Digital Classicist London 2023

Institute of Classical Studies, University of London
Fridays at 17:00 UK time in room 349*, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU and all seminars broadcast live to Youtube.

June 9: Panagiota Sarischouli (Thessaloniki), NOMINA Database: Names and Orality in Magic in Antiquity (Youtube) room 349

June 16: Kevin Wong (Harvard), Antiquity for Sale: Game Engines, Asset Stores, and the Platformization of the Classical Imagination in Videogame Development (Youtube) room 349

June 23: David Bamman (Berkeley), Latin BERT: A Contextual Language Model for Classical Philology (Youtube) room 349

July 14: Paola Marongiu (Neuchâtel), Barbara McGillivray (KCL), Lexical semantic change detection in Latin: a use-case on medical Latin (Youtube) *room 265

July 28: Luca Brunke (Exeter), Research-based 3D reconstructions of built heritage environments (Youtube) room 349


The programme for the summer 2023 series of the Digital Classicist London seminar is now available. The seminar was organized by Gabriel Bodard (University of London), Megan Bushnell (UofL), Marco Dosi (UofL), Andrea Farina (KCL) and Paula Granados García (British Museum), and brings together presentations and discussions of innovative digital approaches to research, teaching, dissemination or engagement related to the ancient and pre-modern worlds.
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Digital Classicist London seminar 2023 CFP

Tondo of Greek kylix; boy with writing tabletCall for Presentations

With apologies for the tight deadline…

The Digital Classicist London seminar invites proposals for the Summer 2023 series. We are looking for seminars on any aspect of the ancient or pre-colonial worlds, including history, archaeology, language, literature, cultural heritage or reception, that address innovative digital approaches to research, teaching, dissemination or engagement. Seminars that speak to the ancient world beyond Greco-Roman antiquity are especially welcome.

Seminars will be held fortnightly through June and July in the Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, London, and will be simultaneously streamed to remote audiences on Youtube, but we hope most speakers will be physically present in London. We have a small budget to support travel for speakers within the UK.

Please send an abstract of 300 words to <> (clearly marked Digital Classicist London) by the end of Monday May 1.

Digital Classicist London 2023 is organised by Gabriel Bodard, Megan Bushnell, Marco Dosi, Andrea Farina and Paula Granados García.
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Mapping the veterans of Upper Moesia using ArcGIS

written by Ana Honcu, Post-doc researcher, University of Iași

This article is about mapping the veterans’ inscriptions from Upper Moesia using ArcGIS software. How can this be done and toward what aims? By applying GIS algorithms to these datasets, we can make various maps and queries that allow us to discuss distribution and spatiality from many different angles. Such an experiment provided us the possibility of better visualization of data in a geographic context and allowed us to identify the specific locations of inscriptions and thus draw conclusions about veterans’ settlements.

A geographic information system (GIS) is a system that creates, manages, analyses and maps all types of data. GIS connects data to a map, integrating location data (where things are) with all types of descriptive information. Simply stated, GIS technology provides a foundation for mapping and analyzing data in a geographical context. This allows better visualization of data in a unique format that leads to discoveries regarding patterns and relationships about and between the data itself.  GIS technology is increasingly employed in the field of archaeology, but it has not yet been extensively applied to epigraphic datasets. Rebecca Benefiel’s study of wall inscriptions from Pompeii offers an excellent demonstration of the potential of this technology in answering historical questions.

Fig. 1.png

We believe that GIS technology can be applied with great benefit also to the study of the veterans’ inscriptions from Upper Moesia. The province of Upper Moesia was selected as an area of interest for quantitative GIS exploration because it had a significant military presence, therefore a representative number of inscriptions, which can be used as indicators for the three measured variables: Roman veterans, their origin, and place of establishment. Creating a digital database that could be keyed to a geo-referenced map would greatly facilitate research involving inscriptions and spatial analysis. Our study has two goals: to demonstrate the usefulness of the application of GIS to a database containing an epigraphical corpus and to identify the main centers of settlement of veterans.

Fig. 1.2

The database was comprised of 164 inscriptions, collected from epigraphic corpora or online epigraphic databases. Fig.1, 1.2 displays the location of all veterans (legionaries and auxiliaries) in the province. The distribution of veteran settlements in Upper Moesia presents an expansive, complex spatial arrangement with 40 settlements of veterans. We can draw a first general conclusion – the preferred areas are the northern, southern, and northeastern provincial borders, cities with colonial (Scupi, Ratiaria) or municipal status (Singidunum, Horreum Margi, Naissus, Ulpiana), the provincial capital (Viminacium), legionary and auxiliary camps (Timacum Minus) castella (for example Bononia), but also settlements with economic potential.

Fig. 2

Fig. 2.1  

The following two maps pinpoint the locations of legionary (Fig 2, 2.1) and auxiliary veterans (Fig. 3). It can be stated that the use of ArcGIS maps and a specific database clearly help map separate categories of inscriptions. Not only the high concentration of inscriptions has a big visual impact, but so does their spread as well, because no part of the territory is empty. This could not be created without digital aid, and the maps illustrate how the topographical distribution of inscriptions can be analyzed in greater detail to provide a multi-layered picture of veterans. ArcGIS maps show that there is a visible clustering: the most numerous veterans come from the two legions stationed in the province (legio VII Claudia and legio IIII Flavia Felix) and the dispersion of the legionary veterans being present in the north and south of the province. Ex-soldiers settled in the north were located near the legionary camps, and the veterans settled in the south of the province were settled through deductio agraria. Most auxiliary veterans settle in the place where they performed their military service (for example, Timacum Minus).

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 4.1

We have also applied some spatial analysis, in order to extract new information and meaning from the original data. The result of summarizing data tool is a new layer with polygons (grid/area) with a size of 40 km. The analysis calculated the number of points (location of veterans) that fit into each surface and the total number of inscriptions from the grid/area (Fig. 4, 4.1). The find locations tool identified existing features that meet a series of criteria we specify. In our case, the analysis pinpointed legionaries established at a distance of 200 km from the military camps (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5

In conclusion, viewing results on an interactive map offers the possibility to adjust and adapt analysis until we find the answers we need. Interactive maps create immersive experiences that transform maps from a static view into an opportunity for users to explore. The results demonstrate the potential of the GIS approach in testing the hypotheses produced by traditional epigraphic studies.


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Review of Ugarit Alignment Tool

Textual Alignment of Res Gestae: Translation in Historical Languages
by Sisi Xie

Commenting on the Ugarit alignment tool:

1. Introduction

Res Gestae Divi Augusti (RG), written by Augustus during his lifetime, is a direct reflection of the posthumous image that he intended to leave engraved. It was initially inscribed in Latin on two bronze steles in front of the mausoleum of Augustus at Rome. The Greek texts were translations targeted at the Greek audience who might not have direct access to the Latin original. The textual comparison of RG in two historical languages has attracted considerable scholarly attention, before the advent of digital tools. As previous research has shown, text alignment by hand and paper generates reliable and insightful conclusions (e.g. Cooley’s Res Gestae Divi Augusti, 2009, 26–30). The development of digital humanities opens up more possibilities to perform research via diverse approaches, among which Ugarit is a well-developed online tool designed for textual alignment.

Textual alignment, or translation alignment in the case of RG, is one type of annotation to link a word or expression in a text with the matching one in the correspondent text, creating aligned word pairs. Parallel texts can be written in different languages or come from different versions of the same source. Ugarit’s user-friendly interface presents visualized data of textual alignment, including easily recognized translation pairs, alignment statistics, rates of correspondence and others. While enjoying wide popularity in alignment of ancient texts and modern translations, it also shows a research potential in matching texts from multiple historical languages, especially those in which the original version and the translation have been distinguished. RG, like the Rosetta Stone, is a suitable bilingual sample for Ugarit to reveal the correspondence and divergence in source texts and translated texts. It is the aim of this project to examine whether Ugarit could provide a better insight into the comparison of bilingual texts of RG than paperwork, and what more benefits Ugarit could provide than non-digital methods. More specifically the project tries to investigate via Ugarit what strategy the Greek translators adopted and how much the translation followed or deviated from the original Latin.

2. Alignment

With the Latin as source texts and the Greek as target texts, the project connects each word in the translations with source texts. The alignment focuses more on the semantical relation rather than syntactical. Pairs are aligned when an attempt to translate words in the source texts is detected and a Greek equivalence is created, regardless of accuracy. This could result in a higher alignment rate, though some pairs aligned are not necessarily precise correspondents. Further evaluations on whether the translation truly reflects the desired meaning of the source texts and to what aspect the distortion goes are recorded beyond the web tool, using pen or computer. Only the first twelve chapters are aligned given the length of RG. The conclusion of alignment is built on the one hand from the visualisation and statistics automatically generated by Ugarit, and on the other from notes taken manually outside Ugarit.

Ugarit offers general and instantly visible results on the dashboard after the manual alignment process is finished, but information emerges during the process of alignment, much of which cannot be detected from the final visualization. A word-to-word alignment practice continuously reveals the degree of loyalty of Greet target texts to the source texts. Based on the twelve chapters examined, the purpose of translation was to create a Greek reduplication of Latin source texts as precise and comprehensive as possible. A combination of various strategies was used to minimize the chance of negligence and distortion: literal translation, transliteration and liberal translation.

