CPSF – Methodology

Preparation of the data

To create this edition, transcriptions of five manuscripts were used. The first two of these, Eand Ss are also used in the Estoria de Espanna Digital project (Estoria Digital), and as such were originally transcribed by members of the Estoria Digital team using Textual Communities, a project led by Peter Robinson at the University of Saskatchewan. The other manuscripts, F, D and S were transcribed specifically for this edition, using TextWrangler. All transcriptions were prepared working from digital images of the manuscripts and by editing bare text transcriptions created by stripping the tagging from the transcriptions prepared by the Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, with their agreement. Into these bare texts we introduced our own TEI5-compliant XML tags, according to the Transcription Guidelines. Further details about the underlying principles for the transcription of graphic elements, the use of Junicode, abbreviation marks, suppression marks and punctuation as employed by the Estoria Digital project, and therefore this project by extension, can be viewed here.

Base text

For practical reasons, E2 is used as a base text. This means it is hierarchised above the other manuscripts. This is not because E2 is considered superior to the other manuscripts, nor that it is thought to be older, or even Alfonsine, since we know from the work of Diego Catalán that whilst Eof the Estoria de Espanna (Biblioteca del Monasterio de El Escorial Y-i-2) is Alfonsine, Eis a composite codex, containing Alfonsine material as well as folios added in later periods. E2 is hierarchised through reception, in that it is the basis of the second volume of Menéndez Pidal’s Primera Crónica General, which for many users is considered synonymous with the Estoria de Espanna itself. In the preparation of this edition, Ewas used as a base text primarily because the Estoria Digital project used it as a base text, and as this edition will eventually form part of the Estoria Digital, to not do so would have required a complete methodological overhaul which would have produced inconsistencies between the Estoria Digital and the present edition.

Textual division
To facilitate electronic collation, the text has been divided into smaller blocks. The larger divisions (‘divs’) generally follow the separation of text as it appears in E2, and within each div there are smaller blocks of text (‘anonymous blocks’, ‘abs’) which are generally sentences. This follows the separation of text for the Estoria Digital.

Transcription Guidelines

The transcriptions for this edition were originally produced for the wider Estoria de Espanna Digital project and as such they use the Estoria Digital Transcription Guidelines, first developed by Bárbara Bordalejo. These can be found here.

Presentation of the transcriptions

Available to users of this edition there are two possible presentations of the transcriptions of each of the two manuscripts used. These are the abbreviated version and the expanded version. The abbreviated version is relatively unproblematic, as the text of the manuscript has been transcribed as closely as possible to how it appears in the manuscript: abbreviating signs (such as macrons and hooks) are represented in the transcription above the letter closest to how the abbreviation appears in the manuscript, and crossed consonants in the manuscript are represented as crossed consonants in the transcription, within the confines of current technology. The expanded version is more problematic as it involves much more editorial judgment regarding how to expand abbreviations, and in some cases what exactly constitutes the abbreviation mark. The expansions were completed as per the Transcription Guidelines. Rather than the traditional use of italics for expansions and other editorial interventions, this project follows the wider Estoria de Espanna Digital project in presenting expanded abbreviations in faded black/grey (body text) and faded red (rubrics). To facilitate parallel reading with the manuscript, basic features of the mise-en-page have been maintained, such as page breaks and column breaks. In cases of scribal emendation, the original text appears in the expanded version highlighted in teal, and other readings can be viewed using mouse-over. Supplied text for lacunae, and other editorial interventions are also marked visually in the expanded version, consistent with the presentation of these features in the Estoria Digital.

Users of the edition are also able to download the raw transcriptions used for this edition for use in other projects, on the condition that they fully cite the project, and that they do not use the data for commercial purposes, and follow the Creative Commons licence under which the original work is presented to the public.

Editorial policy

Collated edition

The collated version of the text was created using Textual Communities, which includes a version of CollateX, as written by Ronald Dekker at the Huygens Institut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis, and then developed for use in the Estoria Digital by Catherine Smith at the Institute of Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing at the University of Birmingham, with the support of Peter Robinson.

The collated version of the text is based on five witnesses: E2, Ss, S, D and F, where E2 is taken as the base text and the other manuscripts provides variant readings where appropriate. The aim in creating the collated edition was to retain only the variants which were considered to be stemmatically significant; all other variants, such as orthographic variants, and letter forms were regularised out.

In order to facilitate reading as far as possible, and to avoid mimicking any given manuscript, the collated text is presented as one column, rather than two, variants are presented as footnotes, the main text is in black and rubrics are highlighted in red. Items for which there are a variant in the footnotes are marked using inverted commas. This version of the text is not regularised in terms of orthography or punctuation, but rather is presented with that of the base text wherever possible.

The criteria to which the text was collated is as follows:

These variants are regularised to the base text:

i/j/y as vowelscontractions such as de allidalli
u/v/b as consonantspunctuation
o/u mid-wordcapitalisation
ss/s/çm/n before bilabial consonsants
word initial h (heredero, eredero)culto consonant clusters such as f/ph, sancto/santo
intervocalic double consonants (‘rr’ is taken on a case by case basis)c/ç/z
s/sc/sç mid-wordno/non

Word-initial double consonants such as rr/ff (tagged as glyphs) are regularised to R/F as appropriate.

Proper nouns (meaning toponyms and anthroponyms), where variants other than only the most minor orthographic changes (primarily solely letter forms) are retained as variants and not regularised.

