This post contains a walkthrough for creating a simple critical edition in the Classical Text Editor (CTE). For my example, I’ve chosen a text that I’m reading at the moment, Demosthenes’ Philippic I. I’ve reproduced much of the information for the first three sections of Dilts’ edition . His edition includes the Greek text, and apparatus criticus, and an apparatus of later sources. All of the steps of this tutorial should be doable with the demo version of the CTE, with the exception that the demo version does not produce non-watermarked output.
You may go through the tutorial with your own text, or you may use the same portion of Demosthenes that I did. If you choose to use Demosthenes, you may make use of the following:
– The main text (an RTF file).
– The final PDF (from which you may take the variant readings).
I’ve also uploaded my final CTE file. I wouldn’t open it unless you get stuck. It’s easy to get confused in the CTE if you have multiple files open.
If you discover any of the links have broken, please let me know at once!
I’m not a CTE expert by any means, and I can’t say that I’ll be able to answer your questions, particularly if they don’t relate to the steps below. That said, feel free to leave comments, questions, corrections, or suggestions below. I’ll do my best to answer.
If you’d be interested in seeing tutorials for other sorts of editions (like an a text with parallel translation), do let me know.
Creating the file and preparing the main text
Upon launching the CTE, one is greeted with the following blank page:
The first step is to create a new file (File –> New).
At this point, one should decide the number of apparatus and notes’ files needed. By default, the CTE creates one critical apparatus and one “notes” section. This is satisfactory for this particular text, but it’s conceivable one would want to add more (for instance, if you needed a critical apparatus, source apparatus, and explanatory footnotes). Be careful to note that when the CTE says “apparatus” is generally means “critical apparatus” (i.e. apparatus of variant readings). Though we might speak more loosely of an “apparatus of sources,” in CTE parlance this is called a “Notes.” The dialog for specifying the number of Apparatus and Notes windows is found at Format –> Number of Notes/Apparatus…
At this point, we should also clearly tell the CTE that our apparatus is an apparatus of variant readings:
– Bring up the apparatus window (Ctrl+A or Windows –> Apparatus)
– Click on Format –> Apparatus Settings
At this point, we may enter the main text into our “Text Window.” For this example, I copied in the text from Perseus and then changed it to match Dilts’ text. Next, we may introduce the section divisions into the text. The CTE provides a number of ways of doing this; by far the easiest is simple paragraph numbers. To enable features like automatic referencing by section and line number, we need to tell the CTE where are sections begin. To do this, one highlights the number (note, only highlight the number, not the following punctuation) and then clicks Insert –> Chapter Identifier:
After this, the number should now be highlighted yellow, which indicates that the CTE recognizes it as the start of a new section. Go ahead and repeat this step for each section.
Creating the Sigla
At this point, you should have input the main body of the text and marked the sections. We may now input the sigla into the CTE. Note that for simple output, this is not strictly necessary. You may simply type out your sigla manually when inputting textual variants. Using the CTE facilities for sigla, however, does offer several advantages. For instance, it makes it very easy to change a siglum if you need to do so later. It also makes it easy to modify the formatting automatically, for instance, if one always wants to have bolded sigla, or italicized sigla, in the apparatus. Finally, the CTE also allows creating mss groups, a feature I won’t explore here.
Sigla are managed from the sigla window, which one accesses at Format –> Sigla…
The “New Button” allows one to create a new siglum. The CTE keeps track of mss by number. We don’t have any ms groups, so for our purposes, each siglum gets a unique numerical identifier (in the above picture, the “1”) and a visible identifier that will appear in the apparatus (in the above picture, S). After inputting the two identifiers, make sure to click Apply. Note that italics, bold, etc. are all permitted for sigla. I start at 1 and simply increment the ms number by 1 as I add mss, but what matters most is that each siglum as a unique number. After adding all of the sigla, they should be visible at the left side of the dialog.
