News about Demetrios of Scepsis

In the last volume of ZPE 194 (2015) Marco Perale and Stefano Vecchiato published a new article on P.Oxy. 5094, where Demetrios seems to be quoted among other authorities. The article is divided into three parts.

A first part gives a summary on the scholarly discussion which fragment 1 raised. The preserved evidence suggests that the passage belonged to a discussion about the paternity of Hecabe, in which Demetrios is quoted for having known an additional hexameter line about the issues.

The second part of the article, which is the main part, consists in a new palaeographical analysis of fragment 4, which leads to an attempt to reconstitute the mythographical background of the deciphered elements and provides new readings for the preserved lines. At the beginning of the fragment a further author seems to be quoted (Araethus of Tegea). Furthermore, if this reading is correct, the mention of this author points to a discussion about Arcadian matters, as he is known to have written an Arcadica. Such a hypothesis could also be confirmed by the fact that the name of Phylonome, who is the mother of the two mythological rulers of Arcadia, occurs in the following line. This, together with other elements from the remaining lines, suggests that the basic arrangement of the preserved comment may have followed the outline of a genealogical presentation of the topic.

In the last part the two authors reconsider the hypothesis, stated in the publication of the editio princeps, that the fragment could be an extract from a work by Apollodorus of Athens. They evaluate the pros and cons, but have finally to acknowledge that this attribution has to remain a hypothesis. Both, our incomplete knowledge of Apollodorus works as well as the many lacunas that still remain in the understanding of P.Oxy. 5094, prevents them to go any further.

The publication about P.Oxy. 5094:
PERALE, M. – VECCHIATO ST., More on P.Oxy. 5094: Hecuba’s Father, Stesichorus, and a New Fragment of Ar(i)aethus of Tegea. ZPE 194 (2015) 11-27.
TRACHSEL, A., P. Oxy. 5094: Asios, Son of Dymas, or Asios, Son of Hyrtakos? Demetrios of Skepsis on Homonymies in the Iliad. ZPE 188 (2014) 5–11.
LUPPE W., Ein neuer Textvorschlag für den Mythographie-Papyrus P.Oxy. LXXVI 5094 (fr. 1). ZPE 185 (2013) 105-106.
LUPPE W., Zum Mythographie-Papyrus P.Oxy. LXXVI 5094, APF 58 (2012), 8-10.
WEST M.L., The Daughter of Dymas. ZPE 183 (2012) 11–13.
COLOMO, D. – PERALE, M., On P.Oxy. LXXVI 5094 fr. 1. ZPE 181 (2012) 1–3.
PERALE M. – HENRY W.B., 5094. Mythography. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri LXXXVI, London, 172-177.

Focusing on Contexts and Contextualisation

Kontexttagung Potsdam, Programmflyer-1

Just a few days ago I received the programme of a conference that will be held at the University of Potsdam in Mai. I am really looking forward to attend the venue, as it approaches the topics I am interested in from a very interesting angle.

In a first step when dealing with fragmentarily preserved texts, scholars usually try to find out where and how the pieces have been preserved and this involves to focus on the context of transmission. But quite soon it has to be acknowledged that this is only one aspect of the issue. There are several other ways of understanding the concept of context. One could for instance focus on the primary context, either of the preserved item or of the whole work to which it belongs. This can imply the public for which the work was composed, but also the original passage from which the item was taken (if this is still possible to know).

However, from another point of view and especially when focusing on quotations, one could wonder whether or not one may be allowed to believe ancient readers and their understanding of their sources. They must have had some thoughts about their sources before quoting a textual sequence from a given work. To some extent they had more knowledge then we have, as they had more (entire) texts at their disposal. On the other, however, they had other interpretative tools than we have today and this sometimes leads to a shift in the meaning of the passage, which is sometimes seen as a difficulty.

But, as the programme of the conference shows, this double distance, between a text, its many ancient reuses and our modern reading, should not only be seen as problematic. A new context can also reveal a creative way of engaging with a previous author and his views.

