About ENAP

Project Rational
The Manuscript
Editorial Methodology
Encoding Strategy
User Interaction
ENAP Tools
Intellectual Property and Downloading Tracts



The Norman Anonymous -- written sometime between 1096 and 1110 in the cathedral city of Rouen -- is a prime example of a medieval Latin text that is better known than read. It is most commonly presented in accounts of medieval political thought as one of the more articulate statements about sacred kingship. The unknown author constructed an ingenious argument that the Christian king is more an heir of Christ than a priest because the priest sacramentally represents only the humanity of Christ, whereas a king sacramentally represents the divinity of Christ the King. With the assumption in the medieval world that the divine is always superior to the mundane, this line of argument clearly identified the king as the highest authority in medieval society. Moreover, when this position is taken in concert with how the texts also treat the papacy, the Norman Anonymous also appears to be a vociferous and radical rebuttal to the so-called "Gregorian" reforms that had only begun to surface some fifty years earlier in Rome. Thus, many modern scholars have categorized the Norman Anonymous as a polemical, anti-Gregorian and "royalist" text, without necessarily querying as to whether this fully represents the entire text.

Such a presentation of kingship as superior to ecclesiastical authority is indeed a fascinating theological argument. However, it is instructive to note that the discussions of the relationship between kingship (regnum) and priesthood (sacerdotium) account for a minority of the texts in the entire collection. Indeed, of the thirty-five individual tractates that comprise the Norman Anonymous, only three of them focus on this topic; that is, only 93 of the 302 pages of this manuscript. It is odd that a set of arguments that account for just over one quarter of the collection has come to represent the whole and has acted as a filter for reading the entire text. At the very least, if we are to understand the thinking of this unknown author, modern readers should also consider the ideas found in the remaining three quarters.

This partial reading of the Norman Anonymous was the result in part because of the lack of a complete critical edition. Heinrich Böhmer, at the end of the nineteenth century, had edited nine of the treatises for the Libelli de lite collection in the MGH (1897); two years later he edited a further eighteen for his own study of church-state relations in England and Normandy at the end of the Investiture controversy. Forty years later Harald Scherrinsky published an additional three of the treatises in an appendix to his own study on the Norman Anonymous (1940). The remaining tracts (as well as some re-edited ones) came into the published light of day thanks to George Williams in his ground-breaking study of this collection of texts (1951).

Williams' study was ground breaking primarily because he affirmed that this text ought to be named the Norman Anonymous. All previous scholars, including the editors of partial editions, had named this text the "Anonymous of York," mainly because of one small tract that refuted Canterbury's claim of being the Primate over all of England, including York. Williams, using liturgical evidence, re-located these texts to Normandy and posited that they were composed in Rouen sometime between 1096 and 1110. During this period, William Bona Anima was the archbishop (r. 1079-1110), a controversial figure in his day. Williams went so far as to suggest that Bona Anima was the author of these texts, but this has not received universal acceptance in the scholarship. Still, no one has refuted the Rouennais context for the composition of these treatises.

However, the collection remained scattered amongst three separate publications and this made it difficult to assess it as a whole. Moreover, the treatises had been enumerated in two different ways which caused only more confusion. In 1966, a young German historian named Karl Pellens executed a complete edition. He adopted the numbering of the tracts established by M.R. James in his descriptive catalog for the repository that possessed the single manuscript copy. For the first time all thirty-five treatises were assembled in one place with a critical apparatus.

Pellens' edition was a welcome contribution to the textual history of the Norman Anonymous, and combined with his own monographic study of the text, it became a good resource for the historical study of medieval theology and church history in the early twelfth century. However, its shortcomings were also apparent and scholars wasted no time in pointing them out. What was particularly troubling was Pellens' insistence on rearranging the tracts. He had become convinced that the Norman Anonymous was comprised of polemical treatises and notes for those treatises. Without any supporting paleographical or codicological evidence, Pellens published the tracts in a new order. That decision, along with some consistent editorial infelicities, resulted in most scholars advising that the edition be used with caution.

