That part of recensio in which the transmitted variants are examined in order to ascertain whether there still remain some corruptions that can be corrected only by emendatio.

The term is a noun of action from the past participle stem of examinare "to weigh; to ponder".

Examinatio may lead to many different situations closely related to the type of tradition under inspection. "In a completely closed tradition it is theoretically feasible to reconstruct the archetype with such certainty that only a single form of the text without variants remains to be examined. In practice this is extremely unlikely to be the situation. Usually the critic is faced with pairs (sometimes triplets) of variants, all with a presumptive claim to be considered authoritative" (Kenney 1978, 191).


– Kenney, Edward J. 1978. “Textual Criticism.” In The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 18: 189–195. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.
– Maas, Paul. 1960. Textkritik. 4th ed. Leipzig: Teubner. – 1st ed. 1927.
– McDonald, Alexander H. 1970. “Textual Criticism.” In The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 1048–1050. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

In other languages

Latin term used throughout.


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