Editorial Principles

General Statement


Our text editions of the Mary Magdalene Conversion Legend take advantage of the digital medium to offer a hybrid edition of sorts, charting a middle way between fidelity to the manuscript and the greater accessibility offered by modern editorial practice. That is, we combine certain features found in a “diplomatic” edition, in which the editor would transcribe a single manuscript, including abbreviations, punctuation, orthography, rubrication, and capitalization, and some found in a “modern” edition, in which the editor would amend these various elements according to the conventions of modern punctuation and orthography.


We offer a synoptic view of the eight manuscript copies of the legend, facilitating levels of choice unavailable to the reader of printed editions. Each manuscript has been edited in multiple ways, so that the reader might view the text either with or without expanded abbreviations; with or without foliation numbers; with the line beginnings found in the medieval manuscript, or as a continuous prose text; with the original punctuation or with editorial punctuation; and with or without editorial capitalization. The “manuscript toggle” feature allows the reader to view one, several, or all eight of the manuscript copies at once, with a scroll feature which enables the comparison of individual lines or sections in them. In each of these toggles, the default position is set to that with the highest level of editorial intervention, that is, with foliation numbers, line beginnings, and expanded abbreviations off, but with editorial punctuation and editorial capitalization on, to facilitate ease for the modern reader.


To facilitate cross-referencing between the different manuscript copies in a more comprehensible way, we have also included a dropdown menu with different legend episodes. These episodes, which were decided upon and named by the editors, break up the text into seventeen narrative units.


We thus honor the particularity of each manuscript and the integrity of scribal practice, converting each scribe’s choice of spelling and punctuation into a digital format. At the same time, though, we also make the Mary Magdalene legend more accessible to a public audience.


Abbreviations and Brevigraphs

The two viewing options available for the abbreviations found in the manuscript are “abbreviated,” with characters from the Unicode Character Table chosen to most closely resemble the scribal graph, and “expanded,” with editorial additions expounding the graph’s meaning in verbal form. The “abbreviated” view includes the total of the single graphs and brevigraphs, or abbreviated versions of names, found in a given manuscript.


These abbreviations are expanded in a conventional way (for the detailed list, please see TEI documentation). The brevigraph for Jesus Christ has been normalized to ih̄s based on technical confines, with any other special features taken out. In versions of the brevigraph for the name of Christ, the Greek Chi has been rendered as x due to technical constraints.



The two viewing options for punctuation are with editorial punctuation and with original punctuation. With the former option, modern punctuation marks have been added following the standards of modern German syntax. With the latter option, all the punctuation in the source text have been retained and represented using the appropriate Unicode code point.



We have preserved the manuscript distinction between u and v, and between i and j. We have, however, normalized s and r in that we have not distinguished the different medieval graphemes for these letter forms. Dialectal differences have been preserved.



The two viewing options available for capitalization are with editorial capitalization and with original capitalization. With the former option, capitalization has been added according following the standards of modern German syntax and grammar. With the latter option, the capitalization in the source text has been retained.


Scribal Rubrication, Decoration, Corrections, and Underlinings

These aspects of the manuscript page have been retained, without an toggle button to view the text editions with these features displayed or not displayed.  Rubrication has been marked in red, except in the case of manuscript D, which was only available to the transcriber in black-and-white photocopy. Initials have been rendered to resemble the decoration in the manuscript copy, without distinctions between initial Lombard and other types. Underlinings and corrections, such as deletions and additions, have been retained and rendered as such.