To his credit, Pellens responded to his critics and in 1977 he teamed up with his strongest critic, Ruth Nineham, and together they produced a facsimile of the manuscript witness. In this way, Pellens provided greater transparency for his own editorial work perhaps even at the risk of exposing additional errors. In Digital Humanities, such a strategy is called "resource enhancement" and it was a commendable act.

Project Rationale


The Electronic Norman Anonymous Project (ENAP) was originally developed to provide a digital equivalent to Pellens' analog form of resource enhancement. Using new, web-based technologies the editors proposed a method of integrating the edited text with digital images of the manuscript page. In addition, they had envisaged of updating the bibliographical components, providing English translations of the apparatus, and correcting the text where it was necessary. All this would be accessible through a web-based application that would permit the reader to move from edited text to manuscript image with relative ease. With funding in place, work began in October 2008.

By the summer of 2009, however, it had become apparent the Pellens' edition was more troubling than most scholars had noticed. To the established critiques, we offer a list of five additional problems:

  1. There are a large number of mis-transcriptions throughout the edition. In tract 24, for example, Pellens consistently mis-read the text or at least failed to identify what the MS said, particularly in how the text was corrected.
  2. There are about 60 pages of the MS that are not in the edition (no reviewer ever acknowledged this fact). For example, tract 26 is another copy of tract 22. Pellens collated the two, but did not align the MS's pagination in his collation. Indeed, he did not fully articulate the differences and similarities between the two versions. Instead, he included an ellipsis in tract 26, where he should have really included the transcription of that part of the MS. However, his cross-referencing system (which is keyed to the manuscript pages and not the edition's pagination) regularly cites the MS page numbers to the part of the text he did not print! Moreover, his collation of tract 24 is incomplete.
  3. From an editorial perspective, Pellens could not decide whether he was executing a diplomatic or critical edition. His apparatus oscillates between the two, providing an unhelpful and confused apparatus in the end.
  4. The editorial comments have proven to be unhelpful and at times inaccurate. Pellens was so convinced that this collection was only a polemical reaction to the Gregorian reform, he never thought to contextualize the tracts in any other way.
  5. The apparatus fontium (such as it is) is deficient. He misses a good deal of biblical citations, and does not often see the patristic sources. His most critical comments on the rhetoric or theology of the text often occur in portions that are extended citations from other sources (and where he had not realize that a source was being quoted).

We came to the conclusion that we had to abandon the idea of enhancing the Pellens edition and instead execute our own. We remained attuned to the work Pellens did, and we do not deny that without it this editorial task would have been a much greater challenge. It was our hope from the beginning that the digital version (or now, edition) would honor the contribution Pellens had made. And, even though we have become more critical of his work, we still remain deeply indebted to him.

The Manuscript


Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 415 is an early twelfth-century manuscript book measuring 211 x 135 mm (8.6 x 5.5 in). It is composed of 20 quires which contain a total of 302 manuscript pages (along with four additional pages at both the front and back of the MS). Fourteen of the quires contain the usual 8 leaves, with the rest ranging from 2 leaves (quire 14), to 6 (quire 9), 7 (quires 7 and 19) and 10 (quires 3 and 20). In two instances (quires 7 and 9), pages have been cut out and there is an additional vellum slip sewn into the binding in quire 7 (pp. 112a and 113a). Quires 11 and 12 have been placed in the wrong order and so the correct order should be: quires 10 (pp. 143-158), 12 (pp. 173-188), 11 (pp. 159-172).

In his catalog for the Matthew Parker Library, M.R. James suggested that some of the hands in MS 415 bore similar features of the "Christ Church, Canterbury" hands. George Williams refuted this claim and presented evidence that the manuscript was written in Normandy and possibly at the monastery of Bec. There are 11 scribal hands at work, which break down into six groups (A-F): group A has two hands, as does group B. Group C has four hands and groups D-F are of one hand each. The B hands were responsible for writing the largest amount of text (151 pages), followed by the A hands at 65 pages and then C hands at 41 pages. Hands D-F are responsible for 1 (D and E) to 4 pages (F). In the introduction to the facsimile of MS 415, Nineham and Pellens suggested that the MS was constructed in four phases: in the first phase, quires 1-3 were written; these were then joined to 4-13, after which quires 13-18 were added. Finally, quires 19 and 20 were included. The table below summarizes all this data:

