There must be something wrong in the preamble

% XeLaTeX can use any Mac OS X font. See the setromanfont command below.
% Input to XeLaTeX is full Unicode, so Unicode characters can be typed directly into the source.

% The next lines tell TeXShop to typeset with xelatex, and to open and save the source with Unicode encoding.

%!TEX TS-program = xelatex

%!TEX encoding = UTF-8 Unicode





\textheight = 180.5 mm
\textwidth = 108.5 mm
\makeindex[name=nominum, title=Index nominum, columns=2]
\makeindex[name=rerum, title=Index rerum, columns=2]
% And in the paragraphed footnotes, I'd like no colon too:
  \parindent=0pt \parfillskip=0pt plus 1fil
  #3\penalty-10 }

\newcommand{\rhet}[2]{\edtext{ #1}{\Afootnote{] #2}}}
\newcommand{\oed}[2]{\edtext{ #1}{\Bfootnote{] #2}}}



%\usepackage{geometry}                % See geometry.pdf to learn the layout options. There are lots.
%\geometry{a4paper}                   % ... or a4paper or a5paper or ... 
%\geometry{landscape}                % Activate for for rotated page geometry
%\usepackage[parfill]{parskip}    % Activate to begin paragraphs with an empty line rather than an indent

%\renewcommand %These two commands are for double-spacing

% Will Robertson's fontspec.sty can be used to simplify font choices.
% To experiment, open /Applications/Font Book to examine the fonts provided on Mac OS X,
% and change "Hoefler Text" to any of these choices.

\setsansfont[Scale=MatchLowercase,Mapping=tex-text]{Gill Sans}
\setmonofont[Scale=MatchLowercase]{Andale Mono}

\newfontfamily{\H}[Scale=0.9]{Lucida Grande}




BL, Harley MS 973

\textit{Appiani Alexandrini Romanarum Historiarum }, Basel: Hieronymus Froben und Nicolaus Episcopius 1554.

Alcuin, \textit{The Bishops, Kings, and Saints of York}, ed. Peter Godman, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982.

  • What's the question? Could you tell us which bits of that code are relevant to your question? For example, if I don't own copies of Gill Sans, Andale Mono and/or Brill, can I not reproduce the problem you're asking about? Because my assumption is that if it is in your MWE, it is essential to understanding your question and helping you. Hence, if I know I don't have something you are relying on, I assume I won't be able to help. – cfr Jul 26 '15 at 1:12
  • Your method to present a bibliography in LaTeX is not necessarily a good idea. Generally, one would store the literature items in a BibTeX file and then reference them via the \cite command in LaTeX. Then, a nicely formatted bibliography is added to the end of the document. You can find more information by googling BibTeX LaTeX and`maybe taking a look at tex.stackexchange.com/q/63852. – Thomas Weise Jul 26 '15 at 1:53
  • There are many problems in this preamble, but most are a matter of what constitutes good practice and using the right package for the right job. (Most important: don't use ledmac: it is unmaintained and vastly inferior to eledmac ... and now there's reledmac, which is where all future development will occur.) But your problem is from the parskip package: don't load it if you don't want a "non-zero" parskip. (In general: don't load packages if you don't know what they are, don't drink things if you don't know what are, etc.) Also don't -- really! -- do you bibliography that way. – jon Jul 26 '15 at 5:06
  • @jon Wanna make that an answer? – Johannes_B Jul 30 '15 at 18:51
  • @Johannes_B -- Done. Cheers! – jon Aug 1 '15 at 18:04

The proximate cause of the error comes from adding this line:


This package tries to be slightly more intelligent that simply doing

\setlength{\parskip}{10pt}%  e.g.

to achieve put white space of 10pt between your paragraphs and making the paragraph indent at the start of your paragraphs be zero. (parskip's main trick, I think, is to fiddle with \parfillskip so that the end of your paragraphs is, usually, somewhat visually apparent.)

However, the ultimate cause of your error is likely due to copying the preamble from someother document without knowing why or what you are thereby 'achieving'. This is a really terribly ill-advised thing to do. At the very least, it ends up making TeX seem no less magical -- or, indeed, perhaps even more magical -- than word processor software.

And this is especially true if you are planning on using LaTeX to produce a critical edition! (I judge this from the \usepackage{ledmac}.) Critical editions require a great deal of care and concern to establish a so-called critical text. Bring the same level of care and attention to detail to your .tex file, otherwise your efforts will be largely wasted. (And the only thing worse than no critical edition is an edition that pretends to be critical when it is not.) So, in that spirit, I encourage you to:

  • If you are just starting out, switch from ledmac to reledmac to have access to more modern tools (which are, in addition, actively developed by a person who cares about critical editing);

  • Learn about bibliography management, which is one of the key issues for any "humanities-driven" LaTeX user; and

  • Take some time to learn about the packages you are loading. It will pay off in a major way in the long run.

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