Electra Atlantis: Digital Approaches to Antiquity


Tom Elliott (tom.elliott@nyu.edu)

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January 26, 2015

Robert Consoli (Squinches)

Cyclopean Builders

Cyclopean walls and the Cyclops who built them

The following is a result of reading I have been doing about the walls of Mycenae.  I began to wonder who it was exactly who first thought, or at least recorded the idea, that the Cyclops had built the walls of Mycenae and Tiryns.  The following, essentially a stand-alone footnote, traces some of the sources.  I hope that you will find it useful as a start.  (There are a few more references in LSJ under Κυκλώπειον.)

Cyclopean construction inside the entrance to Mycenae.  Argolid, Greece.
Courtesy of Squinchpix.com

In the Odyssey (ix.105-115, and cp. Arist., Nic Eth, x.11.13-14.) we learn that the Cyclops are rough and uncivilized folk, arrogant and lawless (ὑπερφιάλων ἀθεμίστων, 106).   Agriculture is unknown to them but Zeus has ordained that, in their land, everything grow naturally without being cultivated.  Nor do the Cyclops meet in assembly (τοῖσιν δ᾿ οὔτ᾿ ἀγοραὶ βουληφόροι οὔτε θέμιστες, 112) but each lives with his own wives and children; for them he is the only lawgiver (θεμιστεύει δὲ ἕκαστος παίδων ἠδ᾿ ἀλόχων 114-115).  Beyond that the Cyclops have no regard for each other (οὐδ᾿ ἀλλήλων ἀλέγουσιν., 115).

As a result the earliest implication of the word ‘Cyclopean’ (Κυκλώπειος) is 'savage', 'uncivilized', 'rough', or 'wild'. (Cyclops libel!) The apparent roughness and irregularity of the outer works of Mycenae and Tiryns seems to have invoked this sense in the minds of observers. Early on the word came to be applied to the Mycenaean walling in the Argolid and from there it was only a short step to the idea that the Cyclops actually built them. So Pindar has “ἐπεὶ Γηρυόνα βόας ἐπὶ πρόθυρον Εὐρυσθ̣έος”, “for he drove Geryon’s cattle to the Cyclopean portal of Eurystheus..”. (Eurystheus - King of Tiryns).[1]

This sense of ‘Cyclops-built’ is continued in the Electra where Euripides describes the homecoming of Agamemnon to Mycenae, “..εἰς οἴκους Κυκλώπειά τ᾽ οὐράνια..”, "..when he came at last to his home and to the towering Cyclopeian walls; ..."[2]

In the Heracles we have this: "But he, as though he really were at the Cyclopean walls, prized open the doors with levers, and, hurling down their posts", "ὁ δ᾿ ὡς ἐπ᾿ αὐτοῖς δὴ Κυκλωπίοισιν ὢν σκάπτει μοχλεύει θύρετρα" to describe the madness of Heracles breaking down the door of his home in order to murder his wife and son.[3]

To sense of 'uncivilized' is added the sense of 'gigantic' as in the 1C BC use in the Greek Anthology, “πῶμα Κυκλωπείην πλησομένη κύλικα·”, "about to fill a cup of Cyclopean size"[4]

Strabo appears to use the word in both senses. When describing the east coast of the Peloponnese he travels northwards to the Gulf of Argos, then to Lerna and Nauplio. Then he says "Next after Nauplia one comes to the caverns and the labyrinths built in them, which are called Cyclopeian.", "ἐφεξῆς δὲ τῇ Ναυπλίᾳ τὰ σπήλαια καὶ οἱ ἐν αὐτοῖς οἰκοδομητοὶ λαβύρινθοι, Κυκλώπεια δ᾿ ὀνομάζουσιν."[5] Since, after Nauplio, one comes to Tiryns I take this to be Strabo's meaning. The 'caverns' I suppose - but I do not know - are probably the several openings in the Tiryns curtain wall.

In viii.6.11 Strabo tells the actual story of the Cyclops and how they built the walls of Tiryns. He says that a King of Tiryns, Proetus, had the city walled with the help of the Cyclops. "..Προῖτος καὶ τειχίσαι διὰ Κυκλώπων, οὓς ἑπτὰ μὲν εἶναι, καλεῖσθαι δὲ γαστερόχειρας, τρεφομένους ἐκ τῆς τέχνης,.." There were seven of them and they were called 'Bellyhands' (γαστερόχειρας) because they fed themselves by working their handicraft which implies that there are other stories of the Cyclops as builders. An interesting story, hardly a myth, but more an etiological narrative which cannot date to before the walls themselves but which most likely emerges during the period that followed the Catastrophe.[6]

Later in the Geography Strabo uses the word to mean 'rough', 'uncivilized' when talking about the mode of life of the Albanians.[7] "those who have made expeditions there, who describe the mode of life there as 'Cyclopeian.'", "καθάπερ οἱ στρατεύσαντές φασι, Κυκλώπειόν τινα διηγούμενοι βίον.."

By the time of Pliny the Elder (1C) the expertise of the Cyclops has been extended to towers although he attributes the building of walls to Thrason (not otherwise known to me): "walls were introduced by Thrason, towers by the Cyclopes according to Aristotle but according to Theophrastus by the Tirynthians
", "Thrason muros, turres ut Aristoteles Cyclopes, Tirynthii ut Theophrastus;" [8]  He repeats here an unattested (?) version of the story from Aristotle (4CBC).

In the second century AD Pausanias seems to pick up the story from Strabo and extends it to Mycenae.  It is not clear to me that Pausanias himself thought that these walls were built by the Cyclops. At one point he uses ‘they say’ (λέγουσιν) and at another he says ‘is the work of’ (Κυκλώπων μέν ἐστιν ἔργον). In a third passage 'is the work of the ones called Cyclops' (τῶν Κυκλώπων καλουμένων).

Regarding the walls of Mycenae and the lion gate he says this: “These, too, are said to be the work of the Cyclopes, (“Κυκλώπων δὲ καὶ ταῦτα ἔργα εἶναι λέγουσιν”) who made for Proetus the wall at Tiryns”.[9]

As for the walls of Tiryns he says: “The wall, which is the only part of the ruins still remaining, is a work of the Cyclopes (“τὸ δὲ τεῖχος, ὃ δὴ μόνον τῶν ἐρειπίων λείπεται, Κυκλώπων μέν ἐστιν ἔργον”) made of unwrought stones”[10]

In describing the conquest of Mycenae by the Argives in the 5C BC: “Μυκηναίοις γὰρ τὸ μὲν τεῖχος ἁλῶναι κατὰ τὸ ἰσχυρὸν οὐκ ἐδύνατο ὑπὸ Ἀργείων, ἐτετείχιστο γὰρ κατὰ ταὐτὰ τῷ ἐν Τίρυνθι ὑπὸ τῶν Κυκλώπων καλουμένων…” "Though the Argives could not take the wall of Mycenae by storm, built as it was like the wall of Tiryns by the Cyclopes, as they are called, yet the Mycenaeans were forced to leave their city through lack of provisions."[11]

Finally, an anonymous poet from the Greek Anthology refers to "Cyclops-built Mycenae", "κυκλωπείη τε Μυκήνη”.[12]


[1] In Frag. 169a .  Race (1997) 402-3.   And see the informative note on p. 400.

[2] Electra, 1155.

[3] Kovacs (1998) 404-5, Heracles, ll. 998-999.  This translation from Coleridge (1938).

[4] Paton (1917) 248-249.  A sepulchral poem by Aristo, vii.457.

[5] Strabo, Geography, viii.6.3.  Jones (1927) 152-3.

[6] Strabo, Geography, viii.6.11.  Jones (1927) 168-9.

[7] Geography, xi.4.3  in Jones (1928) 224-5.

[8] Rackham (1942) 638-9.

[9] Jones (1918) 330-331. Corinthxvi.5.  See fn. 5a, above.  And see Thomas and Conant (1999) 5. 

[10] 'Unwrought' is not entirely accurate because the stones around the Lion Gate (part of the 13th C extension) are ashlars or conglomerate sawed into regular rectangular shapes with bronze (presumably) saws.  The same is true of the 'Treasury of Atreus' which is entirely of conglomerate ashlars.  For the quotation see Jones (1918) 382-3.  In the Corinth of Pausanias xxv, 8.

[11] This was in the fifth century BC.  Jones (1933) 322-3. Achaia xxv, 6.  Levy (1971) 297 and fn. 139.

[12] Probably 1C BC but I cannot establish the date.  Paton (1918).  336-7.


Coleridge (1938):  Coleridge, E.P. trans.,  Whitney J. Oates, and Eugene O'Neill Jr. (edd.). Euripides. The Complete Greek Drama, Vol.1. Heracles,  New York. Random House. 1938.

Jones (1918): Jones, W.H.S., trans.  Pausanias. Description of Greece, Volume I: Books 1-2 (Attica and Corinth). Loeb Classical Library 93. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1918.

Jones (1927):  Jones, Horace Leonard, trans., Strabo. Geography, Volume IV: Books 8-9.  Loeb Classical Library 196. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1927.

Jones (1928): Jones, Horace Leonard, trans., Strabo. Geography, Volume V: Books 10-12.  Loeb Classical Library 211. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1928.

Jones (1933): Jones, W.H.S., trans. Pausanias. Description of Greece, Volume III: Books 6-8.21 (Elis 2, Achaia, Arcadia). Loeb Classical Library 272. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1933.

Kovacs (1998):  Euripides. Suppliant Women. Electra. Heracles. Edited and translated by David Kovacs. Loeb Classical Library 9. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998.

Levy (1971): Levi, Peter, trans., Pausanias: Guide to Greece 1: Central Greece. Penguin Books.  London, England. 1971.

Paton (1917): Paton, W.R. trans., The Greek Anthology, Volume II: Book 7: Sepulchral Epigrams. Book 8: The Epigrams of St. Gregory the Theologian. Loeb Classical Library 68. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1917.

Paton (1918): Paton, W.R. trans.,  The Greek Anthology, Volume V: Book 13: Epigrams in Various Metres. Book 14: Arithmetical Problems, Riddles, Oracles. Book 15: Miscellanea. Book 16: Epigrams of the Planudean Anthology Not in the Palatine Manuscript.  Loeb Classical Library 86. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1918.

Race (1997): Pindar. Nemean Odes. Isthmian Odes. Fragments. Edited and translated by William H. Race. Loeb Classical Library 485. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Rackham (1942): Rackham, H. trans., Pliny. Natural History, Volume II: Books 3-7. Loeb Classical Library 352. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1942.

Thomas and Conant (1999): Thomas, Carol G. and Craig Conant. Citadel to City-State: The Transformation of Greece, 1200-700 B.C.E. Indiana University Press, 1999.

Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative

Vizicites: A New Way to See the City

One of our responsibilities as CHI fellows is to present a workshop on a digital humanities program, tool, or app to the group. I chose to present my workshop on Vizcities, a somewhat new city-based data visualization platform. I was drawn to Vizicities for a few reasons: my scholarly (and not so scholarly) interest in maps and cities, and my desire to take a break from history and discuss a platform that uses contemporary data.

What sets Vizicities apart from other DH map platforms? It combines 3D and live data in one browser-based map. Inspired by SimCity, the creators wanted to build maps which showcase the 3D reality of cities (such as building heights and river depths) and capture live data in those maps. In their development diary, Vizicities has build 3D maps of London which capture live tweets, incoming planes, and even trains in the London Underground.

The creators are particularly excited for the Vizicities’ combination of live and 3D data to assist in urban planning and disaster relief efforts, such as floods, in which it would be key for emergency professionals to have live updates of water levels.

Given my interest in transportation, public space, and urban history, I was struck by the potential of Vizicities for historians. I can easily see historians using Vizicities to study contemporary movement in their city of interest and comparing this data to the same city in their period of study. I can also see sociologists, anthropologists and other social scientists diving into Vizicities to study urban areas in a variety of ways. Perhaps as the platform grows, the creators can develop its usability in rural areas as well. Vizicities is currently still in development, and I am looking forward to seeing what scholars can do with this powerful addition to the digital humanities world.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Saxa Loquuntur: A Website on Greek and Latin epigraphy

[First posted in AWOL 15 July 2013, updated 25 January 2015]

Saxa Loquuntur: A Website on Greek and Latin epigraphy
This site brings together a number of resources that are available for the study of epigraphic texts. The site was designed for my own courses at the University of Groningen and at the Netherlands Institute at Athens The site will be based on two earlier documents that I have compiled, The Absolute Beginners’ Guide to Greek and Latin Epigraphy and Electronic Epigraphy, which found some readers over the web. The focus is on Greek inscriptions, but Latin texts are not excluded!

      January 25, 2015

      Pelagios: Enable Linked Ancient Geodata In Open Systems

      What Do You Do with a Million Links?

      The Pelagios team had a paper entitled 'What Do You Do with a Million Links?' accepted at the Digital Classics Association organised session at the Society of Classical Studies in New Orleans this month. Sadly, none of us were able to attend in person so to make our contribution we recorded an audio ppt which you can download from the link above (it's 212MB so you'll want a reasonable internet connection). Let us know what you would do with a million links!

      A huge thanks to Neil Coffee and all involved for bringing the session together.