PagesHand   Quire(s) TractsPhases
1-49 A1 1-3 1-4 I
50-119 B13-8 5-19 II
120 C1 8 20 II
121-142 B1 8-9 21-23a II
142 C1 9 23b II
143-204 B2 10-13 24a II
204 C1 13 24b (part) II
205-208 C2 14 24b (part) III
209-235 C3 15-16 24b (part) III
235-238 C1 16 24c-24d III
239-254 D 17 25, 26 (part) III
255-264 C3 18 26 (part) III
264-265 C1 18 27 III
265-266 E 18 28 (part) III
266-280 C1 18-19 28 (part), 29 (part) III, IV
280-284 F 19 29 (part) IV
284 C4 19 30 IV
285-302 A2 20 31 IV

In 2005, Corpus Christi College began a collaborative project with Stanford University Libraries to digitize the Parker Manuscript collection. As of July 2010, 506 of the collection's manuscripts have been digitally imaged (including MS 415) and are now part of the Parker on the Web. In 2007, the Parker Library granted the Center for Digital Theology (CDT) permission to make use of the digital images. The initial intention was to provide internet links to the images using the Parker on the Web user interface. However, that proved difficult for displaying the edited text and page image side by side; and so in late 2008, the Parker Library granted CDT permission to display copies of those images as part of the ENAP application.

Editorial Methodology


ENAP is a critical edition of a single manuscript text. We have not followed Pellens in attempting to conflate a diplomatic and critical edition for two reasons: first, as noted such a strategy often leads to confusing information; and second, with the images of the manuscript pages immediately available to the reader, diplomatic annotations seemed redundant. We do note codicological and paleographical information where such details assist the reader in making sense of the text. Our overall methodology has been the following:

  1. Order of Text: we have returned the order of the tractates as they are presented in the MS itself. We did present the order of text in tract 24 according to how quires 11and 12 should have been reversed. Moreover, this digital edition now contains the first complete transcription of the entire MS.
  2. Editorial Intervention: Editors of single MS editions must tread carefully when rendering a of text that is clearly garbled or incomplete. Since there are no other witnesses to call upon for assistance, these are the moments in which the editor clearly inserts himself into the text. We have tread cautiously here, but have not avoided making difficult editorial decisions. All such interventions have resulted in only adding one word to the text and these are indicated by <angled brackets>. Duplications of words or entire lines are not printed in the edition, but are acknowledged in the apparatus criticus. The MS as a whole was corrected (possibly by one person) and we have noted those corrections (including erasures). In only a few instances was a portion of text unreadable because the last few characters disappeared into the binding gutter.
  3. Orthography: We have not classicized the Latin. The orthography of the MS is generally consistent, although minor variations and slips do appear from time to time. We have not noticed any orthographical patterns that match the appearance of certain scribes. We have acted with hesitancy in intervening editorially on orthography. Our guiding principle was: if a reader, familiar with the general features of medieval orthography, could ascertain what word had been written, we made no annotation. If, however, we considered a scribe to have spelled a word incorrectly or written it in a manner that is so divergent from any of the possibilities in medieval orthography, then we corrected the text and noted this in the apparatus criticus.
  4. Apparatus: There are three apparatus employed in ENAP:
    • An apparatus biblicus is embedded in the edition as hyperlinks. Direct quotations are printed in italics. The links will take the user to the Clementine Vulgate. We have adopted a flexible understanding of direct quotation that acknowledges that the biblical text prior to the printing press was not always rigid. Slight variations in word order and even alternative woridng have been taken into consideration when determining whether a citation is a biblical allusion or a direct quotation. A common practice in medieval theological texts was to cite only the opening part of a biblical text and then add either an et cetera, or an usque followed by the last few words of a pericope. In these cases, we have printed the text as it is found in the MS, and have not attempted to "restore" what the entire citation might have been.
    • An apparatus criticus is noted by lettered footnotes. They contain the evidence for editorial decisions where the text has been amended, or other relevant paleographical and codicological data.
    • An apparatus fontium is noted by numbered footnotes. These annotations contain bibliographical data about cited sources, as well as historical, philosophical and theological details that can aid in understanding the text. This apparatus also contains hyperlinks of cross-references to other tracts in ENAP.
  5. Pagination: A digital edition has the advantage of adopting a more fluid definition of "page" in the presentation of the text. There are no physical restrictions to what can be presented on the page; instead, these kind of decisions need to take usability into major consideration. ENAP's original intention was to follow the pagination of the Pellens edition; however, when we decided to execute our own critical edition that decision had to be re-examined. Our conclusion was to follow the manuscript pagination as closely as possible. Users will find that ENAP presents the content of one MS page on one page of our edition. The only exception occurs at the beginning and end of the tracts, which are each presented on an individual page of the edition, even if the transition occurs in the middle of a manuscript page Each edition page will list both the page number of the edition as well as the relevant page from the MS. This decision has had the further benefits of each page not being heavily cluttered with annotations, making the text somewhat more readable and usable.
  6. Cross-referencing: As noted, users can easily move from edition to MS with ease. This has meant encoding the MS pagination into the edition. MS 415 is a manuscript that has been paginated and not foliated. However, for the sake of clarity, we have distinguished in the encoding the pagination of the edition and the MS pagination by called the latter "folios." This occurs in the encoding only and annotations make reference to the MS page. ENAP also notes the pagination of previous editions of each tract in the right margin. These have been keyed to paragraphs and so do not indicate the page breaks in these previous editions.