Literal translation, which was the most frequently adopted technique, matched each Latin word with a Greek correspondent and closely followed the word order of Latin source texts. The preciseness of literal translation finds its best evidence on Latin particles, which in most cases were allocated Greek equivalence, though their absence had little influence on the core meaning of the sentences. At times the translators adjusted the word order to make it more idiomatic for the Greek audience. The translation pattern adopted a more flexible structure and appeared like a reorganization of the original puzzle, of which few pieces were left and the overall picture remained largely the same. When applicable, Latin source words were replaced by Greek words of the same part of speech, but exceptions existed. Perpetum as an adverb in chapter 5 was translated into a prepositional phrase διὰ βίου, and similarly prospere in chapter 12 was replaced by κατὰ τὰς εὐχὰς.

Transliteration was adopted mostly on proper names of Latin that sounded unfamiliar to the Greek audience, such as names of Roman gods, magistrates, or verbs that harboured unique meanings in the Roman context. The translators judged it unnecessary to explain the exact meanings of the proper name, or there was simply no Greek correspondent that made any sense. Fetialis and saliare (salis) were rewrote in Greek alphabet as φητιᾶλις and σαλίων (RG. 7.3, 10.1).

Liberal translation, or loose translation that shows a weaker link with the source texts, occurred in the following conditions: 1) auxiliary expressions were needed to compose a fluent sentence. In chapter 9, besides translating conjunctive adverbs aliquotiens…aliquotiens into τοτὲ…τοτὲ, an additional pair of μὲν…δὲ was added to better suit the Greek idiomatic writing habit. 2) The meaning of the Latin source words required further explanation, or existing Greek vocabularies failed to give meaning to the Latin source words. Triumvirum in chapter 1 was expanded into τὴν τῶν τριῶν ἀνδρῶν ἒχοντα ἀρχὴν, and later in chapter 7 abbreviated into τριῶν ἀνδρῶν. Again in chapter 7, princeps senatus found its explanation as πρῶτον ἀξιώματος τόπον ἒσχον τῆς συνκλήτου. Expansion and differentiated translations for the same word indicate that the translators were not mechanically spotting a resembling piece of a puzzle only by appearance, but their aim was to compose a readable translation when it still fell within their ability. Exempla was used twice in 8.4. The translators make the first into ἐθῶν and the latter μείμημα.

A more flexible word order and a greater degree of liberal translation reflect the difficulty in sorting out proper Greek expressions for Roman events and phenomenons. Sentences concerning political concepts, specified practice and religious affairs experience more omission and distortion. Details in narration are countered by disorder and omission when it comes to the actual power Augustus had gained, which he took caution to veil. The translators thought a single δουλήσας sufficient to describe Augustus’ effort in liberating the Romans, leaving oppressam that modified rem publicam as well as in libertatem untouched (RG. 1.1). In the religious sphere, the translators did not bother to make clear distinctions between groups of priests with variable names and duties. XVvirum sacris faciundis and VIIvirum epulonum were indiscriminately translated into ἀνδρῶν τῶν εροποιῶν. Pontifices and virgines Vestales were only distinguished by their sexual difference, one in masculine τοὺς ἱερεῖς and the other in feminine τὰς ἱερείας (RG. 7.2, 11). Even in literal translation, unintentional distortion or misinterpretation cannot be avoided given the different cultural backgrounds and natures of languages. Imperator in the Augustan discourse does not necessarily contain the absolute rule that αὐτοκράτωρ conveys, and πολεῖς is not perfect equivalence of municipatim (RG. 4 and 9).


Figure 1 Preview Page

Statistics and visualisation generated by Ugarit shed light on the translation tactic from a broader perspective. Visually it is easy to identify the aligned pairs of expressions and the remaining unaligned parts by their differences in colours. At the bottom of the “preview” page, one can find two percentage bars showing the proportion of words aligned (screenshotabove). A summary of the alignment rates in each chapter (screenshot below), which is not given by Ugarit, provides an insight into how fully translated each chapter was. The gaps of chapter 5 and 11 may indicate a considerable number of untranslated Latin words, while that of chapter 10 an attempt by the translators to extend the interpretation of unfamiliar Latin concepts. But for other chapters, no safe conclusion can be drawn, given the nuance in number. A gap of 7% is not necessarily the sign for a looser translation than that of 2%, if taking into account that too many elements have a hand on the final result. One reason for the Latin rates falling below the Greek ones is that word amounts of Latin texts are usually smaller than the Greek, so one untranslated Latin word results in a greater drop of rate than a Greek word.

Figure 2 Alignment rate by chapter

Translation pairs are singled out in a separate chart, with the frequency of each pair included. The chart is potentially useful in detecting if a set phrase in Latin was consistently translated into another set expression in Greek, but to make the statistics more accurate, both texts input have to be lemmatised first. The alignment statistics presented in the bar chart calculate the number of 1-N, N-1 and N-N pairs. For example, it can be safely concluded from the chart of chapter 1 (screenshot below) that 1-1 alignment was the most frequently used translation techniques, which can also be observed during the alignment process. The high frequency of 1-1 alignment could attest to the loyalty of Greek translation to find a correspondence for each word in the Latin texts. Yet the major results, including the proportion bars, translation pairs and alignment statistics, are infected by the alignment strategy and the nature of languages involved. Setting criteria of eligible alignment is based on the users’ judgement of what counts as recognisable translation to their knowledge. Also, the 1-N alignment results not only from the different cultural backgrounds of Greeks and Romans, as Greek texts used more words to explain one Latin word; but also from the fact that each Greek noun had an article, and consequently a Greek noun group contained more words.

Figure 3 Alignment statistics of chapter 1


Both the process and results of alignment reveal an interesting combination of translation techniques used in the Greek translation of RG. The translators followed 1-1 literal translation whenever possible, but never aimed to produce an accurate scholarly translation that modern editions of ancient texts strive for. The desired outcome was an easy-to-read but close paraphrase of the original inscribed Latin, in which occasional omission and misinterpretation were tolerable. But this is only a premature observation of the phenomena shown in translation, not the reasons behind them.

The process of judging and deciding whether a translation should be aligned places its users into a similar situation with the Greek translators. They both have to consciously set a standard for eligible translation and to specify the main target of their practice. The repeated practice of moving and clicking the mouse reinforces a clearer awareness of textual correspondence, and the web-page storing alignment results enables frequent and convenient revisit. Statistics and visualisation reveal some aspects of alignment that might be overlooked by traditional alignment, inspiring users to probe deeper and provide explanations for the automatically generated results. Yet the more easily obtained alignment pattern and statistics are not the answer itself, but a reflection of one facet of the answer. The reasons behind such phenomena require more deliberation beyond the online tool. If the project is designed to unravel the reception of Greek provinces of the reign of Augustus and his disseminated propaganda, more understanding of the historical context of the excavated inscriptions and a sound mastery of the Greek language are indispensable. Overall, Ugarit effectively provides a platform to set the texts in alignment, enabling frequent and convenient revisiting and rechecking. It is only the starting point of textual alignment and comparison, but this starting point steps beyond the line that mere paperwork could draw.

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Review of the Papyrological Editor

Review of the Papyrological Editor of
by Despina Borcea

I. Introduction: Aim & Outline

Released in 2010 as a new platform for what was previously three separate papyrological databases, the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS), the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri (DDbDP) and Heidelberger Gesamtverzeichnis der griechischen Papyrusurkunden Ägyptens (HGV), represents a papyrological research tool with two main functions: to access collections of non-literary texts via its Papyrological Navigator (PN) interface, and to edit such entries and their apparatus criticus according to relevant critical editions via the Papyrological Editor (PE). This review is based on a project designed to encode editorial corrections on several papyri in Leiden+ using the Papyrological Editor (PE) as an instrument, which I encountered while undertaking a module on Digital Classics taught via the SunoikisisDC programme at the Institute of Classical Studies as part of the UCL MA in Classics (2021). The review is intended to assess the usability and accessibility of the PE’s user interface in relation to the general function of the PE model based on the project and its results.

II. Methodology

The first phase of the project was to identify the necessary changes to make in the apparatus criticus of several papyri: for this project, 20 corrections to-be-made were allocated (an example below), taken from The Son of Suda Online (SoSOL) “Editing Assignments” Spreadsheet and applied to the texts. The spreadsheet was used to track both authorship as well as progress status of submissions (see below).

When opening the digital version of a papyrus in the Leiden+ format of the Papyrological Editor, the interface also offers the option to open and download the XML file of the document:

Except for one editorial decision, as to how to expand an abbreviation, all other submissions were either corrections or additions to the apparatus criticus of a papyrus, according to newer editions, as specified on the SoSOL spreadsheet. The changes varied, within the boundaries of editorial corrections to a published document, from supplying and defining numerical values to expanding abbreviations. The figure below shows an example of an editorial correction:

Following the completion of the edits, the changes made were described in brief commentaries, which were submitted for publication simultaneously. The observations shown below describe such changes, alongside other clarifications regarding the digital version not corresponding with the variant on the SoSOL spreadsheet; (as G. Bodard pointed out to me) the online DDB reporting the correction has expanded the abbreviation, whilst the print edition in the BL did not feel the need to:

Finally, the editorial board decided on publishing or vetoing the changes and returned with feedback in both cases. The comments are conveniently accessible via the ‘See All comments’ section of a papyrus presentation page. An example is provided below:

Regarding the progress of the project, my expectations of operating with Leiden+ were not only met, but exceeded by the results. In terms of publication, all corrections made before the set deadline were published, with the exception of those on P.Lond. 3 1254. The modifications on the latter were vetoed not due to errors in the code, but (as N. Gonis observed) because of a more recent re-edition of the text than the one included in the SoSOL spreadsheet. The unambiguous format of Leiden+, strongly resembling the Leiden conventions aided the speed of my code input, which was followed by an extremely prompt feedback timeline. The results were returned with commentaries from the editorial board, as shown in the figure above.

