archetype

Ante hos mille annos in quadam regni Francici parte unum supererat Lucretiani carminis exemplar antiquum, e quo cetera, quorum post illa tempora memoria fuit, deducta sunt ; […] id exemplar ceterorum archetypon (ita appellare soleo) (Lachmann 1850, 1).

Die Vorlage, bei der die erste Spaltung begann, nennen wir den Archetypus. Der Text diese Archetypus ist frei von allen nach den Spaltung entstandenen Fehlern, steht also dem Original näher als der Text aller Zeugen. Gelingt es also, diesen Text sicherzustellen, so ist damit die constitutio bedeutend gefördert.
Die besondere Bedeutung derjenigen Vorlage, die wir als Archetypus bezeichnet haben, ist unbestritten, und ein anderer Name dafür steht nicht zur Verfügung. Man sollte daher nicht andere Zwischenglieder zwischen Original und erhaltenen Zeugen, so wichtig sie unter Umständen sein können, als Archetypus bezeichnen (Maas 1950, 6).

The exemplar from which the first split originated we call the archetype. The text of this archetype is free from all errors arising after the split and is therefore closer to the original than the text of any of the witnesses. If we succeed then in establishing the text of this, the constitutio (reconstruction of the original) is considerably advanced.

The special importance of the exemplar which I have termed the archetype is not contested, and there is no other name available. For this reason we should be careful not to use the term archetype of other connecting links between the original and the surviving witnesses, however important they may be at times (Maas 1958, 2-3).

L’archétype est le plus ancien témoin de la tradition où le texte d’un auteur se trouve consigné dans la forme qui nous a été transmise. S’il y a plusieurs formes de la tradition, il y a évidemment plusieurs archétypes (Dain 1964, 108-109).

Di archetypum in età umanistica va data una definizione più generica e comprensiva di quella del Kristeller: esso è ‘l’originale‘ dell’autore, non solo nel suo stadio definitivo di opera destinata alla divulgazione, ma anche in tutte le fasi precedenti: sono indicati con archetypum oltre che l’esemplare definitivo di un’opera scritto su pergamena e destinato ad essere capostipite della divulgazione e ‘Normal-Exemplar’, anche i primi abbozzi, le minute, la scheda (cioè […] la redazione pressoché definitiva dell’opera, ma ancora su carte sciolte) e infine anche scritti non destinati alla pubblicazione, come appunti o note di collazione. La nozione comune è quella di una stretta connessione coll’autore, tanto che talvolta archetypum ha addirittura il valore di ‘autografo’. Inoltre la voce presenta ancora altri significati: la nozione di ‘originale’ può obliterarsi mentre diviene dominante quella di ‘capostipite’ della tradizione e archetypum può assumere un significato tecnico-filologico assai vicino a quello odierno. Infine il termine assume qualche volta il valore di ‘minuta’ nonché quello di ‘antigrafo‘, modello da cui una copia è stata trascritta (Rizzo 1973, 308).

The archetype (defined as the lowest common ancestor of the known manuscripts) (West 1973, 32).

È opportuno riservare il nome di archetipo all’oggetto ricostruito, cioè l’antenato comune all’intera tradizione, in quanto distinto dall’originale perché già corrotto: la sua consistenza va sempre dimostrata. Il Timpanaro ha dimostrato che il nome archetypus col semplice valore di capostipite si trova già in Erasmo, dalla 2° edizione degli Adagia (1538); mentre di codex archetypus in accezione lachmanniana discorrono già alcuni contemporanei del Lachmann, in particolare il classicista danese Johan Nicolai Madvig; il Lachmann, nel suo commento a Lucrezio (1850), rivendica la definizione come sua «id exemplar ceterorum archetypon (ita appellare soleo)» (Contini 1986, 21).

Si chiama archetipo la copia non conservata, guastata da almeno un errore di tipo congiuntivo, alla quale risale tutta la tradizione; di solito lo si designa o con x […], o con ω e a partire da esso (o, in sua assenza, dall’originale) si contano le diramazioni dello stemma (Stussi 1994, 128).

Archetyp (griech. arche ‘Ursprung,’ typos ‘Geformtes’) Der älteste, aus allen Zeugen zu erschließende Überlieferungszustand eines Textes, der aber noch nicht mit dem Original identisch ist (Plachta 1997, 135).

Archetype. The original from which variant copies of a text have evolved. Typically it is lost and must be reconstructed from surviving witnesses (Kline 1998, 269).

Scholars used to think that the Humanists […] meant by the term archetypum or codex archetypus only the “official text” checked by the author and intended to be published afterward in further copies. A wider and deeper examination (Rizzo 1973: 308-17) has made it clear that alongside that meaning (perhaps the prevailing one), the term also has many other usages in the Humanist age, among them the one that will go on to prevail later, namely, that of a manuscript – even if it is later than the author by many centuries, even if it has been preserved by chance and is devoid of any “official” quality or authority, even if it is disfigured by errors or lacunas – from which all the others are derived (Timpanaro 2005, 49-50).

archetype The single (usually lost) document from which all surviving witnesses of a work ultimately derive, not necessarily synonymous with an author‘s fair copy. (Kelemen 2009, 567).

a. (archetype of specific witnesses) latest common ancestor;

b. (archetype of a work, or without qualification) latest common ancestor of the known witnesses; known witness when common ancestor of the rest (Reeve 2011, 117).

Henceforth I shall use archetype1 in the first, i.e., the most widespread, of those ancient and Humanist meanings, that is, in the sense of  “official text, prepared by its author for publication” […].
Thus, by further refinements, scholars evolved increasingly rigorous formulations, such as “a lost copy marred by at least one error of the conjunctive type, from which the whole tradition derives”.
In this second meaning, the archetype (archetype2) can be reconstructed logically – with varying degrees of accuracy – on the basis of the number of conjunctive errors that are common to all its descendants (Trovato 2014, 64).

Textual critics should only use the word archetype to designate the point in the stemma beyond which the surviving tradition does not allow them to reach.
In the light of the above considerations, the most complete and rigorous definitions of archetype offered by the recent manuals I am familiar with are those of Blecua and Stussi. These authors also explain the logico-formal conditions proving the existence of an archetype:

Un códice o impreso perdido, X, o conservado, A, B, C, etc., que transmita errores communes a todos los testimonios (Blecua, 71).

A lost copy marred by at least one error of the conjunctive type, from which the whole tradition derives (Stussi, 121).

However, although it may seem superfluous […], they should possibly be reformulated as follow:

Un códice o impreso, perdido […], que transmita errores communes a todos los testimonios conservados.

A lost copy marred by at least one error of the conjunctive type, from which the whole surviving tradition derives.

(Trovato 2014, 66-67)

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