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Abstract

In her article "Practical and Theoretical Implications of Digitalizing the Middle Ages" Roberta Capelli discusses scholarship about and the teaching of medieval culture in digital humanities. While every medieval manuscript is an individual entity, displaying a series of unique and unrepeatable material, structural and aesthetic characteristics, digital devices are able to generate only two-dimensional photographic reproductions. However, the digital medium brings about some major improvements in the study — and teaching — of medieval manuscripts because the hypertextual nature of its applications allows us to analyse simultaneously synchronic and the diachronic dynamics. From a theoretical point of view, the difference between the state of the manuscript taken as a material object and its status as a vector of intellectual values brings to light similarities between the notions of intellectual property and originality in traditional print and digital cultures. The increasing number of critical editions of medieval texts and manuscripts in digital form asks us to reshape the theoretical and conceptual-linguistic frameworks of textual criticism as a discipline. Capelli postulates that "hypertextual criticism" represents the study of philological theories and practices in light of new literacies and technologies.