Ecdotics: Working on the textual filiation of the early editions of Alphonso Hordognez’s translation of Celestina into Italian

As I am currently working on the textual relation between Christof Wirsung’s translations of Celestina into German and their Italian model, I felt the need to create a list of separative errors that I could use as an orientation to determine from which edition of Alphonso Hordognez’s translation of Celestina Christof Wirsung translated in 1520 and in 1534. The critical apparatus of Kathleen Kish’s 1973 edition1 is not to be blindly trusted, as Beniamino Vignola stated in his review of 19762 and I have verified myself, therefore, I have decided to ellaborate my own critical apparatus and to collate, in a first stage, all editions of the Italian translation of Celestina until 1520, when Wirsung’s first translation was published. Moreover, I have turned this into an occassion for using the on-line version of Juxta, the well-known free collation software, known as Juxta Commons to differientiate between the two.

The most remarkable feature of Juxta Commons so far is the possibility of sharing so-called “comparison sets”, that is, texts and their collations. For you to see how well it works, I have shared the comparison set devoted to Alphonso Hordognez’s dedicatory letter to Gentile Feltria de Campofregoso, in which I have asked the programme to ignore punctuation and capitalisation differences. Despite not having been able to create a filter to ignore irrelevant graphical variants (a feature I would appreciate very much, filtering by variant type), I think that the “heat map” (Juxta Commons’ name for the overlay of the texts with differences highlighted by color) is quite easy to use and gives a good general overview of where differences are.

Although the text corresponding to the 1515 Venetian edition is missing (I have not received my digital copy yet), the above collation offers us some relevant separative errors. These errors leave us so far with a milanese and a venetian branch in the stemma:

  • Milan editions replace “la presente opera” with “questa” in “il nostro auctore per la presente opera chiaramente cel dimostra”
  • Milan editions correct “nobile fortuna” to “mobile fortuna” in “Quali obstano ale adversita dela nobile fortuna” (although this is a correction that could arise independently at any stage of the textual history of the Italian translation of Celestina)
  • Venice 1519 turns “de miei falli” into “degli error miei”

In general, I think Juxta Commons serves its purpose well, although I miss the “attach image” option of the desktop edition and being able to ascribe variants to different categories and filter by them. Having created this collation set from plain text files, I am considering using TEI-encoded files the next time. However, I cannot still figure out which features of TEI-encoding would improve this collation set, as I am exclusively interested in separative errors. Any suggestions?


1Kish, Kathleen (ed.), (1973), An edition of the first Italian translation of the “Celestina” (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press).

2Vignola, Beniamino (1976), “Su un’edizione della prima traduzione italiana della Celestina“, Cultura Neolatina XXXVI, pp. 129-137.

My resources collection: Digital editions. Christof Wirsung’s 1520 and 1534 translations into German.

Now that I am in Augsburg, working on the sixteenth-century translations of Celestina into German, I thought you might like to have a look at them. Despite being the work of a same author, the 1520 translation and the 1534 translation are not even similar, neither from the point of view of translation theory, nor of the language. Not to mention the ideological differences between them. However, both translations are better known by the impressive xylographies Hans Weiditz engraved specifically for them, which you can see in an older post in this same blog.

Ain hipsche Tragedia con zwaien liebhadenden Mentschen… (1520 translation)

Ainn recht liepliche buechlin… (1534 translation)

My resources collection: Digital editions. Alphonso Hordognez’s translation into Italian.

Alphonso Hordognez finished translating Celestina into Italian some time in 1505. His translation was first printed in 1506 in Rome (there will be time another day to discuss if there was a 1505 edition) and, since then, it knew several editions in the first half of the sixteenth century, the last known of which appeared in 1543. Copies belonging to many of these editions have been digitised and are freely available on-line:

My resources collection. Xylographies: Celestina (German), Sigismund Grymm and Max Wirsung, Augsburg (1520).

My resources collection. Xylographies: Celestina (Italian), [Venice], Giovanni Antonio and Pietro de Nicolini da Sabio (1541).

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