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Structure of an Epic Poem

An epic text will have this structure:

<body>
	<div type="book" n="1" xml:id="la.1">
	</div>
</body>

In our collection, each book of an epic work is published in a separate document, so there will be a single main division within the body of the work.

However, each book will be presented on screen in parallel with its translations, so in order not to load the whole book on a single screen, and to facilitate navigation for users, we need to divide the text into fragments of no more than 60vv. by means of internal <div> , thus:

<div type="book" n="1" xml:id="la.1">
	<head>Liber primus</head>
	<div xml:id="la.1.div.1">
		<head>1-45</head>
			<p>
				<l n="1">Fraternas acies alternaque regna profanis</l>
				<l n="2">decertata odiis sontesque euoluere Thebas,</l>
				<l n="3">Pierius menti calor incidit, unde iubetis</l>
				… etc. …
			</p>
	</div>
	<div xml:id="la.1.div.46">
		<head>46-113</head>
			<p>
				<l n="46">Impia iam merita scrutatus lumina dextra</l>
				<l n="47">merserat aeterna damnatum nocte pudorem</l>
				… etc. …
			</p>
			<p>
				<l n="88">Talia dicenti crudelis diua seueros</l>
				<l n="89">aduertit uultus. Inamoenum forte sedebat</l>
				… etc. …
			</p>
	</div>
	… etc. …
</div>

All the <div> in which we divide our document must carry a <head> (heading, “title”) which carries in the first place the corresponding header, so that the contents index of out text can be generated (cf. <head>).

An epic poem generally doesn’t have canonical divisions within each book, but editors can create groups of verses, in the style of paragraphs, for blocks with a unity of content, which will always be contained within each internal <div> . Each of these “paragraphs” will be tagged with <p> (paragraph, cf. <p>). An internal <div> can contain a single or various paragraphs, depending on the content.

It is very important to look at the @xml:id tags of the example which apply to each internal <div> of the text. Its value always begin with the language code (cf. xml:lang), and is then followed by the canonical numbering into which we have divided the text. Thus, the <div> that contains verses 1 to 46 of book I of the Thebais will carry a @xml:id with the value "la.1.div.1"because it contains the division starting at verse 1 of book I of the Latin version of the text. The second internal <div> of the example carries an @xml:id with the value "la.1.div.46", because it contains the division starting at verse 46 of book I of the Latin version of the text. And so on.

It is essential to add all these @xml:ids for text alignment and translations to work, because they will have to be added to the translated versions as well (cf. Alignment of original text and translations).

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