      Sean Gillies Blog

      Fiona, Rasterio, Shapely binary wheels for OS X

      Fiona, Rasterio, Shapely binary wheels for OS X

      Numpy and SciPy binaries for OS X have been up on PyPI for a few months and I’ve recently figured out how to do the same for Fiona, Rasterio, and Shapely. As the SciPy developers do, I’ve used delocate-wheel to (see its README):

      • find dynamic libraries imported from python extensions
      • copy needed dynamic libraries to directory within package
      • update OSX install_names and rpath to cause code to load from copies of libraries

      The new Fiona and Rasterio binaries are beefy (14MB) because they include the non-standard libraries that enable format translation, cartographic projection, and computational geometry operations:

      $ delocate-listdeps ~/code/frs-wheel-builds/dist/rasterio-0.17.1-cp27-none-macosx_10_6_intel.macosx_10_9_intel.macosx_10_9_x86_64.macosx_10_10_intel.macosx_10_10_x86_64.whl

      For the small price of a larger download, Mac users now get batteries-included binaries that work immediately. No XCode required. Just pip install rasterio and start using it.

      The new binaries are built on 10.9 using Python 2.7.9 and 3.4.2 downloaded from python.org. These Pythons were compiled using the 10.6 SDK for both i386 and x86_64 architectures and I’ve similarly set MACOSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET=10.6 and -arch i386 -arch x86_64 in my own builds. In practice they are intended for 10.9 and 10.10, but will probably work on 10.7 and 10.8. They should work for just about any OS X Python, whether from the system, Homebrew, MacPorts, or python.org.

      If you’d rather continue to compile, e.g, Rasterio’s modules using your own GDAL installation, you’ve got an out in pip’s --no-use-wheel option:

      $ GDAL_CONFIG=/path/to/gdal-config pip install --no-use-wheel rasterio

      To contribute to development of these binaries or report installation bugs, please head over to https://github.com/sgillies/frs-wheel-builds. Most importantly, help me spread the word that installation of Fiona, Rasterio, and Shapely on OS X is easier than ever.

      January 24, 2015

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      Edfu Explorer Online

      Edfu Explorer Online
      Der Edfu Explorer Online ist eine Datenbankplattform, die das Edfu-Projekt der Akadamie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen zur Verfügung stellt. Er beinhaltet das Formular der Texte des Tempels von Edfu, soweit es durch die Publikationen 'Die Inschriften des Tempels von Edfu' bereits freigegeben wurde. Zur Zeit betrifft dies die Übersetzungen der Chassinat-Bände Edfou VII und VIII. Des weiteren hat der Nutzer Zugriff auf die mit den jeweiligen Datensätzen verbundenen Fotos des Edfu-Archives, sowie die betreffende Seite der Chassinat-Publikation.

       Für Formularstudien steht ein zweidimensionaler Plan des Tempels zur Verfügung, der den Zugriff auf die Chassinat-Seite über die Szenenposition ermöglicht. Innerhalb des Tempelplans wird der Szenentitel automatisch eingeblendet, sobald die Maus länger als eine Sekunde über dem Szenenfeld gehalten wird. 


      Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

      Some 1786 images from the Baths of Titus

      The Baths of Titus have long been destroyed.  They stood over part of the remains of Nero’s Golden House, itself filled with frescos.

      A volume published in 1786 and now online, Ponce, Description des bains de Titus, here, contains a general view of the Baths, as they then stood, together with the entrance to the underground areas; plus two maps.

      First the overview, including one of the massive exedras:


      View of the remains of the Baths of Titus (Thermae Titi) and the entrance to the underground tooms. From Ponce, Description des bains de Titus, 1786.

      Next, a map of the underground areas, indicating the foundations of the exedras.


      Map of the underground areas under the Baths of Titus. Note the foundations of the semi-circular exedras at each end. From Ponce, Description des bains de Titus, 1786.

      Finally a map of the overground area, with some elevations.  I wonder, from the notes on it, how much of this was still standing in 1786, tho.  I’m guessing this is merely a reconstruction from Piranesi, etc.

      Ponce (1786).  Map of the Baths of Titus, after Piranesi.

      Ponce (1786). Map of the Baths of Titus, after Piranesi.

      A bunch of Chrysostom and ps.Chrysostom now online in English

      Sometime correspondent “Inepti Graeculi” has been working away on some of the untranslated works of Chrysostom, and also some of the mass of literature attributed to him in transmission.

      This sort of work is excellent.  Voicu has estimated that there are around 1,500 texts which are spuriously attributed to Chrysostom.  They are, of course, works which lost their original author, but were considered sufficiently interesting to be preserved; which means that they deserve attention now.  These translations should do much to make that happen!

      There’s a list of material recently translated by IG at the bottom; but coming soon also is…

      Ps.Chrysostom’s In Parabolam Ficu (CPG 4588) – a popular work that argues against the notion that God rejected the Jews (versions found in Syriac, Ethiopic, translated five times into Arabic (!), also in a very important manuscript in Slavonic etc etc.  Wrongly ascribed to Severian of Gabala in the Armenian tradition. Voicu assigns this to an anonymous Cappadocian. The amazing Sever Voicu’s short outline of Chrystostom in the Oriental tradition is quite eye-opening.

      I have also nearly finished Chrysostom’s Non Esse Desperandum (CPG 4390) which I very much enjoyed

      Here are the recent releases!


      Title CPG Comment Version
      In Jordanem Fluvuium 4548 Attributed to Severian of Gabala by Marx (1939) but this was rejected by Altendorf (1957). Calvin should have read this. 0.1 Link
      De Cognitione Dei 4703 A short homily in which  the speaker relates that Christ’s advent brought the knowledge of god (θεογνωσία). He then briefly addresses neophytes and invites the audience to pilgrimage to the Jordan. Possibly delivered at Bethlehem on the night before the celebration of Christ’s baptism 0.1 Link


      Precatio in Obsessos 4710 One of several prayers published by Montfaucon (and reprinted by Migne) as a supplement to the Liturgy ascribed to John Chrysostom. Montfaucon sourced this text from Goar, Rituale Graecorum, Paris, 1647, p. 783. It was not included in Savile’s or Fronto’s Chrysostom edition. This little prayer is still found in the liturgical books of Eastern Orthodox churches. 0.2 Link
      In Ingressum sanctorum jejuniorum 4665 On fasting and drunkenness. Ascribed to Proclus (Marx, Le Roy, De Aldama) or an anonymous sophistic rhetor (Musurillo) 0.1 Link
      In sanctum Stephanum 2 4691 One of several homilies on the Protomartyr Stephen among the Ps.-Chrysostomica 0.1 Link
      Encomium in sanctos martyres 4759 Text: Aubineau (1975) 0.1 Link

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      Open Access Oriental Institute Nubian Expedition Publications

       [First posted in AWOL 31 March 2014, updated 24 January 2015]

       Oriental Institute Nubian Expedition Publications

      The Oriental Institute Nubian Expedition

      The Oriental Institute has had a long history of research in ancient Nubia.Oriental Institute Founder, James Henry Breasted traveled to southern Egypt and northern Sudan in 1905-07, to document ancient Egyptian and Nubian monuments. A selection of the Breasted Expedition photographs was exhibited in the Oriental Institute Museum in 2006. In addition to this early work by our founder, between 1960 and 1968 the Oriental Institute participated in the international archaeological campaign organized by UNESCO in the areas threatened by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Nine volumes of final reports have been published. The Robert F. Picken Family Nubia Gallery, which opened in 2006, displays some of the approximately 15,000 objects brought back to the Oriental Institute as a result of the work in the 1960s.
      The return of the Oriental Institute to Nubia began in 2006 with a preliminary reconnaissance trip to evaluate the possibility of participating in an archaeological salvage project in Sudan. The Merowe Dam Project at the 4th Cataract of the Nile, upon its completion in 2008, flooded an area of approximately 100 miles in the Nile Valley. Between January and March 2007, the Oriental Institute joined international teams in the 4th Cataract region in archaeological investigation of the area, an area that had, prior to the salvage project, received virtually no attention.
      Oriental Institute excavations in the 4th Cataract were supported by the Packard Humanities Institute and National Geographic.

      The Nubia Salvage Project


      The Oriental Institute participated in the UNESCO international salvage excavation project in the reservoir area of the Aswan High Dam in Upper Egypt in 1960-64. The project was directed by Keith Seele, Professor of Egyptology at the Institute. The expedition was based on the former Cook tourist boat "Fostat", accompanied by another houseboat, the "Barbara", a tug boat, and a motor launch, all purchased and modified to provide mobile housing, laboratories and storage space. In the first season the project produced an epigraphic record of the Beit El-Wali Temple, near the High Dam. In subsequent seasons the expedition moved its little fleet up the Nile to a new concession between the temples at Abu Simbel and the border of the Sudanese Republic. Excavations were conducted in a monastery, at habitation sites, and in a number of cemeteries extending for miles along both banks of the Nile. These excavations contributed information on every period of Egyptian Nubia from the Old Kingdom through Coptic times.
      After the death of Professor Seele in 1971, the Institute initiated a project to complete the publication of the results of the Egyptian Nubia excavations. The publication project was entrusted to Bruce Williams, Ph.D., a graduate of the University of Chicago in Egyptology. The first two volumes were published before Williams was assigned to the project. Since then Williams has completed eight monumental monographs (1986-93) that will stand as the fundamental sources for the archaeology and history of Egyptian Nubia. Williams is currently working on two additional volumes. Another two volumes are also in preparation by collaborators, including one Ph.D. dissertation. Williams has devoted his entire academic career to the Nubia publications. His dedication is admirable and the Institute takes pride in the fact that the Nubia publication project is near completion.
      Because the Nubian expedition was a part of the UNESCO salvage project, the Egyptian Government granted export license for a large collection of objects recovered by the expedition. These artifacts are now a part of the perminent collection of the Institute and will serve as a valuable resource for generations of scholars as new questions are raised and new techniques of analysis are introduced. Two museum exhibitions of Nubian materials from the collection have been mounted; one of magnificent textiles at the Art Institute, and a fine educational exhibition in the Oriental Institute Museum. The exhibit in our museum, Vanished Kingdoms of the Nile: The Recovery of Ancient Nubia, attracted many enthuiastic new visitors to the museum and received a "Superior Achievement" award from the Congress of Illinois Historical Societies and Museums in 1992, as well as considerable press coverage, including a favorable review in the New York Times.
      The Oriental Institute has had a long history of research in ancient Nubia.Oriental Institute Founder, James Henry Breasted traveled to southern Egypt and northern Sudan in 1905-07, to document ancient Egyptian and Nubian monuments. A selection of the Breasted Expedition photographs was exhibited in the Oriental Institute Museum in 2006. In addition to this early work by our founder, between 1960 and 1968 the Oriental Institute participated in the international archaeological campaign organized by UNESCO in the areas threatened by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Nine volumes of final reports have been published. The Robert F. Picken Family Nubia Gallery, which opened in 2006, displays some of the approximately 15,000 objects brought back to the Oriental Institute as a result of the work in the 1960s.

      The return of the Oriental Institute to Nubia began in 2006 with a preliminary reconnaissance trip to evaluate the possibility of participating in an archaeological salvage project in Sudan. The Merowe Dam Project at the 4th Cataract of the Nile, upon its completion in 2008, flooded an area of approximately 100 miles in the Nile Valley. Between January and March 2007, the Oriental Institute joined international teams in the 4th Cataract region in archaeological investigation of the area, an area that had, prior to the salvage project, received virtually no attention.

      Oriental Institute excavations in the 4th Cataract were supported by the Packard Humanities Institute and National Geographic.

      2007 Excavations

      2008 Excavations

      Oriental Institute Nubian Expedition (OINE) [All available for open access download]
      And for an up to date list of all Oriental Institute publications available online see

      Open Access Digital Library: Bibliothek Goussen

      [First posted 10/2/09. Updated 24 January 2015]

      Bibliothek Goussen

      The Goussen library collection is a specialist library for oriental church history. It contains prints in Western classical and modern languages, but predominantly prints in oriental languages such as Syrian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Arabic, Armenian and Georgian languages from the 16th to the 20th century (the focus is on the 18th and the 19th century). The former owner Heinrich Goussen (1863 – 1927) collected nearly every print within the language groups that had ever been published about the subject. The collection contains numerous rare or valuable oriental prints. There could hardly a collection be put together as completely as here, not even from the holdings of large European libraries.

      January 23, 2015

      Cooper-Hewitt Labs

      Labs turns three!

      Candles atop a blackberry and giner donut

      Happy birthday Cooper Hewitt Labs.

      Today Cooper Hewitt Labs turned three.

      Back in January 2012 this blog was just an experiment, a flag planted in rough terrain, but now what is actually the ‘Digital & Emerging Media’ team, is better known out there in the world as Cooper Hewitt Labs. In fact there’s a recent #longread in The Atlantic that focuses specifically on the Labs’ work.

      It is funny how naming something brings it into the world, but its true. It is also true that what the Labs is is fragile. It is a group of people who happen to work well with each other, and the people around them, to make something much greater than what could be achieved individually.

