Monday, August 11, 2014

New publication of Homer Multitext research

If you would like to know what kind of research is being enabled by the Homer Multitext project, check out the recent publication in the Sunoikisis Undergraduate Research Journal of work by Matthew Angiollilo, Thomas Arralde, Melissa Browne, Nik Churik, Brian Clark, Stephanie Lindeborg, Rebecca Musgrave, and Neel Smith, in which the construction, organization, and layout of three Byzantine manuscripts of the Iliad are discussed. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

First publication of software for HMT services

In February, we announced the first publication of the HMT project’s archival data. Today, we are releasing the first published version of hmt-digital, a java servlet providing digital services for working with the project archive.

Version 1.0 is now installed at, where you can routinely expect to find the currently published services using the currently published version of the data archive. We continue to run a test site at The test set normally runs in-progress versions of hmt-digital, and uses unpublished versions of our data archive.

Our software, like all the data in our archive, is openly licensed. If you’d prefer to run a local installation of the hmt-digital services, you’ll find instructions on the README for the project’s github repository.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

The traditional Trojan assembly

Over on our companion Oral Poetry blog, I continue my series on the Trojan catalogue in conjunction with and parallel to Casey’s blogging of the Catalogue of Ships. In my first post I looked at how the Trojans are introduced in our Iliad and how to understand some of the traditional language used. In my second post I continue looking at Iris's message to the Trojan assembly and how its use of traditional language both sets the “now” of the story into action and simultaneously evokes earlier episodes of the war.

Friday, July 25, 2014

It's National Sysadmin Day

Followers of the Homer Multitext blog may not immediately identify the last Friday in July as National Sysadmin Day, but we're acutely aware of our debt to the administrators who keep all the systems we depend on running smoothly.  I would especially like to acknowledge the support we have received from Alan Pfeiffer-Traum at the University of Houston.  Without Alan's work, I doubt we could be serving the thousands of on-line images of manuscripts you can browse today from the HMT project.

Thanks to the sysadmins at every site where Homer Multitext teams are working!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Seminar 2014 Presentations

We have reached the time for CHS Summer Seminar 2014 presentations! We are looking forward to our participants presenting on a variety of topics seen in the scholia of Iliad 12. We will be live streaming the presentations. If you would like to watch the presentations live see the following instructions and caveats:

The best place to see the stream is on the CHS network.

If you are not able to come to the CHS, you can try the following link: rtsp://

Note that Mac users will have to use QuickTime 7 Player  (a very old version) because Apple has deleted RTSP format from QuickTime 10:

The VLC player works too, sometimes:

If you have any trouble accessing the stream, but would like to watch the presentations, they will be recorded and posted at a later date.

Stay tuned for more blog posts based on the Summer 2014 presentations and on other work by our participants.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Iliad 12 as Oral Traditional Poetry

Each year at the Homer Multitext Summer Seminar we introduce a new group of students to the scholarly principles that underlie the Homer Multitext project, which are grounded in the research and fieldwork of Milman Parry and Albert Lord on oral poetry. In addition to talking in a broad way about how the Iliad was composed and transmitted over time, we also think out loud about how our understanding of Homeric poetry as an oral traditional system affects how we interpret the poetry. And each year we ground that discussion by focusing on a particular book of the Iliad. The students create an XML edition of the text and scholia for that book in the Venetus A manuscript, and in a series of sessions we talk as a group about the poetics of that book. This year's book is Iliad 12 and it has led us to discuss such topics as the building of and battle before the Achaean wall (which caused such consternation among Analyst scholars in the 19th and early 20th centuries), the poetics of battle and the way that they overlap with the poetics of Catalogue poetry such as we find in Iliad 2, and the way that repetition functions in oral poetry, as well as text critical questions such as how to treat verses that are omitted from one or more of our medieval manuscripts (such as 12.219). These discussions have fostered a great deal of creative exchange among the participating students and faculty (who this year include Michiel Cock, Casey Dué, Eric Dugdale, Mary Ebbott, Olga Levaniouk, Gregory Nagy, Corinne Pache, Ineke Sluiter, and Neel Smith). This exchange has in turn influenced the latest post on our Oral Poetry blog, "Walk On Characters in the Iliad." 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to Build a Community of Scholars Through Pancakes

One of the most integral components of the HMT is team collaboration, not just students working with each other in individual groups, but students sharing information across teams and working closely with faculty. Sometimes this collaboration takes place within one institution, but as HMT spreads through the summer seminar our collaborative teams find themselves miles and even oceans away. With one week left in the seminar, we are beginning to reflect on ways for the participants to bring their research home with them and continue this great scholarly work. Herein lie the pancake dinners. Collaborative research is a social endeavor and I would suggest that someone you are willing to share a pancake with makes an excellent research partner.
What does one eat with Dutch pancakes?

This past Wednesday evening, in the spirit of sharing culture and good food, some participants of the CHS Summer 2014 Seminar hosted a Dutch Pancake Potluck Dinner. Two of our students from Leiden University made authentic Dutch pancakes and the evening was generally agreed to be a massive success. Throughout the evening I snapped pictures, intending to post something nice about what our participants do when they aren’t furiously reading scholia. As I pondered what I was going to write, I reflected on the reasons why the dinner was such a success and why it was in many ways just as important as any seminar session on the oral poetics of Homer or how to code TEI markup in our xml editions.
Syrup is key!

Sharing food and recipes in this social environment is a great model for how to continue research after the summer seminar. The exchange of information doesn’t have to end and hopefully some really excellent pancakes will help solidify the relationships of the summer seminar to facilitate not just more great food but more great research.
Our community of scholars