Tittivilus Strikes Again

Tournaments Illuminated Editor Mistress Doria Tecla reports that there is a correction to the Marc Drogin TI interview in the current issue of the publication.

Tittivilus Strikes Again

All scribes of mediaeval and later days are familiar with Tittivilus, the Patron Demon of scribes. He was introduced to the SCA scribes in Marc Drogin's "Medieval Calligraphy" thirty years ago. Tittivilus apparently didn't like the exposure. The devil responsible for scribal errors and all things errata had to wait three decades to get his revenge against Drogin and the SCA... and finally tripped him up, appropriately, in the current issue of "Tournaments Illuminated."

Marc was interviewed on subjects scribal and was discussing the Gregorius Bock [1510-1617] manuscript because he had discovered within it "...the only known example of the procedure of strokes in the history of writing." Marc realized he should correctly have said

"the only known mediaeval example of the procedure of strokes in the entire history of writing."

He sent in the correction. It was prepared for insertion... and then Tittivilus made off with it.

A paragraph later Marc had invited SCA scribes to view the mediaeval ductus page by giving readers the link to the web-page at the Yale University Beinecke Rare Book Library website. It was the URL Marc saw at the site. Only later did he discover that the page could not be reached via that URL but only through the University/Library digital library website. Marc quickly spelled out the correct means of direct access to the mediaeval page:

"go to http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary type in ms. 439 and then look at Image 1002844 [the first double-page image]."

He submitted it, the correction was scheduled to made... and Tittivilus made off with it.

As mentioned, both corrections disappeared after having editorial approval and being scheduled and the interview ran without them. Marc looked foolish, and Tittivilus had his revenge.

The moral to scribes and particularly to editors: Tittivilus is still there. Watch yourself at all times, particularly if you hear laughter and there's no one there.