The following features are also retained, and not regularised:

word initial h/fo/do
word initial h/a such as ha/areys/reyes
ome/omneso/su/suyo, morio/murio, logar/lugar
grand(e), gran, grant + pluralsMetathesis such as peligro/periglo, fermosa/fremosa
g/gi/j with consonantic value – muger/mugierregno/reyno
tonic preteritesgente/yente
imperfects ending in -ia/-ielo/la/le, los/las/les (pronouns)


Reader’s version

The reader’s version is a version of the text presented with punctuation, capitalisation and spelling that is relatively consistent with Modern Castilian, bearing in mind the needs of a modern readership, unaccustomed to medieval texts in Castilian. Rather than a fully modernised version of the text, the reader’s text retains some of the features of the medieval text such as much of the syntax, but features which may render the text more difficult for twenty-first-century readers, such as orthography which does not correspond to pronunciation, abbreviations and word unification where we would now find separation, have been regularised. The aim of this version is not to provide readers with a modernised full edition for close study with preferred readings, but rather a version of the text which facilitates reading by an interested reader, but one who is unaccustomed to reading medieval texts. The reader’s text is primarily a regularised version of the base text, but with gaps silently filled in with text from other witnesses.

The full criteria for the graphic regularisation of this version of the text is based on that used for the Estoria de Espanna Digital project, but with some alterations.

There is an audio file available for one chapter (1057) which allows the user to hear the text read aloud. This can be accessed by pressing the play button on the top bar of the reader’s version text box, when this div is open.

The criteria for regularisation is as follows:

i/j/y; u/vregularised according to the consonantal or vocalic value: e.g. trabaio>trabajo, vsar>usar, Aluar>Alvar, yglesia>iglesia
y as a semi-vowel is retained
sç used for ç
ç before a/o/u is retained; ç before e/i > c
<sç> regularised to <ç>
que used for /kwe/regularised to <cue>: for example, cincuenta (not cinquenta)
ll used for /l/regularised to l
nnpalatal consonant: regularised to ñ, unless the medieval pronunciation is in doubt
alveolar consonant: regularised to n
intervocalic r, rrsimplified to single r: onrra>onra
unless used with ‘valor fuerte’, in which case regularised to rr: deramado>derramado
other intervocalic double consonantsregularised to a single consonant: e.g. ommo>como
th used for /t/simplified: catholico>catolico
jh used for <j>simplified: Jhesu Cristo>Jesucristo
g +e/i for /g/regularised to <gu>: Berengella>Berenguela
Tironian signrepresented by ‘e’
abbreviationssilently expanded
word spacingregularised to modern usage; union of unstressed pronoun with verb, e.g. tomando se>tomandose
apostrophes in contractionsused only with two different two verbs in the uncontracted form, e.g. doca>d’Oca but sobrel
capital lettersmajuscules are used for toponyms and anthroponyms; minuscules are used for common nouns
punctuationis modernised only as far as required to promote legibility by non-experts

Critical edition

The collated edition and reader’s version described above have been taken one step further in this project, to provide a critical edition of the chronicle.

The text as presented in E2 is hierarchised over variants from other witnesses, except where there is a gap or unclear text in E2 as it appears in the manuscript images. In these cases, text from other witnesses is supplied in place of the Etext or gap, according to the criteria below. Variants from witnesses other than E2 are shown in blue font, with the manuscript(s) from where this variant comes appearing in mouse-over boxes.

The criteria for the choice of variants is as follows:

1.     Main body variants hierarchise S, and then Ss, since F has various lacunae, and we know the original had undergone the loss of a section by the time it was copied for D.

2.     Rubric variants hierarchise D where possible, since Ss has no rubrics, various rubrics are missing in F, and the rubricator’s hand in S is extremely difficult to read in parts. Whilst collating, it could be seen that the rubrics in Eand D are often very similar or even identical. Where D cannot be used for some reason, I look first to F (up to div 1058), and then to S for rubric variants.

The orthography, punctuation and capitalisation of the critical edition are regularised according to the criteria of the reader’s version.


As part of this edition, a short, self-contained section has been translated into Modern English. More information about the section itself can be found in the student’s introduction to the translated excerpt. The passage is a translation of the text as it appears in E2, although lacunae are filled with text from the 1955 version of Menéndez Pidal’s Primera Crónica General (Madrid: Editorial Gredos, 1955). This edition was first prepared in 1906.

The aim of the translated section is to provide readers who may be unaccustomed to reading Medieval Castilian with a way to access part of the text, in order that they can still enjoy and learn from it. The policy behind this translation has been to attempt to render the original Medieval Castilian into Modern English without disrupting the narrative of the passage. In doing so, it has been necessary to alter the syntax on occasions, although this has been avoided wherever possible. Where it was deemed necessary, instead of explaining unfamiliar terms within the text, which may also be disruptive to the narrative flow, a series of annotations have been included, which the reader can access using mouse-over boxes when they are required. Modern English capitalisation and punctuation has also been added, to facilitate the reading of the passage. Although the text has been translated into Modern English, Modern Castilian has been used for the spellings of toponyms and anthroponyms to enable readers to look these up more easily, should they wish to do so. Wherever possible, anthroponyms which are spelled inconsistently in the original, have been regularised to the spellings that appear in Manuel González Jiménez’s Fernando III el Santo: El rey que marcó el destino de EspañaThroughout the translation of this passage, the underpinning theory has been to translate in such a way as to facilitate the reading of the text.