On Tue, Dec 5, 2017, at 12:01, Hugh Cayless wrote:
> I'm currently working on encoding an ancient commentary—that is, a work
> that annotates another work, in this case Vergil's Aeneid. The source is
> arranged thus: there is a lemma, or headword(s), quoting the source,
> followed by commentary on that word, phrase, or line. This commentary can
> be lexical, literary, historical, etc. So these works have something in
> common with dictionaries, but maybe not to the extent that I could use
> the
> dictionary elements, even though they might sometimes be apt.
> My question is: has anyone worked on this sort of source, and how did you
> mark up lemmas, etc.? My current thinking is to use <quote type="lemma">
> for the headwords, but I'm hopeful there's something better. Or maybe we
> need a new element?


It is probably not surprising that commentaries -- especially
Biblical commentaries but also polemical rebuttals, &c., in
commentary form -- form one of the most popular genres of
16th- and 17th- (and 18th-) century literature. 
So we've encoded a lot of commentaries, often multi-volume
works like Wesley's Notes on the New Testament or various
commentaries on the whole Bible.

Most of them can be reduced to basic structures of alternating
quote (we use <q> but no matter) and prose. A few adopt a
text-and-footnote format, but even with most of those we
reverse the priority and make the apparent notes the
main text, and the 'text' the quotes (so, for example, in
the case of Wesley).

The complications arise chiefly from the intersection
of commentary structure with chapter structure. A book
may, for example be thematically arranged by chapter,
but the contents of those chapters contain mostly commentary
on the books and chapters of the Bible--and the divisions
in the one may not correspond with divisions in the other.
In that case, we usually prioritize the book's structure,
and subordinate the commentary structure with divs like
<div type="chapter" n="4 (continued").

Often the commentary can be readily divided into divs
based on the divisions of the original, in which
case it can be convenient to assign a div to each
quoted section of text with its accompanying

<div type="chapter" n="1">
  <div type="verse" n="1">
    <q>In the beginning God created the heavens
    and the earth.</q>
    <p>Thus it begins...</p>
In this last case, we often stretched the meaning
of epigraph to tag commentary-heading-quotations

<div type="book">
 <div type="chapter" n="1">
 <head>CHAPTER 1</head>
  <div type="verse" n="1">
    <bibl>Gen. 1:1</bibl>
    <q>In the beginning God created the heavens
    and the earth.</q>
    <p>Thus it begins...</p>
Lots of other variability, but that's the basics
of our simple practice.


Paul Schaffner  Digital Content & Collections
University of Michigan Libraries
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