      For the first year the mascot of the Labs was the mischievous Japanese spirit (or yokai) called the Tanuki, and the second was the equally naughty “Cat (and Kitten) in the act of spanking“, the new mascot that watches over the Labs is the memetic and regal, Design Eagle.

      Happy birthday to us.

      If you’d like the last three years of blog posts wrapped up in easy to carry PDF format (or because ‘blogs don’t last forever’), here they are – 2012 (37mb) | 2013 (34mb) | 2014 (25mb).

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      Now Available Online – Amphoteroglossia: A Poetics of the Twelfth-Century Medieval Greek Novel

      Now Available Online – Amphoteroglossia: A Poetics of the Twelfth-Century Medieval Greek Novel

      Open Access Journal: Çatal Newsletters

      [First posted in AWOL 9 December 2013, updated 23 January 2015]

      Çatal Newsletters 
      The Project issues annual Newslettters which are designed for the Friends of Çatalhöyük and aim to keep the Friends and inerested parties informed of the activities of the Project and of the different aspects of the research being conducted at Çatalhöyük. They contain summaries of the work and discoveries that were made during that year's excavation season.
        Çatal News 21 - 2014 (Download PDF)


        Çatal News 20 - 2013 (Download PDF)


        Çatal News 19 - 2012 (Download PDF)


        Çatal News 18 - 2011 (Download PDF)


        Çatal News 17 - 2010 (Download PDF)


        Çatal News 16 - 2009 (Download PDF)


        Çatal News 15 - 2008 (Download PDF)


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        Source: Journalism Code, Context & Community

        Source Hiring & Appreciations

        By Erin Kissane

        Source Hiring & Appreciations

        An anciente mappe of Fairyland: newly discovered and set forth (Boston Public Library)

        We’re planning many changes and additions to Source over the course of 2015. I’ll write about those as they happen, but our first announcement is about changes behind the scenes. As my role at OpenNews has changed from editor of Source to editorial lead for all our programs, I’ve had to step back from some of the site’s daily editorial and production work. That’s still work that needs doing, so I am very happy to announce a new opening for an assistant editor, to join me and the rest of the team in keeping Source watertight and pointed in the right direction. If that sounds like you or someone you know, please take a look at the job description and send us a résumé.

        On a more wrenching note, our brilliant Learning editor, Kio Stark—now senior producer on WNYC’s Data News team, as well as an instructor at ITP—will be stepping down from her official editorial role at Source. Kio helped shape the entirety of Source Learning, and has been the curious brain and reassuring editorial hand behind a huge percentage of the best pieces we’ve published.

        The new role we’re hiring for won’t be a replacement for Kio, because it would be impossible to replace Kio. Instead, as we iteratively redesign Source to serve the evolving needs of the community, we’ll be rolling Learning up into the main body of Source content—and the questioning, rigorous approach Kio has brought to the longer-form Learning content will play a larger role in all the things we produce. (We’re also going to do our best to trick Kio into hanging out at SRCCON, and don’t be surprised if you see her guest-editing from time to time.)

        Finally, I should note that our wonderful part-time production lead, Casey Gollan, has been gradually pulled away to focus on his work with the School for Poetic Computation. Casey has been a source of joy in the most eye-watering late-night distributed proofreading sessions, and we miss him already.

        We look forward to launching a lot of new things this year, and remain, as always, hugely grateful to the community of developers, designers, and data journalists working in and around news for being so willing to show and share your work.

        Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

        David Starkey on Magna Carta

        If you've been watching and listening closely, you may have realised by now that the year 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the granting of Magna Carta. The British Library is heavily involved in these global commemorations — two of the four surviving manuscripts of King John's 1215 Magna Carta...

        ASOR Blog (American Schools of Oriental Research)

        Pathologies by the Bone: Making Meaning from Commingled Remains


        At the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting, Debra Martin presented the paper, “Pathologies by the Bone: Making Meaning from Commingled Remains … Read more

        Digital Humanities at Dickinson College

        Dickinson President’s Report

        The annual report from Dickinson’s President Nancy A. Roseman and the senior staff is out, and I wanted to highlight the statements there on technology, scholarship, and learning, which nicely sum up the approaches being taken at Dickinson. President Roseman begins with her vision for the academic program, a statement which concludes with the following:

        Lastly, we will seek new ways to leverage our work in the digital humanities, highlighting the value of technology to enhance, not replace, our high-touch, intensely collaborative approach to education.

        Provost and Dean of the College Neil Weissman expands on this as follows:

        Finally, technology. Despite all the talk of “disruption” and the threat of displacement of residential education epitomized by MOOCs, computing makes the liberal arts taught through direct student-faculty contact more, not less, germane. Rather than being replaced, liberal learning is enriched by technology as a tool. Each year, select Dickinson faculty in the Willoughby Institute for Teaching with Technology explore approaches to pedagogy ranging from the use of tablet computers in the classroom to new models of commentary on Greek and Latin texts. Supported by a $700,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation, faculty are investigating digital approaches to the humanities. Another Mellon award has made possible a Central Pennsylvania Consortium faculty project on “blended learning” through the use of technology.

        Students and faculty at Dickinson are fortunate to have strong administrative support for digital initiatives. Watch this space for details about some exciting faculty-driven and student-faculty collaborative projects, and news from the recently completed Digital Boot Camp.

        Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

        Open Access Journal: Res Militares: The Official Newsletter of the Society of Ancient Military Historians

        Res Militares: The Official Newsletter of the Society of Ancient Military Historians
        ISSN: 1533-4708
        The Society of Ancient Military Historians is an organization dedicated to the promotion of the study of military history and warfare in the entire Ancient World (west and east). Members sponsor and contribute to the publication of our newsletter, Res Militares. Our leadership works with and within the American Philological Association and the Association of Ancient Historians to disseminate information of interest to members and arrange contact between our members and within the larger academic community.

        Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

        GIS open source: nuove date dei corsi base ed avanzati

        gis open source terrelogicheNegli ultimi anni, i GIS open source hanno raggiunto un pubblico molto vasto garantendo elevata usabilità, un'efficiente gestione dei dati e notevoli potenzialità di analisi geografica. QGIS (ex Quantum GIS), rilasciato con licenza GNU General Public License, è un software GIS open source completamente gratuito e disponibile anche in lingua italiana.

        The Homer Multitext

        Oral Poetics and the Homer Multitext

        One of the central research questions that drives the Homer Multitext is this: “How do you make a critical edition of an oral tradition, like that of the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey, that spanned a thousand years or more? What is the best way to represent the textual history of songs that were created in and for performance, but survive only in textual forms from later eras?” In our 2010 book, Iliad 10 and the Poetics of Ambush, Mary Ebbott and I attempted to demonstrate that a "multitextual"  approach to Homeric poetry is useful not only for understanding the transmission of the text of the epics, but also for better understanding the poetics of oral poetry. We could not have written that book, which is meant to be a sustained demonstration of the workings of oral poetry over the course of an entire book of the Iliad, without the data and tools of the Homer Multitext that were available to us at that time.

        As new ways of viewing and working with the surviving documents that transmit Homeric poetry become possible, Mary and I would like to continue to use them to enhance our understanding of the poetics of the Iliad and Odyssey. With that in mind, we have decided to revive a long neglected Oral Poetry blog, which we will maintain along with this one, and in close coordination with one another. The Oral Poetry blog will be devoted primarily to questions of poetics, while we will continue to make posts here about the manuscripts and papyri and what they tell about the system of oral poetry in which the Iliad and Odyssey were composed.

        To kick off this phase of the Oral Poetry blog, we are planning a series of posts about the poetics of Iliad 2. You can read my initial post about this work here. You can also read a much older post on this blog about the transmission of the Catalogue of Ships from Book 2 here. It is the special treatment and seemingly controversial place of the Catalogue in the surviving manuscripts and papyri that drives us to try to better understand the poetics of this fascinating record of names and places. 

        Corinthian Matters

        A Review of Dixon’s Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Corinth, 338-196 BC

        For a first review of Michael Dixon’s new book on Hellenistic Corinth, check out this post from Bill Caraher’s Archaeology of the Mediterranean World blog.

        Routledge has also posted an interview with Dixon about the book.


        Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

        Open Access Journal: Hadashot Arkheologiyot - Excavations and Survey in Israel

        [First posted in AWOL 23 October 2009. Updated 23 January 2015]

        Hadashot Arkheologiyot - Excavations and Survey in Israel
        ISSN: 1565-5334
        Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel (HA-ESI) has been published in print since 1961 by the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums (IDAM) and since 1990 by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). The journal contains preliminary reports of excavations and surveys in Israel, as well as final reports of small-scale excavations and surveys; it also publishes archaeological finds recorded during inspection activities. The journal is bilingual, Hebrew and English; reports submitted in English are translated into Hebrew and vice versa.
         The e-journal www.hadashot-esi.org.il is the digital format of HA-ESI, replacing the printed version. The first digital publication of the journal (No. 116, 2004) is a reflection of the last printed volume. From 2005 onward, the journal will be published on-line only – each year will receive a volume number, continuing the numbering of the printed journal (e.g., No. 117 = 2005, No. 118 = 2006, etc.). The e-journal is an unlimited data base of archeological reports, including photographs, maps, plans and pottery figures. The reports can be searched by keywords or by means of an interactive map. The results of both types of searches can be printed.
         The reports submitted to the e-journal will be edited in the same manner as in the printed journal (see Guide to Contributors). They will be published on-line with the completion of their editing and translation, and will be ascribed to a specific issue according to the year of publication (issue no. = year of publication). A final excavation report is marked with as asterix*. Announcements of new publications will appear on the Home Page of the e-journal. Prints of reports are available from the web site for personal and educational use only.
          116 (2004)

          117 (2005)

          118 (20006) 119 (2007)  120 (2008) 121 (2009) 122 (2010) 123 (2011) 124 (2012) 125 (2013)126 (2014)

        Past Issues 

        Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

        Friday Varia and Quick Hits

        Some of my regular readers noticed that I missed a blog post yesterday. I apologize for the missed day, but should also point out that I posted last Sunday, so I still got me 5 post in this week. Over the next week or so, I’ll be out of town a bit, but I’ll do all I can to keep up with my regular blog schedule.

        As the halcyon days linger here in North Dakota land and I prepare for a mid-morning blast across the North Dakota prairie, I would be seriously remiss if I didn’t present a little gaggle of quick hits and varia. 

        IMG 2793The Milo-Badger don’t care either.

        January 22, 2015

        Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

        Sumerian Resources from Pascal Attinger

        [First posted in AWOL  12 October 2011, updated  22 January  2015]

        Pascal Attinger

        News from Cuneiform Digital Library Notes (CDLN)

        We are pleased to announce the publication of several new contributions to the Cuneiform Digital Library Notes (CDLN):

        CDLN 2015:001
        Klaus Wagensonner, On an alternative way of capturing RTI images with the camera dome

        CDLN 2015:002
        Strahil V. Panayotov and Kostadin Kissiov, An administrative tablet from Puzriš-Dagān in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

        CDLN 2015:003
        Klaus Wagensonner, Turning the Laws of Ur-Namma

        We would like to take this opportunity to thank all contributors to CDLN for their support and would like to encourage scholars to contribute to the Notes in future as well.

        References and bibliographies:
        As of now all bibliographical information is drawn directly from a MySQL database. It is therefore not necessary anymore to send fully formatted bibliographies along with submitted contributions. For all references that are included among the latest available bibliographies on KeiBi Online it is possible to save references and export them into the BibTeX format and send this document along. A full bibliography was added on CDLN, which contains all references used in the various contributions. Clicking on a year leads to the respective contribution(s), where the chosen reference is used. Vice versa, each reference list links back to the full bibliography.

        As a test run the “Abbreviations for Assyriology” maintained by CDLI:wiki have been imported into the database as well. By hovering over abbreviations in the bibliographies the full form and additional information is given. Further features such as indices of texts mentioned are in preparation.

        We do hope that these changes will increase the efficiency of CDLN and are therefore happy to receive contributions for the next publication of Notes on April 1, 2015.

        Submitted contributions are preferably made available as text files or in the RTF format. If the contribution contains tables, word or pages documents may be submitted as well. Please note that in order to aid the editing process, please be so kind to provide all images in separate files and not embedded in the submitted documents.

        The CDLN, together with its sister publications Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin (CDLB) and Cuneiform Digital Library Journal (CDLJ), are peer-reviewed publications that offer a persistent web presence under the auspices of the University of California system. As e-journals, the delay between submission and publication is well below that of academic print journals, while the interaction with cuneiform artifacts documented in the CDLI database offers obvious strengths for an interactive discourse. Authors should expect a two to four month interval between submission of a draft text with illustrations and its publication for substantive contributions to the CDLJ, at most two months for those made to the Bulletin, and approximately two weeks for the Notes that are conceived as an online venue for NABU-style communications that can include short philological or lexicographical contributions as well as regular updates of a more substantial nature describing the background or progress of, in particular, web-based research efforts. For submission guidelines including technicalities regarding bibliographical citations etc. please consult the information at <http://cdli.ucla.edu/?q=about-cdln>.

        New submissions will appear in preprint status four times a year (January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1; notices of new submissions will be made to this list) and are clearly marked as such. During the preprint period, authors will be able to make small, non-substantive changes (e.g., typographical errors) to their submissions. After two weeks, these submissions are then archived.

