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Classics and DH in Rome

Well again an announcement for a conference. The programme cleverly mixes DH and Classics. Have a look!

Textual Philology Facing Liquid Modernity:

Identifying Objects, Evaluating Methods, Exploiting Media

Sapienza Università di Roma

Dottorato in Filologia e storia del mondo antico

Dipartimenti di Scienze dell’Antichità e di Studi greco-latini, italiani, scenico-musicali

18th-20th April 2018

Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, Aula Odeion

Organising committee:

Andrea Chegai (Sapienza Università di Roma)

Michela Rosellini (Sapienza Università di Roma)

Elena Spangenberg Yanes (Sapienza Università di Roma-Trinity College Dublin)

Wednesday, 18th April 2018

15:00 Institutional greetings

15:30 Michela Rosellini – Elena Spangenberg Yanes, Introduction

Session 1. Sorting Methods in Critical (Digital) Editing:

Panel A. Classical and Late Antique Philology – chair Michela Rosellini

16.00 Dániel Kiss (Budapest, Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem), New media for the edition of Latin classics

16:30 Justin Stover (University of Edinburgh), Material transmission: the study of textual traditions in a Digital Age

17:00 Coffee break

17:30 Caroline Macé (Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen), About sirens and onocentaurs, best manuscripts, fluid traditions and other myths

18:00 Paolo Monella (Università di Palermo), L’edizione sinottica digitale: una terza via

18:30 Discussion

Thursday, 19th April 2018

Session 2. Philologists and Texts Floating in the Net – chair Paolo Trovato

09:00 Paola Italia (Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna), Fake texts e Wiki edizioni. Per una filologia digitale sostenibile

09:30 Lorenzo Tomasin (Université de Lausanne), Qualche tesi per la filologia nell’epoca della novità digitale

10:00 Claudio Lagomarsini (Università degli Studi di Siena), Un progresso obsoleto? La trasmissione online dell’epica medievale

10:30 Coffee break

11:00 Research Group “Nicoletta Bourbaki” (Benedetta Pierfederici, Salvatore Talia), La narrazione della storia in Wikipedia: pratiche, ideologie, conflitti per la memoria nell’Enciclopedia libera

11:30 Claudio Giammona (Sapienza Università di Roma) – Elena Spangenberg Yanes, Dalla stampa al digitale, dal digitale alla stampa: Internet e la tradizione indiretta

12:00 Discussion

Session 1. Sorting Methods in Critical (Digital) Editing:

Panel B. Lachmann’s Legacy – Chair Claudio Giammona

15:00 Federico Marchetti (Università di Ferrara) – Paolo Trovato (Università di Ferrara), The study of codices descripti as a Neo-Lachmannian weapon against the notions of mouvance and textual fluidity

15:30 Ermanno Malaspina (Università di Torino), Edizioni digitali critiche (cioè lachmanniane) di testi classici a recensio complessa in xml: il rebus delle lezioni da mettere o non mettere in apparato

16:00 Coffee break

Panel C. Medieval Philology – chair Lorenzo Tomasin

16:30 Raymund Wilhelm (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Elisa De Roberto (Università degli Studi di Roma Tre), Stephen Dörr (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg),La banca dati del Dizionario dell’antico lombardo (DAL). Il trattamento delle varianti filologiche

17:15 Odd Einar Haugen (Universitetet i Bergen), The critical edition in Old Norse philology: Its demise and its chances of revival

17:45 Matthew Driscoll (Københavns Universitet),Textual and generic fluidity in Late Medieval and Early Modern Iceland

18:15 Discussion

Friday, 20th April 2018

Panel D. Musical Philology – chair Andrea Chegai

09:00 Fabrizio Della Seta (Università degli Studi di Pavia), La filologia dell’opera italiana tra testo ed evento

09:30 Federica Rovelli (Beethovens Werkstatt, Beethoven-Haus Bonn), Prospettive digitali per l’edizione dei quaderni di schizzi di Beethoven

10:00 Eleonora Di Cintio (Sapienza Università di Roma), Filologia di un’opera empirica: per un’edizione critica digitale della Penelope di Cimarosa et alii(1794-1817)

10:30 Coffee break

Round table. Matching Editions and Traditions – chair Andrea Chegai

11:00-12:30 Monica Berté (Università degli Studi “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti – Pescara), Lino Leonardi (Università degli Studi di Siena), Ermanno Malaspina, Paolo Trovato

12:30 Michela Rosellini, Conclusions


Elien en contexte!

