November 5, 2013
I have just received the information from the SAWS project. The project is completed and four groups of texts are now available in new editions at the :
In each of them the quotations and textual reuses have been marked and defined. This was one of the main aims of the project and the result is a convincing demonstration of what is possible. It is a real pleasure to browse through them and they can be viewed in several parallel windows so that comparing them becomes much easier. Also very extant indices exist and for some translations in several modern languages provide helpful tools for the reading and analysing of these texts. It is therefore a huge step forward for the study of this set of texts. Moreover, as the digital tools, documentation and methodology is freely available the results of the research can be used for other projects and texts.
Also with regard to the content, wisdom literature and the transmission of sayings and proverbs, is a fascinating topic and the project has brought it to the fore!
September 18, 2013
After the in Warsaw and the in St-Gall, I am pleased to announce that the will be held in Hamburg from the 22nd to the 28th of September 2013.
The is dedicated to the general theme: Greek Manuscripts, yesterday, today and tomorrow. One day, organised at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, is focusing on the new technologies which are now available for the decipherment and analyses of ancient documents.
Further an extremely interesting exposition on the manuscript collections in northern Germany is accompanying the event. It can be visited until the beginning of December 2013.
I am looking forward to attending both of them!
August 28, 2013
I have just spent a year at King’s College London. It was a wonderful and very productive time! I achieved a lot, met many interesting and helpful people and acquired many new insights for the two aspects of my project I wanted to develop in London during my Marie Curie Fellowship.
As for the monograph on Demetrios of Scepsis, I have completed a first version of it, as the fellowship allowed me to have a year to focus on my research without any other obligations. Of course, as happens often with a book, after the first draft there is still a lot to be done and the final version may not look the same. Nevertheless that what I achieved so far will become a good basis to work on and it has certainly brought me closer to a version I may want people to read.
Further, while working with the at KCL, I learned a lot about possible solutions for the editing of fragments. The project has demonstrated how to express the relationship between several parallel texts and how to present them in a dynamic way. The expertise of the SAWS team was therefore very helpful for my own project and especially during the workshop I was allowed to co-organise I learned a lot from the discussions between the participants who came either from Classics or from the field of Digital Humanities. In particular I would like to mention here the conclusion we reached about the usage of the term ‘fragment’. It is after all not really fitting to describe the works which are transmitted only indirectly through quotations. It would be much better to start speaking about the preserved pieces as ‘reuses’ or ‘reformuations’ of a given content.
Finally, last but certainly not least, I would like to mention the help I got from who worked for a few months on the fragments themselves and created the XML-files for some of them. Her contribution to the project was tremendously helpful and led to substantial progresses. We hope to be able to show soon some examples! I wish her all the best for her new position at the University of Leipzig.
I would also like to thank a great number of persons who offered their help at several stages of my year in London. First, of course, there are all the members of the DDH at KCL. All were very interested in my project, welcomed me enthusiastically and allowed me to share the vivid life of their department. I had a great time working there and leaning more about the field of Digital Humanities. Also in the Department of Classics, I met a lot of interesting students and scholars, especially during the several seminars and lectures I attended there and at the Institute for Classical Studies. It would be a shame not to find a way to keep in touch at least with some of them.
Special thanks go to , and !
August 7, 2013
I have just received, as everybody subscribed to the Liverpool Classicists mailing-list, the message that the digitised the manuscript of Homer’s Iliad named after its owner Charles Townley and containing the so-called T-scholia.
I just had a quick look at the beginning of book 12, where the Trojan rivers are mentioned. This passage is to be found on . I chose this part as we, Simona Stoyanova and myself, were working in the last couples of month on Demetrios’s fragments 29 to 31. These three fragments are in Gaede’s edition actually three clusters of several texts. First there is Strabo 13.1.43-45 [C 602-603] which is a close description of the river system of the Troad. Gaede adds to this first witness several of the scholia to Il. 12.20, most of them coming precisely from the manuscript which has been digitised. Further we find some elements from Hesychius and Eustathius.
Interesting to find fr. 64, a comment on the Simois, as an interlinear scholia here. Gaede’s arrangement puts this fragment in a completely different context. It is linked to the fragments mentioning the homonymy between places in Crete and in the Troad rather than to those describing the river system. It is therefore very helpful that the digitised folio reminds us of the context of its transmission.