        Scholars are encouraged to send contributions to the CDLN at <klaus.wagensonner@orinst.ox.ac.uk>.

        On behalf of the CDLI

        Jacob L. Dahl and Klaus Wagensonner
        University of Oxford

        dh+lib: where the digital humanities and librarianship meet

        RECOMMENDED: State of the Union—and Corpus Comparison

        In advance of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Benjamin Schmidt (Northeastern University) and Mitch Fraas (University of Pennsylvania) created a series of interactive graphics for The Atlantic that allow readers to explore the State of the Union addresses of every U.S. president: The Language of the State of the Union and Mapping the State of the Union.

        Schmidt has written a blog post pointing to an additional tool designed to “compare and contrast language spoken by Presidents in the State of the Union” side-by-side. He explains why it could be an exciting example of online text analysis that shifts focus away from topic modeling and towards leveraging the rich metadata that libraries (and others) already have:

        For the State of the Union, there are all sorts of useful comparisons to make: president vs. president, republican vs. Democrat, lame duck vs recently elected, opposition congress vs. friendly crowd… And for every other corpus, there are just as many. We currently treat these kinds of analytics as things that should be run client side, requiring individuals to obtain digital texts (frequently impossible) and install and run some tools for corpus comparison (a high barrier to entry.) But libraries and other content holders can–and I would argue, should–support these things as a form of exploration out of the box.

        Just as libraries have provided search functions across and within collections, Schmidt envisions “real-time, fully customizable in-browser comparison across any facets of a corpus as a service libraries and other content providers can easily offer on medium-sized (c. 20,000 documents) corpora.”

        RESOURCE: Provoke! Digital Sound Studies

        Initiated by the Soundbox Project at Duke University, Provoke! is an online collection of digital projects in sound studies that “creates a home for creative-critical projects by makers, documentary artists, and sound scholars whose work presses at the boundaries of scholarship.” Designed to “privilege the auditory experience,” editors Darren Mueller, Mary Caton Lingold, and Whitney Trettien have selected projects that cover a range of experiments in audio-based scholarship:

        Because of their sonically inspired, collaborative nature, many of these projects fall outside the purview of traditional academic publishing, yet each one offers a critical contribution to the ongoing dialogue about the future of sound studies and digital humanities.

        OPPORTUNITY: Scalar Webinars

        The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture has announced the spring schedule of free webinars for learning Scalar, an open source multimodal publishing platform.

        Scalar enables authors to incorporate multimedia content from a variety of sources into their own content using a system of “paths” and “tags” to create digital publications:

        Paths are linear sequences of content, like a chapter full of pages or a tutorial full of steps. Tags are non-linear groupings of content, like items in the index of a book or descriptors on a media-sharing site. Where Scalar differs from most other publishing tools is in the flexibility with which grouping and sequencing can be applied. Paths can contain other paths, and tags can reference other tags, making both hierarchical and rhizomatic structures possible.

        Both introductory and intermediate webinars will be offered. The two-hour webinars are free of cost, but space is limited.

        JOB: English Literature and Digital Humanities Librarian, University of Notre Dame

        From the announcement (also available as a pdf):


        Serves as the primary liaison to faculty, students and researchers in the Department of English. S/he works closely with these scholars and others concerned with the study of English Literature to insure the Libraries have the resources and services needed for successful research and learning. In consultation with the relevant teaching faculty, this position is responsible for the development, maintenance, and administration of English literature resources in all formats, including, print, microfilm and electronic, as well as expanding user access to scholarly resources beyond our collections. Also provides customized, course-integrated instruction and in-depth subject-related research consultation as appropriate. The successful candidate will also apply prior experience in text-mining, data-visualization or other digital applications relevant to the study of topics in English literature, and is expected to advise other staff and librarians to meet such demands in other Humanities disciplines.

        JOB: Digital Scholarship Librarian, College of Wooster

        From the announcement:

        The College of Wooster Libraries seeks an innovative and service-oriented colleague to become our Digital Scholarship Librarian. This newly created faculty position reports to the Director of Libraries and provides leadership in creating, organizing, promoting, and curating digital materials. The librarian will play a key role in supporting our Open Access resolution, our institutional repository (Open Works), digital projects developed under our current grant, institutional research data, born digital scholarship, and digitized content. The Digital Scholarship Librarian will serve as a liaison to one or more academic departments and participate in the Libraries research and instruction programs. The successful candidate will work collaboratively with a library staff focused on user needs and committed to developing an evolving library program that best supports the mission of the College

        Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

        Open Access Journal: Vjesnik za arheologiju i povijest dalmatinsku (Journal of Dalmatian archaeology and history)

        [First posted in AWOL 22 January 2009. Updated 22 January 2015]

        Vjesnik za arheologiju i povijest dalmatinsku (Journal of Dalmatian archaeology and history)
        ISSN: 1845-7789 (Print)
        Vjesnik za arheologiju i povijest dalmatinsku je osnovan 1878. godine pod imenom Bullettino di archeologia e storia dalmata, koji je kao stručno glasilo Arheološkog muzeja u Splitu postao jedan od najznačajnijih arheoloških časopisa u Hrvatskoj i kontinuirano izlazi do danas. Godine 1920. časopisu (br. 43) je promjenjeno ime u Vjesnik za arheologiju i historiju dalmatinsku (VAHD), a 2005. izlazi pod imenom Vjesnik za arheologiju i povijest dalmatinsku (VAPD). Od osnutka do 2005. godine publicirano je 98 brojeva ovovga časopisa. Kao znanstvena publikacija sa područja arheologije i povijesti u kategorizaciji časopisa Nacionalnog vijeća za znanost ocijenjen je najvećom ocjenom (a1).

        Journal of Dalmatian archaeology and history was founded in 1878. as a Bullettino di archeologia e storia Dalmata, which become one of the most important archaeological review in Croatia. Since foundation until 2005. it has been publish 98 numbers of the journal. As a scientific publication on archaeology and history it is review from National council for science as a most excellent (a1 grade). 

        Journal of Dalmatian archaeology and history, Vol.107 No.107

          Publication Date: December 2014.
        Table of contents Full text
        Stočarstvo i gradine na istočnom Jadranu u brončano i željezno doba: rezultati iskopavanja na gradini Rat 2007.-2010. (str.9-30) Croatianpdf 1 MB
        Herding and Hillforts in the Bronze and Iron Age Eastern Adriatic: Results of the 2007- 2010 Excavations at Gradina Rat (str.9-30) Englishpdf 1 MB
        Jane Sanford Gaastra, Emanuela Cristiani, Vedran Barbarić
        Original scientific paper
        Nekropola gradine Velika Mrdakovica - grobovi starijega željeznog doba* (str.31-112) Croatianpdf 4 MB
        The Necropolis at the Velika Mrdakovica Hillfort - Early Iron Age Graves* (str.31-112) Englishpdf 4 MB
        Martina Blečić Kavur, Emil Podrug
        Original scientific paper
        Prilozi poznavanju naseljavanja otoka Hvara u prapovijesti (str.113-128) Croatianpdf 715 KB
        Contributions to an Understanding of Human Settlement on the Island of Hvar in Prehistory (str.113-128) Englishpdf 715 KB
        Alen Miletić
        Review article
        Helenistička reljefna keramika iz Sikula (Resnika) (str.129-160) Croatianpdf 2 MB
        Hellenistic Moldmade Relief Pottery from Siculi (Resnik) (str.129-160) Englishpdf 2 MB
        Ivanka Kamenjarin
        Original scientific paper
        Svjetiljke iz Grčko-helenističke zbirke Arheološkog muzeja u Splitu (str.161-200) Croatianpdf 649 KB
        Oil-Lamps from the Graeco- Hellenistic Collection of the Archaeological Museum in Split (str.161-200) Englishpdf 649 KB
        Marina Ugarković
        Original scientific paper
        Nalazi novca s nekropole Vlaška njiva u Visu (str.201-240) Croatianpdf 1 MB
        The Coin Finds from the Vlaška njiva Necropolis at Vis (str.201-240) Englishpdf 1 MB
        Maja Bonačić Mandinić
        Original scientific paper
        Antički spoliji u kući Benzon u Vranjicu (str.241-289) Croatianpdf 2 MB
        Antique Spolia in the Benzon House in Vranjic (str.241-289) Englishpdf 2 MB
        Nino Švonja
        Professional paper
        Nekoliko novih figuralnih prikaza u Dioklecijanovoj palači (str.291-308) Croatianpdf 471 KB
        Several New Figural Portrayals in Diocletian’s Palace (str.291-308) Englishpdf 471 KB
        Vinka Marinković
        Original scientific paper
        Quintus Marcius Turbo Fronto Publicius Severus (str.309-330) Croatianpdf 330 KB
        Quintus Marcius Turbo Fronto Publicius Severus (str.309-330) Englishpdf 330 KB
        Željko Miletić, Bruno Bijađija
        Original scientific paper
        Reutilizacija antičkih sarkofaga i dvojica splitskih kanonika iz XV. i XVI. stoljeća (str.331-365) Croatianpdf 1 MB
        The reutilization of Roman-era Sarcophagi and two Canons of Split from the 15th and 16th Centuries (str.331-365) Englishpdf 1 MB
        Arsen Duplančić
        Original scientific paper
        Što je Durana (Hurania, Doranua) iz srednjovjekovnih izvora - Dvorine ili Vranjic? (str.367-384) Croatianpdf 370 KB
        What is Durana (Hurania, Doranua) in the Medieval Sources: Dvorine or Vranjic? (str.367-384) Englishpdf 370 KB
        Mate Zekan
        Original scientific paper
        Bibliografija za 2013. godinu (str.385-408) Croatianpdf 354 KB
        Bibliography for 2013 (str.385-408) Englishpdf 354 KB
        Arsen Duplančić
        Professional paper
        Emilio Marin, Moji rimski papiri (2004-2011), Matica hrvatska, Zagreb 2013. (str.409-417) Croatianpdf 280 KB
        Emilio Marin, Moji rimski papiri (2004-2011), Matica hrvatska, Zagreb 2013. (str.409-417) Englishpdf 280 KB
        Maja Bonačić Mandinić
        Book Review
          Vol. 107   No. 107
          Vol. 106   No. 106
          Vol. 105   No. 105
          Vol. 104   No. 104
          Vol. 1   No. 103
          Vol. 1   No. 102
          Vol. 1   No. 101
          Vol. 1   No. 100
          Vol. 1   No. 99
          Vol. 1   No. 98

        Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

        Strumenti multimediali e realtà aumentata in una mostra sul disegno di Piero Della Francesca

        piero della francesca magnaniDal 14 marzo al 14 giugno 2015 presso Palazzo Magnani a Reggio Emilia sarà aperta la mostra dal titolo "PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA. Il disegno tra arte e scienza" dedicataalle attività di disegnatore e matematico del celbre artista di San Sepolcro riunendo per la prima volta l'intero corpus grafico e teorico di Piero della Francesca: i sette esemplari, tra latini e volgari, del De Prospectiva Pingendi (conservati a Bordeaux, Londra, Milano, Parigi, Parma, Reggio Emilia) i due codici dell’Abaco (Firenze), il Libellus de quinque corporibus regularibus (Città del Vaticano) e l’Archimede (Firenze).

        Corinthian Matters

        2013-2014 Publications in Corinthian Studies: Byzantine-Modern Periods

        This is the third in a series of bibliographic posts related to Corinthian scholarship published or digitized in 2013-2014:

        • See Monday’s post for further information about the sources of this bibliography
        • See  Tuesday’s post for Prehistoric-Hellenistic period
        • See Wednesday’s post for the Roman era

        Screenshot (30)

        This list contains new scholarship broadly related to the Corinthia in the following periods:

        • Late Antiquity
        • Byzantine
        • Frankish
        • Venetian
        • Ottoman
        • Modern

        Download the PDF by right clicking on this link:

        If you see references missing from the list, please send to corinthianmatters@gmail.com

        We will complete the series next week with New Testament and Religion.

        Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

        Ma'agarim: The Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language

        Ma'agarim: The Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language

        The paramount project of the Academy of the Hebrew Language is the Historical Dictionary; the creation of this enormous and most important enterprise was decided upon shortly after the Academy was established in 1953.

        The aim of a historical dictionary is to relate the history of the words of a language by answering questions such as: When did the word first enter the language, and is it still in use? What were the word’s original form and meaning and how did they change over time?

        Good answers to such questions require a large database of texts of the different historical language strata, set in a concordance form, i.e. each word is linked to its relevant dictionary-entry.

        The Historical Dictionary Project has accumulated texts of all the extant Hebrew compositions from the time of the canonization of the Hebrew Bible until the end of the Geonic period, and large selections of Hebrew literature from the mid-18-th century until the founding of the State of Israel. In recent years medieval compositions have begun to be processed into the database.

        After over fifty years of scholarly work done by scores of experts in Hebrew linguistics, literature and other Judaic Studies, there has emerged a unique treasure of scholarly concordances to Hebrew Literature, in the form of the present database offered to the public in this site.

        Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

        Das Ende der Welt: An Overlooked German Apocalypse

        ‘Bad work’: that is how M.R. James described an unusual German Apocalypse at the British Library, in his 1927 Schweich Lectures on The Apocalypse in Art. The full-page illustrations in Add MS 15243 – which was published on Digitised Manuscripts at the end of 2014 – may lack some of...

        Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

        MuseoscienzApp: l’app con tecnologia Beacon del Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia di Milano

        museoscienzAppÈ stata presentata il 21 gennaio 2015 la nuova applicazione MuseoscienzApp, realizzata da ETT Spa in collaborazione con Samsung per il Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia “Leonardo Da Vinci” di Milano.

        Samuel Fee (Arranged Delerium)

        Vandré and Bootstrap

        Vandré Leal Candido is a recent student of mine – he just finished his studies at W&J. But his new web site was recently featured over at Bootstrap Expo which is a fine place to find new sites developed with the Bootstrap Framework. Grats to… Continue reading

        January 21, 2015

        dh+lib: where the digital humanities and librarianship meet

        Welcome, John Russell!

        We are pleased to welcome John Russell to the dh+lib editorial team as a Contributing Editor.

        John is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of Oregon Libraries, where he teaches digital scholarship methods and tools to graduate students, collaborates with faculty on digital research projects, and advocates for open access through outreach, instruction, and overseeing a library publishing program.

        An early and dedicated contributor to dh+lib, John published two posts with us in 2013, introducing and reflecting on the experience of teaching a graduate-level course in the library. In his guise as a Contributing Editor, John will initially be building out the dh+lib Resources page.

        Welcome, John!

        eClassics Forum

        X-Rays Unlock Secrets of Ancient Scrolls Buried by Volcano

        Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/rays-unlock-secrets-ancient-scrolls-buried-volcano-28347652

        http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ap_webfeeds/9cb839d83b69c8036b0f6a7067007265.jpg" alt="Photo provided by Nature Publishing group on Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015 shows close up of Herculaneum Papyrus scroll. Scientists have succeeded in reading ..." width="479" height="870"/>

        Scientists have succeeded in reading parts of an ancient scroll that was buried in a volcanic eruption almost 2,000 years ago, holding out the promise that the world's oldest surviving library may one day reveal all of its secrets.

        The scroll is among hundreds retrieved from the remains of a lavish villa at Herculaneum, which along with Pompeii was one of several Roman towns that were destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79.

        Some of the texts from what is called the Villa of the Papyri have been deciphered since they were discovered in the 1750s. But many more remain a mystery to science because they were so badly damaged that unrolling the papyrus they were written on would have destroyed them completely.

        "The papyri were completely covered in blazing-hot volcanic material," said Vito Mocella, a theoretical scientist at the Institute of Microelectronics and Microsystems (CNR) in Naples who led the latest project.

        Previous attempts to peer inside the scrolls failed to yield any readable texts because the ink used in ancient times was made from a mixture of charcoal and gum. This makes it indistinguishable from the burned papyrus.

        Mocella and his colleagues decided to try a method called X-ray phase contrast tomography that had previously been used to examine fossils without damaging them.

        Phase contrast tomography takes advantage of subtle differences in the way radiation — such as X-rays — passes through different substances, in this case papyrus and ink.

        Using lab time at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, the researchers found they were able to decipher several letters, proving that the method could be used to read what's hidden inside the scrolls.

        "Our goal was to show that the technique is sensitive to the writing," said Mocella. In a further step, the scientists compared the handwriting to that of other texts, allowing them to conclude that it was likely the work of Philodemus, a poet and Epicurean philosopher who died about a century before the volcanic eruption.

        The next challenge will be to automate the laborious process of scanning the charred lumps of papyrus and deciphering the texts inside them, so that some 700 further scrolls stored in Naples can be read, Mocella said.

        Scholars studying the Herculaneum texts say the new technique, which was detailed in an article published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, may well mark a breakthrough for their efforts to unlock the ancient philosophical ideas hidden from view for almost two millennia.

        "It's a philosophical library of Epicurean texts from a time when this philosophy influenced the most important classical Latin authors, such as Virgil, Horace and Cicero," said Juergen Hammerstaedt, a professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Cologne, Germany, who was not involved in the project.

        "There needs to be much work before one can virtually unroll carbonized papyrus because one will have to develop a digital method that will allow us to follow the layers," he said. "But in the 260 years of Herculaneum papyrology it is certainly a remarkable year."

        Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

        Open Access Journal; L’Orient proche: lettre d’information électronique de l’Institut français du Proche-Orient

        L’Orient proche: lettre d’information électronique de l’Institut français du Proche-Orient
        La lettre d’information électronique de l’Ifpo, L’Orient proche, vous informe de l’agenda scientifique de l’Institut français du Proche-Orient.

        Elle paraît au maximum deux fois par an.

        Elle signale les principales actualités de l'Ifpo, les publications récentes et les nouveautés de notre site web et autres publications électroniques.

        L’abonnement est libre et gratuit : pour cela, utiliser le formulaire de la colonne de gauche du site web en saisissant l’adresse électronique sur laquelle vous souhaitez recevoir L’Orient proche.

        Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

        The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 10 (part 2)

        Up to now, Eutychius has repeated material derived from the Greek chronographic tradition.  As we saw in the last post, in chapter 10, for the first time, he introduces material from elsewhere: a now lost Sassanid Persian chronicle, beginning with Ardashir, founder of that dynasty.  Since it is unlikely that Eutychius knew Middle Persian, we may reasonably surmise that he consulted it in an Arabic translation.

        5.  As for Sabur, son of Azdashir, king of the Persians, as far as he could he ruled the people with justice.  He dedicated himself to visit the provinces and to support the urban system of the countries.  After eleven years of his reign, he marched with his soldiers to the city of Nisibis (23), in which were garrisoned many soldiers of Antoninus Caracalla, King of the Romans, and he besieged it for some time without being able to conquer it.  Once aware of being unable to get the better of it, he ordered a large, spacious well-fortified seige-tower to be built next to the city.  After it was completed, he climbed up with the generals of his army, and looked down from the height into the inside of the city.  They shot arrows, so that no one dared to go into the open.  Eventually the besieged decided to surrender the city.  Meanwhile, it was reported that an enemy out of Khurasan had attacked the people of his kingdom.  For this reason, he sent messengers to the nobles of Nisibis, proposing to them either to give entry to the soldiers there that had kept them engaged in combat until his return, or to enter into a covenant with him, by which they agreed not to remove the seige-engine unless he did not return.  They preferred to enter into a covenant with him, and an agreement whereby they undertook to leave the bastion where it was, and the king left.  However the people of Nisibis poured out of the walls of the city, opened a gap in the wall near the place where the seige-engine was, took it inside the city, and surrounded it with a well fortified wall.

        6. Antoninus Caesar, King of the Romans, diedAfter him reigned over the Romans Marcianus Caesar (24), for a year and two monthsHe was killed, and after him reigned another Antoninus Caesar (25) for three years and nine months.  This happened in the fourteenth year of the reign of Sabur, king of the Persians[Antoninus Caesar] sent a huge army to Nisibis to defend and protect the city. In the first year of the reign of Antoninus Caesar Bitiyanus was made patriarch of Rome (26).  He held the office for five years and diedIn the second year of his reign Zebennus was made patriarch of Antioch. He held the office for nine years and died.

        7. Quanto a Sābūr, figlio di Azdashir, re dei Persiani, tornato che fu a Nissfbfn e visto quel che gli abitanti avevano fatto del propugnacolo, li tacciò di tradimento e disse:

        7.  As for Sabur, son of Azdashir, king of the Persians, he returned to Nisibis and saw what the people had done to the seige-engine, he spoke of betrayal and said:  “You have been rebels, and have broken the covenant.”  So he besieged the city.  But since already a long time had passed, without having found a way to get the better of the city, he was worried and said to his men, “Come, let us see if there is any of our soldiers who are not worrying at all about how long this is taking!”  They made a tour of the field and found two men intent on drinking wine and singing. [The king] said to them:  “Seemingly you have no right to be with us, since you behave in this way and you stand on the sidelines.”  They answered: “O king, however worried you are about how to conquer this city, we have a good chance of success, if you do what we tell you.”  “How so?” asked the king. They replied: “Advance with your soldiers in close order, and raise invocations to your Lord, to make you conquer the city.” Sabur ordered that it should be done as they had said.  But since that was no good, he said to them: “We have implemented your advice, but we have not seen any results. What have you to say to us now?” They answered: “We fear that what we suggested doing has just been taken lightly. But if you think it’s possible to get them to be sincere in what they do, and to invoke their Lord all together, as if it was the invocation of one man, then you’ll get what you want.”  Sabur then summoned his men and urged them to do what they were going to do with sincere intention and firm conviction.  It is said that they had not yet raised the second invocation when the wall fell down from top to bottom, leaving open a passage through which the men were able to enter the city.  Great was the dismay of the inhabitants and they exclaimed: “This is what we deserve for our treachery!”  Sabur entered the city and killed as many warriors as he could.  Then he captured the rest of the inhabitants, and took away with him many riches.  He left just as it was the gap that had opened in the walls, because people saw it and it was a lesson to them.  Next he stormed several cities of Syria, slaughtering the inhabitants and taking away great plunder.  He overran the territories of the Romans and made great slaughter, occupying Qalawniyah (27) and Cappadocia.

        8. Antoninus Caesar, King of the Romans, died.  After him reigned over the Romans, in Rome, Alexander Caesar (28) for thirteen years.  This was in the seventeenth year of the reign of Sabur, son of Azdashir, king of the Persians.  In his day the Christians lived peacefully and were left in peace.  His mother’s name was Marna (29) and he was very fond of the Christians.  In the first year of his reign Heraclas was made patriarch of Alexandria.  He held the office for thirteen years and died.  It was in his time that the Patriarch of Alexandria was called “Baba”, or “grandfather”.  In the third year of his reign Antis was made patriarch of Rome (30).  He held the office for twelve years and died.  In the eighth year of his reign Babilas was made Patriarch of Antioch.  He held the office for eight years and died.  In the second year of his reign Narcissus he was made bishop of Jerusalem.  He held the office for twelve years, and fled.

        Constantinople photos: the original width of the Hippodrome, plus the column of Arcadius

        A couple of items have appeared on twitter this morning that I am loathe to let go by.  The first is a splendid, end-on view of the Hippodrome in Istanbul.  Note the arches at the foot of it.  This end of the Hippodrome was supported by them; which means that we can see just how wide the structure originally was!

        End-on view of Hippodrome, Istanbul, from the air

        End-on view of Hippodrome, Istanbul, from the air

        I learn from Ste. Trombetti that the column of Arcadius, the “columna historiata”, was demolished in 1715, but a drawing of it survives (this from BNF):

        Column of Arcadius, Istanbul, in 17th c.

        Column of Arcadius, Istanbul, pre-1715.

        However the base of the column does still exist, deprived of its reliefs!

        Column of Arcadius, Istanbul.

        Column of Arcadius, Istanbul.


        UPDATE: Dr Trombetti also draws my attention to this stunning blog post on the column of Arcadius, complete with early maps showing it intact, early drawings of the column, its reliefs, sections, early photographs, and a google maps diagram indicating its location in the modern city.  The blog is in Turkish but if you view the page using the Chrome browser and let it translate automatically for you then you will get 95% of what the author says.

        Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

        MAXICULTURE: strumenti la gestione dei progetti sui beni culturali

        maxicultureIl progetto MAXICULTURE prevede un insieme di strumenti per misurare l'impatto socio-economico e tecnologico dei progetti e come si può migliorare l'uso delle tecnologie ICT nel settore dei beni culturali.
        Recenti progetti scientifici nel campo della cultura digitale prevedono la digitalizzazione del patrimonio culturale che lo rende accessibile a molti in modo creativo preservandone il suo contenuto.

        Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

        Open Access Journal: Villes et territoires du Moyen-Orient

        Villes et territoires du Moyen-Orient

        Une revue consacrée à la ville et à l'aménagement

        En 2005 et 2006, deux numéros d'une revue électronique, Villes et territoires du Moyen-Orient (VTMO) ont été publiés. L'objectif de cette revue était de proposer un support pour les publications des professionnels et chercheurs dans le domaines des études urbaines et de l'aménagement du territoire.

        La rédaction de cette revue était assurée par Fabrice Balanche (Ifpo Beyrouth, rédacteur en chef), Bernard Chedid (Université libanaise, Beyrouth, secrétaire de rédaction), et le comité de rédaction était constitué de Fouad Awada (IAURIF), Natalia Afteh (EREAU), Mousbah Rajab (UL), Souha Tarraf (Ifpo), Ghaleb Faour (CNRS Liban), Léon Telvesian (UL) et Eric Verdeil (CNRS France).
        Vous pouvez trouver ici, archivés au format pdf, les articles parus en 2005 et 2006.

        VTMO n°1 (novembre 2005)

        VTMO n°2 (mai 2006)

        News from Documenting Cappadocia

        Documenting Cappadocia

        In the spirit of a new year (and a semester break), this site has lots of new content.
        Note the new Essays section with brief encyclopedia-style entries on topics related to Cappadocian art and architecture. The Architecture section now includes gallery posts with photos of Cappadocian monuments. These posts indicate alternate names and translations of the monuments as well as their location (by valley or town). Additional galleries will be rolled out gradually over the next few weeks.