A few days ago, I attended my first conference on Claudius Aelianus, organised by Arnauld Zucker and Marco Vespa from the University of Nice. As I just started the project, it was a timely occasion to meet scholars, who worked on Aelianus previously. The papers met all my expectations and I learned a lot about this author, the research questions linked to his works and the fascinating context, in which he lived and worked.


First Valentin Decloquement focused on the presence of Homer in Aelianus’ works and showed how Aelianus, like others – for instance Philostratus-,  played with well-known Homeric questions. These authors could take position, more or less parodically, in some of the controversies, and they could even defend their own original answers in others if they liked to. Aelianus’ works allow therefore an interesting view on the reception of the reception of Homer’s poems and this aspect of their works can also be seen as an answer to previous Homeric scholarship, especially the one developed in connection with the library of Alexandria. In this respect, Valentin’s presentation allowed me to see some connections between my previous research on Demetrios of Scepsis and the new one on Aelianus.

Then, there was a whole cluster of interventions on Aelianus’ way of using the animal world to speak about human behaviours. Tim Whitmarsh emphasised the distance Aelianus maintains between the two realms, especially in similes. He compared Aelianus’ approach to the one hinted at in Ps-Lucians, Lucius or the Ass, probably a Greek precursor of Apuleius’ Golden Ass. In allowing a form of metamorphosis, the author of this text, blurs the boundaries between the human and animal world and can experiment about this other world and the lost of identity that this may bring, either on the level of human/animal or concerning, when seen from a different angle,  an individual’s feelings of belonging to the Roman empire (or identity) or not. Emily Kneeborne developed this by comparing Aelianus’ use of the animal world with the one of Oppian. It has often been stated that Oppian’s and Aelianus’ works were close and that they shared common sources, but Emily’s presentation was enlightening as she showed in a well-documented analysis how differently the two authors worked and explored the animal examples to speak about human behaviours. This was then again expanded by Arnauld Zucker. He demonstrated how Aelianus keeps a difference between humans and animals despite the anthropomorphic vocabulary he often uses. The difference Aelinaus draws between the two worlds is much more subtle than acknowledged so far. It is based on a different definition of “animals”, which focuses more on the concept of “sophia” rather on the one of “logos” and this allows us to see how this author’s attitude to the notion of “nature” changed.

Finally, there was the presentation of Lucía Rodríguez-Noriega Guillén. She works on quotations, especially in Athenaeus and Aelianus, which made her contribution particularly relevant to my own project. She showed us, as did Emily, who individually Aelianus could use shared material.  Her case study came from Athenaeus. It has often been stated that in some passages, Aelianus was very close to Athenaeus and that the Deipnosophistai could have been Aelianus’ sources. However, it was used, most of the time, as a critique blaming Aelianus for not having quoted Athenaeus faithfully. Lucia showed, on the contrary, how theses presumed irregularities were actually made on purpose by Aelianus. Changing the reused passages, by adding elements, by modifying attributions, or by merging ideas, allowed him to compose his own statements, despite the permanent references to previous authors and their achievements. She also presented her long-term research project on quotations in the imperial period. The intermediary results can be seen on the website of the project ( ). It is already now an amazingly helpful tool for further research on quotations practices in antiquity! But the project should hopefully be developed in a second phase, where each of the 8’807 collected quotations will be analysed with regard to the purpose for which is what quoted, the relation to the original passage and the degree of literality!

Unfortunately the last speaker  (Lionel Gourichon) could not attend the conference and his paper was read by Marco Vespa. It was, however, meant to open up the perspective and to deal with the animals mentioned in Aelianus’ work. The research focused on birds and compared the evidence archaeologists gathered about the presence and exploitation of birds in Antiquity and what Aelianus told us about them. Comparing the two approaches was very interesting, but also highlighted the fact that, when compared to other works on animals from Antiquity, the one from Aelianus remains a literary endeavour, showing the marks of his time. It was a work of compilation, which was not primarily based on observations. This is of course not a critique, but rather a reminder to see his work as a product of his time.