Programme:
1. Die Theorie des Kontextes
Birgit Neumann (Düsseldorf): Text, Kontextualisierung und Assoziierung: Der Eigensinn literarischer Kontexte
René Nünlist (Köln): Kontext und Kontextualisierung als Kategorien antiker Literaturerklärung
Thomas A. Schmitz (Bonn): Kallimachos und seine Musen – Erzähler­instanzen in den Aitien
Ute Tischer (Potsdam): Autor, Erzähler, Figur. Zur Typologie des Kontextes bei der Deutung von Zitaten

2. Fehlender Kontext
Markus Schauer (Bamberg): Kontext und Fragment. Zur Geschichte der Römischen Tragikerfragmente
Alexandra Trachsel (Hamburg): Ein Homererklärer im falschen Kontext? Beispiele aus der Fragmentsammlung des Demetrios von Skepsis
Beate Hintzen (Bonn): Kontextualisierung, De- und Re-Kontex­tu­a­li­sie­rung am Beispiel von Solons Lebensalterelegie (frg. 27 West)
Monica Berti (Leipzig/Tufts University): The Leipzig Open Fragmentary Texts Series

3. Kontextualisierung, Textproduktion, Rezeption
Christopher Whitton (London): Commentary and context: The example of Plinius‘ Letters
Martin Bažil (Prag/Rostock): Neukontextualisierung als Sinnstiftung: Semantische Kontextstrategien in den spätantiken Vergilcentonen
Benjamin Hübbe (Berlin, FU): Von Geiselnahmen und Gefangenschaften –
‚Historisch-kulturelle Kontextualisierungen‘,‚kulturelles Wissen‘ und die Dichtungen des Dracontius
Ursula Gärtner/Karen Blaschka (Potsdam): Gleichnis – Fabel – Topos. Neukontextualisierung als literarische Strategie
Peter Kuhlmann (Göttingen): Kontexte: Seneca und stoische Kernbegriffe im Kontext römischer Werte
Oliver Ehlen (Jena): Chariton von Aphrodisias im Kontext antiker fiktionaler Prosa

For more details, see the flyer below!

Kontexttagung Potsdam, Programmflyer

E-University and Online Seminars

Yesterday, while assisting a Conference on Scientific Cooperation between Greece and Germany held at the University of Hamburg, I heard a convincing presentation about the Open University of Cyprus. Antonis Petridis, assistant professor there, explained the advantages of this form of University.
As a nice coincidence I also received yesterday an advertisement for a “Webinar”, actually a online seminar on ancient letters that will be given next term conjointly between the University of Heidelberg and the University of Würzburg.

Open University of Cyprus
Heidelberg-Würzburg Webinar

Interesting observation about our attitude towards digital tools

Last week, at the last session of a series of conference about new approaches to Classics (Alte Texte – neue Ergebnisse), Prof. Markus Friedrich from the University of Hamburg talked about the reception of new technological inventions in the Humanities (Exzerpt, Photoauftrag, Datenbank: zur Entwicklung und Bedeutung technischer Hilfsmittel in der Geschichtswissenschaft). He focused in particular on the ways scholars had access to the primary sources and how they started to use devices enabling them to transport the information these documents contained to their working places where they could explore them further.

First he discussed the advent of photography which allowed scholars to move beyond copying manually the texts and get more accurate documents to work on once they left the library or the archive where the primary sources were. As a second step he mentioned the usage of photocopies and other ways of reproducing faithfully a great number of sources and documents. Finally in a third step he dealt with the digital tools that are available now.

However, it is not so much this tripartition which is striking, but his observation that it is actually this third step that raised the most vigorous criticism from scholars. He was himself rather surprised by his findings and wondered whether there may be witnesses of such a suspiciousness against the technologies used previously. However, if his observation is correct, it may also raise the question of that would be so peculiar about the currently available digital tools and technologies to be more subjects to criticism than previously used tools.

