Network Analysis of Medieval Manuscript Transmission.
A Sample Study on Middle High German Sources.

Manuscripts are the main source for the study of medieval history and culture. Their features, production, circulation and transmission have long been the subject of extensive research from different disciplines and perspectives. This presentation will introduce a way to investigate medieval manuscript transmission using network analysis. The computational study of networks has recently shown some great advancement, both as a visualization strategy and as a mathematical model to study complex phenomena which can be very productively applied to medieval textual transmission.

The data for this research has been compiled from the online medieval German manuscripts database Handschriftencensus and it has been transformed into a network of shared textual transmission using Python and Gephi. Some of the main questions that will be addressed include: What is the relative importance of miscellany manuscripts? Are there particular principles that explain the grouping of texts in the same codex? Can we discover “survival strategies” of the works that explain their preservation to this day in contrast to the many sources that have been lost?

Dr. Gustavo Fernández Riva is a member of the Institute of Medieval Studies at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at SECRIT-CONICET (Argentina). He studied Literature and Linguistic (BA), German Studies (MA) and received his PhD in Literature for a digital edition of the short stories in verse by Konrad von Würzburg. He has participated in many digital editing projects and actively develops tools and resources for the computational analysis of medieval texts.