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The Siege of Antioch Project: Editorial Challenges

This paper seeks to outline and explain some of the demands and preferences which the UK-based editorial team has imposed upon our collaborators at Fordham to resolve in the encoding and display of the Old French epic First Crusade poem, the Siège d’Antioche. Starting with what can be said with relative certainty about the text, manuscripts, and genre of the account (and how this affects our scholarly desiderata for its optimum presentation), it will then move on to how we envisage the text being most usefully consulted. Key within this process has been balancing and reconciling the competing demands of accessibility, ease of consultation, aesthetics, the avoidance of ambiguity, and the representation of the important metrical and structural characteristics of the Old French chanson de geste form in a TEI-encoded format. In so doing, this paper seeks to explicate some of the choices that have been made in the creation of the digital edition, presented by other members of the project team.