Archive for August, 2013

Conclusion of my Marie Curie Fellowship

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 SAWS-project 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 Simona Stoyanova 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 Prof. Charlotte Roueché, Prof. Giambattista D’Alessio and Dr Gabriel Bodard!


Great news: the Townleyana manuscript digitised!

I have just received, as everybody subscribed to the Liverpool Classicists mailing-list, the message that the British Library 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 folio 123r. 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!

See further: Medieval manuscripts blog