Finally I would like to thank the organisers for having made possible these enriching encounters!


Ovid everywhere!

It is a special year for studies on Ovid. 2ooo year ago the great poet vanished and scholars from all over the place take the opportunity to remember the author and his achievements. Here a list of those I already spotted, or attended:

January: University of Hamburg: Workshop „Neue Forschungen zu Ovid“


March: University Paris – Sorbonne: Colloque « Ovide 2017: célébration du bimillénaire de la mort d’Ovide. Le transitoire et l’éphémère: un hapax à l’ère augustéenne ? »


May:  Historical and Achraeological museum of Constanța: Symposion “Évocations ovidiennes: poésie – mythologie – réalité historique”, programme to be defined.

June: University of Bucharest: International Colloquium “Close, Far-away, Everywhere, Nowhere. Perpetual Glosses on the Exile Theme”. The CfP is still open, deadline 10th May 2017.

also in June: Guangqi International Center for Scholars of Shanghai Normal University: Globalizing Ovid.

September: University of Bristol: international conference “Ovid Across Europe: Vernacular Translations of the Metamorphoses in the Middle Ages & Renaissance”. The CfP is still open, deadline 30th March 2017.

And all over the summer a whole range of events in Berlin for which you find the programme at Flyer Gesamtprogramm final.

Plakat Ringvorlesung


Digital Classicist London: 2016 seminars


If you happen to be in London this summer….

Digital Classicist London: 2016 seminars
Institute of Classical Studies
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Fridays at 16:30 in room 234

Jun 3 Gregory Crane (Leipzig & Tufts), Philological Education and Citizenship in the 21st Century
Jun 10 Matteo Romanello (Lausanne & DAI), Of People, Places and References: Extracting information from Classics publications
Jun 17 Eleanor Robson (University College London), From the ground to the cloud: digital edition of freshly excavated cuneiform tablets on Oracc
Jun 24 Stuart Dunn (King’s College London), Reading text with GIS: Different digital lenses for Ancient World Geography
Jul 1 Valeria Vitale (King’s College London), The use and abuse of 3D visualisation in the study of the Ancient World
Jul 8 Chiara Palladino (Leipzig & Bari), Annotating geospatial patterns in ancient texts: problems and strategies
Jul 15 No seminar
Jul 22 Stelios Chronopoulos (Freiburg), New Life into Old Courses? Using Digital Tools in Reading and Prose Composition Classes
Jul 29 Silke Vanbeselaere (KU Leuven), Exploring ancient sources with data visualisation

Abstracts available here:


Classical Philology goes digital

Here is an interesting Call for papers from the University of Leipzig and the University of Potsdam.

Classical Philology goes digital
Working on textual phenomena of ancient texts
University of Potsdam, February 16-17, 2017

Digital technologies continue to change our daily lives, including the way scholars work. As a result, the Classics are currently also subject to constant change. Having established itself as an important field in the scientific landscape, Digital Humanities (DH) research provides a number of new possibilities to scholars who deal with analyses and interpretations of ancient works. Greek and Latin texts become digitally available and searchable (editing, encoding), they can be analyzed to find certain structures (text-mining), and they can also be provided with metadata (annotation, linking, textual alignment), e.g. according to traditional commentaries to explain terms, vocabulary or syntactic relationships (in particular tree-banking) for intra- and intertextual linking as well as for connections with research literature. Therefore, an important keyword in this is ‘networking,’ because there is so much potential for Classical Philology to collaborate with the Digital Humanities in creating useful tools for textual work, that a clear overview is difficult to obtain. Moreover, this scientific interest is by no means unilateral: Collaboration is very important for Digital Humanities as a way of (further) developing and testing digital methods.