Should I change the title of my blog?

Just before Christmas, on December the 17th, I passed the viva of my Habilitation-thesis on Demetrios of Scepsis. So it seems that the research for which I started the blog comes to an end. The book is written!!

It is entitled “Demetrios of Scepsis and his Τρωϊκὸς διάκοσμος. A New Evaluation of the Remaining Fragments” and it has been approved by the University of Hamburg. I can now start to think about publishing these first results. GREAT, isn’t it!?

But actually I don’t feel like have got rid of Demetrios during this process. There is still plenty to say and to do about this scholar and his book. So I guess it is not the right moment to think about ending the blog: maybe just a little change in the title while exploring what may come next so that we can enjoy “travelling beyond Demetrios of Scepsis”…

Call for Paper: Digital Humanities: the example of Antiquity

As a quick note, I just copy here the call for paper for the conference, that will be held at the University of Grenoble between the 2nd and the 4th of September 2015:

Call for paper “Digital Humanities: the example of Antiquity”

The University ‘Stendhal’ of Grenoble 3, the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme-Alpes, L’Université Grenoble 2, the Humboldt Chair for Digital Humanities and HISOMA organise the conference “Digital Humanities: the example of Antiquity”. The conference will take place in Grenoble, from the 2nd to the 4th of September 2015.
The goal of this conference is twofold: at the same time an assessment of existing methodologies and a looking forward to new ones. It also has the objective of evaluating current practices of the application of Digital Humanities to the study of antiquity, practices which are quite numerous but also sometimes disconnected from each other and without an overall understanding. The conference also aims to contribute toward the design of new projects and the opening new paths, by establishing a dialogue between scholars for whom the Digital Humanities are already familiar and those wishing to acquire knowledge and practice in this domain.
The confirmed Keynote speakers are Gregory Crane (Tufts University & University of Leipzig) and Charlotte Roueché (King’s College London). The conference will be preceded by a workshop, particularly aimed at doctoral students, but open to everybody.

The study of Antiquity encompass very large geographical, historical and linguistic domains: from the Mediterranean to the borders of Europe and Asia, from the end of Prehistory to the Middle Ages, and from Greek and Latin to the languages of the Near and Middle East. This study is also distributed among different disciplines: Linguistics, Philology, Literary Criticism, Philosophy, History, Archaeology, Epigraphy, Numismatics, etc. In all these disciplinary traditions, the application of computational techniques has been employed for several decades now, an application that has left quite a strong mark on the study of Antiquity. The employment of digital methods has also enabled substantial changes of methodology, the extent of which remains to be assessed.

Considering the diversity of such approaches in a context of research which is more and more internationalised, it seems worthwhile to present to scholars and PhD students an overview of current research in order to develop future endeavours.

The conference will be organised around four key topics: Editions of literary texts; Study of scholia and commentaries; Archaeology and Epigraphy; Prosopography and historical geography. Papers will focus on methodological questions and/or discuss general issues emerging within such topics. We also encourage proposals of posters presenting work in progress.

Please send your proposals of up to 300 words, in French or English (which will be the languages of the conference) by the 15th of January 2015 to the organisers:
icogitore@msh-alpes.fr
elena.pierazzo@u-grenoble3.fr
NB: In order to encourage the participation of young researchers, we will provide a limited number of bursaries. If you wish to be considered for one of these then please include a letter of motivation with your application.

News from Leipzig: Sunoikisis Europe

On February 16-18, 2015 there will be a planning seminar for the new Sunoikisis Programme in Europe. The courses will be organised and hosted by the Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities in Leipzig. It is inspired by the Sunoikisis programme offered since 1999 at the Center for Hellenic studies:

Sunoikisishead2

It will offer courses in digital humanities for students of Greek and Latin and takes advantage of the experience the organisers acquired while creating the Perseids platform. The venue in February will therefore also inform about this platform and give some practical insights into the new tool.  Have a look at their announcement and consider joining them!

perseids_banner31

Digital Classicist Seminars Berlin

Two years ago I took part in the Digital Classicist Seminars in Berlin. I was therefore very happy to see the new programme for 2014-15. It looks pretty exciting!

