Instructions for First-Time Users

Where do I start?

The poem Piers Plowman comes down to us in over 50 different manuscripts, in three different versions (A, B, C). This archive contains both editions of individual manuscripts and a reconstruction of the common ancestor of the B manuscripts (the B-archetype).

If you want to look at an individual manuscript, select Texts. If you want to access the B-Archetype, go to About, then select Materials and Methods for Reconstructing the B-Archetype.

What do I want to do?

View the text of a particular manuscript:

See the text transcribed as it appears in the manuscript:

See the text as it appears in the manuscript, but with some editorial guidance:

See the text as it appears in the manuscript, but with full editorial annotations:

See the text as it would appear in a printed edition:

Sample List of Elements and Attributes

Element: note

Description: These are editorial notes that discuss aspects of the text, dialect, or physical manuscript not otherwise marked by XML tagging.

 

Element: foreign

Description: Foreign tags mark instances in the poem of languages other than English, generally Latin (lat) and French (fre).

 

Element: marginalia

Description: Marginalia tags surround any text or meaningful marks in the margins of the folio. The "gloss" value is not available on all manuscripts.

 

Element: app

Description: The "apparatus" tag explains the relationship between the texts of various manuscripts, marking where the manuscript at hand differs from others. To search for specific app tags, use the Contains field with the reading you are looking for. Not available on all manuscripts.

 

Element: orig, reg

Description: The "original" tag marks where a scribe has written as one word a phrase that would ordinarily be considered two or more words, and the "regularized" tag gives the phrase with standard spacing. (For example, scribes often write the indefinite article together with the following word: "asomer" for "a somer".) To search for specific orig or reg tags, use the Contains field with the reading you are looking for.