        You may also notice updates to the Share and About pages (including rights information), and a “Suggested citation for this page” notice at the end of research-based posts.

        Robert Consoli (Squinches)

        The Unified Mycenaean State of Dr. Jorrit Kelder - Part 3

        A Case Study in Kingdom Formation 3

        The Unified Mycenaean State

        Part three of a review of Jorrit Kelder, The Kingdom of Mycenae: A Great Kingdom in the Late Bronze Age Aegean. Capital Decisions Ltd., 2010.

        [A .kmz and .kml, prepared by me, of most of the place-names in Dr. Kelder's book can be found here]

        Dr. Jorrit Kelder has proposed that the Mycenaean cultural sphere (MCS), from at least the time of Amenhotep III of Egypt (1427 - 1401) consisted of a single state, a unified Mycenaean state (UMS), led by Mycenae itself.

        Gold death-mask known as ’the mask of Agamemnon’. Gold and repoussé
        Grave V, Grave Circle A, Mycenae, Greece. 16CBC.
        Courtesy of www.squinchpix.com

        In my last post I suggested that it was very improbable that such a UMS could have been an example of primary state formation. I promised that my next post would examine the idea of a UMS being a potential example of secondary state formation. I somewhat doubted my ability to write such a post so imagine my delight when I discovered that someone else had already done it for me.[1] Dr. James Wright has already traced a path from chiefdom to state for the several Mycenaean entities and has hypothesized that this was an example of secondary state formation. To be sure, he does not support the idea of a single Mycenaean state, a UMS, but his suggestions and his analysis are valuable all the same.

        What is a state?

        A state is a political entity in which power delegation is sophisticated enough to allow it, the entity, to take on major tasks.[2]

        This is what distinguishes it from a chiefdom. A chiefdom is an entity in which power delegation is extremely risky and so undertaking major tasks is difficult or impossible.[3] When a chiefly society is forced to take on a major task such as large-scale irrigation or drainage, extensive terracing, port construction, conquest warfare, etc. it tends to have a transformative effect on the chiefdom that does it because such tasks cannot usually succeed without a division and subordination of administrative powers. Once this happens such a chiefdom may develop into a state. This developmental process is crystal clear in Hunza; we may intuit (we can never know for certain) that something of the kind happened in Orchomenos and, par extenso, the other Mycenaean polities. In some cases a chiefdom has a pattern to follow; one provided by a neighboring state. When the chiefdom implements or adopts this pattern it becomes a secondary state[4] and its administrative elaboration ought to display some similarities with that of its parent. With respect to continental Greece in the Bronze Age it may be the case that this process occurred first in Mycenae (following Minoan Crete) and then diffused to the other Mycenaean states through a process which we now obscure with the phrase 'peer-polity interaction'. This is Wright's hypothesis.[5]

        From the beginning the head of a chiefdom has to sustain a constant effort to maintain his authority. Ritual, by emphasizing lineage and kinship ties, is one way he accomplishes this. Another tactic sees ritual as tying the chief to external and supernatural sources of power. Additionally the chief will seek to reinforce his authority through displays of wealth and through such things as the potlatch or the ritual feast. All these are instruments of control. More directly for Wright's thesis the chief has to monopolize the access to symbols of power or exotic goods.

        This prestige exchange economy between supplier of prestige goods and the consumer is a major factor in the movement of influence from the source (in this case Minoan Crete) to the receiver, Mycenae. Wright suspects that such an economy developed in Mycenae especially in its relationship to Crete as early as the late Middle Helladic.[6]

        In the following diagram I have attempted to show Wright's main argument in graphical form:

        Diagram 1.  Wright's argument in graphical form.  The transition from chiefdom to state.

        In this diagram we start with the institution of the chiefdom. The chief must maintain his position and authority through a variety of means. These include ritual and the display of prestige goods. The problem now becomes one of gaining and maintaining access to such goods in the teeth of competition from other chiefdoms. When this is successful a prestige goods economy develops linking a more sophisticated entity (the supplier) with a less sophisticated entity (the consumer). Competition for such goods with other chiefdoms can lead to conflict. This conflict can get out of control and extend to more than just prestige goods; ultimately we have open warfare and an inter-polity struggle for complete dominance - a unification of chiefdoms into a kingdom or true state. This process takes some hundreds of years; in particular the stage that sees widespread conflict for dominance can take hundreds of years when the entities are more or less evenly matched.

        Diagram 2.  Wright's thesis applied to MCS.

        Just to make Wright's argument a little more concrete I have repeated diagram 1 as diagram 2 with some of the abstract nouns filled in with terms from the MCS.  At some point, by the late MH, the entities in the MCS were making the transition to chiefdoms. It appears, from the grave goods found, that the predicted trade in prestige goods actually did develop between Mycenae (at least) and Crete. Wright specifically references the 'Western String'[7] which is composed of the western islands of the Cyclades (including Santorini). These make a series of natural stepping stones between northern Crete and the Peloponnese or Attica and an obvious route for trade. By the LH IIB, according to Wright, this competition had hardened into real conflict.[8]  The exigencies of organization for warfare along with the influence of Crete [9] hastened the transition on the part of some, at least, of the Mycenaean entities to true statehood.

        The chief points in this argument are 1) it takes a long time for prestige goods competition to result in conflict and 2) a wide-spread war for dominance among equally matched competitors is not typically a short affair. Such a competition for dominance - the unification of chiefdoms into a kingdom - can last centuries.[9]   Kelder has proposed that a unified Mycenaean kingdom existed in the MCS at least from the time of Amenhotep III. Based on what we know about the early LH is there enough time for this to have happened by 1425 BC? In the next diagram I have tried to fairly represent Kelder's thesis.

        Diagram 3. Dr. Kelder's UMS preceded by a long period of warfare and consolidation.
        Here's what the timeline would look like. The dark box represents the time period which Kelder has proposed for his state. I have tried to take Kelder at his word and just limit it chronologically from Amenhotep III to the final collapse of the palace system sometime in the early 12C. This UMS is preceded on the left by a dashed red box which is my attempt to indicate the kind of time required for the forceful consolidation of the several Mycenaean entities into a UMS. In my opinion we cannot be under the illusion that this was a peaceful process. No chiefdom willingly consents to give up its freedom to become part of someone else's state.[10]  The diagram suggests that the hypothesized war for the unification of the MCS into an hypothesized UMS would have begun just about the same time that the prestige economy was starting to function if we can judge from the goods in Grave Circle A in Mycenae. To me that seems uncomfortably close. And there's another point to make. Once the UMS was established, and presumably stabilized, why is it that suddenly Mycenae and a number of other Mycenaean polities find it necessary to build walls?[11]  If the war for consolidation is already fought and won and if Mycenae is capable of organizing projects all over the MCS (the new port at Pylos, the dam outside Tiryns, the draining of lake Copais, the reclamation of land around Nemea, and others) why is there suddenly the large expense of building defensive walls? It doesn't really seem to work, does it?

        In the next diagram I present a scenario based on Wright.

        Diagram 4. A somewhat more plausible scenario.

        Should we completely discard the notion that there was or could be a UMS? No. I don't think so. Relatively evenly matched entities often find themselves in a battle for dominance. There's no reason why the Mycenaean polities should be exceptions; from the ethnographical point of view it makes perfect sense. As I mentioned above these wars for dominance can last a long time and they don't always work out the way that the combatants anticipate.  They can result in the creation of a dominant state (usually a kingdom - in other words not just a kingdom results from such a war but the institution of Kingship itself). Wright's article points us in exactly that direction. In diagram 4 I have tried to match his arguments against some of the things we know about this period. The hypothesized prestige economy starts, perhaps, during the LH I and lasts, probably, until the final destruction of the palace system on the mainland. The results of this trade are visible in Grave Circle A in Mycenae. But at some point in the fourteenth century the competition among the several Mycenaean entities has become more serious and is breaking into open warfare. Perhaps the most significant marker for this is the walling of the several Mycenaean towns, notably at Mycenae itself and at Tiryns.

        Parenthetically I should say that recently[12] I was fortunate enough to hear a lecture by Dr. Adamantia Vasilogamvrou who was director of the excavations of the Mycenaean town of Ayios Vasileios (36.979360, 22.477949) in Laconia. The excavation is far from concluded and nothing published (that I can find) but I was struck by her remark that major buildings (not all) at the site had burned at the 'end of the fourteenth century'. The reason that the buildings burned is not known and when pressed on this question she ventured the hypothesis that an earthquake was responsible. Nonetheless I think this is significant and I include this point in Diagram 4.

        In my view the walling of Mycenae, and other polities in the MCS, marks the start of the hypothesized war of consolidation that only ends at the beginning of the 12th C with the destruction of the palace system - a result which I'm sure the participants did not foresee. At first this war would have been episodic - almost ad hoc - there is still enough peace and stability in parts of the MCS to allow major projects of the kind I mentioned to go forward. In fact, war can be a spur to development; all the belligerents are trying to implement something that will give them an advantage. But by the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 12th it appears to have degenerated into a ferocious blood-bath or, rather, an industry - a source of jobs - that produced slaves, booty, and land for the combatants. During the period from 1250 to 1180 (approx.) Mycenaean Greece would more nearly have resembled western France during the Hundred Years War.

        We have spent a long time with Kelder's book and I very much hope to have done it justice.  In fact, given a certain kind of scholarship restricted only to documents and archaeological finds it is a perfect example of its genre.  It is only when we add in ethnographical observations from the literature of Kingdom formation that his main thesis becomes, in my opinion, untenable.

        The Mycenaeans were people - real people.  As such they are, or were, closer to New Guinea tribesmen than they are to the ideal human beings of the classical scholar's imagination.  And the same laws apply.


        [1] Wright (1982).  See also Parkinson and Galaty (2007) for an even more nuanced discussion.

        [2] The reader may well imagine that the discussion of states is more complex than I have represented it here but the elaboration of an executive state apparatus is, in my view, the sine qua non that makes all the rest possible.  Flannery and Marcus (2012) 341 ff. Also Earle (2002) 16.

        [3] Redmond and Spencer (2012) 22.  Earle (2002) 

        [4] 'Secondary state' defined in Fried (1967) 242.  Also Parkinson and Galaty (2007) 124: "Similarly, the Mycenaean states on the Greek mainland were first-generation, secondary-by interaction states that formed through more direct contacts with the nearby, second-generation Minoan states on Crete".

        [5] Wright (1982) 64 ff.  'Peer polity interaction' defined in Renfrew (1986) 1.

        [6] Wright (1982) 65.

        [7] 'Western String' in Wright (1982) 68.  Parkinson and Galaty (2007) 122.  The idea was first developed in Davis (1979) and Rutter and Zerner (1982).

        [8] Wright (1982) 72.  Flannery and Marcus (2012) 364-5.

        [9] Parkinson and Galaty (2007) 122.

        [10] Flannery and Marcus (2012) 364-5.

        [11] I will never give my assent to the ridiculous argument that these walls were built as symbols to project power and impress everyone.  Maran (2006).  An otherwise great scholar seems to think, nor is he alone, that the Mycenaean leadership was a theater troupe.

        [12] On January 14, 2015 at the Getty Villa in Malibu, CA.


        Carneiro (1981): Carneiro, R.L., "The chiefdom: precursor of the state". In Jones et al. (1981).

        Davis (1979): Davis, J. and J. Cherry.  "Minos and Dexithea: Crete and the Cyclades in the Later Bronze Age" in Davis and Cherry (1979) 143-157.

        Davis and Cherry (1979): Davis, J. and J. Cherry, edd., Papers in Cycladic Prehistory (1979).

        Earle (1987): Earle, T.K., 1987. "Chiefdoms in archaeological and ethnohistorical perspective".  Annual Review of Anthropology 16, 279–308.

        Earle (2002): Earle, T.K., Bronze Age Economics: The beginnings of political economies.  Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado.  USA.  2002.

        Flannery and Marcus (2012):  Flannery, Kent and Joyce Marcus.  The Creation of Inequality: How our Prehistoric Ancestors set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire.  Harvard University Press. 2012.

        Fried (1967): Fried, M.H. 1967. The Evolution of Political Society: An Essay in Political Anthropology.  New York, Random House.

        Friedman and Rowlands (1977a): Friedman J., M. Rowlands, "Notes towards an epigenetic Model of the Evolution of 'Civilisation'" in  Friedman and Rowlands (1977b) 201-276.

        Friedman and Rowlands (1977b): Friedman J., M. Rowlands, The Evolution of Social Systems (1977).

        Hagg and Marinatos (1982): Hagg, Robin and Nanno Marinatos, edd., The Minoan Thalassocracy: Myth and Reality.  Proceedings of the Third International Symposium at the Swedish Institute in Athens, 31 May - 5 June, 1982.

        Jones et al. (1981) Jones, G., R. Kautz, edd.,  The Transition to Statehood in the New World. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.  1981.

        Maran 2006:   Joseph Maran "Mycenaean Citadels as Performative Space".  In Constructing Power: Architecture, Ideology, and Social Practice, ed. Joseph C. Maran, Carsten Juwig, Hermann Schwengel, and Ulrich Thaler, 75-91.