III. Discussion
III.1 Improvable Features

While carrying out the editing , no major faults with the interface accessibility were identified. Thus, the following observations represent potential improvements without which carrying out experiments with similar results would be perfectly possible.

The following two observations concern the visibility of edits on the PE interface. Its potential improvement could render the PE more time efficient. Firstly, while carrying out the experiment, it was observed that there was no method of comparing the proposed draft with the original at the time of editing in the Papyrological Editor. While the ‘Preview’ section proved useful in reviewing the changes made, there was no direct way of examining the edits before saving and previewing them. One example, shown below pertains to P.Lond. 3 1254. Here ‘=>=D>’ was accidentally deleted at the end of the final line (43), but it was not immediately noticeable and thus the PE flagged an error in Leiden+:

As the correction on line 43 was not the only change made on P.Lond. 3 1254, and the reason for the error was not immediately visible, the entire submission was deleted and restarted from scratch. For efficiency purposes, perhaps it would be useful to have a parallel window next to the PE box to show the original version of the Leiden+ at the time of editing. Alternatively, a pop-up text in the preview showing the original Leiden+ of the line, similar to the message showing when holding the cursor over a footnote in the apparatus criticus (figure below; this screenshot is taken from SB 24.16222, as the edits on P.Lond. 3 1254 were not committed), might make the PE interface less overcrowded than the first suggestion (provided there is a way of efficiently storing the original Leiden+ data).

The second observation regarding the visibility of edits in the Papyrological Editor refers to the ‘Preview’ stage. After saving the amendments on the papyri, they were reviewed prior to their submission to the editorial board. As the length of the papyri varied greatly, it was noted that in the longer texts, the changes in the ‘Preview’ stage were not immediately easy to spot. To illustrate this, P.Oxy. 1 43 is used as an example in fig. below on the left. Because of the extensive nature of both the papyrus and its apparatus criticus, as well as the similarity between specific lines, finding and reviewing the edit in line 18 (highlighted) was moderately confusing. For visibility and efficiency purposes, perhaps it would be advantageous to display the changes made in a colour-coordinated mode between the correction in the text and the note in the apparatus criticus, in addition to the ‘(*)’ at the end of the in-line correction. An example is offered in the two figures below:










III.2 Advantages

The overall success of the project, in the form of the corrections’ publication, demonstrates the accessibility of the Papyrological Editor. The ease of navigation in PE is realised through several elements. Firstly, the layout of the editorial window in Leiden+ conveniently presents the reviser with a handful of useful instruments, without overcrowding the interface:



The options presented at the top of the editing window, as above, offer an author without full knowledge of Leiden+ the option to make amendments via a pop-up window (left). The accessibility of the interface is further emphasized by the ‘Find Error’ feature (same figure above), which identifies potential mistakes prior to the ‘Preview’ stage. This is a particularly useful tool for a Leiden+ beginner. The Papyrological Editor also includes a guide to operating in Leiden+ as an alternative (right). The guidelines are detailed in separate sections accordingly. The practical nature of the examples found in the guidelines, highlighted below, facilitates editorial efficiency. The interface retains its overall clarity on the ‘Home’ page as well, which displays the status of the edits in progress, and the outcome of previous submissions:

Lastly, one key strength of the PE lies in the appearance of Leiden+. With the exception that ‘Leiden+ must in some cases be more verbose than traditional Leiden, (…) due to the fact that Leiden+ must be able to be transformed into unambiguous, valid EpiDoc XML’ (Baumann 2013, p. 102), the syntax proved straightforwardly intuitive, because of how closely it resembles the Leiden conventions. The similarity further simplifies the encoding process.

III.3 Overall Assessment

Babeu notes that ‘one strength of this model is that rejected proposals are not deleted forever, and are instead retained in the digital record, in case new data or better arguments appear to support them.’ (Babeu 2011, p.148). An example is shown in the figure below:

By keeping an accessible record of the edits on a papyrus, the PE interface strikes a balance, in that it stores useful information on a papyrus without overcrowding its interface. The point Damon makes about the despair of the philologist at the sight of different editions (Damon 2016, para. 39) is something that manages to avoid, as the PE’s flexibility lies in the possibility of averting or further exploring the prolixity of an apparatus criticus, according to the research needs of the scholar. In this way, the PE manages to ‘support the creation of ‘‘ideal’’ digital editions where the editor does not have to decide on a ‘‘best text’’ since all editorial decisions could be linked to their base data (e.g., manuscript images, diplomatic transcriptions)’ (Bodard and Garcés 2009, p.96).

Moreover, through its accessibility, the Papyrological Editor retains its constant potential to develop further. As such, the DDbDP is not ‘a fixed resource, finished at some date, unwavering and confident that it knows all; rather, it is a collection of conjectures, now easily capable of being revisited, revised, and improved.’ (Baumann 2013, p.105). This observation renders true through the PE instrument, which supports continuous editing, according to the state of the latest papyrological scholarship. In this way, its user friendliness allows the DDbDP collection to remain actual, and therefore relevant.

III.4 Greater Research Purposes

If used as a springboard, the model of the Papyrological Editor of may accommodate three possibilities. Firstly, its accessible interface could constitute a model for non-papyrological projects, to create textual databases for material in other languages. Secondly, its academically creditable and user-friendly approach, guaranteed by the assessment of an accredited editorial board, could also represent an example for other digital projects, both in the general sphere of Classics and outside. In this way, collections of printed editions of non-papyrological texts could acquire digital versions placed under constant review by authorised editors and thus become relevant databases for scholarly research, without the risk of being outdated. Finally, the content of the collections, constantly actualised through its Papyrological Editor, can be a springboard for other projects, through its Open Access license. An example is University of Helsinki’s PapyGreek project, mentioned by Vannini in her review of

IV. Conclusion

As outlined in the previous segments, the accessibility of the PE interface of renders it an effective research instrument for specialised papyrologists and classical enthusiasts alike. Its user-friendliness is firstly reflected in the overall successful completion of the experiment, contradicting the original expectations of an author with no prior experience in digital papyrology. The PE interface model’s main lie in the straightforwardly useful board at the top of the editing window, the clear Leiden+ guidelines (accessible via the same window), and in particular the ‘Find Error’ feature, as well as the overall coherent design of the PE in relation to the PN, which facilitate ease of navigation. One other noted advantage was the straightforwardness of Leiden+, similar to the Leiden Conventions. Conversely, improvable features of the PE relate to its display: better time efficiency could be achieved if a parallel window with the original Leiden+ would appear at the time of editing; likewise, visibility of edits could be further emphasized in the ‘Preview’ section—particularly relevant for papyri with an extensive body and apparatus criticus.

The overall assessment of the interface renders it a balanced tool in its flexibility, transparency, and actuality. Thus, the purpose of the PE of is reached, as it represents the means through which ‘to give digital form now to the mature state of textual scholarship represented by print editions, while leaving open the possibility of adding the underlying image and transcription data when and if opportunities arise.’ (Damon 2016, para. 40). Moreover, ‘permanent transparency’ as ‘the guiding principle behind SoSOL’ is achieved via the edit-probing of a proficient editorial board, which may render the PE of a more competent and credible a research tool than other user-friendly instruments with informative purposes (e.g., Wikipedia). In this way, classicists (and others) without training in the sphere of Digital Humanities can contribute to the sphere of papyrology without being detrimental to the academic accuracy (and therefore, credibility) of this resource. The PE may also constitute a springboard for other research initiatives, through its model, approach, and content. Whether as an accessible digital tool in its own right or a springboard for other such initiatives, the Papyrological Editor of is an instrument which facilitates, through its accessible interface and model, continuous and up-to-date research, both in the sphere of Papyrology, as well as beyond it.

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Report on 3D imaging placement at the ICS

By Lucy Rumble

This summer I undertook a two-week Roman Society Museum & Heritage Summer placement at the Institute of Classical Studies (ICS), University of London, under the supervision of Gabriel Bodard. I was tasked with continuing work started in 2019 to create 3D digitisations of items held within the Ehrenberg Collection. The collection comprises a variety of Greek and Roman artefacts spanning several centuries, which were gifted to the ICS by Victor Ehrenberg. The opportunity was a perfect fit for my own interests as I have just completed a BA in Ancient, Medieval and Modern History at Durham University, and am due to embark on the MA in Digital Humanities at UCL this autumn.

Before I arrived at the ICS, Gabriel provided me with some video tutorials and suggested that I familiarise myself with the theory and practice of photogrammetry, the process of combining multiple 2D images to create a 3D model using specialised software. The tutorials provided me with sufficient knowledge to photograph the objects myself, and to merge them using Agisoft Metashape and Autodesk MeshMixer. Over the two-week period, I was able to successfully digitise six items from the library’s collection, putting aside a couple more after several failed attempts at producing a complete model. These latter items were similarly imaged from inside a light tent (shown above right), but their uniformly black surfaces proved too reflective for the software to accurately identify and so the model was repeatedly rendered with gaps. Through trial and error, I learnt that more detail often correlated with greater accuracy in the final 3D model as the software was able to detect a higher number of overlapping points.

