Hagenmeyer inclines to believe in an original author, distinct from Albert the copyist; and he thinks that this original author (whether or no he was present during the Crusade) used the Gesta and also Fulcher, though he had probably also "eigene Notizen and Aufzeichnungen."
His distinguished abilities and his dexterity as a copyist of MSS.
But no mere copyist or verbal translator could have attained that result.
It seems difficult also to believe that Map's name should be so constantly connected with our Arthurian tradition without any ground whatever; though it must be admitted that he himself never makes any such claim - the references in the romances are all couched in the third person, and bear no sign of being other than the record by the copyist of a traditional attribution.
Let us suppose that from a text which we will call A a copy has been made which we will call B, and from this again a copy which we will call C. If the copyist of B goes wrong once and the copyist of C twice in a hundred times, then, assuming that there is no coincidence or cancelling of errors, the relative correctness of the three texts A, B, C will be zoo (absolute correctness), 99 and 97.
These errors arise from the default of the scribe or copyist, and, in the case of printed books, the compositor.'
According to the degree in which the volition of the copyist is absent or present, as involuntary or mechanical, semivoluntary and voluntary; or again as they affect single signs (letters, figures or symbols), words, lines or even larger units such as sentences or paragraphs.
The copyist does not as a general rule consciously intend a change, but he falls into one through the influence of dominant associations.
- These are often purely mechanical errors: but they may be semi-voluntary or even voluntary, the copyist desiring to set the syntax right.
The passage which a copyist is reproducing may suggest to him something else and he will write down what is thus in his mind instead of what is before his eyes.
The copyist may erroneously suppose that something written in the margin, between the lines or at the top or the foot of the page which he is copying, is intended to be placed in the text.
The next copyist may easily overlook this sign and thus the passage may be permanently displaced.
Paradoxical as it may seem, the mechanical corruptions of a stupid but faithful copyist may tell us more than the intelligent copyings of a less faithful one.
Thomas was a most laborious copyist: missals, books of devotion and a famous MS. Bible were written by him.
If so, the copyist has modernized his copy, for some features of the Apoxyomenus belong to the Hellenistic age.