        Parkinson and Galaty (2007) Parkinson, William A., Michael L. Galaty. "Secondary States in Perspective: An Integrated Approach to State Formation in the Prehistoric Aegean". American Anthropologist, Vol. 109, Issue 1, pp. 113–129. 2007

        Redmond and Spencer (2012):   Elsa M. Redmond, Charles S. Spencer. “Chiefdoms at the Threshold: The competitive origins of the primary state”.  Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 31 (2012) 22-37.  Download it from here.

        Rehak (1982): Rehak, Paul, "The Role of the Ruler in the Prehistoric Aegean".  Proceedings of a Panel Discussion presented at the Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. 63-80.  1982.

        Renfrew (1979): Renfrew, C., 1979. "Transformations". In Renfrew, C., Cooke, K.L. (Eds.), Transformations: Mathematical Approaches to Culture Change.  Academic Press, New York, pp. 3–44.

        Renfrew (1986):  Renfrew, C., "Peer Polity Interaction and Socio-Political Change" in Renfrew and Cherry (1986) 1-18.

        Renfrew and Cherry (1986): Renfrew, C. and J. Cherry. Peer Polity Interaction and Socio-Political Change (1986)

        Rutter and Zerner (1982) J. Rutter and C. Zerner, "Early Hellado-Minoan Contacts", in Hagg and Marinatos (1982) 75-82.

        Wright, H.T., 2006. "Early state dynamics as political experiment". Journal of
        Anthropological Research, 62 (3), 305–319.

        Wright, H.T., 1977. "Recent research on the origin of the state". Annual Review of
        Anthropology, 6, 379–397.

        Wright (1982):  Wright, James C., "From Chief to King in Mycenaean Greece".  In Rehak (1982).

        A Reader Writes Back

        A Reader Responds to the Most Recent Post

        Ms. Judith Weingarten, whom we were introduced to two posts ago has written in response to my last post.  Since it gives me the opportunity to clarify some of my remarks in that post I have reproduced her letter and my reply in full:

        One quick comment: you and Jorrit are both making the assumption, I think, that the MCS, if it existed, would have been long-lasting. But history has plenty of examples of very short-lived empires (20-40 years), often built by a powerful chieftain whose sons or grandsons can't hold it together. Hence, my point was that the consolidation period (as you are calling it) could have ended with the destruction of Pylos. Mycenae was riding high ... but not for long. So, would this fit with the Hittite evidence of Ahhiwaya developing from a provincial nuisance into a serious problem in a rather short time span? 

        Dear Ms. Weingarten,

        I introduced the idea of the MCS (‘Mycenaean Cultural Sphere’) in order to have a way of designating the Greek-speaking areas of continental Greece without reference to any over-arching political organization.  I needed to distinguish it from Dr. Kelder’s idea of a Unified Greek-speaking Mycenaean State which I called a ‘UMS’.  So, instead of saying ‘Greek-speaking non-unified areas of continental Greece’ I just used the acronym ‘MCS’.  I based this coinage on the idea of the German ‘Kulturgebiet’ or ‘culture area’ which is a term from anthropology.  As far as its temporal existence goes I had in mind (without really explaining it) the period from the start of the MH to the end of the twelfth century (what Dickinson calls the ‘Catastrophe’ and I really should follow his usage for that period).  Of course there continued to be a Greek-speaking cultural area after that time but my focus was just on the Mycenaeans.  In that sense, then, I do assume that the MCS was long-lasting (it continues in existence!) but when I used the term I meant no political idea at all and certainly did not intend to designate an empire.

        Throne Room (PN6) Hearth (viewer facing S). Palace of Nestor. Messenia, Greece. 13CBC.
        Courtesy of www.squinchpix.com

        You say that ‘history has plenty of examples of very short-lived empires (20-40 years) ..’  You’re right.  It does.  You may be familiar with the work of Joyce Marcus who proposes the idea of dynamic cycles in state existence which she developed from her work in Mesoamerica.  I reproduce here a piece of the bibliography from Parkinson and Galaty (2007):

        Marcus, Joyce
        1992 Dynamic Cycles of Mesoamerican States. National Geographic Research and Exploration 8:392–411.

        1993 Ancient Maya Political Organization. In Lowland Maya Civilization in the Eighth Century A.D. J. A. Sabloff and J. S. Henderson, eds. Pp. 111–172. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

        1998 The Peaks and Valleys of Ancient States: An Extension of the Dynamic Model. In Archaic States. G. M. Feinman and J. Marcus, eds. Pp. 59–94. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press.

        1998 Archaic States. G. M. Feinman and J. Marcus, eds. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press.

        Parkinson and Galaty (2007) Parkinson, William A., Michael L. Galaty. "Secondary States in Perspective: An Integrated Approach to State Formation in the Prehistoric Aegean". American Anthropologist, Vol. 109, Issue 1, pp. 113–129. 2007

        Also I strongly recommend this: Flannery and Marcus (2012):  Flannery, Kent and Joyce Marcus.  The Creation of Inequality: How our Prehistoric Ancestors set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire.  Harvard University Press. 2012.

        “Hence, my point was that the consolidation period (as you are calling it) could have ended with the destruction of Pylos. Mycenae was riding high ... but not for long.

        I have hypothesized (but this idea is certainly not new) that during the period from, perhaps, the walling of Mycenae until the ‘Catastrophe’ (1180?) there took place an episodic struggle among the entities of the MCS which I think I termed a ‘War of Consolidation’.  There is little direct evidence for this beyond whatever information is embedded in the old stories of the conflict between Thebes and Argos, the walls that many of the MCS polities erected about the beginning of this time, and the final rash of conflagrations which destroyed many of the urban settlements.  Beyond this we have only ethnographic analogy; ‘what would have happened over time among a group of relatively well-matched polities?’  The usual answer is a war for dominance.  Whether there was a long-standing ‘consolidation period’ involving war or not it’s undeniable that Pylos and many of the other centers including Mycenae were destroyed at the end of this time.

        “would this fit with the Hittite evidence of Ahhiwaya developing from a provincial nuisance into a serious problem in a rather short time span? 

        I think that your argument here emphasizes the idea of ‘short’ time span.  In other words: “one day Ahhiyawa isn't even on the radar screen and the next we’re having to fend off Ahhiyawan raiders along the coast."

        I really don’t know how to answer this.  Since I don’t accept the argument for a UMS I have to answer this question instead: ‘How was it that a series of small Greek-speaking entities could mount a series of raids against the coast of Anatolia?’  Even here I’m begging a question: namely ‘Were the raiders Madduwatta and Attarissija supported or ‘chartered’ by one or other of the Greek-speaking polities?’  I don’t know the answer to that but when we find out the answer I believe that it's more likely to have something to do with the Mycenaean state on Crete (about which we also know next to nothing).

        I hope I have answered (or at least skillfully evaded) your question.  I thank you for it and I hope you’ll keep on reading.



        Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

        Hereford Writ To Be Displayed At The British Library

        The British Library's major Magna Carta exhibition opens in less than two months. We're delighted to announce that Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy will feature a very important medieval document, on loan from Hereford Cathedral. On 20 June 1215, just a few days after Magna Carta had been granted, King...

        Corinthian Matters

        2013-2014 Publications in Corinthian Studies: Roman Period

        This is the second in a series of bibliographic posts related to Corinthian scholarship published, uploaded, or digitized in 2013-2014.

        Screenshot (29)_thumb[1]

        Today’s report contains new scholarship broadly related to the Corinthia in the Roman and Late Antique periods, but not articles and books related to the New Testament (which we will post separately next week).

        Download the PDF by right clicking on this link:

        Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

        Review of Mike Dixon’s Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Corinth, 138-196 BC

        I started this review about six months ago, and then a million and one things intervened. The review is now done (just in time for me to get another book to review) and a working draft is at the end of this post.

        One thing that Dixon’s book did get me thinking about – other than Corinth and the Corinthia – is the recent boom in interest in the Hellenistic world. When I was in graduate school, the next big thing was Late Antiquity, and this was really the long tail of a small, but influential body of scholarship in the 1970s and 1980s that inspired a generation of Late Antiquitists. These Late Antiquitists, in turn, produced a generation of graduate students who finished their degrees in the last decade of the 20th and first decades of the 21st centuries. Peter Brown’s The World of Late Antiquity (1971) and the late antique contributors to Alexander Khazdan’s Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (1991) provide useful bookends to the formative phase in the development of Late Antiquity as a boom field. 

        I’m not as familiar with the develop of the Hellenistic world as a field, but my two main regions of study have show and significant uptick in the number of dissertations and scholarship focusing on the Hellenistic era. Much of the scholarship with which I am familiar is archaeological and I suspect that Susan Rotroff’s work has had a significant impact in our view of the archaeology of Hellenistic Greece and Aegean. As far as Hellenistic Cyprus, there is an impressive cohort of freshly minted Ph.D.s ready to write the history of this period on the island. If I was an investor in academic futures, I’d be all-in on the Hellenistics, right now.

        So Dixon’s work represents the first in what will most likely be an impressive groundswell of scholarship on Hellenistic Greece and Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean more broadly. As such, it should be seen as a useful bellwether.

        Tom Brughmans (Archaeological Network Analysis)

        CFP Network Science in Archaeology session at EAA 2015 Glasgow

        We would like to bring the session ‘Network Science in Archaeology: challenges and opportunities’ to your attention. The session will be held at the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) conference in Glasgow on 2-5 September 2015. We welcome papers from all time periods and places, as long as the focus lies on the use of […]

        Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

        Nuove tecniche per studiare i rotoli carbonizzati di Ercolano

        coupe papyrus artificaUn'équipe internazionale di ricercatori del CNR francese (Istituto di ricerca e di storia dei testi), del CNR italiano e dell'ESRF (Sincrotrone di Grenoble) ha recentemente compiuto un passo in avanti per studiare rotoli di papiro sepolti dall'eruzione del Vesuvio nel 79 d.C. e scoperti ad Ercolano 260 anni fa.

        Tre Conferenze smart negli obiettivi della prossima edizione del Forum TECHNOLOGYforALL

        technologyforall 2015A Roma il 13 e 14 maggio 2015 aprirà il Forum dell’innovazione TECHNOLOGYforALL con l’obiettivo di fare il punto sulle tecnologie smart. Anche quest’anno tre conferenze che condivideranno alcune sessioni, il salone espositivo, i workshop tecnologici, le dimostrazioni in campo, i corsi di formazione.

        Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

        A first century fragment of Mark’s gospel? Some thoughts by an outsider

        An article in Live Science two days ago:

        Mummy Mask May Reveal Oldest Known Gospel

        A text that may be the oldest copy of a gospel known to exist — a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that was written during the first century, before the year 90 — is set to be published. …

        This first-century gospel fragment was written on a sheet of papyrus that was later reused to create a mask that was worn by a mummy.

        Some sensible words of caution are here; and here at ETC, where it is suggested that the article at Live Science may be entirely derived from some public presentations.  There has also been some curious snarking from one or two papyrologists, who are not involved in the discovery, presumably out of sour grapes.

        Is this a genuine discovery?  Who knows?  But I have some concerns about all this, even based on the story as we have it.

        Mark’s gospel was completed ca. 70 AD, in Alexandria, according to the ancient literary sources, and to me there seems no pressing reason to suppose that they are wrong.  So it is possible, in principle, that a piece of an early copy could be found in waste papyrus in Egypt.  There’s no real reason why not.

        But … surely it is somewhat improbable that one of the few copies of this text in existence at that date should happen to turn up in the limited amount of mummy cartonnage that has so far been dismantled?  Isn’t it?  Consider the vast output of papyrus made every year in ancient Egypt, of which a certain proportion ended up as waste papyrus.  What, statistically, are the chances of a 1st century copy of Mark being in that proportion?  They must be slim.

        We’re told that portions of Homer have turned up, and this is not a surprise.  Likewise that documentary texts are found: this too does not surprise.  But something that must always have been a very rare item?

        Of course probability is just that; a calculation based on averages.  All the same, it’s troubling.

        In general, when a discovery is made which bears on matters of current interest or controversy (rather than something which was controversial in antiquity), it is wise to consider the possibility of forgery.   In the renaissance people forged stone monuments supposedly from well-known figures of classical antiquity, in order to make money.  Forgeries of papyri are not at all unknown.

        There is a fingerprint for forgery, noted by Stephen C. Carlson.  By its very nature, a forgery must be of something which is exciting to people in the period in which it is “discovered”.   That’s where the money is.  Nobody is going to forge something that nobody is interested in.  But it is often the case that this modern excitement is over something that would not have been exciting in antiquity.  It is this dichotomy that marks out a forgery.

        So any “discovery” that is of current interest, that fits squarely into a matter of current agitation, or fits the political or religious views of the discoverer particularly well, must be scrutinised with rational but exceptional caution.  Otherwise we will all be hoodwinked by those enterprising gentlemen in Turkey and Palestine whose attempts at forgery regularly attract interest from specialists.

        A discovery of a first century fragment of a gospel fits that profile squarely.  A first century gospel could not have been of special interest in antiquity, when they were composed, but it would be very interesting today!