Despite its largely black surfaces, this lekythos was successfully rendered due to the slight variation provided by the decorative orange band around its body and the chipped surface of the neck.

Digital model of sherd

Over the course of the second week, I attempted the task of digitising two objects which required every angle to be photographed (example left). While the bases of figurines and lekythoi did not need to be photographed, sherds and other fragments must be captured from every angle. To achieve this, I needed to create two models which showcased each half of the object. I could then “stitch” these together using Agisoft Metashape to create a complete model. This was the most challenging aspect of my experience, compounded by the software which took a considerable time to run through each element of the digitising process.

As a technique, photogrammetry is hugely beneficial to recording our cultural heritage, and the published models provide a more interactive and widely accessible way of viewing physical objects within a collection. This manner of archiving historical data comes as a natural response to the digital age and emphasises the continued importance of preserving, cataloguing, and displaying such data. Uploading 3D models online maintains public interest in historical items and has the potential to reach a global audience. The ICS library set up its project with just these aims in mind. Indeed, the Sketchfab collection is particularly beneficial in this instance because the Ehrenberg bequest is a handling collection. Its objects are intended to be interacted with, but constraints on physical space and members of staff who can supervise such handling mean that it is not possible to do so every day. Digitisation therefore removes these constraints and will eventually allow every item within the Ehrenberg collection to be accessed online. It was a privilege to contribute to this important work.

My contributions were not only beneficial to ongoing work at the ICS, but also provided me with valuable experience in this aspect of digital humanities ahead of my postgraduate course. The opportunity to work largely independently greatly increased my confidence, and I found photogrammetry relatively easy to pick up with rudimentary knowledge of photography. Particularly useful was the link Gabriel provided to a document recording ongoing difficulties encountered during photogrammetry. Not only did this emphasise the relative novelty of my work, but also encouraged me to experiment with both the photography and software elements of the process. The reward of finding my own solutions and the ability to contribute something tangible to the ICS library’s ongoing digitisation project were most valuable.

This two-week placement at the ICS provided me with an enjoyable and valuable insight into the field of digital humanities. It pushed me to work independently and equipped me with the skills and confidence to tackle new digital tasks. I am grateful to the Roman Society for their organisation and funding and to Gabriel and the staff at the ICS Library for their welcome and support. I am excited to continue my work in the digital humanities field, and I hope that my contributions to collections at the ICS are helpful to future scholars.

Digitised items from the Ehrenberg Collection can be viewed at

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Report on Durham/ICS Digital and Practical Epigraphy Course 4-8 April 2022

Report by Julius Guthrie, Charlotte Spence & Elena Tzoka.

In the first week of April 2022 a training workshop was held at the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, to provide an introduction to the core issues and methods involved in epigraphy. The focus of the workshop was on skills for Greek and Latin epigraphy, including squeeze-making, photogrammetry, and EpiDoc, a community of practice, recommendations and tools for the digital editing and publication of ancient texts based on TEI XML. As digital humanities continues to become an increasingly important part of the field, this aspect of the training was particularly welcome.

The training was offered by Gabriel Bodard (ICS), Katherine McDonald (Durham), and Irene Vagionakis (ENCODE project, Bologna), with contributions from Caroline Barron (Durham), Matilde Grimaldi, and others. This workshop was generously funded by the AHRC Early Career Fellowship ‘Connectivity and Competition’ (grant AH/R010943/1; PI Katherine McDonald), the Institute of Classical Studies and Durham University.

A drying squeeze on Latin inscription. Photo: Julius Guthrie.

Summary of Content:

Each day of the course was split into two. The first half of the day, until roughly 1pm, was used for watching self-paced videos that had been pre-recorded by the instructors. The second half of the day was interactive. For in-person participants this was classroom-based learning and a chance not only to ask questions, but to put skills viewed online to the test in a practical setting. These classroom sessions featured a guest lecture from a professional epigraphist. For online participants, the afternoon structure was similar and they joined those in the classroom via a hybrid format.

Ink illustration of Latin inscription, by Charlotte Spence

The week began with an online, self-paced introduction to the theme of the week, which included a series of videos that introduced us to epigraphy and the practical skills that epigraphists require in order to read, record, and work with inscriptions. These included showing how squeezes are formed and how drawing inscriptions might help us capture details that would be nearly impossible to see in person or on pictures. The guest lecture delivered by Dr Matilde Grimaldi focused on how useful the art of illustration can be in academic work. Many of the examples presented clearly showed how greatly a clear illustration can improve the clarity and understanding of ideas and arguments.

On the Tuesday, the focus switched to understanding and practicing photogrammetry as a tool for epigraphy. Aykan Akcay, the guest lecturer, exhibited his own field work and guided us through the process of gathering images that would eventually be turned into 3D models. In addition, the lecture illustrated how different digital light settings may help in reading worn inscriptions and revealing subtleties that were otherwise not visible with the naked eye. Using the programmes Agisoft Metashape and Autodesk Meshmixer, participants were then able to attempt their own photogrammetry on a range of objects supplied.

Charlotte Spence capturing photographs of a statuette for photogrammetry. Photo: Katherine McDonald

The Tuesday also contained an optional evening component, with a talk given on a project cataloguing the inscriptions of Libya and creating an online corpus using EpiDoc. This provided a fascinating insight into how skills learned on this course could be applied in practice.

On Wednesday the emphasis was on the production of computer-readable databases with the self-paced videos introducing us to XML, EpiDoc and the programme Oxygen. This was a great opportunity to engage with the skills we had heard being discussed the previous evening.

Caroline Barron speaking on Identifying Fakes and Forgeries in Latin Inscriptions. Photo: Katherine McDonald.

The guest lecture was delivered by Dr Caroline Barron and focused on the creation of epigraphic forgeries, both the addition of inscriptions later to ancient objects, such as ash chests, as well as the creation of entirely fake objects. A discussion of the production of epigraphic corpora was necessarily included and was incredibly illuminating; our understanding of epigraphy as a discipline is shaped by the decisions of these early individuals.

The next day, Thursday, very much drew together the various strands of the course up to that point, and allowed participants the opportunity to really be epigraphists through the medium of a field-trip to Old St. Pancras Gardens. In particular, the excursion was useful for giving participants a genuine understanding of the practical challenges that can be presented by landscape, weather and ethics (the site is a graveyard); all of which can be studied in a classroom but only really understood after fieldwork. Techniques such as using a racking light meant that letter shapes which had initially been completely invisible literally came to light and helped participants create a fuller transcription of the text.

Friday, as the last day of the course, was used as an opportunity to ask questions, practice skills and present work completed for informal feedback in a supportive environment. Participants seem to have found this especially useful, since it gave an opportunity for everyone to listen to the challenges encountered by each person while learning the various tools introduced throughout the week.


One of the most difficult challenges for a skills-based workshop is to appeal to a diverse audience, with differing levels of knowledge about the subject and divergent areas of interest. This report has been co-authored by three individuals who approach epigraphy from entirely different angles: one works primarily of cursed-tablets, one is a predominantly political historian and the other examines material evidence for women in Roman Athens. Despite our varied interests, we each of us found this course to be remarkably stimulating, enjoyable and informative. One author, in particular, has since gone on to consider how the digital aspects of the course could allow them to turn a project they are working on into an online database.

Workshop participants documenting a grave monument in St Pancras Old Cemetery. Photo: Katherine McDonald.

The split day approach with self-paced videos followed by collaborative discussions and practical engagement was a particular success. This approach encouraged individualisation, not only in terms of what was of interest, but in terms of overcoming specific problems when learning new skills. The ability to return to footage over and over, to pause and to rewind allowed participants to gain a full and deep understanding of issues and skills that would not be possible if simply delivered orally. It also gave everyone a chance to develop detailed questions for the afternoons and to think ahead regarding what they would do in the practical sessions.

Overall, this course was a fantastic introduction to digital and practical epigraphy, and credit should be given to those, mentioned above, who organised and delivered it, and thanks to the Institute of Classical Studies for hosting the workshop.

Julius Guthrie, University of Exeter
Charlotte Spence, University of Exeter
Elena Tzoka, University of Durham

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Digital Classicist London 2022 programme

The programme for the summer 2022 series of the Digital Classicist London seminar is now available. The seminar was organized by Gabriel Bodard (University of London), Paula Granados García (British Museum), Kelly McClinton (Oxford) and Valeria Vitale (Alan Turing Institute), and brings together presentations and discussions of innovative digital approaches to research, teaching, dissemination or engagement related to the ancient and pre-modern worlds.

All seminars are streamed live at 17:00 UK time (UTC+1) on the Digital Classicist Youtube channel, and from June 24 onward will also be held in room 349 of Senate House, London. Details of individual seminars at the links below.

  • Fri May 27, 2022 Matei Tichindelean (University of California Los Angeles), Digital Reconstruction of the Akhenaten Torso in the Brooklyn Museum (online) (details) (Youtube)
  • Fri Jun 10, 2022 Scott Madry (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Historical Ecology of Southern Burgundy (online) (details) (Youtube)
  • Fri Jun 24, 2022 Valeria Vitale, Katherine McDonough (Alan Turing Institute), et al., Antiquities and the Machine: computational methods for the study of the representation of historical sites on Ordnance Survey Maps of Great Britain (in-person) (details) (Youtube)
  • Fri Jul 1, 2022 Farnoosh Shamsian (University of Leipzig), Learning Ancient Greek in Persian through digital annotations (remote speaker) (details) (Youtube)
  • Fri Jul 15, 2022 Alice Clinch (Cornell) & Jari Pakkanen (Royal Holloway), Documenting ancient plasters in 3D: comparing standard and focus-stacking macro photogrammetry (in-person) (details) (Youtube)
  • Fri Jul 29, 2022 Reuben J. Pitts (KU Leuven) Corpus of the Epigraphy of the Italian Peninsula in the 1st Millennium BCE (in-person) (details) (Youtube)

Registration is not required. All welcome.

