The aims of the project are

We will aim at producing a printed edition of the Latin text comparable with Offler's four volumes. Drafts of material for the printed volumes, materials relating to the history of the text too detailed to be included in the printed volumes, and the English translation will be posted on the Web site, /pubs/dialogus/.


  1. Our aim is to produce a text as close as possible to the text Ockham himself intended to circulate. (see note 1)

  2. We will not collate every MS, but we will collate MSS from each of the main groups or families. In establishing the text we will give most weight to readings well represented across these groups, dates of MSS, consistency with Ockham's style of thinking and writing and the logic of the argument, not giving any consideration automatic preference. In the end an editor must exercise judgment in balancing conflicting considerations.

  3. We will include 2 Dial. (even though it was not originally written for inclusion in the Dialogus).
  4. We will be guided by the editorial conventions established by H.S. Offler in Opera politica, vols. 1-4, but we will depart from these where there is some good reason. See below, "Section 2, Editorial Conventions".


  5. The Latin text will be accompanied on the Web by an English translation (or, in the case of Part 2, a German and an English translation). Translators will standardise the translations of important terms and will develop a uniform translation policy. Subject to this policy, the original translator will be responsible for deciding the final version of his translation, after receiving comments.


  6. Texts that Ockham quotes, refers to or uses will be identified in footnotes. There will be cross-references and explanatory notes. There will be introductions dealing with the composition and transmission of the text and problems of editing and with the subject matter of the text.

    Working methods

  7. Scott and Kilcullen will be responsible for Part 3 and Part 1 Books 1-5 inclusive. Knysh will be responsible for Part 1 Books 6 and 7. Leppin will be responsible for Part 2. Kilcullen and Scott will be responsible for Part 1 Books 1-5 inclusive and for Part 3.

  8. After initial publication on the Web, editors will check and comment on one another's work. The editor originally responsible for the section will decide which suggestions to adopt. All adopted suggestions will be acknowledged in later versions, either specifically or (if the suggestor agrees) in general terms.

  9. After web publication the editors listed in paragraph 7 will prepare the same portions of the work for printed publication.
  10. The translation will not be published in printed form but only the Latin text. The final version of the whole web site (text, translations, essays) will be kept permanently available either by the British Academy or by arrangement with some electronic publisher.


  11. Footnotes. There will be three series of footnotes. The first will provide the critical apparatus, the second will provide notes (including references and comments), the third will provide chapter descriptions cited from the manuscript traditions. Each series will be printed as a continuous paragraph, not in columns. Historical information will be given in the introduction or (briefly) in the second series of footnotes, or in end notes (referred to from the second series of footnotes).

  12. Quotations. We will not follow Offler's practice of italicising quotations or borrowed words. For explicit quotations we will use quotation marks (double outer, single inner). Significant variations from the modern text will be noted in the second footnote series, minor variations will not be signalled. Unacknowledged quotations will be indicated in notes without any signal in the text. (see note 2)