        It is, therefore, of the utmost importance to do things right; to establish the provenance of the item, to look for signs of forgery, to get a range of experts involved, and, above all, to shed as much light as possible on the item.

        When P52 was identified in the 1930s, the discoverer, Colin Roberts, proceeded with extreme care.  He did not publish, nor did he announce his find, until it had been examined by all the leading paleographers of the day, and a consensus reached.  The wisdom of his approach is evident: his result has not been seriously questioned in 80 years, even though it contradicted the established wisdom of biblical studies at the time, and reinforced the fondest wishes of Christians.

        By contrast the way in which this supposed first century fragment is being made known raises in me the worst suspicions.

        The papyrus trade is a secretive one, partly because of the foolishness of the Egyptian government in declaring all finds the property of state officials, and partly because of the stupidity of western activists, who harass those involved in the black market that has inevitably arisen.  It is, therefore, entirely understandable that nothing should be announced until everything is ready.  And if that silence is used, as Colin Roberts did, to determine the facts and build consensus, then well and good.  That’s one way to publish.

        The alternative is better.  It is to shine a bright light on everything.  Publish the fragments now, without any very firm attributions, as soon as possible, with the provenance, and crowd-source an examination of every element of it.  The truth will out, and a consensus will come into being rather rapidly, as it did for the forgery known as the “gospel of Jesus’ wife”.

        Either approach is acceptable.  But we seem to have neither.  Instead we have the worst of both worlds.

        On the one hand we have a drip-drip of non-academic reportage, excitedly making all sorts of claims, possibly based on no more than a video by somebody who may (or may not) be involved in the project at all.  This feeds the fever of speculation; which, of course, increases the price that may be asked for publication, and generally increases the commercial value of the property.  It seems to benefit nobody in any other way that I can see.

        On the other hand, we have an entire silence on all the matters that would allow professionals to form a judgement.

        It is reminiscent of some of the hype around the Coptic Gospel of Judas.  That was a genuine text, and this mixture of whispers and real information is what we tended to get.  I suppose, in fairness, that this may be how Americans do things, for all I know.

        But it is also reminiscent of how forgers operate: people whose sole aim is to boost the value of their merchandise and make a quick buck while the going is good.  For all I know, there is some Turkish forger at work, using some clever Swiss lawyer (or whatever) to control the whole process via “confidentiality agreements”, and manipulating the scholars at the far end who seek merely to recover knowledge.

        If the discovery is genuine, then it is wonderful.  Any recovery of lost texts from antiquity is a joy, and any very early witness to any important text is to be treasured.

        But is it genuine?  We cannot say.  But the manner in which it is becoming known to the public does nothing to give me confidence.

        So I think we need to hold our horses, and await proper publication.  To me, all this is too good to be true.  But let’s hope not.

        Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

        Banque de Données des Epiclèses Grecques

        Banque de Données des Epiclèses Grecques
        Ce site vous est proposé par le Laboratoire Archéologie et Histoire Merlat (LAHM, UMR 6566 CReAAH).
        Merci de respecter la propriété intellectuelle.
        Cet outil est en développement continu, des modifications sont possibles.
        Vos remarques nous intéressent, pour nous les adresser, contactez-nous.

        Des informations techniques et des conseils (en particulier pour un bon affichage des caractères grecs avec leur signes diacritiques) sont disponibles dans la rubrique Conseils d'utilisation

        January 20, 2015

        Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

        The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 10 (part1)

        Eutychius is obscure, so perhaps a reminder is in order.  It is often forgotten that the lands conquered by the Arabs contained large populations which did not instantly turn into Arabs, or into Moslems.  This text, the “Annals” is by the Melkite patriarch of Alexandria in the 10th century, Eutychius, also known as Sa`id ibn Bitriq.  Compiled from older chronicles going back to Eusebius of Caesarea, this is the first of the Arabic Christian histories.  It’s interesting to see what a man at that date knew about the past.

        Chapter 10.

        1. In the tenth year of his reign the Persians appeared, who conquered Babil, Amid (1) and Persis.  Their king was Azdashir, son of Tabak, son of Shashan (2), a native of Istakhr (3), who was the first king to reign once again over Persia.  He sent letters to all the kings of Persia near him, and to the rulers of distant lands, asking them to recognize him as their king and give him their support, warning those, who dared oppose him, with threats of death and punishment.  When the edicts and letters came to these kings, great was their fear.  Some hastened to promise obedience and to assure him of their support; others waited until he went personally to them: then he made them pay obedience and submit themselves, some by love and some by force; others, however, refused to do what he had commanded them, and they were killed and destroyed.  To those who had immediately given him obedience, he rewarded them with magnanimity and elevated their position, denying, however, to everyone the title of king, because only he, and no other, could reign.  He moved continuously from one kingdom to another, from one king to another and from one country to another, until he came into the city of Zahl (4), which is in front of Maskin (5), also known as al-Hisn, within which was the King of as-Sawad (6). Azdashir besieged it long, without being able to take it.  Then out of the citadel, to watch the soldiers of Azdashir, came the daughter of the king — I mean the King of as-Sawad.  Seeing Azdashir, she was taken with the attractiveness of this man, and she fell in love.  Therefore she took an arrow and wrote on it:  “If you promise to marry me, I will show you a place from where you will be able to conquer this city.”  Then she shot the arrow in the direction of Azdashir. He found that he liked what she had written. He wrote this reply on the arrow: “I promise that I will do what you asked me,” and shot it in the direction of women.  When she had read it, she wrote: “This city has a small gate, built of unbaked bricks, in this place,” and described him the place.  Azdashir immediately sent some of his men to that place, while he kept the others engaged on another front, and he was able in this way to go through that place without the knowledge of the inhabitants of the city.  So he killed the king and had the better of all those who were in the city.  Afterwards Azdashir married the daughter of the king, as he had promised.  But one night. while he slept in his bed, [the woman] arose, and went out all night.  Looking around, on the next day, Azdashir saw, under the outer garment of the woman, on the bed, an olive leaf that had left its mark on her skin.  Azdashir asked her then with what her father nourished her, and she replied:  “Mostly on the cream of milk, honey and marrow.”  Azdashir said: “I do not know if anyone can give you as much love and honour as your father gave you. Yet you repaid him, contrary to what you should have rather done, with death.  You are not worthy of being in the world.  And I will avenge him.  If love blinded you, and took away your mind enough to make you forget your duty to your father, I am afraid that you will do the same thing to me also”.  So saying, he ordered them to tie her hair to the tail of a big horse and let him run.  This was done as [the king] ordered, and she was torn apart (7).

        2. Commodus Caesar, king of the Romans, died.  After him reigned Bartinfqūs (8), king of the Romans, for three months and was killed.  After him reigned over the Romans Julianus Caesar (9) for two months and was killed.  After him reigned over the Romans, in Rome, Severus Caesar (10) for seventeen years.  This happened in the fourth year of the reign of Azdashir, son of Tabak.  This king Severus was wicked and procured for the Christians great misfortunes and much affliction.  In his day, many Christians found martyrdom everywhere.  Then he went to Egypt and had killed all the Christians who were in Egypt and Alexandria, destroying the churches.  At Alexandria he built a temple and called it the “Temple of the Gods”.  In the fourteenth year of his reign Callixtus was made patriarch of Rome (11).  He held the office for six years and died.  In the third year of his reign Asclepiades was made patriarch of Antioch.  He held the office for nine years and died.  In the twelfth year of his reign Philetus was made patriarch of Antioch.  He led the office for thirteen years and died.  In the first year of his reign Capito was made bishop of Jerusalem.  He held the office for four years and died.  In the sixth year of his reign Maximus was made bishop of Jerusalem.  He held the office for four years and died.  In the tenth year of his reign Antoninus was made bishop of Jerusalem.  He held the office for five years and died.

        3. As for Azdashir, son of Tabak, king of the Persians, he attempted to administer his people as justly as possible.  He founded six cities, namely the city of Gawr (12) and the city of Azdashirākhurrah (13), both in Persia; [the city of] Bahman-Azdashir (14), i.e. Furat al-Basrah, [the city of] Astādābād (15), i.e. Baysan Karkh in the district between the Tigris, the town of Souq al-Ahwaz (16) and one of the three cities that are in as-Sawad.  He rebuilt three cities, one of which is al-Khatt (17) to the west of the transfluvial region, the second is Bahārsamir near Karman, and the other is the city of al-Aylah (18).

        4. Having reigned for fourteen years and six months Azdashir died.  There reigned after him his son Sabur, son of Azdashir (19), for thirty years and one month.  This was in the twelfth year of the reign of Severus Caesar, King of the Romans.  Severus Caesar died and reigned in Rome, after him, Antoninus Caesar Caracalla, the Bald (20), for six years.  In the third year of his reign  Uryānūs was made patriarch of Rome (21).  He held the office for four years and died.  In the first year of his reign Valens was made bishop of Jerusalem.  He held the office for three years and died.  In the fifth year of his reign Dulichianus was made bishop of Jerusalem (22).  He held the office for four years and died.

        Help wanted by Perseus with metadata for Patrologia Graeca

        The Perseus project are working on the Patrologia Graeca and Patrologia Latina.  I’m not entirely certain what they are hoping to produce as output, but it looks as if they are OCRing the volumes, as best they can, and producing lists of what texts are contained, on what pages/column numbers, what footnotes, introductions, etc.  They also need help with proofreading.

        It might be a fun thing to get involved in, if you have some time (which I don’t myself).  Although how you contact them I don’t know (for, curiously, they do not say).

        Via here, and slightly reformatted:

        Help sought with Metadata for the Open Patrologia Graeca Online

        http://tinyurl.com/p39fx3f  [draft — January 19, 2015]
        Gregory Crane (Perseus Project and the Open Philology Project, The University of Leipzig and Tufts University)

        We are looking for help in preparing metadata for the Patrologia Graeca (PG) component of what we are calling the Open Migne Project; an attempt to make the most useful possible transcripts of the full Patrologia Graeca and Patrologia Latina freely available.

        Help can consist of proofreading, additional tagging, and checking the volume/column references to the actual PG.

        In particular, we would welcome seeing this data converted into a dynamic index to online copies of the PG in Archive.org, the HathiTrust, Google Books, or Europeana.

        For now, we make the working XML metadata document available on an as-is basis.

        They’ve been attacking the OCR in an interesting way:

        Nick White … trained and ran the Tesseract OCR engine and Bruce Robertson [ran] … the OCRopus OCR engine on scans of multiple copies of each volume of the Patrologia Graeca.

        The resulting OCR [outputs] contain … a very very high percentage of the correct readings [allowing] very useful searching, as well as text mining…

        This is all very well; but of course you need to be able to label each text, so that you can find things.  This means indexing the texts and tagging them.  There is already an index, created by Cavallera in 1912.  So…

        To support this larger effort, we are working on Metadata for the collection.

        We have OCRd and begun editing the core index at columns 13-114 of Cavallera’s 1912 index to the PG ([link] here).

        A working TEI XML transcription, which has begun capturing the data within the print source, is available for inspection here.

        I must confess a small bit of pride here: for I had long forgotten that I uploaded that PDF of Cavallera to the web.  But this is the beauty of the web – each contribution makes another contribution possible.

        Digital Classics Association

        2016 AIA / SCS Call for Papers: "Digital Resources for Teaching and Outreach"

        American Institute of Archaeology and the Society for Classical Studies (AIA / SCS) Meetings, January 6-9, San Francisco, CA.

        Digital resources are increasingly opening up new opportunities for classics education and outreach. Some, like MOOCs, have been intensively discussed. The goal of this session is to highlight new and less familiar approaches and encourage reflection on how we can best achieve our educational mission in this changing environment. We now have access to free online language textbooks with exercises. Students can play online games in which they guide animated characters through Roman history. They can also contribute to research by publishing translations and annotations in major online repositories. Papers are invited that introduce these and other sorts of tools and techniques and / or reflect on the present and future use of digital methods for pedagogy and outreach.

        Anonymous abstracts of no more than 400 words should be sent to digitalclassicsassociation@gmail.com, with identifying information in the email. Abstracts will be refereed anonymously by three readers in accordance with SCS regulations. The session will be proposed as a joint AIA / SCS colloquium, so abstracts from members of both societies are welcome. In your email, please confirm that you are an AIA or SCS member in good standing. Abstracts should follow the formatting guidelines of the instructions for individual abstracts on the SCS website. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday, March 16, 2015.

        Please direct any questions to ncoffee(at)buffalo.edu.

        See this call on the SCS website.

        Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

        The Institute of Classical Studies: UK doctoral theses

        The Institute of Classical Studies: UK doctoral theses
        This searchable on-line database of doctoral theses being undertaken at UK universities in the field of Classics (broadly defined) is designed to provide up-to-date information on current research and will also act as a permanent record of all UK theses once they have been completed. 

         The database may be searched by keyword, area of study, department, University or date. A table of items will be displayed which may be ordered by clicking on one of the underlined column headings. 

        The areas of study are: 
        • Ancient history 
        • Archaeology 
        • Classical Reception 
        • Digital Studies 
        • Language and Literature 
        • Late Antique and Byzantine Studies 
        • Law 
        • Near Eastern Studies 
        • Philosophy 
        View a complete list of theses