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Digital Classicist London 2022 call for papers

The Digital Classicist: Advanced digital methods applied to the study of the ancient world

The Digital Classicist London seminar invites proposals for the Summer 2022 series. We are looking for seminars on any aspect of the ancient or pre-colonial worlds, that address innovative digital approaches to research, teaching, dissemination or engagement. Seminars that speak to the ancient world beyond Greco-Roman antiquity are especially welcome.

Seminars will be held fortnightly through June and July in the Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, London, with the possibility for audience and speakers to be present or remote (although we hope most speakers will be physically present in London, circumstances allowing). We have a small budget to support travel for speakers within the UK.

Please send an abstract of 300–500 words to <> (clearly marked Digital Classicist London) by Sunday April 10.

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Digital Humanities Introductory Workshop, Cyprus May 23–27 2022

Call for participants: Digital Humanities Introductory Workshop

The Departments of Classics and Philosophy and History and Archaeology, University of Cyprus (UCY), invite participants to join a 5-day Digital Humanities Introductory Workshop, to take place between 23-27 May 2022 at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia.

The workshop will offer introductions to a range of archaeological and philological technologies, including features of EpiDoc XML, linguistic analysis (including treebanking and translation alignment), 3D Imaging, GIS, and Linked Open Geographical Data.

The workshop will be suitable for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates and early career scholars with little or no previous experience of digital humanities. The workshop will be capped at 20 participants. A limited number of spaces will also be available for remote, asynchronous participants. Those participating physically will have to comply with UCY’s safety protocols, which will depend on the epidemiological situation during the time the event is held. Further details on the programme, preparation material (software, readings) and safety protocols will be sent to the selected participants in advance.

In order to register, please complete the application form at <>, indicating whether you are interested in the archaeological, philological, or both parts of the workshop, and in attending physically or online by 17 March 2022. If you have any questions about the workshop in the meantime, please write to


  • Margarita Alexandrou (Department of Classics and Philosophy, UCY)
  • Maria Parani and Apostolos Sarris (Department of History and Archaeology, UCY)
  • Gabriel Bodard (School of Advanced Study, University of London)
  • Irene Vagionakis (University of Bologna and ENCODE Project)
  • Valeria Vitale (The Alan Turing Institute)

This collaborative event is organised in the context of the programme HIPPONAX (POST-DOC/0718/0119), funded by the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation and hosted by the University of Cyprus, Department of Classics and Philosophy. Programme Coordinator: Professor Georgios A. Xenis; and the research project MedCyprus: A Digital Corpus of Painted Greek Inscriptions from Medieval Cyprus (10th–13th centuries AD), funded by the University of Cyprus and implemented by the Department of History and Archaeology and the Archaeological Research Unit (UCY). Project Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Maria Parani.

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Visualising myth in RawGraph

written by Martina Delucchi, PhD student, University of Bristol

Visualising myth is not an easy task. When I was asked by Dr. Varga to use my own data to try out RawGraphs (, I knew that I wanted an instrument that graphically represented

a) the diachronic development of several accounts of a myth, recounted by many sources; and

b) which versions of said myth are most attested.

This would give indications regarding the popularity of a particular version and would immediately visualise when and in which witness a specific version of a myth is attested. Consequently, the visualisation would contribute to provide an immediate representation of the history of tradition.

To do so, I decided to isolate a relatively defined section of the Telephus saga, namely the story of his mother Auge.

Auge was the daughter of Aleus, king of Tegea, Arcadia. She is best known because she gave birth to Telephus, ‘amongst Heracles’ sons the most similar to his father’ (Paus. 10.28.8). The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women is the oldest account we have for the story of Auge. There, she is displaced by the gods from Tegea to Asia Minor when she is just a young girl and there she is raised as one of king Teuthras’ daughters. Once grown up, she meets Heracles, who is travelling through Mysia on his way to Troy and births him a son, Telephus. In the rest of the tradition, the encounter happens in Tegea. Heracles either rapes Auge or has an ongoing secret relationship with her and, in some cases, the union happens while she is a priestess of Athena. Telephus is either born in the temple of Athena – causing a pestilence or a drought – in a not better defined area of Tegea – where the temple of Eileithyia will be raised – or on Mount Parthenios. Since the union happens outside of marriage, or because the union caused a pestilence, Auge is condemned by her father to be either drown, thrown into the sea into a chest (sometimes with her son, sometimes alone), or more generally killed. She escapes her fate by being either sold or gifted to Teuthras of Mysia or even flying. Once arrived in Mysia, she either marries Teuthras or is adopted by him. Finally, she either remains in Asia Minor or, in one version, she is brought back to Tegea by her grown up son, after the two reunite. This short summary of the myth testifies for how even a secondary narrative such as Auge’s is subject to a multitude of different accounts, due to the numerous authors who have approached and re-elaborated the story.

For this visualisation project I decided to isolate those narrations which are attested in transmitted works, thus excluding reconstructions, more or less reliable, of lost works. This means that for fragmentary witnesses such as Sophocles’ Sons of Aleus, Euripides’ Auge, or Euripides’ Telephus sometimes I used only one fragment or testimonium and I did not consider possible reconstructions of the rest of the tragedy based on later sources. For example, only F 89 Radt of Sophocles’ Sons of Aleus contains an element which is functional to the narrative I am examining, namely the presence of a doe, which accounts for Telephus being abandoned on Mount Parthenios, while the rest of the fragments do not. There are possible reconstructions of the rest of the plot based for example on Alcidamas’ Odysseus, but I chose not to take it into account as it is not explicitly stated by Alcidamas that he is basing his account on Sophocles’ Sons of Aleus.

The witnesses taken into consideration are:

  1. Hesiod = Hesiodic Catalogue of Women (F 165 Merkelbach-West), 7th-6th c. BCE.
  2. Hecateus = Hecateus of Miletus (FGrH 29a = F 29 Fowler), 6th-5th c. BCE.
  3. Sophocles’ Sons of Aleus = Sophocles’ Sons of Aleus (TrGF IV F 77-91 Radt), 5th c. BCE.
  4. Euripides’ Telephus = Euripides’ Telephus (TrGF V.2 (67) F 696-727c Kannicht), 438 BCE.
  5. Euripides’ Auge = Euripides’ Auge (TrGF V.1 (14) F 264a – F 281 Kannicht), second half 5th c. BCE.
  6. Alcidamas = Alcidamas’ Odysseus (G. Avezzù, Alcidamante. Orazioni e Frammenti, Roma 1982, pp. 22-35), 4th c. BCE.
  7. Diodorus = Diodorus Siculus’ Bibliotheca Historica (Diod. 4.33.7-11), 1st c. BCE.
  8. Strabo = Strabo’s Geographia (Strab. 13.1.69), 1st c. BCE – 1st c. CE.[1]
  9. Hyginus = Gaius Julius Hyginus’ Fabulae (Hyg. Fab. 99-100), 1st c. BCE – 1st c. CE.
  10. Apollodorus = Apollodorus’ Bibliotheca (Apollod. Bibl. 2.7.4, 3.9.1), 1st – 2nd c. CE.
  11. Pausanias 1 and Pausanias 2 = Pausanias’ Description of Greece (Paus. 8.48.7, two versions recounted in the same passage), 2nd c. CE.
  12. Quintus of Smyrna = Quintus of Smyrna’s Posthomerica (Quint. Smyrn. 6.137-142), end 4th c. CE?.
  13. Moses Chorenensis = Moses Chorenensis’ Progymnasmata 3.3 (TrGF V.2 (14) T iib p. 333 (Latin translation); cf. also A. Baumgartner, ‘Ueber das Buch „die Chrie”‘, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 40.3, 1886: 457-515), 5th c. CE.[2]

Whenever a particular moment of the myth is registered as ‘Unknown’ in a specific author it means that the account does not mention it; whenever it is registered as ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) it means that that moment of the myth cannot be present in that author – for example, Auge cannot be punished for her encounter with Heracles by her father Aleus in the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women because she has been living in Mysia since she was a young girl. For the sake of clarity, some labels have been simplified; so, in the section ‘Role of Auge’, Auge is either described as ‘Princess’ or ‘Priestess’ even if even in the versions of the myth she is priestess of Athena and princess of Tegea.

