It is well known that the study of historical literature is impeded by the incom- plete transmission of sources: due to a century-long loss of sources, inevitably, a large number of texts is no longer known to us. As such, our current perspective on the literary diversity of the past is probably underestimating the actual wealth of texts that once existed. Statistical methods from eco-diversity can assist us in adjusting this esti- mate in a quantitative and precise manner. Applied to Middle Dutch chivalric epics, these methods suggest that prior estimates of text loss may be too conservative: the methods estimate that up to half of the original texts have been lost (and possibly many more).
- medieval literature
- text analysis