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NEW PERSPECTIVES FOR CRITICAL EDITIONS OF FRANCISCAN TEXTS OF THE MIDDLE AGES The critical assessment of the editions established in Quaracchi is a complex task.1 First of all, because we have to take into account a series of editions of various works established by different teams which did not always follow the same operating criteria or, which is even worse, had a different view of the concept of "critical edition." We will have to deal with this issue again. The first thing we need to emphasize is that most of these editions date back to the previous century and that, thanks to the work produced, many medievalists have for a long time been able to tackle and study closely the texts of the great Franciscan masters who, without that work, would have remained unknown for quite a number of years. Therefore, before we examine their work, we wish to express our gratitude to the Fathers of Quaracchi for the work they have accomplished and to admire the productivity of those teams of researchers who, in many cases, have devoted their lives to making the heritage that had been bequeathed to them available to medievalists. In this way they have shown the wealth of the philosophical and theological heritage of the Franciscan school in the Middle Ages and we thank them for doing so. But the preparation of this edition was at its peak a hundred years ago and we must admit that studies have greatly evolved since then. Therefore, for a reliable assessment, we first need to examine the rules of edition which were applied at the time, then to see how the requirements regarding critical work have evolved over a hundred years. We then will be able to move on to precise examples and show what we may presently expect from a good edition, which will allow us to make a selection and establish a list of texts for which a new edition is needed, while including the catalogue of editions that are still satisfactory. 'The French version of this text will be published in the Proceedings of the Conference on Editori di Quarracht 100 annt dopo. Bilanao e Prospettive. Roma, 1997. 169 Franciscan Studies, Vol. 56 (1998) 170Jacqueline Hamesse This paper will therefore be divided into three parts. But before we deal with the first one, it has to be said that part of the work has been done previously. Other researchers have paved the way for such an assessment: we only need to mention the articles of Father I. Brady published in 1977,2 the one published by Father J.G . Bougerol in 1986,3 as well as the 1991 contribution by Father Bataillon.4 Starting from these initial results, we may try to draw a few conclusions which will mainly bear on the work of Saint Bonaventure. I. THE CONCEPT OF CRITICAL EDITION A CENTURY AGO When we look at the introductions to the various works of Saint Bonaventure in the Opera omnia, we immediately have at our disposal a state of the art concerning the notion of critical edition in the late 19th century.5 It is interesting to observe that, already at that time, collaborators did not all agree on edition principles, which may account for the varying quality of critical work, according 2The Edition of the "Opera omnia" of Saint Bonaventure (1882-1902), in // Collegio S. Bonventura di Quaracchi (1877-1977), Grottaferrata 1977, 116-140 (from the Archtvum Franciscanum Histoncum, 70(1977), 352-376). ^Pour des "Prolegomena Postquam" de l'édition critique de S. Bonaventure, Quaracchi 1882-1902, in The Editing of Theological and Philosophical Texts from the Middle Ages (Stockholm, 29-31 August 1984). Edited by M. Asztalos (Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, XXX). Stockholm 1986, 121-135. Le edizioni di "opera omnia" degli scolasttce I'edtzione leonina, in GIi Studi di Filosofía Médiévale fra Otto e Novecento. Contributo a un bilancio stonográfico. Atti del convegno internazionale (Roma, 21-23 settembre 1989) a cura di R. Imbach e A. Maierù (Storia e Letteratura, 179). Roma 1991, 141-154. 5Cf. S. Bonaventurae Opera omnia, t. V (1891), XLI-XLII: "Semel in loco valde corrupto ex alio scripto S. Bonaventurae pauca...


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