Encoding Strategy


ENAP uses XML technology for encoding. The schema was designed specifically for the editing project, although it drew heavily from TEI P5. It is our contention that schemas ought to properly and fully describe the content and structure of a specific text rather than using generalized elements such as the TEI set. Moreover, this has permitted us to align our encoding strategy much more easily with our practice of usability. We have been able to embed some of the functionality that benefits the user in reading the text into the encoding process. The schema can be downloaded by any user, and the schema's header includes a revision history. The schema also uses the <a:documentation> element to document the scope and function of each element. At the same time we recognize TEI's valiant attempt to provide a standardized approach to encoding texts, so that there is a basis for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and even interoperability amongst projects in the Digital Humanities. In order to facilitate EDI and interoperability, we have "converted" our XML files into a TEI compliant format, and they may be downloaded by any user. Use of those TEI compliant files is governed by the same license that governs the entire ENAP project (see below).

The basic workflow was the following:

User Interaction


ENAP is not just a new critical edition: we intended to create a new way of using such texts. It has become a major principle for internet sites that, even though users want to consume information, they do not want to do it passively. We have adopted this principle in as much as it can be used in the development and presentation of scholarly editions of texts. Not only can the user move from edition, to text and manuscript side by side to the MS page on its own, she can also interact with the text. There are two basic ways to do this:

  1. Users can offer alterative readings for the text. While we have striven to be as rigorous and accurate as possible, the editors recognize that there is no such thing as a perfect text. Infelicities can creep in, but even more importantly, there are places in the text for readers to genuinely disagree with the editorial decisions. Users can therefore display a manuscript page separated into the individual lines and provide a different reading. These are then saved and can be accessed through the commenting system.
  2. That commenting system permits registered users to offer their own reflections on the tracts. Comments are keyed to individual paragraphs of a tract and are displayable as marginalia. The commenting system can also support private group discussions, so that comments made by the members of an established user group are only visible to other group members. Individual users may also elect to keep their comments private. Users can also revise comments and even respond to other comments visible to them. All comments denoted as public are reviewed by ENAP's editors to weed out abusive and inappropriate language.

ENAP Tools


In addition to the transcription tool, ENAP provides three other user tools:

  1. Source Comparison. In selecting this, the user can create a list of sources (scriptural and other primary sources). The tool then displays where these sources occur in the entire collection of tracts. This can be helpful when examining whether a group of sources are used together or separately. The user can select up to five sources from any tract of the collection. The table generated contains hyperlinks that point to the pages where the source occurs.
  2. Word Analysis. Users can use the TaPoR tool set to analyze word usage and other stylistic metrics for the Norman Anonymous
  3. Latin Dictionary. ENAP has implemented its own instance of the Perseus version of the Lewis and Short dictionary. While ENAP has used Perseus' morphological tool as the search interface, users must use classical spelling when searching for the definition of a word.

