The popularity of William Langland's great medieval poem Piers Plowman survived long after its appearance in the fourteenth century. Testimony of the poem's popularity manifests itself in the fifty-six surviving medieval copies of the manuscript, none of which is signed by Langland and each of which introduces its own set of uncertainties.
The "Piers Plowman" Electronic Archive, a collaborative effort devoted to publishing all the relevant medieval and renaissance witnesses to Langland's influential work, will enable scholars to conduct complex searches and comparisons of the various surviving manuscripts in order to trace the introduction of inauthenticities. Each volume of the archive will include an SGML-encoded version of one of the texts of this lengthy medieval poem, accompanied by color facsimiles of the original manuscript pages. Users can view the text in a number of modes, including diplomatic style, an exact transcription of the original text without any emendations or corrections, and scribal style, in which variations introduced by the scribe are color-coded. (For users not able to use the SGML reader (which works on Windows/95/98/NT), there are HTML versions of the texts and images.)
This second volume of The "Piers Plowman" Electronic Archive is dedicated to Cambridge, Trinity College, MS B.15.17, one of the earliest and one of the most handsome of the manuscripts of the B-Version of Piers Plowman, prized for its centrality to the editorial tradition of the B-Version.
80486 processor with 32MB RAM
Netscape 3.0 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0
For users who plan to use the HTML version:
Any Model Mac or clone capable of Internet access
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5