Then the layout is also interesting. The comments on the rivers are separated in two blocks designated with two different signs. In the first the Rhesos is the lemma and the comment is about this river only whereas the second contains the remarks about the Caresos, the Rhodios, the Grancios and the Scamander. This has not been taken into account in Gaede’s presentation and we may start thinking about whether this may have some meaning or not. But, anyway, it is a huge progress that we can look at it now in such an easy way!
July 10, 2013
In a little more than 2 weeks the International Congress of Papyrolgy starts in Warsaw. The programme is now out. Please have a look!
Two sections focus on Christian literature preserved on papyri and there is a further on the Acta Alexandrinorum. These are all topics which will be very interesting for one of my other research-projects which is aiming at deciphering and publishing a palimpsest from the Genizah Collection in Geneva. For this, see the contribution I made with my colleague Uri Yiftach-Firanko during the previous congress in Geneva
A Trachsel /U. Yiftach-Firanko, Genizah Ms. 17: Une séquence narrative de coloration juive ou chrétienne provenant du contexte des récits martyrologiques, in P. Schubert (ed.), Actes du 26e Congrès international de papyrologie, Genève, 16-21 août 2010, Genève 2012
June 2, 2013
I guess everybody who decided at some point in his academic life to deal with the new technologies and to explore the options the fields of Digital Humanities may offer for one’s research topic has also given some thoughts to the question of what kind of recognition this choice will bring him/her among his/her fellow-researches.
Often, however, the additional dimensions Digital Humanities introduce in a research field are seen with some suspicions. They seem to drag the researcher away from the main subject, as the new tools provided by the Digital Humanities have to be mastered, up to some point at least. Further, as digital projects tent to be collaborative works, with new work-flows and shared responsibilities for the release of the results, they also challenge a more traditional view of the evaluation of a researcher’s contribution.
Now several institutions and funding bodies are discussing this issue and how they could adapt the present situation for the evaluation of such digital projects. Here is the programme and link to one of those events, held in Paris on the 10th and 11th June 2013.
- Research Conditions and Digital Humanities: What are the Prospects for the Next Generation?
- Link to the
- Link to
May 26, 2013
I have just come back from a workshop organised by Chris Blackwell and Neel Smith from the . They explained us their new tool, the Canonical Text Service, which allows to quote classical texts in a unambigous and machine-readable way which is moreover relying on, but independent from the traditional divisions of a given text. All these features are extremely helpful for the handling with fragments, especially if they are quotations as in the case of Demetrios.
Moreover, next week the second workshop of the will be held. It will be dedicated to fragments in a very broad sense and the presentations will, for instance, deal with quotations and how to render them in a collection of fragments as well as with physical fragments such as inscriptions. We will also look at different fields, such as Latin drama, the transmission of the New Testament, ancient scholarship and the collections of Protagoras’s fragments. Have a look at the !
May 6, 2013
Having just read through the last BMCR-list of new publications, I spotted up to six publications from the Hellenic Studies, the series from the Center for Hellenic Studies. Two of them are of particular interest for Homeric studies:
- Garcia, Lorenzo F., Jr. Homeric durability: telling time in the Iliad. Hellenic studies, 57. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies, trustees for Harvard University, 2013.
- Tsagalis, Christos. From listeners to viewers: space in the Iliad. Hellenic studies, 53. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies, Trustees for Harvard University, 2012.
April 23, 2013
The from KLC is organising a series of workshops this spring. They aim at disseminating the expertise and tools the scholars from the project have assembled among other scholars who are working on the relations between texts.
The first of these workshops is on the concept of metaphrasis and will be held on April the 30th (SawsandMetaphrasis: programme). The concept under discussion is a very interesting one, as its goal is to transpose a text or a passage from it from one linguistic register to another. This may even include translations, but is mainly concerned with the rephrasing of texts in another level of language.
It is therefore a form of reuse of the texts which lies in between others, sharing some elements of several of them, but has also its own peculiarities. For instance even if the relation to the first text is openly acknowledged, it is not a quotation which supposes as little changes as possible from the original text. Metaphrasis on the contrary is precisely based on the idea of changing the original work in a specific way. Neither does it have the authoritative aspect of quotations. The difference from paraphrases or summaries seems to be the fact the it allows such changes as translation, aims at creating a new work which stands for its own and is much more focused on the form rather than the content.
The two other SAWS-workshops will focus one on the concept of quotation and the other on ancient medicine. I will present them in due course.