Scholars used to think that the Humanists […] meant by the term archetypum or codex archetypus only the “official text” checked by the author and intended to be published afterward in further copies. A wider and deeper examination (Rizzo 1973: 308-17) has made it clear that alongside that meaning (perhaps the prevailing one), the term also has many other usages in the Humanist age, among them the one that will go on to prevail later, namely, that of a manuscript – even if it is later than the author by many centuries, even if it has been preserved by chance and is devoid of any “official” quality or authority, even if it is disfigured by errors or lacunas – from which all the others are derived.

(Timpanaro 2005, 49-50)

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