More on My Plans for an On-Line Edition of Persius

Two days ago, I announced that I will be publishing an on-line text of Persius with apparatus criticus and accompanying adversaria over the next month, with comments open for suggestions from anyone who is interested. This is only the first step. Once I have made up my mind on the many remaining textual and interpretative questions, I will (a) freeze the text as a ‘virtual first edition’, and (b) make inexpensive printed copies available through a POD publisher, most likely Amazon CreateSpace. I will do the same with the adversaria, making a single collected on-line edition, linked and indexed for easy access to each note, plus a POD version.

Any further changes will be listed in detail on a separate page, with dates. If these accumulate a sufficient mass, I can always do a second edition. Export for the formatting, my Juvenal text has not changed in the last ten years, but I have a lot of ideas for additions, alterations, and deletions, and plan to do a second edition of that later this year.

To get to the finished work, I will need help, and for this I envision a public on-line textual-exegetical seminar or POTIS – not a MOOC because it is neither massive nor a formal course. (More on this soon.)

The advantages of publishing an on-line text with apparatus criticus and accompanying adversaria are fairly obvious: anyone with a web connection will be able to consult them at any time, without cost. See my previous post for more on this point. Though still under construction, my QLTP page provides adjustable formats not possible in printed texts: macra can be shown or concealed, u’s and v’s and national styles of quotation marks adjusted to the reader’s tastes, and much more. Persius’ Prologus is here, and the rest will be uploaded to QLTP as I edit it.

The main advantage of providing a hard-copy text along with the web-text is that it would be useful for students. If you’re teaching Persius in the next few years (don’t everyone speak up at once!) why not urge your students to buy a copy of Kißel’s Teubner Saur De Gruyter text (currently only $46.06 on Amazon US) for consultation and the long term, plus a copy of mine to write in. God knows an unannotated Persius is not very intelligible, and mine will have plenty of room for notes, since I plan to put the text on the left-hand page, with the apparatus facing it on the right, just as it appears on the website. That will provide many of the practical advantages of an old-fashioned interleaved text – without the constant back-and-forth from right to left. I should be able to offer a complete text for US $8.00 or so, and even make a small profit.

The advantages of hard-copy adversaria are less obvious, and I don’t expect to sell many copies. However, I do hope that scholars who find my thoughts interesting or convincing or both will recommend that their university libraries order a copy of the finished work, when it is finished. It would be nice to have a few hard copies around in case of a Carrington Event, an EMP attack, or the kind of webmelting electronic pandemic (perhaps a global deletion by a mad scientist at cloud-computing headquarters) that we hope will stay entirely within the world of Science Fiction. Persius scholars may also want to acquire their own copies of my notes to annotate, correct, or defile. If you find that you really hate them, why not buy a whole stack for your fireplace? Like the text, it should be only 60-80 pages, and correspondingly inexpensive. Help support an impecunious scholar: don’t make me take a job unless it is a good one.

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