2010年12月22日

Could the difference between A and B be due to different subject matter?

1998/11/25, posted by Rene Zandbergen

> Another thought. Could the difference between A and B be due to
> different subject matter?

It could be, but then we know that the text has nothing to do with the illustrations. Herbal-A and Herbal-B are the most different of all 'dialects', in my scatterplots (based on digraphs). Pharma and Astro/Cosmo are very similar, despite their probable subject- matter.

But more importantly, the same scatterplots show that the difference between A and B is of the type of a continuous change. As if the writer's style (spelling, cypher characteristics) gradually changed with time. From these plots, I can think of three possibilities.

1) One author, who started writing in B-style and gradually devellopped A-style. This could mean that the Herbal-A section is a cleaned-up copy of earlier Herbal-B-type scribbles, but this task was not completed. It would also mean that the zodiac section was written backwards.

2) One author, who started writing in A-style and gradually 'degraded' into B-style. This would mean that the Herbal-B pages in the first half of the Ms have been misplaced during the binding by an illiterate (like us :-) ). Note that the Herbal-B handwriting is the only part which is visibly different from the rest.

3) Two authors ('A' and 'B'). They started with a common style, 'A' doing pharma and 'B' doing astro-cosmo. 'A' then did herbal-A and 'B' then did the stars and bio sections. 'B' also did some herbal pages perhaps when 'A' was no longer able or willing to continue. The nice aspect of this theory is that 'A' did all the plant drawings, and 'B' did all the drawings involving stars and nymphs. The odd part is that the sections on which they started are all on foldout pages and only later they went to normal pages in normal-sized quires.

(3) is the more fascinating option, which explains most of the observed features, but (2) is the simpler explanation, which is also worth something.
posted by ぶらたん at 23:04| Comment(0) | テキストの性質
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