I decided to divide Auge’s story in the following sections:

  1. Role of Auge indicates if Auge is considered only in her capacity of princess of Tegea (‘Princess’) or if she is also priestess of Athena (‘Priestess’).
  2. Auge and Heracles indicates if the sexual encounter between Heracles and Auge is either a consensual single union (‘Consensual’), an ongoing relationship (‘Relationship’), rape (‘Rape’), or an unspecified union that could be either rape or consensual (‘Union’).
  3. Telephus’ birth: Telephus is either born in Teuthrania, Mysia (‘Teuthrania’), in an unspecified part of Tegea (‘Tegea’), in the temple of Athena in Tegea (‘Temple of Athena’), or on Mount Parthenios (‘Parthenios’).
  4. Auge’s supposed fate indicates the punishment king Aleus decided for his daughter. She is supposed to be either thrown into the sea inside a chest (‘Chest in the Sea’), drown (‘Drown’), or more generally killed (‘Killed’).
  5. Auge’s actual fate indicates what actually happens to Auge. She is either thrown into the sea inside a chest (‘Chest in the Sea’), sold to king Teuthras (‘Sold to Teuthras’), gifted to Teuthras (‘Gifted to Teuthras’), or she flees to Mysia (‘Flight’).
  6. Telephus’ fate shows what happens to Telephus after his birth. He is either thrown in the sea inside a chest with his mother (‘Chest in the Sea’), exposed on Mount Parthenios (‘Exposed on Parthenios’), or sold to Teuthras with his mother (‘Sold to Teuthras’).
  7. Auge and Teuthras indicates the relationship between the two characters. Auge is either raised by Teuthras (‘Raised by’), married to Teuthras (‘Married to’), adopted by Teuthras (‘Adopted by’) or their relationship is not specified (‘Guest of’).
  8. Ending indicates the outcome of Auge’s adventures. She either remains in Mysia (‘Mysia’) or is brought back to Tegea by her son (‘Tegea’).


The first visualisation I chose to employ is a Matrix Plot. As per RawGraph’s definition, a Matrix Plot ‘allows comparison of two categorical dimensions, disposing them on the horizontal and vertical axes. Each glyph (square or circle) represents a possible correlation among the two dimensions.’ On the vertical axis the different moments of the narrative are disposed following its internal chronology, from the earliest, indicating Auge’s role, to the latest, indicating how the story ends; on the horizontal axis the authors are disposed chronologically, from the oldest (Hesiod) to the latest (Moses). To each section of the myth is assigned a colour palette in order to distinguish it from the other.

From the Matrix Plot above we can infer mainly three things:

  1. Many sources do not recount the entirety of the myth, but just parts of it;
  2. There is a clear preference towards certain versions of a myth compared to others: for example, Auge is raped by Heracles in eight sources out of 14; Telephus is exposed on Mount Parthenios in nine sources out of 13 and so on;
  3. Some sources have very little in common, for example Hecateus and Alcidamas; others have more in common, for example Hecateus and Strabo; others seem to follow the same tradition up to a certain point of the narrative and then diverge, for example Alcidamas and Diodorus.

Cross-referencing the visualization with a pre-emptive knowledge of the scholarly discussion around the source material could help us fill the blanks – for example knowing that Hyginus used mostly Euripidean tragedies to write his mythographic accounts could help the reconstruction of Euripides’ Auge‘s and Telephus‘ missing glyphs. Similarly, the parallel between Apollodorus and Euripides’ Auge suggests a connection and also indicates that, for example, the union between Heracles and Auge which has been catalogued under Apollodorus as undefined (‘Union’), since the mythographer does not specify its nature, is probably to be classified as ‘Rape’.

A second type of visualisation that I deem useful for the study of the myth is a Sunburst Diagram. As per RawGraph’s definition, a Sunburst Diagram ‘displays hierarchically structured data and a related quantitative dimension using concentric circles. The circle in the center represents the root node, with the hierarchies moving outward from the center. The angle of each arc corresponds to the qualitative dimension.’

The internal chronology of the myth is here disposed clockwise and for each root node (section of the myth) two connected hierarchies are represented (versions of the myth; witnesses). Furthermore, each section and correspondent witnesses follow the same colour palette. The first hierarchy from the centre gives the various versions of the myth for each root node; the second hierarchy counts the authors that use one particular version.

The Sunburst Diagram is better suited than the Matrix Plot to show the incidence of a certain version compared to the others and it is immediately clearer which is the prevalent version for every section of the myth. By looking at the figure aboce, we can immediately say that in most cases Auge was just a princess, and not also a priestess of Athena, that she was raped, that her son was born on Mount Parthenios, where he was also exposed, that she was supposed to be drown but was instead given to Teuthras, who married her and that she concluded her life in Mysia. In this way, it is possible to state, always remembering that we are basing our reasoning on a limited number of sources, that these elements in the story of Auge must have been the most widespread and popular.

Comparing the Sunburst Diagram to the Matrix Plot, it is clear that they have points in common. In both cases we register that many sources do not recount every section of the myth and that some versions are considerably more popular than others – even if the Sunburst Diagram shows it more clearly. However, the Sunburst Diagram does not show the development of the myth following the diachronic order of the sources and it is not immediately evident what each source has in common with the others and in what differs.


To conclude, both graphs are useful in the study of the myth, mainly as instruments to categorise it and to help scholars visualise the points in common, the incidence of certain accounts and the diachronic development of the narrative. Furthermore, such visualisations could be very useful from a didactic point of view, namely, to help students understand the multi-layered structure of myth and the way in which it is re-elaborated and modelled by different sources with different aims.


[1] Strabo reports a version of the myth that he attributes to Euripides, but it is not clear to which tragedy. Furthermore, Strabo’s attributions are often misleading. Consequently, I decided to report that version as Strabo’s.

[2] Moses Chorenensis reports a version of the myth which is generally attributed to Euripides’ Auge, but since the attribution is not explicit, I chose to report it as Moses’ version.

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Population and networks at Augusta Traiana

written by Annamária – I. Pázsint, scientific researcher, Babeș-Bolyai University


As part of an individual research project funded by the European Association for Digital Humanities, the population of Augusta Traiana has been studied based on the epigraphic sources, in order to provide glimpses on it and on the networks that existed inside the society. While the results of the research have been synthesized in an article sent for publication (Romans 1 by 1. Augusta Traiana et territorium), the goal of this blog entry is to address some of the discussed aspects.


The Roman city of Augusta Traiana was founded by the emperor Trajan in the nearby the Thracian settlement Beroe, and over the centuries it became the second-largest center of the province Thrace, after Philippopolis. From its earliest epigraphic attestation and up to the 3rd century AD, there are 276 inscriptions from the city that provide information on its population (mostly from the 2nd and 3rd century AD), be it on persons who were temporarily or only permanently located there. Certainly, as in the case of all such initiatives based on epigraphic sources, the evidence does not record the population in its entirety, only a fraction of it. In spite of this, such studies are relevant because they show specific epigraphic habits and point to those persons who, for some reason, are mentioned on monuments, be they dedicatees or dedicators, and in the end, it points to the existing evidence. In order to make the prosopographical evidence available for anyone interested in it, specialist or not, each person epigraphically attested has been recorded in the prosopographical database Romans 1 by 1. The database is a work-in-progress initiative and it includes all of the existing prosopographical evidence on the persons epigraphically attested in the Roman provinces of Moesia Inferior, Moesia Superior, Dacia and Pannonia Superior, as well as the evidence on specific cities from other provinces.


Given the sources used, we applied some exceptions to the corpus we gathered; as such we have excluded the emperors or the provincial governors that some inscriptions mention at Augusta Traiana, for the simple reason that they were not inhabitants of the city. Based on the same criterion, excluded from the sample were also the personal names mentioned on amphoras, as they do not necessarily attest local craftsmanship. Unfortunately, due to the fact that some inscriptions were fragmentary, we could not “extract” the personal names mentioned in them – this is mostly the case of votive monuments.


For the period under our focus (up to the 3rd century AD), from the inscriptions result 525 “active”/“primary” persons. By “active”/“primary” I refer to those persons who were the subjects of inscriptions and by “secondary” I refer to the father of the “primary” person who is attested through the patronymic. When taking into account also the “secondary” persons, the number of persons attested at Augusta Traiana and its territory increases to 795. However, due to the fact that in this case many inscriptions provide very few information on the identity of persons and due to the increased attestation of identical personal names and patronymics, a drawback of the sample is detected; more precisely, it is very likely that some patronymics refer to the same person, and consequently some persons might have been recorded twice (fathers), while some relations (those between brothers) might not have been identified.

The profile of the population was reconstructed based on several markers, such as gender, personal name, age, origin, occupation, social and juridical status etc. Out of these we briefly address the gender distribution, as well as those markers that are more rarely mentioned, namely origin and occupation. The gender distribution is not surprising at all, being overall comparable to the situation reflected by the epigraphic sources in any ancient city, respectively attested is mostly the male population, while the female population is highly underrepresented (at Augusta Traiana it represents under 5% of the population), and here most women are part of the elite. Besides the local population, there were also persons who relocated at Augusta Traiana from other cities, their origin being sometimes explicitly mentioned, while at times it can be deduced from the onomastic of the persons, or other indirect evidence, such as the worshipped divinities. As such, the inscriptions mention persons from Nikaia (Δημήτριος son of Φωτογένης), Nikomedia (Οὔλπιος ῾Ιερώνυμος), but also from Perinthos (Στατίλιος Μάξιμος), Dacia (Αὐρήλιος Πρῖμος Ἄστεος ὁ καὶ Ἰούλιος), Pannonia (Μουκιανός; Κλαύδιος Φρόντων); additionally, some persons identified themselves as being Ἕλληνες (Νάρκισσος son of Ζήνων and Λολλιανός son of Ἀουῖτος), or Σύρος (Αὐρήλιος Σαβεῖνος son of Θειόφιλος). Occupation is an important identity marker of individuals and at Augusta Traiana mentioned are two gladiators ([—]ος ὁ καὶ Λεύκασπις; ignotus); three physicians: a ἰητρός (Ἀλέξανδρος son of Διλάης); a medicus of the cohors II Lucensium (Auluzenus); and a medicus (Δημοσθένης); a γραμματεύς (Αὐρήλιος Δημοσθένης son of Δημοσθένης); a κανδιδάρις – a baker of white bread (Ἡρακλιανός); a playwright (Νεικίας; father of Ηρωδιανός); an οἰνέμπορος {τῆς Δακίας} (Αὐρήλιος Σαβεῖνος son of Θειόφιλος); a κουκουλάρις – a manufacturer of hats (Φλάβις); an οἰκονόμος (Σειγηρός) and two actuari (Μᾶρκος Οὔλπιος Ἀρχέλαος and Ἰουλιανός). While based on it we cannot reconstruct with precision the occupational landscape of the city, these examples point to a certain variety and specialisation.