Inputting variant readings
At this point, we have everything we need to begin inputting variant readings into the critical apparatus. To do this, one highlights the affected text in the Text window, and then selects References –> Apparatus Reference (Or press F5). Note that if the variant only affects a single word, you can simply place the cursor after that word. For one of our readings, for instance, one ms reads καὶ αὐτὸς instead of simply αὐτὸς. To input this, we place our cursor after αὐτὸς:
Clicking References –> Apparatus Reference (or pressing F5) brings up the apparatus window:
In the scheme I’ve chosen, we then input the reading of the other ms(s).
We may then use the Sigla dialog to input add the sigla to our apparatus to specify that this reading belongs to A. To do this, click Insert –> Siglum…
A box then comes up with a list of sigla:
Double clicking the proper siglum then adds it to the entry (it should appear in yellow).
If one has multiple variants at a single location, the default way to do this is to separate entries by a colon (see, for instance, the variant for τοι εἰ above). If the reading affects multiple words, make sure to highlight the entire phrase. For instance, A transposes the phrase ὑμεῖς ἐπράξατε τῆς πόλεως into τῆς πόλεως ὑμεῖς ἐπράξατε. To input this variant, we highlight the phrase and then type out the entire phrase in our entry as it appears in A:
Adding notes works much the same way as adding variant readings. However, you need to decide first what sort of referencing system you wish to use for the notes. The default choice uses line numbers (the same system used for variant readings). Another popular system is footnotes. As far as I’m aware, you can’t switch between the two systems on the fly. If you decide later to change your mind, you’ll need to go back through the text and re-add the references.
To choose your setting, open the Notes window (Windows –> Notes, or press Ctrl+N). Then select, Format –> Notes Settings.
“Text Reference” is the default, which uses line numbers (either section line numbers or page line numbesr). “Footnote numbers” will instead introduce running footnotes into the text (like this file).
After one has decided what system to use, you may then input notes almost exactly like critical apparatus entries. Select the relevant location in the main text (either a range, or a location), and then click References –> Notes Entry, or use Shift+F5. This will then bring up the Notes window and allow you to input the relevant information. Repeat for as many notes as you have.
At this point, you should have your notes and apparatus entries added to the text. You’re now able to run print-preview (File –> Print Preview, or Ctrl+J) and see your text (perhaps heavily watermarked if you’re using the demo version). The main work is now done, and all that remains are formatting tweaks.
By default, the CTE prints line numbers for both the sections and the page. I find two sets of line numbers confusing and displeasing to the eye. To change this, one goes to Format –> Document and then go to the Margins tab.
As you can see, the default puts “Page line numbers” in the inner margin and “Chapter Line numbers” in the outer margin. I’d recommend choosing one and making the other “None.” Note you can also use this dialog to change the frequency of line numbers.
Changing the separator in Chapter+Line references
By default, the CTE uses a comma as its separator in references. Thus, if a variant shows up on the 3rd line of the 2nd section, this shows up in the apparatus as 2, 3 (As I understand it, this is the typical European practice). Americans much prefer to use a period here, so that it’s printed as 2.3. To change this, go to Format –> Document and then navigate to the Notes tab.
Changing the character in the field “Between Chapter and Line” from a comma to a period will produce 2.3 instead of 2, 3.
That’s all for now. As mentioned above, if you have any suggestions, comments, or questions, please let me know in the comments!
 Dilts, M.R., Demosthenis Orationes, vol. 1 (Oxford 2002)
I always knew I read Plato to have my pre-conceptions reinforced ;-).
“’Let us not become,’ said he (Socrates), ‘haters of words, like those misanthropes become. For it is not possible,’ he said, ‘for one to suffer anything worse than to hate words, since word-hating and misanthropy derive from the same type of character.’” (Plato, Phaedo, 89d).
“μὴ γενώμεθα, ἦ δ᾽ ὅς, μισόλογοι, ὥσπερ οἱ μισάνθρωποι γιγνόμενοι: ὡς οὐκ ἔστιν, ἔφη, ὅτι ἄν τις μεῖζον τούτου κακὸν πάθοι ἢ λόγους μισήσας. γίγνεται δὲ ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ τρόπου μισολογία τε καὶ μισανθρωπία.”
