An Encomium on Henry VIII and Elizabeth I by George Etheridge — British Library Royal MS 16 C X

Editorial Principles and Conventions

The Greek text of the Encomium is presented in two different forms: the transcription of the manuscript, and the edition. The transcription, which faithfully represents the text as found in the codex, is designed to guide the reader in the interpretation of the manuscript. The edition, on the other hand, normalises and structures the Encomium in accordance with classical conventions to produce a more readable text.


Since the transcription is presented alongside the manuscript image to assist in its interpretation, it has been produced in a near-diplomatic fashion, seeking to replicate the manuscript's layout and the forms appearing in it as far as possible so as to give a clear visual correspondence between the two. This approach also reflects the fact that the manuscript is an autograph, increasing the importance of recording the writer's personal conventions and the indications of the process of composition revealed by his amendments. There are, at present, three known deviations from these principles :

  1. Where the author has placed diacritics before or over the first element of a diphthong such as Ου (e.g., Ὄυ), these have been re-positioned over the second element in accordance with current practice (Οὔ).
  2. Where the author has extended a circumflex (taking the form of a tilde) over two or more letters, the transcription places it over the appropriate vowel.
  3. In order to illuminate the meaning of the signs in the text, the author's abbreviations have been expanded. On these grounds, we have employed some conventional sigla, as established by the University of Leiden, while replicating certain marks used by the author.

Therefore :

  1. The manuscript's line divisions have been retained.
  2. Superscript letters are presented as they appear in the manuscript, above the main line of text and indicated with a caret  where Etheridge used an arrow or similar mark, e.g., εἶναι (f. 2r, l. 9), συ ν^τάξει (f. 1v, l. 8); likewise the deletion of letters by crossing out has been replicated, e.g., ἕι/νεκα (f. 1v, l. 7), vel  (f. 5r, l. 8).
  3. The author's spelling and accentuation of all words has been retained, although as noted above the accentuation has been re-positioned in some cases.
  4. The author's punctuation has been retained.
  5. The author's capitalisation has been preserved. For instance, he often places the initial letters of certain nomina sacra in lower case, e.g., θεὸς  (f. 11v, l. 4), χριστὸς  (f. 17r, l. 1); he also tends to capitalise the first letter of each line for stylistic reasons.
  6. The author's tendency to attach enclitics to the preceding word has been retained, e.g., σπουδῆςτε, ἐμαυτόνγε (f. 2v, ll. 1, 4).
  7. Abbreviations are expanded within round brackets, e.g., κ(αὶ)  (f. 1r, l. 1).
  8. In the Latin Argumentum, the author's occasional marking of long vowels with an accent has been retained, e.g., rectè, sanè  (f. 5r, ll. 2–3).


In the edition, the physical peculiarities of the manuscript text reflecting the author's writing process have been absorbed into a single coherent text. To assist the reader's comprehension, classical orthographic conventions have been imposed with regard to accentuation and word separation, and spelling has been normalised where an unusual form appearing in the text appears to be the product of an error rather than an attested variant. These manuscript peculiarities and editorial interventions have been noted in the apparatus criticus. Since the author's punctuation in the Greek text is restricted almost entirely to commas and full stops, significant editorial discretion has been exercised to introduce a more differentiated punctuation system, giving a clearer structure to the text. Therefore :

  1. Line division has been presented with three user-selectable structural options: retention of the manuscript structure, continuous text with the manuscript's line divisions marked by a solidus  (|), or continuous text without indication of line divisions.
  2. Authorial corrections and insertions have been subsumed into the text.
  3. Apparent errors in spelling and accentuation have been emended, e.g., felicitatem, instead of fælicitatem (f. 6r, l. 6), φύλοπιν instead of φίλοπιν (f. 12r, l. 7), ἴκελος instead of ἵκελος (f. 8v, l. 5). Such emendations are presented in a contrasting colour to assist in their identification.
  4. Many of the author's commas have been converted into semi-colons and full stops to clarify the syntactic structure.
  5. The first letters of sentences (as defined by the editorially-imposed sentence structure) and the first letters of proper nouns have been capitalised; all other letters have been presented in lower case.
  6. Enclitics have been separated from the preceding word, e.g., τό γε instead of τόγε and βασιλικήν σου instead of βασιλικήνσου (f. 3r, ll. 6, 10).
  7. Abbreviations have been expanded without the use of brackets.
  8. In the Latin Argumentum, the accents over long vowels have been removed, but the diphthongs ae and oe are retained as the ligatures æ and œ as they appear in the MS in order to reflect their mediæval pronunciation as monophthongs.
  9. Quotations from identified source texts have been italicised, and their origin noted in the apparatus fontium.

Abbreviations used in the apparatus criticus

Abbreviation Expansion Explanation
ante   before
canc. cancellavit (the author) crossed out (see del.)
cod. codex text as found in the MS (e.g., ἐμφανέστατη cod.)
corr. correctio (editorial) correction
del. delevit (the author) deleted / crossed out
et   and
ex   from
in marg. in margine in the margin
per   for
post   after
post corr. post correctionem after correction (by the author)
post eras. post erasit then (the author) erased
post scr. post scripsit then (the author) wrote
post sscr. post superscripsit superscribed after this
scr. scripsit (the author) wrote
sscr. superscriptum superscribed
suppl. supplevit (the author) supplied (e.g., γε suppl. post ἀλλὰ, i.e., the author added γε after ἀλλὰ)
v. verbum word