Fig. 1. The network of Εργισσηνοι

When discussing the population, the networks created inside society are an essential component of the global picture. The networks reflected by the inscriptions at Augusta Traiana are first of all familial, pertaining to the nuclear family, and only rarely to the extended family. Besides familial networks, attested are (with some missing links) also the religious, occupational, convivial and geographical networks. Certainly, based on indirect evidence we can imply wider networks for some categories of the population, such as the elite members, as is the case, for example of [Μᾶρκος] Αὐρήλιος Φρόντων son of Διοφάνης who was a was an athletic winner (Olympia and Haleia), as well as a Θρακάρχης and Εὐρωπάρχης. An example of a geographical network at Augusta Traiana is that of the Εργισσηνοι (IGB III.2, 1593), who dedicated a monument to Apollo Σικερηνος and the Nymphs. 18 persons are mentioned by the inscription under this name, the denomination pointing probably to the name of the village from which they came. Among them, based on the onomastic some might have been related (see Fig. 1: Ἀσιατικός son of Ἰάσων, brother of Δορζένθης; Δινίκενθος son of Βρινκάζερις, brother of Τήρης; Φλάβιος Σκέλης might have been the father of Φλάβιος Μουκαπορις).


This blog entry presented briefly some aspects related to the epigraphically attested population of Augusta Traiana, from the identified sample, to the identity markers and networks. While many of the inscriptions are laconic, or fragmentary, some are useful in reconstructing the profile of the population, the information on elite members being, as expected, the most comprehensive.

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Seminar series: Digital Humanities and Materiality

This seminar is organized by Gabriel Bodard and Rada Varga and co-hosted by the Digital Humanities Research Hub, University of London, UK, and Star-UBB Institute of Advanced Studies, University Babeș-Bolyai, Cluj Napoca, Romania, from autumn 2021–spring 2022. All sessions are online and free to attend, but booking is essential (see below).

The series will present a range of discussions around material culture and the research possibilities offered by digital methods and approaches. More than just the value of digitization and computational research to the study of material culture, we are especially interested in theoretical and digital approaches to the question of materiality itself. We do not restrict ourselves to any period of history or academic discipline, but rather encourage interdisciplinarity and collaborative work, and the valuable exchange of ideas enabled by cross-pollination of languages, areas of history, geography and cultures.

Autumn 2021:

  • Tuesday October 19, 2021, 16:00 BST:
    Andrew Reinhard (New York University), Mapping the Unmappable: GIS, Material Culture, and the Archaeology of Human-Digital Spaces (BOOK HERE)
  • Tuesday November 2, 2021, 16:00 GMT:
    Matthew Kirschenbaum (University of Maryland), Bitstreams: The Future of Digital Literary Heritage (BOOK HERE)
  • Tuesday November 16, 2021, 16:00 GMT:
    Voica Pușcașiu (Cluj-Napoca), Mapping political discourse and inequalities in present-day Romania through public monuments (BOOK HERE)
  • Tuesday November 30, 2021, 16:00 GMT:
    Paula Granados García (British Museum), Digital approaches to documenting material knowledge: implications and concerns (BOOK HERE)

Spring 2022:

  • Tuesday 25 January, 2022, 16:00 GMT:
    Dan Deac (Cluj Napoca), Letters through the Lenses: Using Digital Tools to Reveal Ancient Textual Materiality (BOOK HERE)
  • Tuesday 8 February, 2022, 16:00 GMT:
    Chiara Palladino (Furman University), One landscape, different paths. Rediscussing digital approaches to premodern geographical knowledge (BOOK HERE)
  • Tuesday 22 February, 2022, 16:00 GMT:
    Christian Prager (Bonn) and Hubert Mara (Halle), Automatic Recognition of Maya Hieroglyphs in 3D (BOOK HERE)
  • Tuesday 8 March, 2022, 16:00 GMT:
    Piraye Hacıgüzeller (Antwerp), Archaeology, materiality and geo-space half a century after the ‘spatial turn’ (BOOK HERE)
  • Tuesday 22 March 2022, 16:00 GMT:
    Elysia Greenway (Liverpool John Moores University), Human Faces: Reconstruction, Reimagination and Representation in a Digital Landscape (BOOK HERE)
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How to promote your book in ancient Rome: A beginner’s social network analysis

written by Artemis Archontogeorgi, postdoctoral researcher, Democritus University of Thrace

The pandemic underscored the need for the use of technology by reforming a new virtual reality in education as well as in academic studies. Aware of this need, and having been a classicist for over twenty years, I decided to dive into the uncharted and, to me, in some ways mysterious waters of digital humanities. Although I wanted to improve my skills and bring new techniques and methods to both my teaching and my academic research, my IT colleagues discouraged me by claiming that this would be a very difficult task. Nonetheless, with great hesitation I joined the open course “Introduction to Digital Humanities” organized by the Institute of Advanced Studies and Technology at Star UBB under the guidance of Dr. Rada Varga in March 2021. The course, which was held online and lasted about a month, covered almost everything a novice like me should learn about digital humanities and exceeded my expectations. Dr. Rada Varga guided us with inspiration and patience through the six modules of the course, which included data structuring, database building, text encoding, data visualization, geographical annotation and georeferencing, and social network analysis. At the end of the course, we had to present a project applying what we had learned.

Since I was not working on anything related to the content of the course at the time, I was anxious about what my final project could be. While searching for ideas, I came across Tom Standage’s article Share it like Cicero: How Roman Authors Used Social Networking. The article explained how Roman authors used their social network to promote their books, in a time when there were no printing presses and official publishers. Roman authors had to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations and social distribution of their works through their networks of friends and acquaintances. Therefore, it was very important for the promotion of the book to choose the right person to whom the book was dedicated. It had to be someone who was famous, influential and had a large library, but also vain enough to mention the book to his friends, scholars and philosophers.

Following the very interesting remarks of Tom Standage, I decided to present a social network analysis project that depicts the poets of the Augustan era and the people they either dedicated their books to or mentioned in their books. For my visualization, I used Gephi, an open source network analysis and visualization software, to create a directed graph with weight ranges from 1 to 5 according to the status of the target person. I added attributes indicating gender or relatedness when mentioning poetry, patronage, authority, friendship, and kinship.










As we can see in Figure 1 above, a network of five communities forms around Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Propertius, and Tibullus, who are the most important poets of the Augustan period. The graph gives an overview of the Augustan poetic community which includes lesser poets such as Domitius Marsus, as well as Lygdamus and Sulpicia, whose works are included in Tibullus’ third book of elegies. It also highlights the relationships between them. For example, Domitius Marsus mentions both Virgil and Tibullus in homage to their deaths, while Virgil and Ovid refer to Cornellius Gallus, a poet of high repute who is thought to be the inventor of the Roman love elegy. A very interesting case is Julius Florus an addressee of Horace, and a poet about whom we know very little, but who seems to belong to the circle of the Emperor Tiberius. Propertius also mentions two poets, Vassus and Ponticus, who belong to the circle of Gaius Maecenas. These brief observations reveal a community that respects its predecessors and acknowledges their influence, but is also very interested in political power.

The reference to persons of political power is very clear in Figures 2 and 3, where the Emperor Gaius Octavius Augustus is mentioned by Horace, Virgil, Propertius, and Ovid, together with the two patrons of literature, Gaius Maecenas and Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus. The favor of the emperor and the patronage of a wealthy and respected Roman citizen was very important in promoting a poetic career. For this reason all the poets dedicated a portion of their works to one of the two patrons, with the exception of Virgil, who mentions both Gaius Maecenas and Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, though he seems to belong to the literary circle of Maecenas. It is also noteworthy that Ovid is not directly associated with either patron, but only with Emperor Augustus. Perhaps Ovid does not feel obliged to pay tribute to Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, although the poet is under his patronage, but only to the emperor himself.

It is no coincidence that all the poets address male citizens and only three women are mentioned (Figure 4). Besides Sulpicia, a poetess and also Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus’ niece, Ovid gives literary advice to Perilla, a young poetess, while Propertius addresses Galla, who is probably his relative. In Rome’s patriarchal society, women have less authority than men and therefore play a secondary role in promoting literature or a young poet’s career. Although the female presence in Augustan poetry occupies a large proportion, most of the women mentioned are fictional characters or they are referred to by pseudonyms to protect their reputation.