  13. Spelling. There are two options between which we have not yet decided. Either (a) we will consistently use modern Latin spelling, or (b) we will follow the spelling conventions of the earliest manuscripts. (see note 3) We are still studying the MS conventions. (see note 4) In either case we will follow modern English punctuation conventions. (see note 5) We will use arabic numerals in the text, as the MSS do. (see note 6)
  14. Language of the apparatus. Offler's language in introductions and in the second footnote series is English, but in the apparatus he uses Latin. We will use English in the apparatus also. In the apparatus the English words will be "omitted", "added" "deleted" and "gap"; we will add "(?)"to indicate a doubtful reading. The function of Latin words such as conieci, supplevi, scripsi, seclusi, correxi, etc., in Offler's apparatus (see note 7) will be performed by sigla - see below. (see note 8)
  15. Editors' sigla: Ki, Kn, Le and Sc (respectively for Kilcullen, Knysh, Leppin and Scott) will be used to indicate editorial conjectures. Editors' sigla will facilitate clear acknowledgment of help or suggestions given by one editor to another.
  16. Lemmata. In the apparatus there will be a lemma for every variant. (see note 9) Each lemma will be separated from the variant by "]". For omissions the lemma will be the word or words omitted. For additions the lemma will be the word immediately before the addition. (see note 10) For transpositions the lemma will be the words transposed. Transpositions will be treated as substitutions ("ut non] non ut", not "trs"). Omission dots will be used if the lemma includes more than two words.
  17. Witnesses regularly reported and others not. We will select some witnesses, including at least one from each of the main families, of which all the variant readings will be reported (subject to the clause on "insignificant variants" below). Other witnesses will be reported only when editors judge them to be important (this will eliminate a lot of variants due to carelessness, e.g. in Fr); readers will be advised that for those witnesses the absence of any variant does not imply that that witness agrees with the editor's text.
  18. Use of colon in apparatus. Sigla for editors, witnesses, sources, when used to indicate the source of the words of the text, will come after the "]" and be followed by a colon. For example, "et universis] Ki: universis et Ww" means that the words of the text, "et universis", are a conjectural emendation by Kilcullen, with all the witnesses (referred to collectively as "Ww") reading "universis et". If there is a justifying comparison it will be added in brackets after the siglum: "et universis] Ki (cf. Brev. 2.5.2-3): universis et Ww". (see note 11) Whenever the text is based on a reading of a witness not regularly reported (see above) its siglum will appear before a colon, but this will not be done with witnesses regularly reported - they will be assumed to agree with the editor's text unless a variant is recorded.
  19. Exclusions and insertions. Words found in all or most MSS but rejected by the editor will be omitted from the text, without use of "< >". The readings of the witnesses will be recorded in the apparatus in a way that indicates what the editor has rejected: "dicit] Ki: ubi dicit Ww". Words not found in any MS but added by the editor will appear in the text without square brackets. The conjecture will be noted in the apparatus by means of the editor's siglum, thus: "asserere minorem] Ki: asserere Ww", meaning that the witnesses have "asserere" and the editor has written "asserere minorem".
  20. Insignificant variants. Variants of the following kinds will not be noted in the apparatus: dittography; presence or absence of "c." (in canon law and bible references); variations between igitur/ergo, vel/seu/sive/aut, et/atque/ac, nec/neque, ille/iste; transpositions that do not affect meaning; differences of spelling; variation between arabic and roman numerals; deletions and marginal and interlinear changes apparently made by the original scribe. Otherwise each variant from the witnesses regularly reported (see above) will be noted even though the editor may feel that it is insignificant.
  21. References to Ockham's works. We will indicate book (or question), chapter and line by means of arabic numerals separated by full stops after the abbreviated title (not italicised). We will use Offler's title abbreviations. Thus "OQ 4.3.131" refers to Octo questiones, q. 4, chapter 3, line 131; "Brev. 2.5.7" refers to Breviloquium, book 2, chapter 5, line 7. (see note 12) The parts of the Dialogus will be indicated by arabic numeral before the title and tractatus by a second arabic numeral after a full stop. Thus "1 Dial. 3.2" refers to Dialogus, part 1, book 3, chapter 2; "3.1 Dial. 3.2" refers to Dialogus, part 3, tract 1, book 3, chapter 2. (see note 13)
  22. References to the Bible. The names of books of the Bible will be as in the Vulgate or Douai versions. Verse numbers will be given in footnotes but will not be inserted in the text.
  23. References to Canon Law. We will not supply in the footnotes information already clear in the text. This means that we will not supply the modern equivalents of Ockham's canon law references except for Gratian's dicta. (see note 14) Ockham follows a well known and valid medieval reference system that does not need to be reproduced in another form, but for Gratian's dicta his references are more difficult to locate in the modern edition. For the reader's convenience we will give column references to Friedberg's edition, which is widely available. If a better edition becomes available during the course of our project we will refer to it.
  24. References to Canon Law glosses: For references to the gloss we will give in the footnotes a modern reference to the relevant canon law text followed by a column reference to the Lyons 1671 edition. This edition has no particular authority and is not everywhere available (though microfilm can be got from the Cambridge library). However it seems necessary to give references to some edition to assure readers that we have found the passage and so that a reader can retrace our steps if we seem to have made a mistake. References will be in the form ''gloss, col. 79, .s v. dicendo". We will not include in the footnote any information clear from the text (e.g. "s. v..." is not needed if the equivalent is in the text).
  25. In the text we will not use italics for titles [e.g. Augustine De doctrina christiana no caps. This was Offler's practice. Should we follow?], except for titles that are opening words ("Solite") and for titles of sections of the law ("De maioritate et obediencia").
  26. In the text references not integrated into the syntax of the sentence (e.g. not introduced by "ut legitur", "ut notat" or the like) will be in brackets. For example: Nam sepe verbum generale non est generaliter intelligendum (Extra, De iureiurando, Ad nostram, et 1, q. 1, Duces). Unde et "verbum generale sepe restringitur", ut notat Glossa, Extra, De appellacionibus, Sua nobis. . .
  27. Sigla: Sigla used in the apparatus will as far as possible be uniform in format, to make it easier for users to recognise the different elements of the apparatus. A siglum will normally consist of two letters, the first upper case and the second lower case (e.g. Fr), not italicised, not including numerals or superscripts. (see note 15) The sigla already used in the web site (see /pubs/dialogus/sigla.html) will be used in the printed edition, with the following amendments: Pd to become An, Md to become Es, Ve to become Sm, and the series Rc-Rg to become Vc-Vg. Other sigla include "Vulg" for the vulgate Bible; "Fb" for Friedberg's Corpus iuris canonici; "Gl" for the gloss to the canon law. "Ww" will be used as siglum to mean all the witnesses collated, "Edd" to mean all the early editions, "Mss" all the manuscripts. The siglum of a witness with "-m" or "-b" added will be used to mean that the variant is found in the margin or between lines in the witness: e.g. "Frm", Frb".
  28. Insertion in margin or between lines of something omitted from the text of the witness will be noted thus: "omitted Fr, added Frm"--there is no need to say what is added, since the reader will assume that it is the same as what is omitted.
  29. Marginal or interlinear material not part of the text (such as summaries, queries, comments, etc.) will not be recorded in the apparatus. If such material seems especially significant (e.g. Plumetot's marginalia to BN ms. lat. 14313) it can be dealt with in a note or an essay.
  30. Capitalisation: In the text: Apostolus for Paul, apostol- otherwise; imperator for emperor, Imperium for [Roman] Empire; papa for pope even in an individual's title [Gregorius papa for Pope Gregory]; capital for Deus; capital for Dominus when it means Christ or God, capitals for Spiritus Sanctus; capitals for Sacra Scriptura and Divina Scriptura; capitals for names of orders, and for Order when it refers to a named order. In the apparatus, lemmata and variants will all be lower case (in the apparatus only sigla will be capitalised).
  31. In the first and third series of footnotes there will be no terminal stops. In the second series when the note consists of references there will be no full stop and no initial capital; but normal capitalisation and punctuation will be used for material other than references (e.g. in comments by the editor). For example: "col. 49; cf. gloss, s. v. excipiatur auctoritas, col. 112"; "col. 565. But it seems to show the opposite."
  32. In cross-references in the second footnote series the word in the text (e.g. prius) will be repeated at the beginning of the note, lower case, followed by a colon.
  33. Magister and Discipulus as the characters speaking will be bold and followed by a colon.
  34. If further experience suggests that any of the above points need to be modified, this will be done by consultation among the editors and with the Medieval Text committee.


