Structure of an EpiDoc edition


This section introduces the structure and shape of an EpiDoc edition, introducing the TEI P5 approach to manuscript description and history, the divisions in the body, etc.

Most of the features that most commonly occur in an epigraphic/papyrological edition are catered for by specific locations in an EpiDoc file. This document aims to give an overview of those locations. Individual pages in the Supporting Data section of the Guidelines will give more detailed information on each of these elements and features.

A relatively simple EpiDoc file containing descriptive and historical information about an inscription might look something like the following example. A version of this example, keyed to the latest version of the EpiDoc schema and suitable for use as a project template, may be downloaded from the EpiDoc website: ex-epidoctemplate.xml.

<TEI xml:space="preservexml:lang="en"
 xml:base="ex-epidoctemplate.xml" xmlns="">
    <teiHeader>         <fileDesc>             <titleStmt>                 <title>title of document</title>             </titleStmt>             <publicationStmt>                 <authority/>                 <idno type="filename"/>             </publicationStmt>             <sourceDesc>                 <msDesc>                     <msIdentifier>                         <repository>museum/archive</repository>                         <idno>inventory number</idno>                     </msIdentifier>                     <physDesc>                         <objectDesc>                             <supportDesc>                                 <support>description of object/monument (likely to include <material/>                                     and <objectType/> information, <dimensions/>, etc.)</support>                             </supportDesc>                             <layoutDesc>                                 <layout>description of text field/campus</layout>                             </layoutDesc>                         </objectDesc>                         <handDesc>                             <handNote>description of letters, possibly including <height>letter-heights</height>                             </handNote>                         </handDesc>                     </physDesc>                     <history>                         <origin>                             <origPlace>Place of origin</origPlace>                             <origDate>Date of origin</origDate>                         </origin>                         <provenance type="found"> Findspot and circumstances/context                         </provenance>                         <provenance type="observed">Modern location(s) (if different from repository, above)                         </provenance>                     </history>                 </msDesc>             </sourceDesc>         </fileDesc>     </teiHeader>     <facsimile>         <graphic url="photograph of text or monument"/>     </facsimile>     <text>         <body>             <div type="edition">                 <ab>                     <lb n="1"/>Greek or Latin (etc.) text here                 </ab>             </div>             <div type="apparatus">                 <p>external apparatus criticus (if applicable)</p>             </div>             <div type="translation">                 <p>translation(s)</p>             </div>             <div type="commentary">                 <p>commentary</p>             </div>             <div type="bibliography">                 <p>bibliography of previous editions, discussion, etc.</p>             </div>         </body>     </text> </TEI>


div with type of "edition". The edition division contains the epigraphic, papyrological (etc.) text itself as well as editorial interventions (i.e. representations in EpiDoc of the Leiden sigla) that are to be applied to the text. Leiden equivalence is a minimum requirement; further detail on editorial interventions can be included as required. xml:lang is a required attribute, unless textparts have individual languages (see immediately below).

The edition division can be divided using div elements with an type of "textpart", which is a constrained value. If textparts have individual languages, xml:lang should be added to each textpart. An edition may have any number of textparts, which can be further subdivided using subtype with unconstrained values (e.g. "fragment", "column" or whatever description is relevant to that particular text). For detailed discussion and examples see List Of All Transcription Guidelines.


div with type of "translation". The translation division follows the same rules as for the edition, but will usually contains much less markup, and is likely to have a simpler structure. The language of the translation division can be encoded using lang (with two- or three- letter language codes e.g. "de", "fr", "en"). The source or responsibility for the translation can be encoded using source or resp. The translation division can be given a subtype (unconstrained) to describe it further, e.g. "literal", "literary", "pedagogical" etc. For detailed discussion and examples see Translation


div with type of "apparatus". The TEI apparatus module is designed for Lachmannian apparatus criticus, which allows for multiple witnesses to a text. The epigraphic apparatus criticus is likely to include comments on letterforms; supplements; interpretations; and the readings of previous editors. For detailed discussion and examples see Apparatus Criticus.


div with type of "commentary". The commentary division will usually be written in prose, and might contain general discussion of the context of the text or the support, further information about dating criteria, external references, comments on specific sections of the text etc.


div with type of "bibliography". The bibliography division can contain both free-standing content and links to the master bibliography, using <listBibl> with any number of <bibl> elements. This division can be subdivided further using subtype with unconstrained values that might include e.g. "principal", "derived", "discussion" etc. For detailed discussion and examples see Encoding the Bibliography.

Responsibility for this section

  1. Gabriel Bodard, Author
  2. Charlotte Tupman, Author

EpiDoc version: 8.21

Date: 2015-06-19