Capture d’écran 2014-09-30 à 22.53.47

For more detail, please have a closer look at the Digital Classicist Berlin homepage

FIEC 2014 in Bordeaux

I will be presenting some aspects of my work on Demetrios of Scepsis at the 14th FIEC Conference which will be held in Bordeaux in a couple of days (25th-30th August). The presentation belongs to panel 1 which as been entitled Ecdotica: current trends in the edition and criticism of the classics (with two many subjects: epistemology of classical scholarship and editing fragmentary texts). Here is the programme of the panel:

Monday 25th August:

  • Anne-Catherine Baudoin: Traduttore salvatore: comprendre les Actes de
    Pilate grecs grâce à leur traduction latine
  • Sophie Bocksberger: Oxyrhychus 11 1B.156/C(b) – Philoctetes, 86-88, 109-134, 177-181
  • Veronica Bucciantini: Da Felix Jacoby a Friedrich Gisinger: il carteggio inedito nel Nachlaß della Bayerische Staatsbibliothek di Monaco sul dibattito per la struttura della quinta parte dei Fragmente der griechischen Historiker
  • Micheline Decorps-Foulquier: L’édition critique des textes mathématiques grecs et ses difficultés propres

Tuesday 26th August:

  • Margalit Finkelberg: The Original vs. the Received Text and the case of the Comma Johanneum
  • Daniel Kiss: Publishing a critical edition on the Internet: the case of ‘Catullus Online’
  • Brigitte Mondrain (conférence plénière/plenary session): Les manuscrits scientifiques et techniques grecs constituent-ils un genre?
  • Nigel Wilson (conférence plénière/plenary session): Lectorum in usum: what can editors of Greek texts still offer?
  • Ilaria Ramelli: The Dialogue of Adamantius: A Reassessment in View of a New Critical Edition and Commentary
  • Ute Tischer: Quotation, fragment, and context, or How to understand a quoted speech (Enn. Ann. v. 197-8 Sk.)
  • Alexandra Trachsel: Les citations en tant que reformulations de savoirs ou comment rendre le travail des érudits antiques plus visible dans les éditions de fragments?
  • Gertjan Verhasselt: Editing fragmentary historians: the problem of context
  • Anna Zouganeli: Édition des tragédies fantômes : la reconstitution de la Médée de Dicaiogenes et son nouveau fragment (?)
  • Gauthier Liberman: Un nouveau poème de Sappho. Présentation et discussion

Wednesday 27th August:

  • Danuta Shantzer (conférence plénière/plenary session): Some Reflections on Textual Criticism: Gaps, Indirect Traditions, Schools, Psychology, and Consequences
  • Gosciwit Malinowski: Necessity of a new critical edition of Agatharchides’ works
  • Enrico Prodi: Odes monostrophiques et performance processionnelle: origine et fortune d’un lieu commun

For the rest of the programme, see here

A fragmentary summer III

If one starts thinking about conferences focusing on fragments that will take place this summer, one should not forget the one organised by the Department of Classics from University College London:

Song Regained, Greek Epic and Lyric Fragments from the Archaic to the Imperial Era
2-4 July 2014

For further information see their webside

In this case the focus is on Greek poetic fragments and interestingly the topic is addressed in a chronological perspective including works from the Archaic period up to Late Antiquity. Three sessions are dedicated to Hellenistic poetry and many of the participants can also be found in the programme from the Warsaw Conference on fragments. The venue is preceded by a one-day workshop were methodological questions are dealt with and participants will be trained in the handling of papyri. It is really a pity that I will not be able to attend the conference!


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