Editorial policies

The Homer Multitext project is creating digital, diplomatic editions of Homeric manuscripts and papyri. Our editions document what we are able to read, and our readings are cross-referenced to citations of the visual evidence we used.

In the following examples, images are linked to interactive versions of the cited visual evidence.

Characters and character sequences

diaereses on vowels with breathing and/or accent : Use Unicode "Combining Diaeresis" character

Example: ί̈σχειν (urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg001:9.352)


macra : Use Unicode "Combining Macron" character.

Example: δαίνῡ {urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg001:9.70}


brevia : Use Unicode "Combining Breve" character

Example: ἄ̆ν {urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg001:9.101}


elisions : Of the many possible Unicode characters for elision, use only Unicode straight single quote. If you use Sophokeys to enter Greek, note that this is not the character it generates automatically when entering Greek.

Example: ἄλλ' ἐν {urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg001:9.235}


"floating" grave accents : Floating grave accents in the manuscript can appear on an elided syllable. "Float" a grave accent character between the last letter of the word and the elision mark.

Example: μετα δ`᾽ ἔσσεται {urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg001:9.131}

"floating" accent5


accentuation and breathings : We record all accents and breathings as given in the manuscript (not "corrected" to modern usage). This category includes diaeresis, and markings for short or long vowel quantities (breve and macron).

iota : Iotas are consistently written adscript in most of our manuscripts: we write them subscript where that is usual in modern practice without implying that the manuscript does so.

ligatures and variant letter forms : Our transcription does not note ligatures or variant letter forms: readers interested in these visual features of the manuscript should consult the associated high-resolution images. We treat regular abbreviations for morphological endings, for prepositions, and for the conjunction καί as variant letter forms, and silently expand these in the transcriptions.

Distinct content types

Named entities (proper nouns and adjectives)

personal names : Use TEI persName element; include an @n attribute with the full URN value from the [reference table of identifiers for personal names][pers].


<persName n="urn:cite:hmt:pers.pers1">Ἀχιλῆος</persName>

place names : Use TEI placeName element; include on the @n attribute has a full URN value from the [reference table of identifiers for place names][place].


<placeName n="urn:cite:hmt:place.place185">Σπάρτη</placeName> 

ethnic adjectives : Use TEI rs element. Include a @type attribute with value ethnic, and @n attribute with an identifier from the [reference table for place names][place].

<rs type="ethnic" n="urn:cite:hmt:place.place96">Ἀχαιοὶ</rs>

Other special content types

"word-as-word" : Use TEI rs element, with @type attribute = waw.

titles : If the title refers to a known, citable work, use TEI ref with @type='urn' and @n attribute with a full URN for the work - Use TEI title element (wrapping ref if that is given)

 <title><ref type="urn" n="urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg002">Οδυσσεία</ref></title>

numbers : Use TEI num with @value attribute.

<num value="1">α</num>

quoted strings : Use TEI rs element with @type attribute = waw ("word-as-word")

<rs type="waw">ε</rs>

Editorial status

While readers always take many kinds of contextual information into consideration when reading a text, HMT editors should distinguish three levels of legibility based solely on the paleographic clarity of the reading.

  1. clear. The letter is unambiguously legible, based on paleographic considerations alone. It may be incompletely preserved, but the visible remains cannot be read as any other character.
  2. unclear. Part of the letter is visible, but taken by itself cannot be unambiguously read.
  3. missing. No trace of the letter remains, but it is clear from the context that one or more letters were originally present.

Clear readings : Enter the text with no additional markup

Unclear readings : Use TEI unclear element. If the unclear element breaks up a word token, wrap the entire work in a TEI w element.




Missing : Use TEI gap element. Use @unit attribute for the type of the gap (for example, "letters" or "words"), and @extent to indicate how many units are likely included in the gap.


<gap unit="letters" extent="3"/>

Text deleted by original scribe : Use TEI del when the scribe has either crossed out content or marked it with "deletion dots"


<del>ἢ τοὺς ἑξῆς τρεῖς</del>


Added text above line : Use TEI add element, including @place attribute with value supralinear


<w>ἔνι<add place="supralinear">οι</add></w>

added text

Alternate readings offered above the line : Use the TEI orig/reg pair to identify the reading in the main text and the alternative reading; group them with TEI choice. The scribe sometimes writes only the letters that are to be changed to create the alternate reading. We put the fully expanded word in the reg element.



alternative text

Scribal corrections : Use TEI corr/sic pair for corrections when the wants to correct a reading that is unintelligible in the text; group the pair in a TEI choice element.

Example: accent corrected by the original scribe




Regular terminating syllables : Regular terminating syllables (often morphological endings) are treated as a variant letter form, and are not specially marked in any way


εἰκος, where a raised omicron is a brief writing for the morphological ending -ος

Abbreviate -os

καί and ὅτι : Regular abbreviated forms of the whole words καί and ὅτι are treated as variant letter forms, and are not specially marked in any way




Other abbreviations : Use the TEI abbr/expan pair, wrapped in choice






Quotation and citation

unidentified quoted phrases : Use TEI q for quoted phrases or passages from unidentified sources


<q>ἀλλ ὥς τις κείνων γε</q>

identifiable quotations : Use TEI q/ref pair wrapped in a cit element.

<cit><ref type="urn">urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg001:17.453</ref><q>ἔτι γάρ σφισι κῦδος ὀρέξω</q></cit>


Appendix: other references

Reference tables for identifiers for personal names and place names, are maintained in the hmt-authlists github repository: see the hmt-authlists web page.