Diplomatic Transcriptions


A diplomatic transcription in epigraphic or papyrological terms is one that records only the characters as they appear on the support, with minimal or no editorial intervention or interpretation. It differs from a drawing in that individual letters are identified, usually to Unicode codepoints, but will often be written in uppercase, without spaces, punctuation or diacritics (unless these are in the source document), and without restoring lacunae or expanding abbreviations.

It is generally an assumption in the EpiDoc workflow and tooling that a diplomatic transcription can be generated from the underlying XML as an alternative, or parallel, view to the interpretive edition following the normal Leiden Conventions. In the EpiDoc Example Stylesheets changing the parameter $edition-type to "diplomatic" will lead the XSLT to leave abbreviations unresolved, treat supplied elements as gaps, transform text nodes to uppercase, unaccented, unspaced text, and so forth, creating a fair reproduction of what a diplomatic edition is expected to look like.

A few diplomatic features, such as unusually-shaped characters, partially lost letters at the ends of lines, internal spacing in Imperial inscriptions, are not terribly well handled by these transformation templates. In addition, some communities may feel that a separate diplomatic edition, where different decisions in the transcription are made, would be desirable. This could perhaps be encoded as a <div type="edition" subtype="diplomatic">.

Responsibility for this section

  1. Gabriel Bodard, author

EpiDoc version: 9.5

Date: 2023-04-26