Wallraff, Martin (2016): Paratexte der Bibel. Was Erasmus edierte außer dem Neuen Testament. In: Wallraff, Martin; Seidel Menchi, Silvana; Greyerz, Kaspar von (Hrsg.): Basel 1516. Erasmus' Edition of the New Testament. Spätmittelalter, Humanismus, Reformation, Bd. 91. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. S. 145-173




Apart from the Greek and Latin text of the New Testament, Erasmus’ epochal edition contains a few well-known “editorial” paratexts, i. e. the paraclesis, the methodus, and the apologia. Much less known is that the edition, in its various versions, also contained a few Greek (and Latin) “traditional” paratexts, i. e. material taken from the manuscript sources, such as chapter lists, biographies of the evangelists and subscriptiones. The analysis of these small texts is promising for several reasons. Firstly, the Byzantine “dowry” of the New Testament on its way into early modern Europe becomes visible: some of those small texts were translated by Martin Luther or others along with the Biblical text. Some texts in the edition are important because they have not been critically edited since the initial publication (e. g. Eusebius’ canon tables). Secondly, these paratexts and their manuscript sources allow for a deeper understanding of the making of Erasmus’ edition. A good case in point is the only figurative image in the New Testament, i. e. the representation of the trinity in the edition of 1519. It can be traced back to the Corsendonck Codex, which in this instance served also as an iconographic Vorlage. The canon tables are another example for which it can be shown that the same Greek codex was used, but – maybe even more importantly – a Latin Bible printed by Froben in 1514 as well. Thirdly, the way in which Erasmus and his collaborators made use of Greek manuscripts can in many cases be better analysed on the basis of small paratextual material than on the basis of the (highly standardized) Biblical text itself.