Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Textual criticism is a method with which surviving copies of a text are examined in order to recapture an earlier, usually "original", form. First applied to the ancient classics and the Bible, it aims to remove errors inevitable in copying, especially when copying by hand. Textual criticism was originally developed to address works preserved in manuscripts dated long after the time of composition, but was later extended to more modern manuscripts and printed editions. This article discusses the application of textual criticism to many manuscripts of Byzantine texts, focusing on editions by modern scholars, and also describes the complex system developed over the centuries for dealing with variations between manuscripts. Three examples of Byzantine text that have been subjected to textual criticism are presented: works of Byzantine mimesis written on the model of classical authors, texts with a surviving copy in the author's own hand, and less-learned levels of Byzantine writing such as popular hagiography and the "vernacular" texts that eventually incorporated elements of spoken Greek.

Keywords: textual criticism, manuscripts, Byzantine texts, mimesis, popular hagiography, vernacular texts

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.