Last modified by 14zunde on 2024/02/13 07:40

A copy is a transcript of an existing document, generally referred to as the exemplar. The new document thus produced is sometimes referred to as an apograph. A handwritten  is seldom identical to its exemplar in all details: usually there will be some changes in the copy made either consciously or unconsciously by the scribe. Only in some cases, and especially if the text is short, it can, however, be identical with the exemplar word by word. Even so, there will always be differences in graphic form or display.

In the genealogical method, the changes made in the copy, or apograph, are seen as errors and they can be used to group the manuscripts according to the rule of common errors. Note that some critics prefer a more neutral term than error, e.g. variant or innovation.

Cf. also descendant.


– West, Martin L. 1973. Textual Criticism and Editorial Technique Applicable to Greek and Latin Texts. Stuttgart: Teubner.

In other languages

DE: Kopie, Abschrift
 FR: copie
 IT: copia