Given that I did include the readings of several commonly used printed editions of Manu for my critical edition, here is my explanation. There could be pragmatic and substantial reasons for using them. Pragmatically -- and this was my principal reason -- I thought it good for people who have been using these editions in the past to see how their readings compared with both the critically constituted text and the readings of various manuscript traditions. It was illuminating to see that most followed the Kullūka manuscripts; actually one can make a stemma of these printed editions that tend to follow each other!!

Substantially, sometimes one is unable to obtain the manuscripts used by a previous editor. There were some used by Jolly that I was unable to use, and thus I used the variants from these provided by Jolly. The same happened in my edition of the Viṣṇu Smṛti -- the Adyar Library edition had used some manuscripts that I was unable to obtain.

But there indeed may be other reasons as well.


On Mar 23, 2012, at 3:46 PM, Allen Thrasher wrote:

This raises a question, which I think I raised on the list some years ago, but which might be worth raising again.  What is the value of printed (commercial) editions of old works as testimonia?  Should they be included in the sources collated for critical editions?

Not quite on the same subject, but perhaps related, is something Jim Nye of Chicago told me some years ago.  He discovered that Ananadashrama Press eds. of the same title frequently represent different readings, that instead of resetting the text from a copy of an earlier ed. they published, they would sometimes start over from scratch.  Consequently he was trying to get copies of all the Press's editions for the Regenstein, not only all its titles.