1. This is the traditional aim of a critical edition. We do not accept the view that an editor's task is to present without "contamination" the text of the best or most representative manuscript(s), or the texts of the extant manuscripts. We will attempt to go behind the witnesses to reconstruct the text Ockham intended to circulate.

2. For Offler's practice see, for example, OP, vol. 1, (edition 2), pp. 294-5. Offler italicises all quotations, including unacknowledged quotations. He does not italicise any word or letter not found in the modern edition of the source; he does not seem to have any way of indicating transpositions or omissions. Differences between the quotation and the modern edition of the source are noted in his apparatus (whereas we will put them in the second footnote series). See OP, vol. 4, p. 57.

3. Offler mixes modern Latin spelling (e.g. haeresis, where MSS have heresis) with medieval spelling (e.g. nichil, dampnatione, temptat).

4. In general, "ae" and "oe" dipthongs are reduced to "e", "tio" becomes "cio", "v" is always used at the beginning of words and "u" in other positions ("vnde", "amaui"); there are some differences in the spelling of some words (e.g "nichil", "dampnare", "tollerare"). It seems that the "v/u" convention is a matter of letter form rather than spelling, so we would not adopt it. We are considering whether this may be true also of "tio/cio".

5. English rather than German; thus there will be no comma before a defining relative clause.

6. Offler uses small roman numerals; see OP, vol. 4, p. 103.

7. For example, in OP, vol. 1, 3.353, 3.534, 4.279; vol. 4, CE 1.131, Brev., i.3.30.

8. Any reader who can use the edition could of course understand an apparatus in Latin. However, the editors do not wish to pretend to a capacity to write Latin. Readers whose language is not English will understand "added", "omitted", etc., if they would have understood "add.", "om.", etc. "Gap" is the only English word they will need to learn.

9. Offler does not give a lemma if it is clear what word is in question (see OP, vol. 1, p. 296, OND 1.110). The program "Critical Edition Typesetter" automatically generates a lemma for every variant.

10. For additions Offler includes the next word of text after the addition (see OP, vol. 1, p. 295, OND 1.68 - "ab" is the word added).

11. Offler sometimes puts the siglum for a supporting witness before the colon separating lemma from variant. See OP, vol. 4, p. 15, CE Prol. 31, "noluerit".

12. Offler italicises the title and uses small roman numerals to indicate the book, e.g. "Brev. ii.5.7".

13. Offler's refers to the tracts of part 3 as "IusIIIae Dial." and "IIusIIIae Dial."

14. Offler repeats in his footnotes references to the Decretum in the style used in Friedberg's "Index canonum", i.e in the order: c., di., or c., C., q. For the Decretales he gives numbers, as in Friedberg's "Tabula capitulorum", but whereas Friedberg separates the numbers by full stops Offler uses commas ("II,23,4"). For both he gives the column reference to Friedberg's edition. See for example OP, vol. IV, p. 103, notes to Brev. 1.5.7-8. The modern system of citation (of which Offler's is a variant) seems to have been invented during the nineteenth century. Ability to use the system Ockham followed (explained for example in Modus legendi abbreviaturas in utroque iure, with many reprints into the 16th century - see British Museum Catalogue) will be necessary to any reader who wishes to pursue Ockham's use of the canon law, since this will require use of the Gloss, which uses the medieval citation system. It therefore does not seem unreasonable to ask readers to become familiar with that system (especially since they can simply use the Friedberg column references).

15. Offler sometimes uses superscripts and italics. See OP, vol. IV, p. 13

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