Fragmentary Texts is a project directed by Monica Berti and devoted to methodologies and tools for collecting and representing quotations and text re-uses of Classical sources.

In the field of textual criticism, “fragments” are the result of a work of extraction and interpretation of information pertaining to lost works that is embedded in surviving texts. These fragments of information derive from a great variety of text re-uses that range from verbatim quotations to vague allusions and translations.

One of the main challenges when looking for traces of lost works is the reconstruction of the complex relationship between the fragment and its source of transmission. Pursuing this goal means dealing with three main tasks: 1) weighing the level of interference played by the author who has reused and transformed the original context of the fragment; 2) measuring the distance between the source text and the derived text; 3) trying to perceive the degree of text re-use and its effects on the final text.

The first step for rethinking the role of the fragment within its context is to provide a new methodology for identifying and representing historical sources based on information technologies. Such an achievement enables the building of digital collections designed not only to preserve but also to extend principles that traditional scholarship has developed over generations, while also representing every element of print conventions in a more dynamic and interconnected way.

Collecting text re-uses is a well-established tradition and the great enterprises of scholars from the Renaissance onward have permitted us to rediscover and preserve an inestimable cultural heritage otherwise lost and forgotten. At the same time, looking for remains of lost works is a very useful methodological exercise for practicing reconstruction of ancient testimonies, and it is also a stimulus for interdisciplinarity, given that an editor has to face a lot of problems deriving from the great variety of subjects and from many different kinds of texts that usually form a collection of fragments.

The main goal of this project is to discuss models and tools for representing quotations and text re-uses in a digital library, building a collaborative environment for scholars, students, and enthusiasts who are interested in the topic.

Project Director
Monica Berti

Creative Commons License
Fragmentary Texts by Monica Berti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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