The tools are complemented by a powerful search engine and a comparison tool that permits display of two tracts side by side.

Intellectual Property and Downloading Tracts


ENAP is released under two licenses. A ECL2.0 governs the software that runs the digital edition. The Codebase and its documentation are available upon request, though a public release of the API that powers the detection of lines of text in images is scheduled for late October 2010. The edited text is protected by a Creative Commons License 3.0 (cc-by-nc). Full details of the End User License can be found here Users may download one or more tracts of the edition in either of the three formats:

As an TEI-compliant XML file

As a PDF file :

As a Plain Text file

Please note that the PDF file contains only the apparatus biblicus and criticus, but not the apparatus fontium. The pagination will also differ from the digital edition and so it is strongly recommended that formal citation of ENAP refer to the digital edition and not the PDF documents.

* * * * * *



It can be difficult to become enthusiastic about editing when it is mostly comprised of tough and monotonous tasks, which are then interspersed with small moments of lucidity and joy. Those few moments make it all worthwhile, however, especially when one discovers something about a text that no one else has noticed. If translation is the closest form of commentary, then it is made only possible by the most intimate act of reading: editing texts. For this project, those moments of pure joy were only enhanced by the incredible team I had the pleasure of leading. ENAP's software development has been due to the able hand of Jonathan Deering. Digital humanists sometimes have a love/hate relationship with software developers, as sometimes it appears they don't "get" what we want and the humanist seems incapable of communicating those wants in useful ways. Mr Deering was able to bridge the apparent divide between computer science and scholarly text editing; he was not support staff, but rather a collaborator. He translated my sometimes inchoate ideas into useful functions, challenged me on the projects methods or how we were implementing them; and listened carefully to my critiques of his work. It is important that ENAP users know that Mr Deering is the one who came up with the idea to link text and manuscript line by line (where the initial mandate had been to do a page by page linking) and he developed the User Interface for ENAP's transcription tool.

I also need to thank my co-editor, Tomás O'Sullivan. I hired Mr O'Sullivan, a doctoral candidate in Historical Theology at Saint Louis University, to be my research assistant. It became clear within the first few months that he had much more to offer than doing the grunt work of source criticism. His contribution to the project has been so substantial that it would be simply unjust to name him anything other than co-editor. He took the main responsibility of Tract 24a and all its sibling tracts -- affectionately known as the "beast" in our office. I am indebted to his keen paleographical eye, creative thinking and his excellent work ethic. It needs to be stated, however, that as the senior editor, I take full responsibility for any errors found in the edition.

There are a number of other people who also deserve mention. I am grateful to Hudson Davis for the graphic design of the site. I must also thank Dr Jay M Hammond, Dr Jack Marler, Dr Claude Pavur, Ms Amy Philips, and Mr C. Michael Shea for participating in the usability study. That was a turning point in ENAP's development and I am grateful for their time and their honesty in their assessment of the User Interface. My colleagues in Theological Studies always remained supportive and I especially want to recognize my Chair, Fr J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM, for his unwavering support of my research. In addition, I am grateful to Dr Donald Brennan, who was Dean of Arts and Sciences when this project began. He gave the Center for Digitial Theology a place in the University, and he and his staff ensured I had all the support I needed. Outside the University, I must thank John Haegar, Stu Snydeman, Cathy Aster and Benjamin Albritton of the Stanford University Libraries for their advice and support. I am grateful for the opportunities Stanford provided me to give two academic papers about the project.

Finally, I am deeply indebted to the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation, who fully funded this project. The Grant Officers, Donald Waters and Helen Cullyer, admirably represented the Foundation and were continually supportive of the project. I am most grateful for the permission they gave to extend the grant's work period an additional seven months. This has ensured we could produce the best possible edition.

James R. Ginther
St Louis, MO