The graph in Figure 5 shows the number of dedications and references for each poet, with Ovid and Propertius at the top. It is remarkable that most of Ovid’s references belong to his poetry from exile, emphasizing the poet’s desperate efforts to seek help to return to Rome. Thus he addresses the publisher Brutus, the powerful Paullus Fabius Maximus, who is a confidant of the Emperor Augustus, and the two sons of Messala, Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus and Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messallinus. He also invokes Cassius Salanus, the tutor of Germanicus Julius Caesar. Ovid hopes that through these very influential men his poetry will still be famous and popular in Rome even when he is not there. On the other hand, Propertius’ references to his friends, such as Tullus, show the importance of friendship in the poet’s life as well as in his poetry. Finally, in the obituaries of Paetus and Marcellus, Propertius uses a motif from Hellenistic poetry, namely the separation from a close relative.

This project was not intended to be an in-depth research on the social network of Augustan poets, but rather a novice’s exercise in social network analysis. Nonetheless, even simple ideas or things we think we know, when visualized, can be seen from a different angle, serve an educational function, and provide inspiration for further study. And certainly, this little project proves that it’s not that hard to teach an old dog new manners!

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Introduction To Markup For Epigraphers

This article is archived from a chapter of the EpiDoc Guidelines written by Julia Flanders and Charlotte Roueché in 2006; later lightly revised by Gabriel Bodard and Tom Elliott.

Introduction To Markup For Epigraphers

EpiDoc logoJulia Flanders & Charlotte Roueché, 2006 (2021)

The concepts behind EpiDoc bring together, for epigraphers, traditional and entirely modern editorial methods and conventions.

Epigraphic conventions

Over the last century, epigraphers have wrestled with the issues involved in representing non-verbal information within their written texts. Until the end of the 19th century publishers could be expected to produce a facsimile of the text, but this became decreasingly common, and publishers did not demonstrate a parallel willingness to provide a full photographic record of every text. The conventions which have been painfully developed to indicate missing text, abbreviations, etc. have been more or less generally agreed since the 1930s and overlap, to some extent, with those used in papyrology and palaeography. All epigraphers have had to deal with the issues involved in moving this to an electronic environment—for example, finding a font which will permit underdotting; but most of us have now adjusted to these new constraints.

The difficulty of rendering such conventions and, in particular, Greek characters in consistent fonts and on the Web has tended to delay the publication of full epigraphic texts online; instead, enormously rich search collections have been created, most notably:

See also: Conformance (EpiDoc Compatibility).

All these developments have therefore been determined by the state of the existing technologies, as these have evolved over the 20th century. The object of EpiDoc is to exploit new and rich technologies for the traditional purposes of epigraphy. Many of the processes described above have involved struggling against the technological standards—for example, in print publications—in order to accommodate as many of our requirements as possible. Over the period it has become steadily more difficult to persuade conventional publishers to meet our requirements for inserting meta-textual information, unless at prohibitive expense. At the same time, the expectations as to the volume of information which should accompany a text have risen greatly; as well as information about physical circumstances, photographic illustration has become standard.

In the last 15 years scholars generally have been dealing with similar requirements to incorporate metadata within texts in their electronic form, and tools have emerged which make this increasingly easy and make the results increasingly valuable. The word-processing software that has been familiar since the 1980s allows us to control the formatting of our texts, using markup which by now is invisibly embedded by the software. The more demanding requirements of large-scale document collections—legal papers, industrial documentation, commercial publishing—led in the 1980s to the investigation of ways to insert a wider range of information and instructions within electronic texts. At first the emphasis was on inserting formatting instructions, but there soon emerged methods of including more complex semantic information concerning document structure and even content. A simple example is marking up a book title as a title, rather than simply marking it as being italicized. The use of this more abstract markup permits a separation of structure and presentation, where structure is comparatively fundamental to the document’s genre, while presentation may be varied depending on the form of publication. In a way, this shift represents a return to an earlier mode in which authors dealt with the substance of the text and all details of presentation were handled in the publishing process—a distinction which has been lost in the days of camera-ready copy.

The protocols which emerged from this latter effort were standardized in the late 1980s as the Standard Generalized Markup Language, and more recently were given a simpler and more flexible form for use in the world-wide web as XML: the Extensible Markup Language. XML is now widely used by scholars in a broad range of humanistic disciplines to capture/represent and preserve research materials for a wide range of purposes.

The attractions of XML for epigraphers are therefore considerable. For example: missing material can be marked up as such, and then presented within square brackets; at the same time, a search can be instructed only to interrogate text which has not been marked up as missing (so only definitely attested terms). Uncertain letters can be marked up as such, and a decision made later as to whether to render them with an underdot or in another way. Words can be lemmatised during editing, to create indices which grow as the collection grows. What is important, however, at this juncture is to repeat the ‘Leyden’ exercise; that is, to agree on electronic equivalents of the various sigla that we use. Firstly, this is valuable simply in order to save time and trouble; but also consistency—without imposing uniformity—continues to be valuable. Not only does it support the user, as on the printed page; but documents edited in this way and published electronically will then be exploitable together, even if they have been prepared separately.

The need for agreed standards is not limited to epigraphy. Since 1987 an international consortium of scholars principally in the humanities has been working together to develop and refine a set of guidelines for describing the structure and content of documents. The results of this endeavour have produced an encoding language, realized in XML and described by the name of the group—TEI, the Text Encoding Initiatve.

TEI for Epigraphers: What is it, why use it?

The Text Encoding Initiative is a research effort aimed at defining an encoding language that encompasses the needs of humanities scholars very generally. There are two essential goals motivating the development of the TEI. The first is to enable scholars to represent their research materials in digital form using a descriptive language that mirrors the kinds of analytical terms and concepts that are familiar and essential to humanistic scholarship. The second goal is to enable scholars to share the resulting materials intelligibly, by using a common descriptive language.

We can think of the TEI encoding language as resembling a human language: a core of shared terms at the center, surrounded by less widely shared vocabularies including local usage, specialized terminology, and other variations. At the core of the TEI are the common terms and concepts that are broadly shared by scholars in most disciplines: features like paragraphs, generic textual divisions, headings, lists, and so forth. More specialized elements are grouped together according to their applications: for instance, elements for detailed encoding of names, elements for representing features of manuscripts, elements for capturing the structure of dictionaries, and so forth. The TEI is intentionally organized into modules in this way, so that scholars working in specific disciplinary areas may use only the modules relevant to their work, and omit the others. The TEI can thus achieve a great deal of breadth without burdening individual scholars and projects with the necessity of mastering a very large domain, much of which is only relevant to other disciplines. On the contrary, the TEI encoding language can be very directly targeted at a specific domain or task, and can be limited to what is essential to the individual project’s work.

Like a human language, TEI can be used in a way that draws on a rich and nuanced vocabulary, with detailed encoding that describes a great many textual phenomena, but it can also be used very simply, using only a few essential concepts that describe only the most basic textual facts: sections, headings, paragraphs. The more detailed the encoding, the more one can do with it, but factors such as time, cost, available staff, and local expertise may place constraints on the level of detail that is feasible.

In addition to providing an encoding system that scholars can use in its original state, the TEI also provides a way for scholarly projects to define custom versions of the TEI language which include modifications that are necessary to support specific local needs. Because these custom versions operate within the overall TEI framework, they can use its broadly shared core of terms and concepts, thereby avoiding unnecessary work in reinventing these. And because the TEI provides a common framework for creating and describing customizations, these can be shared easily and meaningfully. As a result, groups of scholars in particular disciplines can articulate the specific goals and methods which characterize their work, and the differences which distinguish them from others working in related fields. Instead of mutually unintelligible approaches, different projects can produce results whose differences result from real disagreements rather than simple random divergence.

The EpiDoc Customization: TEI for Epigraphers

Within this framework, the EpiDoc community has been working, since 2000, to develop a custom version of the TEI Guidelines to support the particular needs of epigraphers. The idea was launched by Tom Elliott, an ancient historian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the aim is both to make the fullest possible use of the work that has already been done, and also to ensure that texts which happen to be inscribed are handled in a manner consistent with that used for other texts, and not distanced from them. The EpiDoc customization removes irrelevant elements from the main body of the TEI, and it adds provisions for the specific kinds of transcription, analysis, description, and classification that are essential for epigraphic work. The result is a simple yet powerful language which can be used to mark all of the significant features of inscriptions and also represent the accompanying information about the epigraphic object itself.

To accompany the EpiDoc encoding language, the EpiDoc community has also produced a set of encoding guidelines and software tools, as well as documentation which describes how to use the encoding language, the tools, and the other elements of the EpiDoc method. The goal is to establish a framework that is easy to learn and use, even for scholars with no technical background or support. This may sound improbable, but the enterprise is of the same order as learning to mark up a standard epigraphic text, with the existing series of sigla.

The group has worked to develop expressions for all the agreed epigraphic conventions. They have expanded this guidance to address the various fields which may be presented in an epigraphic publication, including:

See further: Document Structure.

Further areas under active exploration include developing interoperability. A software tool for converting texts in normal epigraphic markup into EpiDoc XML has already been developed (the so-called Chapel Hill Electronic Text Converter (CHETC)). Other areas involve the use of authoritative lexica. For example, the Inscriptions of Aphrodisias project is working closely with the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, to ensure full coverage and consistent usage.

The work, led by Dr. Elliott, has been undertaken by various individual scholars working in close collaboration, and in regular contact with the wider profession. They have drawn on the experience of an established EpiDoc project, the Vindolanda Tablets on line, and two current projects: the US Epigraphy Project (USEP) (supported by Brown, Princeton and Rutgers Universities), and the Inscriptions of Aphrodisias Project (InsAph) (supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council). The generous support of the AHRC allowed for the intensive workshop in March 2006 where these guidelines were refined.

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