Friday, January 22, 2010

Homeric Papyri Service Online

Homer and the Papyri, was first created by Professor Dana Sutton of the University of California, Irvine, to be a database of fragments of the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey that survive on papyrus from Graeco-Roman Egypt.

The Center for Hellenic Studies inherited this valuable data, and the project is now under the editorship of Casey Dué and Mary Ebbott, as part of the ongoing Homer Multitext project.

We are pleased to announce the first publication of a new service for scholars and readers interested in Homeric papyri: The Homeric Papyri Canonical Text Service. This is an application hosted on Google AppEngine. While the service is intended primarily to allow other online applications to discover and retrieve texts and passages of text, it does provide a human-readable interface to these papyri.

The texts as delivered by this service include full editorial markup, in TEI-P5-compliant XML. The human-readable form (visible by default) intentionally hides any text that is not physically present on the papyrus. Future versions of the user-interface to this service may give the option to show or hide editorially supplied text at the user’s discretion.

For more information on the Canonical Text Services Protocol (“CTS”), see the project’s Sourceforge site.

— Christopher W. Blackwell

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Multitext related articles from Google Books

Allen, T. W. 1899. “On the Composition of Some Greek Manuscripts: The Venetian Homer.” Journal of Philology 26: 161-181. 

Monro, D. B. 1883. “On the Fragment of Proclus’ Abstract of the Epic Cycle Contained in the Codex Venetus of the Iliad.” Journal of Hellenic Studies 4: 305-34.

I'll post more as I come across them. Dindorf's editions of the scholia are available as well. 

New, forthcoming, and older Multitext related publications

In May of last year, the Center for Hellenic Studies and Harvard University Press published Recapturing a Homeric Legacy: Images and Insights from the Venetus A Manuscript of the Iliad. This book consists of seven essays and a variety of high resolution images of the Venetus A, the oldest complete text of the Iliad in existence, meticulously crafted during the tenth century ce.

In Spring 2010,  the Center for Hellenic Studies and Harvard University Press will publish Iliad 10 and the Poetics of Ambush: A Multitext Edition with Essays and Commentary. In this book Casey Dué and Mary Ebbott use approaches based on oral traditional poetics to illuminate many of the interpretive questions that strictly literary approaches find unsolvable. The introductory essays explain their textual and interpretive approaches and explicate the ambush theme within the whole Greek epic tradition. The critical texts (presented as a sequence of witnesses, including the tenth-century Venetus A manuscript and select papyri) highlight the individual witnesses and the variations they offer. The commentary demonstrates how the unconventional Iliad 10 shares in the oral traditional nature of the whole epic, even though its poetics are specific to its nocturnal ambush plot.

In early 2009 Digital Humanities Quarterly published a special issue in honor of Ross Scaife, founder of the Stoa Consortium.  See Casey Dué and Mary Ebbott, "Digital Criticism: Editorial Standards for the Homer Multitext," Neel Smith, "Citation in Classical Studies," and Christopher W. Blackwell and Thomas R. Martin, "Technology, Collaboration, and Undergraduate Research."

See also Homeric Questions by Gregory Nagy,  Homeric Variations on a Lament by Briseis by Casey Dué, and Imagining Illegitimacy in Classical Greek Literature by Mary Ebbott, together with a variety of other publications on the CHS website. Coming soon to the CHS website and the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature: Albert Lord's The Singer of Tales.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Philology in the Age of Corpus and Computational Linguistics

I'd like to begin this blog by thanking Greg Crane and Anke Lüdeling for the workshop they organized at Tufts this past week ( This workshop brought together classicists, linguists, and computer scientists. It gave us the opportunity to learn from one another and discuss best practices and new possibilities for Digital Humanities projects. We are grateful for the opportunity to present the Homer Multitext to such a distinguished and innovative group of scholars. Stay tuned to this blog for updates about new and forthcoming developments for the HMT, as we acquire more images, add various texts and transcriptions to the site, and develop new tools for interacting with them.