Last modified by 14zunde on 2024/02/13 07:41

In textual criticism, recensio is the analysis of the handwritten material of a text, if possible with the aim of establishing a stemma of the manuscript tradition. It is thus a part of the constitutio textus in Lachmann's method. This process requires the enumeration and examination of the material, manuscript by manuscript, and thus reflects the original Latin meaning of the word (cf. recensēre ‘count, enumerate’ or in more general terms, ‘examine, review, survey’).

The Latin term recensio should be used throughout, to differentiate the process of recensio from the other meanings of the word "recension" (see recension), but modernisations of the Latin term do appear in literature, especially in the terms open and closed recensions. Maas contrasts recensio with examinatio in his Textkritik.


– Maas, Paul. 1960. Textkritik. 4th ed. Leipzig: Teubner. – 1st ed. 1927.