As a followup to my recent Varia post, I’d like to explain two programs that I used recently in my Textual Criticism class: Juxta and CTE. To do so, I’ll run through how the final product came together from start to finish. Our goals were traditional: we wanted to use Lachmanian methods to create a stemma and establish the archetypal text, to the degree possible.
The first part of preparing an edition, of course, is to choose a text, and then to acquire images of as many of the manuscripts as possible. This requires reading through any prior literature about the text, but also includes combing through manuscript catalogs to determine which, if any, mss contain your text. Digital catalogs are thankfully making this process much easier (V. e. g. the marvelously helpful website Pinakes: http://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/). This task is still a chore, though. Thankfully my professor, Dr. Mantello, had already done this work for us. He had both selected the text (a sermon of Bishop Robert Grosseteste on clerical orders), and obtained PDF copies of all of the relevant mss. The mss came to 13 in total. One ms’s text was partial, and another two were partially illegible, either due to poor imaging, or fire damage. There were six students in the class, so Prof. Mantello split the sermon into 3 sections. Each pair were responsible for a third of the text (my section came out to about 1400 words).
The next order of business was to prepare collations: that is, to determine where the mss varied from one another. This is where I found Juxta helpful. Juxta allows one to compare 2+ transcriptions of a given text very easily. Unfortunately, perhaps, this requires full-text transcriptions of each ms. This can take a lot of time, especially with 13 mss. Some texts, of course, have dozens, or even hundreds of manuscripts, and most texts will be much longer than the small 1400 word section of our sermon. That said, preparing accurate transcriptions of 13 mss took me only a 2-3 months, and I was also working on plenty of other stuff in the meantime. For those with longer texts, doing a smaller chunk (say about 1,500 words) from one part of the text will generally allow one to highlight the most important mss without having to transcribe every single mss in toto.
Now, regarding transcriptions: In an ideal world, one would have at least two people making transcriptions of the same ms. This allows one to compare the two transcriptions at the end to highlight trouble spots and to eliminate typos and other errors. As my teammate chose to to a manual collation, this option wasn’t available, so I made do in other ways (her manual collations were invaluable later in the process, however). Once I had transcriptions of two different mss, I normalized the orthography  then compared these two transcriptions two one another. At each difference, I checked the mss to ensure that my transcriptions were correct. At the end of this process, I had two fairly accurate transcriptions which I then used to correct the rest of my transcriptions as I finished them. This is by far the most tedious part. Even after I had ferreted out most of the problems in my initial pass, I still found myself consistently returning later to the mss to check particular readings (and often found that transcriptions still contained errors). Unfortunately, I also took the longer approach of typing each new transcription from scratch. It occurred to me later, through reading a paper of Tara Andrews, that it’s much faster to modify an existing transcription to fit a new ms instead of starting from scratch. In any case, accurate transcriptions are a necessity for any further work. This stage, though often tedious and monotonous, is extremely important. Juxta (or another comparison tool) is quite useful even at this stage, since highlighting the differences between transcriptions will often highlight errors in your transcriptions.
After transcribing, one can then proceed to examining the differences between mss. Juxta is helpful here. Here’s a screenshot:
Right now, I’m using the ms K as my “base text.” Areas with darker highlighting indicate that a larger number of mss have a variant reading at a certain point. In this case, there’s an important omission shared by 8 mss at the beginning of our section (running from collocantur existentes … ecclesiastice hierarchie). Clicking on the dark text will show what the variant mss read:
Unfortunately, Juxta is not smart enough to determine group similar readings together. In this case, N O R Rf all have the exact same omissions. R6 has the omission too, but inserts an et to try and make the resulting text make more sense. Ideally, Juxta would group all of the readings together (perhaps it will in the future, or perhaps I’ll create my own version that does that: it’s free and opensource after all!). It still, however, provides a useful overview of the tradition at any given point. Here’s a less complicated example:
This shows that 4 mss have the text in ecclesia or in ecclesiam. As these four mss have a number of other shared readings that are unique to them, it’s clear that they belong to a family. After further analysis, it becomes clear that this in an addition that doesn’t belong in the archetypal text. If you’d like a file to test with, I’ve uploaded a test file with a selection of manuscripts.
