Archive for the 'digital studies' Category

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.

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:
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:


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!


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 II

Here is the announcement for the second venue on fragments happening this summer. Fragments, seen as reused textual elements, will be the theme of a panel discussion at the Digital Humanity 2014 Conference which will be held in Lausanne from the 7th to the 12th July. More information about the panel may be found at, but here a sort summary of the approach the panel will explore:

DH 2014, Lausanne, 10 July 2014, 09:00-10:30
Amphimax, room 410

Text reuse – the meaningful reiteration of text, usually beyond the simple repetition of common language – is a broad concept that can naturally be understood at different levels and studied in a large variety of contexts. This panel will gather researchers from different projects focussing on text reuse in the field of Digital Classics with the aim of discussing the possible approaches to and understandings of the notion. It will also bring together current efforts and lay the ground for further research.

Aurélien Berra (Université Paris-Ouest & EHESS)
Matteo Romanello (German Archaeological Institute & King’s College London)
Alexandra Trachsel (University of Hamburg)

Invited participants:
Monica Berti (University of Leipzig)
Chris Forstall (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Annette Geßner (University of Leipzig)
Charlotte Tupman (King’s College London)

I am really looking forward, especially after having attended the Warsaw conference on fragments last week, to taking part in this panel. It will be particularly interesting for me to switch from one domain, Classics, and its approach to fragments to the other, Digital Humanities. Both research fields face the same difficulties when dealing with the fragmentariness of the past, but each has its own tradition and methodology. The challenge consists, therefore, in bringing both fields together.

Telling stories with maps

Very interesting venue:

Telling stories with maps: the geoweb, qualitative GIS and narrative mapping Digital Humanities Hub

It is going to happen at the University of Birmingham, on 30 April 2014. Here the programme:

Vanesa Castán Broto (UCL):
‘Mapping stories, urban energy’

Nela Milic (Goldsmiths):
‘Belgrade log BG:LOG’

Agnieszka Leszczynski (University of Birmingham) and Sarah Elwood (University of Washington):
‘Telling stories with new spatial media’

Ekaterina Yahyaoui Krivenko (NUI Galway):
‘Challenging the Narrative of International Law through GIS: limits and opportunities’

Miranda Anderson & James Loxley (University of Edinburgh):
‘Mapping the Factual and the Counterfactual’

Pietro Liuzzo (University of Heidelberg) and Francesco Mambrini (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut):
‘Storytelling and geographical data in EAGLE’

Ian Gregory, Chris Donaldson (Lancaster University) and Patricia Murrieta-Flores (University of Chester):
‘Exploring Lake District writing using GIS’

Akiyoshi Suzuki (Nagasaki University):
‘A Good Map is Worth a Thousand Words: 3-D Topographic Narrative of Haruki Murakami’

Moacir P. de Sá Pereira (University of Chicago):
‘Robert Jordan’s nearest neighbor: A “For Whom the Bell Tolls” GIS’

Øyvind Eide (University of Passau):
‘Narratives of maps and texts. The role of media differences and stepwise formalisation’

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:

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

Exploring “The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours”

At the Imouseion Project Workshop in Paris held at the beginning of June I learned about Greg Nagy’s project of an online course about the Homeric epics, the concept of Greek heroes and how the Greeks themselves dealt with it. The project has been launched in March and students can join until July 2013. See here for a general overview of its aims and content.

I just enrolled today and browsed through the first lesson. The choice of the first texts are particularly well fitting and the videos accompanying them give the necessary insights to understand their depth or to compare them with more modern experiences.

The whole course will be taught by a group of scholars including, besides Greg Nagy, also Lenny Muellner, Kevin McGrath, Alex Forte, Claudia Filos, Natasha Bershadsky, Glynnis Fawkes and Sean Signore. All are either teaching or studying at several US-universities. For each lesson, or hour, several texts are given. They are explained and discussed and the sessions ends with two sections of questions, one more about facts and the second about the texts and their meanings.

There is also a discussion section and an information blog giving the latest news about the progress of the course. Finally one can also find a link to the e-book version of Greg Nagy’s latest book, The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours, which is based on his teaching material assembled over more than 30 years for this topic.

I am looking forward to having time for looking into hour 2!