An interpolation, in relation to literature and especially ancient manuscripts, is an entry or passage in a text that was not written by the original author. As there are often several generations of copies between an extant copy of an ancient text and the original, each handwritten by different scribes, there is a natural tendency for extraneous material to be inserted into such documents over time.
Literature, most generically, is any body of written works. More restrictively, literature refers to writing considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, often due to deploying language in ways that differ from ordinary usage.
A manuscript was, traditionally, any document that is written by hand -- or, once practical typewriters became available, typewritten -- as opposed to being mechanically printed or reproduced in some indirect or automated way. More recently, the term has come to be understood to further include any written, typed, or word-processed copy of an author's work, as distinguished from its rendition as a printed version of the same. Before the arrival of printing, all documents and books were manuscripts. Manuscripts are not defined by their contents, which may combine writing with mathematical calculations, maps, explanatory figures or illustrations. Manuscripts may be in book form, scrolls or in codex format. Illuminated manuscripts are enriched with pictures, border decorations, elaborately embossed initial letters or full-page illustrations. A document should be at least 75 years old to be considered a manuscript.
Interpolations originally may be inserted as an authentic explanatory note (for example, [ sic ]), but may also be included for fraudulent purposes. The forged passages and works attributed to the Pseudo-Isidore are an example of the latter. Similarly, the letters of Ignatius of Antioch were interpolated by Apollinarian heretics, three centuries after the originals were written. Charters and legal texts are also subject to forgery of this kind. In the 13th century a medieval romance, the Prose Tristan , inserted another prose romance, the Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal, in its entirety in order to reinterpret the Quest for the Holy Grail through the optics of the Tristan story.
The Latin adverb sic inserted after a quoted word or passage indicates that the quoted matter has been transcribed or translated exactly as found in the source text, complete with any erroneous, archaic, or otherwise nonstandard spelling. It also applies to any surprising assertion, faulty reasoning, or other matter that might be likely interpreted as an error of transcription.
Ignatius of Antioch, also known as Ignatius Theophorus or Ignatius Nurono, was an early Christian writer and bishop of Antioch. En route to Rome, where he met his martyrdom, Ignatius wrote a series of letters. This correspondence now forms a central part of the later collection known as the Apostolic Fathers, of which he is considered one of the three chief ones together with Pope Clement I and Polycarp. His letters also serve as an example of early Christian theology. Important topics they address include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.
Forgery is a white-collar crime that generally refers to the false making or material alteration of a legal instrument with the specific intent to defraud anyone. Tampering with a certain legal instrument may be forbidden by law in some jurisdictions but such an offense is not related to forgery unless the tampered legal instrument was actually used in the course of the crime to defraud another person or entity. Copies, studio replicas, and reproductions are not considered forgeries, though they may later become forgeries through knowing and willful misrepresentations.
However, most interpolations result from the errors and inaccuracies which tend to arise during hand-copying, especially over long periods of time. For example, if a scribe made an error when copying a text and omitted some lines, he would have tended to include the omitted material in the margin. However, margin notes made by readers are present in almost all manuscripts. Therefore, a different scribe seeking to produce a copy of the manuscript perhaps many years later could find it very difficult to determine whether a margin note was an omission made by the previous scribe (which should be included in the text) or simply a note made by a reader (which should be ignored or kept in the margin).
A scribe is a person who serves as a professional copyist, especially one who made copies of manuscripts before the invention of automatic printing.
Conscientious scribes tended to copy everything which appeared in a manuscript, but in all cases scribes needed to exercise personal judgement. Explanatory notes would tend to find their way into the body of a text as a natural result of this subjective process.
Modern scholars have developed techniques[ which? ] for recognizing interpolation, which are often apparent to modern observers, but would have been less so for medieval copyists.
The Comma Johanneum, for example, is commonly regarded as interpolation. The specific problem of Christian transmission of Jewish texts outside the Jewish and Christian canons is often described as Christian interpolation.
Christian interpolation is a subsidiary category of scribal interpolation in manuscript transmission. In textual criticism the term generally refers to the specific phenomena of textual insertion and textual damage to Jewish sources text during Christian scribal transmission, but may also refer to possible interpolation in secular Roman texts, such as the case of Tacitus on Christ.
Western non-interpolations is the term named by F. J. A. Hort of the shortest texts of all the New Testament text types. The Alexandrian text is generally terse or concise; the Western text is larger and paraphrased at places; the Byzantine text is a combination of those two. Nevertheless, the Western text is in certain places shorter than the Alexandrian text. All these shorter readings Hort named western non-interpolations. Since the 19th century, scholars have preferred the shorter reading. It was the authentic text according to B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort. When they printed The New Testament in the Original Greek (1882), in almost all cases, it followed the Alexandrian text with the few exceptions that use the Western non-interpolations instead. According to Westcott and Hort, on some rare occasions Western textual witnesses have preserved the original text, against all other witnesses.
An archive is an accumulation of historical records or the physical place they are located. Archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual or organization's lifetime, and are kept to show the function of that person or organization. Professional archivists and historians generally understand archives to be records that have been naturally and necessarily generated as a product of regular legal, commercial, administrative, or social activities. They have been metaphorically defined as "the secretions of an organism", and are distinguished from documents that have been consciously written or created to communicate a particular message to posterity.
Preservation of documents, pictures, recordings, digital content, etc., is a major aspect of archival science. It is also an important consideration for people who are creating time capsules, family history, historical documents, scrapbooks and family trees. Common storage media are not permanent, and there are few reliable methods of preserving documents and pictures for the future.
The Holy Grail is a treasure that serves as an important motif in Arthurian literature. Different traditions describe it as a cup, dish or stone with miraculous powers that provide happiness, eternal youth or sustenance in infinite abundance, often in the custody of the Fisher King. The term "holy grail" is often used to denote an elusive object or goal that is sought after for its great significance.