This is exactly where the proposed workshop comes in: representing several academic disciplines and institutions, scholars will come together to talk about their projects. We have invited Digital Humanists to the discussion who have experience pertaining to special issues in Classical Philology and can present the methods and potentials of their research (including the AvH Chair of DH / Leipzig, the CCeH, the DAI and Dariah-DE). In order to enable intensive and efficient work involving the various ideas and projects, the workshop is aimed at philologists whose research interests focus on certain phenomena of ancient texts, e.g. similes or quotations, and who want to examine more closely how such phenomena are presented and used, including questions of intertextuality and text-reuse. The aim of extracting and annotating textual data as similes poses the same type of practical philological problems for Classicists. Therefore, the workshop provides insight in two main ways: First, in an introductory theoretical section, DH experts will present keynote lectures on specific topics such as encoding, annotating, linking and text-mining; second, the focus of the workshop will be to discuss project ideas with DH experts, to explore and explain possibilities for digital implementation, and ideally to offer a platform for potential cooperation. The focus is explicitly on working together to explore ideas and challenges, based also on concrete practical examples.
This main section will be divided into two sessions based on methods from the Digital Humanities; according to their main focus, projects will be assigned to one of the following groups: 1. producing digital data: computational analysis of ancient texts, detecting textual elements; and 2. commenting on texts: annotation and linking. It is entirely possible that some themes will be more or less important for the different research goals.

The keynotes and project presentations will be classified into the following sessions

I. DH keynote speaker : The workshop begins with keynotes held by invited DH specialists who have expertise in the special issues of Digital Classics. The aim of these lectures is to describe possibilities for implementing information technology for philological purposes, taking into account the specific challenges of ancient texts, their conditions and transmission. By demonstrating best-practice examples, the speakers will provide initial ideas as to what is useful and possible. This session serves as an introduction to the two following sessions that are focusedon the discussion of specific projects.

II. Project presentations
1) Producing digital data: computational analysis of ancient texts, detecting textual elements.
Projects within Session 1 will mainly deal with the question of how specific textual elements that have a more or less fixed structure in a text may be systematically detected: How might the conventional readings of texts and the manual search in various textual resources be combined with automated analyses? How might text-mining and natural language processing techniques be used to supplement a reading? The DH experts will provide insight into such topics as the possibilities of named entity recognition and collections of textual elements in semantically linked datasets that leverage formal ontologies. Networking with already existing resources for ancient texts as well as with similar current projects will be discussed. Questions relating to editing a text, especially to how a text can be presented and preserved for online research, may briefly be mentioned. However, the main focus here is on the extraction of information.
2) Commenting on texts: annotation and linking
Session 2 includes projects that focus on providing a text with metadata. How might the
different parts of a textual element, e.g. specific terms and the syntactic or semantic sentence structure, be explained by annotation? Which open standards for annotating a text may be wisely used? What kind of linking is possible, not only with the primary source text, but also with research literature and lexical entities, for instance? Participants will also talk about how the resulting resources could be used as real research tools for users, e.g. for a comprehensive search of particular terms.

The presentations will be given in German or English, as well as the discussions. Addressing this specific interest in textual philology, the searched projects should deal with certain types of textual elements that have a more or less fixed structure, e.g. figurative language, quotations or special terms. The purpose should be to analyze texts focusing on these forms and to annotate and align passages. The discussions, therefore, will address how to extract and annotate data, i.e. how to work with them in a digital environment.

The Classical Philology department at the University of Potsdam is very well equipped for this kind of joint project. The presentations should not exceed 15 minutes. As the focus of the workshop is on the following discussion, 30 minutes are scheduled for collaborative exchange after each lecture.
Contributions should be submitted by May 15th, 2016, in the form of a short abstract (max.
300 words) along with a brief biography. Digital Humanists are also invited to submit further proposals for lectures in the DH section, which should not exceed 30 minutes in length.

The workshop will take place at the University of Potsdam from February 16th to 17th, 2017.

Important dates:
15/05/16 deadline for abstracts
30/05/16 notification of authors
16-17/02/17 workshop in Potsdam

Dr. Karen Blaschka, Klassische Philologie, Universität Potsdam
Dr. Monica Berti, AvH Chair of DH, Universität Leipzig

Dr. Karen Blaschka
Klassische Philologie
Universität Potsdam
Am Neuen Palais 10
14469 Potsdam

Dr. Monica Berti
Alexander von Humboldt-Lehrstuhl für Digital Humanities
Institut für Informatik
Universität Leipzig
Augustusplatz 10
04109 Leipzig

Mail to:


Discovering the University of Cyprus

I have been invited to Cyprus for an Erasmus teaching week! I am really looking forward to this visit and to meeting the students and members of staff. One of the highlights will certainly be the research seminars of the Department of Classics and Philosophy. Here the programme:

26/01, Panayotakis S. (Crete), Ibat res ad summam nauseam: Feeling sick in Petronius and Phaedrus

09/02, Skouroumouni-Stavrinou ?. (Cyprus), Euripides onstage: Skeue in Euripidean dramaturgy

23/02, Pavlou ?. (Cyprus), Pindaric Temporalities

01/03, Trachsel A. (Hamburg), Demetrius of Scepsis and his Troicos Diacosmos: Local scholarship on the Homeric text.

