Archive for the 'Bibliography' Category

Some interesting News about Fragments

A few days ago I came across the last volume of Ancient Society where three interesting contributions about fragments can be found.

  • Schorn S., Collecting Fragments in the 21th Century: A LECTIO Series of Round Table Discussions, AncSoc 43, 2013, 267
  • Berti M., Collecting Quotations by Topic: Degrees of Preservation and Transtextual Relations among Genres, AncSoc 43, 2013, 269-288
  • Lenfant D., The Study of Intermediate Authors and its Role in the Interpretation of Historical Fragments, AncSoc 43, 2013, 289-305

As we learn from Schorn’s text, the publications are the result of a first round table about fragments in the context of the LECTIO research centre from the KU Leuven. The main focus of this research group is a new reflection on critical editions of ancient texts, but the issues dealt with when editing or collecting fragments are also included in the research field.

Monica Berti describes a range of different sorts of fragments which are characterised by their degrees of preservation. She suggests six kinds of quotations:

    gossip quotations, authoritative quotations, quotations as demonstrations, unnamed quotations vs. named quotations, memorable sayings and statements and quotations inside quotations.

One of the interesting aspects of this list is the fact that the quotations are defined by the functions they have for the quoting authors and occur at special places in the narrations or argumentations of the quoting author. This is indeed often neglected when dealing with fragments, as they are often classified by their more or less close renderings of the original text. Both approaches seems extremely interesting and should perhaps be combined in the future.

Dominique Lenfant focuses on the quoting author she calls an “intermediate author” and highlights the selection and adaptation he makes in the process of reuse. She gives then two examples of how the study of the methods and aims of an intermediate author may influence the interpretation of the fragments and could aid to analyse the preserved pieces. She did indeed carefully analyse the quotations from Herodotus in Athenaeus and can conclude that Athenaeus’s choice is not representative of Herodotus’s work and that paraphrases are more common in Athenaeus’s text than verbatim quotations. Also when focusing on the vocabulary used in some of the fragments of Ctesias’s Persica Lenfant can draw interesting conclusions about how much the intermediate author may have introduced his own wordings or thoughts in the quoted text. She concludes her article by suggesting that a large place should be given to the intermediate author in future editions of fragments.

Publications from the SAWS project

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 project’s website:

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!

Have a look at the screen shot and explore the options yourself:

27th International Congress of Papyrology

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

CHS publications

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.

Homer’s Trojan Theater

In her new book on the Iliad, Prof. Strauss Clay’s emphasizes the visual aspect of the narration and shows in an extremely convincing way that the spatial representation of the events happening during the battles described in book 12 to 17 is not only coherent but also an important part of the narrator’s performance-strategies.
In order to present the results of her close-reading she uses digital tools and presents her visual analysis on a website (Homer’s Trojan Theater). This is a interesting and promising way of combining a more traditional approach with the new possibilities a digital handling may provide.

I encountered a similar approach, combining more traditional methods with newer digital ones, while attending the conference in Lausanne this summer (see below: Lausanne: From Ancient Manuscripts to the Digital Era). Prof. Bourqui presented a new project on the French playwright Molière. For the new edition of the complete works of Molière, the prestigious Pléiade-edition decided to combine the traditional book-form with a website where additional information could be found (Molière21).

Thoughts about Writing in a Digital Environment

I just finished a chapter from a very inspiring book: L’humanista digitale, Teresa Numerico, Domenico Fiormonte and Francesca Tomasi (eds.). Further details about the book can be found on the blog of Monica Berti, where I actually got the information about it.
I started to read the part entitled Scrivere e produre because it was closest to the work I am doing in my project on Demetrios of Scepsis. Indeed much there is about producing a text or, let’s say, several texts, with all the stages of its composition including the documentation preceding as well as the modifications, additions and corrections added later on.
First the study as such, as it analyses the act of composition along other ways of using the new technologies assembled in chapters such as Rappresentare e conservare or Cercare e organizzare, defines the poetic part of the large field of digital humanities in it overall context. In order to contribute in an appropriated way to the world of digital humanities all the parts have to be taken into account even if it is no longer possible to be an expert in each if these fields.
It is the same message one gets when reading the schema of the four different texts discussed within the chapter on Scrivere e prudure (p. 78). Again when starting from the point of view of the composition of a text, we enter the schema from the first level (testo in sé) and stay focused on it for the whole process of the grammatical or rhetorical treatment of the content we would like to transmit. However as the authors of this study show this first level cannot be detached from the three others (testo-codice; testo processato; testo che (ci) scrive), even if these are fields which are rather far away from the preoccupations of an author, at least when he is focused on the act of composition.
But still it cannot be ignored, as the new technologies imply also a new way of thinking about the act of writing of a text, a document or let’s say the more delimited concept of a book (a text within a front and a back page), especially if we follow the image the authors of the study suggest, comparing the architecture of the information to a system of classification in a library (p. 98). Indeed in the context of a traditional library the act of writing, leading eventually to the creation of a book, is completely independent from the act of classifying this item in a larger repository, by either sticking a code on the back of the book or, more up-to-day, by adding a code-bare on its first or last page. In a digital library this devices, leading to a specific book in a huge repository, are found within the document itself and are fixed on the very elements of the text. So it seems that they became part of the concerns of an author if he wants to use all the possibilities of these new technologies.

Another Project using TEI

Here is the link to another project now available on internet. It is a digital version of Du Cange’s Glossarium mediae et infimae latinitatis.

Under the heading “documentaion” they explain how they encoded the text. They speak also to some extend about fragments, as some of the entries contain quotations. They discuss the difficulties, for instance with quotations in prose vs those from poetry, with interrupted quotations or quotations which are too short.


Receiving through a mailing list ( an advertisement for a research seminar given at the Classics Departments of the University of Durham, I came across the name of two dear friends of mine. On January the 20th Janika Päll and Martin Steinrück gave each a paper. Janika’s topic was “Memory in Demosthenes’ Philippics” and Martin spoke about “Dialogic Memory”.
But there is more to be said about the two with regard to my blog. They are both in an editorial board of an online journal from the University of Tarttu. Here is the link to it:

As it is already online since 2000, it is rather a shame to mention it only now. Besides articles from my two friends there are many other interesting articles, and in particular I would like to mention the one from Han Baltussen:

Han Baltussen, “The Presocratics in the doxographical tradition. Sources, controversies, and current research”, Studia Humaniora Tartuensia 6.A.6.

They also have their own Book blog with information about new publications.

News from Strabo and his Editor

Again I am pleased to be able to add some news about a topic mentioned in a previous post (Found on!). Last week Prof. Radt was awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Münster. He was honoured for his extremely fruitful work in the field of classical scholarship. Of course for our work on Demetrios of Scepsis it is his new edition of Strabo’s Geographika which is one of these most valuable tools he gave us.

You may find further images of the event on the galerie by Michiel Thomas.

About Myself

I have just been told by the publisher of my PhD thesis that it has been published today. I am happy about the idea to have soon the BOOK in my own hands!


Schwabe Verlag