Using Juxta, I was able to determine work out a provisional stemma of the 13 mss. Traditional Lachmannian methods worked pretty well. There were a number of omissions and other agreements in error that allowed us to group the mss into families and then into a stemma. Furthermore, our examination of the internal evidence (the text) corresponded fairly well with the relationships that Thomson had posited based on external criteria (like dates, and the number and order of the sermons contained in the mss). My initial stemma required some reworking, both because of errors in my transcriptions (that my partner thankfully discovered) and because the place of one ms wasn’t clear when looking only at our sections. Incorporating data from the other sections allowed us to place that ms with more confidence.
The final step was to incorporate all of this information into a critical edition, replete with critical apparatus and source apparatus. The information for the apparatus of sources was more straightforward. Prof. Mantello had helped us track down the important sources. Creating the critical apparatus naturally required us to decide what the original text was. The stemma made this straightforward in most cases. In a few cases, the better attested reading was less satisfactory on internal grounds. In a few places, I chose a poorly attested reading, or even ventured a few emendations (though for most of them, I failed to convince Prof. Mantello). When examining trouble spots, the electronic Grosseteste was immensely helpful. It allowed me to check a particular construction across a wide swathe of Grosseteste’s corpus.
I used the Classical Text Editor (CTE) to assemble my final product. The CTE is quite a powerful tool. It has the ability create a wide variety of critical editions. Ours was a fairly simple text+notes+apparatus, but one can also add further apparatuses, or even add parallel texts/translations. There are a few downsides. First, the program is quite expensive (to the tune of several hundred USD, though there is a free trial that is fully functional except for the ability to generate non-watermarked output). Second, the program is difficult to use if you don’t have someone to show you the basics. I have a computer science degree, and found myself frequently frustrated at first. That said, the basics aren’t difficult once you’ve been shown how the program works. I gave a presentation for my classmates, and everyone decided to use it for their text. Only one other student in the class had a technical background, but everyone was able to use the program to assemble their text.
And I must say, the output is pretty sharp. The only other means I know to create something comparable is LaTeX, and that requires quite a bit more technical knowledge than needed for the CTE. (It was LaTeX, for instance, that I used to create my text and translation of Origen’s 3rd homily on Ps. 76) As an example of CTE output, here’s the first page of our final text: InLibroNumerorum_mapoulos_excerpt.pdf. If anyone knows of CTE tutorials (besides the help files), I’d love to know about them. Sometime soon I’ll post some basic walkthroughs that I created for my classmates.
I should say that there are a number of useful tools that I’ve not mentioned here. Our final goal for this project remained a printed text. Things look differently if web-publication is in view (the CTE does support TEI output, but I’ve not tested it to see how it works). Also, there’s much work being done in the field of digital stemmatology. Tools like stemmaweb allow one to use a number of different algorithms to create a stemma digitally. Variant graphs, for instance, look like a useful way to look at the tradition. I don’t read Armenian, but I’m very impressed by the technical aspects of Tara Andrew’s digital edition of Matthew of Edessa. Her academia.edu page is well worth a look if you’re interested in digital editions.
Do apprise me of anything important I’ve omitted in the comments, particularly if you’ve advice on better ways to approach the task.
 Normalizing the orthography is an important step as orthographic variants usually aren’t important for distinguishing the relationships between mss. I kept my original transcriptions, which followed the orthography of the mss, but did most of my analysis on the basis of the normalized files.
 Thomson, H., The Writings of Robert Grosseteste (Cambridge 1940)