HSP III: "Comestor's Hester"

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Student Presentation

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Karen Wadley


Using the 15th century incunabulum copy of Peter Comestor’s 12th century work, Historia Scholastica, located in Boise State University’s Albertsons Library, the Historia Scholastica Project III (HSP) is producing a modern transcription and translation of Comestor’s Hester for the academic community. Our goal with Hester is to create a text that aligns closely to the grammatical structure of the original text but includes present-day punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

Transcribing has required studying paleography as well as coming to consensus on our text, which differs from Harvard’s Patrologia Latinae 198 transcription, accessed via la.wikisource.org. For paleography, we referred to Adriano Cappelli’s The Elements of Abbreviation in Medieval Latin Paleography (University of Kansas, 1982). We also researched online sources to determine the best evidence for each translation choice.

We began our work in October, 2013. There are 1,159 lines total in Comestor’s Hester. Stage One, the Praefatio, has a total of 339 lines. To date, we have transcribed and translated 200 lines, or 59% of the Praefatio. The projected completion of Stage One is late December, 2014.

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