Vespa Project

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  • Paolo Monella


The aim of this project was to create an experimental digital scholarly edition of the Iudicium coci et pistoris iudice Vulcano by Vespa (Anth. Lat. 199 Riese), a Latin text in verse from the Late Antiquity, for which the main MS is the Codex Salmasianus.

Status of the project

The project was developed by Paolo Monella during a 2012 post-doc bourse at the Accademia dei Lincei. Its goal was to provide a proof-of-concept prototype of scholarly digital edition, but Paolo Monella could not complete the edition at the end of the bourse (December 2012). After that date, the development of the project has been very slow, though its methodological principles have been discussed at a number of conferences by its author. From 2015/16 on, the same methodological principles of the Vespa Project have been applied by the same scholar to the Ursus Project.

Methodological Principles

The edition was mainly meant to be a proof of concept, with the goal of providing a prototype of digital scholarly edition based on the ideas of Tito Orlandi. The main concepts to be applied are:

  • Text should be encoded at different layers, including (in the case of this edition) the graphic layer (graphemes, paragraphematic signs etc.), the alphabetic layer (alphabetic letters) and the linguistic layer (words);
  • A complete list of the signs identified by the philologist in the manuscript (in Orlandi's words a "table of signs") should be provided for each manuscript.