: Cotton MS. Otho
A.xii. This manuscript was almost completely destroyed in the library ?re of October 23,
1731; no part of Asser's work survived. Various transcripts were made, but most are
based on the printed editions: Matthew Parker's of 1574, Camden's of 1602, and Wise's
of 1722. All of these are rather unreliable (Parker's was interpolated, and Wise had to
work from a transcript he himself did not make), but with no other sources, they are
obviously essential.
Anonymous, The Battle of Malden. From the same Cotton MS. Otho A.xii as Asser (see
supra), and equally lost. It was printed by Hearne from a transcription by Elphinston.
Chaucer, various works. The printed editions hardly matter for the Canterbury Tales,
which exists in many manuscripts, but based on the textual notes in the Riverside
Chaucer, all of the following writings have early printed editions of textual signi?cance
The Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism
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