08/03, Athanassaki L. (Crete), Euripides’ dialogue with Athenian monumental iconography in the Trojan Women.

15/03, Desmond W. (Maynooth), Dialectic, perspective, and Plato’s democrats

29/03, Demetriou Ch. (Cyprus), Plautus’ Miles Gloriosus: Dicea’s story revisited

05/04, Clay J. (Virginia), How to Recognize a Homeric God


The Journal Polymnia

Here is the link to a new electronical journal! It focuses on mythography and expands the work of the international network with the same name. Please have a look at the first issue…

Polymnia 1.

First edition 2015

Minerva Alganza Roldán: ¿Historiadores, logógrafos o mitógrafos? (Sobre  la recepción de Hecateo, Ferécides y Helánico)

David Bouvier: Palaiphatos ou le mythe du mythographe

Jacqueline Fabre-Serris: La pratique mythographique de Parthénius de Nicée et l’usage des Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα chez Gallus, Properce et Ovide

Arnaud Zucker: Hygin et Ératosthène. Variation mythographique ou restitution d’un original perdu

Etienne Wolff: Les spécificités de Fulgence dans les Mitologiae

Franck Collin: L’inscription mythographique dans le projet encyclopédiste du De Naturis rerum d’Alexandre Neckam

Gisèle Besson: Pseustis avait-il une chance contre Alithia ? Le regard porté sur la mythologie païenne dans l’Ecloga Theoduli

Consuelo Álvarez Morán and Rosa Iglésias Monteil: Los Diez libros de la Mitologia de Natale Conti en su segunda redacción

Françoise Graziani: La confabulation poétique de Boccace


Musisque Deoque

I had the opportunity to attend the last session of the Digital Classicist 2010 seminars. Linda Spinazzè, a young scholar from the University of Venice, presented a very interesting project, entitled Musisque Deoque. The project deals with Latin literature and proposes to provide digital editions of a set of ancient texts.
The choice of texts goes from the 3th century BCE up to the 7th century CE. For each of them a Latin text is provided where the editorial variants are highlighted and explained in a separated apparatus criticus. For each of the elements given, precise indications are made to offer the readers an easier understanding of the often difficult and varying abbreviations in an apparatus.
Further a research option for metrical criteria is provided, where the texts are listed under different meters and can be approached from this point of view.
In the paper however Linda Spinazzè announced another aspect of the project, manuscripts tracing on the net. She is currently developing a tool which would help to find the digital images of the variants listed in the apparatus of the text. The apparatus created by these means would therefore become extremely valuable as it would help to fill the previously inevitable gap between the manuscripts, disseminated in the libraries all over the world, accessible to few and showing each only one stage of the transmission, and the printed editions, a reproducible and easily available summary of all the manuscripts where one version is given as main text and the other variants are summed up in the appartus.
This project is therefore based on another approach than for instance the Homer Multitext Project. Whereas the project on the Homeric text starts from the manuscripts and finds new ways of presenting the complex state of preservation of the text, the Musisque deoque approach is starting from the currently available editions and tries to go back to the manuscripts, if they are available. The approach is less revolutionary than the one of the Homer Multitext Project, but it has the advantage to be applicable to a corpus of diversified texts, with different histories of transmission.


Another online project now available

A few days ago I received the link to a database made by a good friend of mine. So I am really happy to mention it here, even if it is not closely linked to the present project.

However it shows the possibilities online presentations of ancients texts, with remarks on the text itself and comments on the content and, in this special case, of the general context of each papyrus.

Greek Law in Roman Times


Submission to PDQ

In the last few weeks I composed a short note that I would like to submit to the PDQ (vol 1.2). It it not yet in the shape I wanted it to be and it should be seen as a kind of exercise for the author rather than a very innovative contribution. I still hope it is in accordance with the editors’ goal.