Preserving the Aeneid through the Centuries

Preserving the Aeneid through the Centuries -...

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Preserving the  Aeneid  through the Centuries Three manuscripts of the  Aeneid  from the fourth and fifth centuries are the basis of the text of the  poem in use today. Surprisingly, these manuscripts are relatively free from mistakes and generally  agree with one another — evidence that the scribes who reproduced them were working with  consistently good, earlier copies of the poem, which had to be painstakingly copied again and again  by hand, a method that invited error. It was the custom when composing by hand, as Virgil did, to write on tablets coated with wax. The  text was etched into the wax surface by means of a stylus, an instrument with a sharp point at one  end and a flat edge, used for erasing, at the other. Later, professional copyists, using a primitive pen  and ink, transcribed the individual books of the  Aeneid  onto papyrus, a form of paper made from the 
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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