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the 24 books of Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism. It is not the original text (Urtext) of the Hebrew Bible: Urtext has never been found.
Textual criticism is a branch of textual scholarship, philology, and literary criticism that is concerned with the identification of textual variants in either manuscripts or printed books. Scribes can make alterations when copying manuscripts by hand. Given a manuscript copy, several or many copies, but not the original document, the textual critic might seek to reconstruct the original text as closely as possible. The same processes can be used to attempt to reconstruct intermediate versions, or recensions, of a document's transcription history. The objective of the textual critic's work is a better understanding of the creation and historical transmission of texts. This understanding may lead to the production of a "critical edition" containing a scholarly curated text.
Medieval literature is a broad subject, encompassing essentially all written works available in Europe and beyond during the Middle Ages. The literature of this time was composed of religious writings as well as secular works. Just as in modern literature, it is a complex and rich field of study, from the utterly sacred to the exuberantly profane, touching all points in-between. Works of literature are often grouped by place of origin, language, and genre.
Le Morte d'Arthur is a reworking by Sir Thomas Malory of existing tales about the legendary King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table. Malory interpreted existing French and English stories about these figures and added original material. Malory's actual title for the work was The Whole Book of King Arthur and His Noble Knights of the Round Table, but after Malory's death the publisher changed the title to that commonly known today, which originally only referred to the final volume of the work.
Percival's sister is a role of two similar but distinct characters in the Holy Grail stories within the Arthurian legend.
In Arthurian legend, the Fisher King, also known as the Wounded King or Maimed King, is the last in a long line charged with keeping the Holy Grail. Versions of the original story vary widely, but he is always wounded in the legs or groin and incapable of standing. All he is able to do is fish in a small boat on the river near his castle, Corbenic, and wait for some noble who might be able to heal him by asking a certain question. In later versions knights travel from many lands to try to heal the Fisher King, but only the chosen can accomplish the feat. This is Percival alone in the earlier stories; in later versions, he is joined by Galahad and Bors.
The Lancelot-Grail, also known as the Vulgate Cycle or the Pseudo-Map Cycle, is a major source of Arthurian legend written in French. It is a series of prose volumes that tell the story of the quest for the Holy Grail and the romance of Lancelot and Guinevere. The major parts are early 13th century, but scholarship has few definitive answers as to the authorship. An attribution to Walter Map is discounted, since he died too early to have been the author.
Stichometry refers to the practice of counting lines in texts: Ancient Greeks and Romans measured the length of their books in lines, just as modern books are measured in pages. This practice was rediscovered by German and French scholars in the 19th century. Stichos is the Greek word for a 'line' of prose or poetry and the suffix '-metry' is derived from the Greek word for measurement.
Tristan and Iseult is an influential romance story, retold in numerous sources with as many variations since the 12th century. The story is a tragedy about the adulterous love between the Cornish knight Tristan (Tristram) and the Irish princess Iseult. The narrative predates and most likely influenced the Arthurian romance of Lancelot and Guinevere, and has had a substantial impact on Western art and literature. While the details of the story differ from one author to another, the overall plot structure remains much the same.
Medieval French literature is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in Oïl languages during the period from the eleventh century to the end of the fifteenth century.
Perceval, the Story of the Grail is the unfinished fifth romance of Chrétien de Troyes, who lived from around 1130 to the early 1190s, and is dedicated to Chrétien's patron Philip I, Count of Flanders. It was written in Old French during the 1180s or 1190s and likely left unfinished because of the death of either Philip in 1191, while crusading at Acre, or Chrétien himself.
The Post-Vulgate Cycle, also known as the Roman du Graal, is one of the major Old French prose cycles of Arthurian literature. It is essentially a rewriting of the earlier Vulgate Cycle, with much left out and much added, including characters and scenes from the Prose Tristan.
The Prose Tristan is an adaptation of the Tristan and Iseult story into a long prose romance, and the first to tie the subject entirely into the arc of the Arthurian legend. It was also the first major Arthurian prose cycle commenced after the widely popular Lancelot-Grail, which influenced especially the later portions of the Prose Tristan.
Perlesvaus, also called Li Hauz Livres du Graal, is an Old French Arthurian romance dating to the first decade of the 13th century. It purports to be a continuation of Chrétien de Troyes unfinished Perceval, the Story of the Grail, but it has been called the least canonical Arthurian tale because of its striking differences from other versions.
In Biblical studies, gloss or glossa is an annotation written on margins or within the text of Biblical manuscripts or printed editions of the scriptures. With regard to the Hebrew texts, the glosses chiefly contained explanations of purely verbal difficulties of the text; some of these glosses are of importance for the correct reading or understanding of the original Hebrew, while nearly all have contributed to its uniform transmission since the 11th century. Later on, Christian glosses also contained scriptural commentaries; St. Jerome extensively used glosses in the process of translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible.
Palamedes is a 13th-century Old French Arthurian prose chivalric romance. Named for King Arthur's knight Palamedes, it is set in the time before the rise of Arthur, and relates the exploits of the parents of various Arthurian heroes. The work was very popular, but now exists largely in fragmentary form.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The original manuscript of the Chronicle was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great. Multiple copies were made of that one original and then distributed to monasteries across England, where they were independently updated. In one case, the Chronicle was still being actively updated in 1154.
Merlin is a partially lost epic poem of the Arthurian legend in which the French knight-poet Robert de Boron reworked Geoffrey of Monmouth's material about the legendary figure of Merlin, writing in Old French sometime in either the late 12th or early 13th century. Together with Robert's other works, Joseph and Perceval, Merlin forms a trilogy centered around the Holy Grail.