Friday, July 29, 2005

Eton Greek Software

The Eton Greek Software Project offers now an online language tool for anyone who is learning classical Greek. On offer is a variety of programs which allow the user to test their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary (some require a Java-enabled browser or use Flash). This covers material from the course text 'Reading Greek' (one of the most popular Greek courses in higher education) as well as from AS level and GCSE syllabi. Tests can be customised to suit the user's requirements, according to level of difficulty, English to Greek or vice versa, length of time allowed, or types of words required. There is also an accidence tester designed for practising verb conjugation. A copy of the Eton Greek word list (with translations) for AS level is available to download too; this contains key vocabulary which all Greek learners should know. The testers themselves, however, cannot be accessed via the Project's homepage - the user must first access Eton College's homepage and then enter the site via 'Eton in Action'/'Greek Project'.

(Thanks to the
Humbul Humanities Hub)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Wiki Classical Dictionary

Seen in Humbul (Classics section)

Main Title : Wiki classical dictionary (WCD)
Web Address (URL):
Description : The Wiki Classical Dictionary (WCD), a project of the website, is an online resource devoted to the history, literature, mythology and archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. The site (powered by the MediaWiki software) was launched in April 2005, and works like an encyclopaedia to which anyone may contribute, which means that it is constantly evolving. Although the depth of the material currently available varies, the site does maintain scholarly standards and consistency of presentation (editors oversee policies and review articles in their subject areas), making this a useful starting point for anyone looking for information on a particular classical topic. Users may search by keyword, and featured listings are linked to other relevant entries. Many articles also contain links to further resources on the web, as well as details of both primary and secondary source material. The vast scope of the dictionary defies summary, but featured listings include information on: literary authors; historical figures; geographical locations; key events; and characters from mythology and religion. The ambition of the editors is to be for the Oxford Classical Dictionary 'what Wikipedia is to the Encyclopedia Britannica'.
Language : English
Responsibility : Editor : Spalding, Tim (The Ancient Library)
Publisher : The Ancient Library
Copyright :
Type of Resource : Reference source
Interactive Resource
Humbul Subjects : Classics

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Project Vivarium

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a $260,000 grant to Project Vivarium, a collaborative effort of researchers at Georgetown, Harvard, University of Virginia (UVA) and City University of New York (CUNY) aimed at improving resources available in the field of classical studies. The research will focus on developing electronic resources to support scholarship and teaching in the classics.

"The information age offers us the opportunity to build libraries of traditional and digital materials far richer than anything we have known in the past and to make those materials work well with each other,” said Georgetown Provost James J. O'Donnell, the principal investigator and coordinator of the grant. “Classicists have been in the forefront of digital scholarship for forty years and more: this project builds on that heritage and will create tools that the next generation of scholars and teachers and students will benefit from immensely."

The primary goal of Project Vivarium is to create a more unified field of study, providing a clearer view of the evolutionary nature of these classic texts through a more centralized resource for all scholars of the classics. O’Donnell argues that the classics, as a discipline, is most adaptable to these advancements because of the wealth of digital resources currently available in the field, the wide acceptance of digital tools within the community of classicists and the challenge to keep up with technological advancements improving study in other fields.

The grant will help integrate existing print and electronic resources to better serve scholars and students and will support the development of specific resources, including an electronic corpus of Latin texts, an online bibliographical resource, a robust set of protocols for the creation of scholarly text resources and editions and improved access to electronic versions of scholarly journals.

Investigators at all four participating institutions will run this interconnected series of projects. O’Donnell (Georgetown) is joined by Professors Gregory Nagy (Harvard), Bernard Frischer (UVA) and Dee Clayman (CUNY).

The name Project Vivarium comes from a monastery in the early medieval Italy where the collection and indexing of manuscript books represented the most advanced work of its time.

Source: Office of Communications (July 12, 2005)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Humanities Beyond Digitisation

Humanities Beyond Digitisation, 20-21 September 2005

This two-day conference, organised by the Institute of Historical
Research, aims to examine the impact of digital resources on research and
scholarship, addressing such questions as preservation, dissemination and
sustainability, information-seeking behaviours, supply and demand, and new
research opportunities (and the new skills that will be required to take
advantage of them).

Speakers include:

Sheila Anderson (Arts and Humanities Data Service)
Professor Philip Esler (Arts and Humanities Research Council)
Professor Mark Greengrass (Sheffield Humanities Research Institute)
Dr David McKitterick (University of Cambridge)
Dr Seamus Ross (University of Glasgow)
Professor Harold Short (King's College London)

Registration is FREE, but places are limited. To register to attend the
conference please contact Frances Bowcock (

Further information is available at

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

PHI press release

Thanks to Rogueclassicism:

A press release:
Finding information about ancient Greek inscriptions used to take years of research and countless hours tracking down answers in the library. Through contributions by Case classicist Paul Iversen’s work with the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) Greek Epigraphy Project, classics scholars now can access and search more than 150,000 inscriptions through a comprehensive digitized database in a matter of minutes. Information is currently available in CD-ROM form, but the project will shortly launch a Web site that can be updated regularly as new research surfaces. “Once the web site is available to the public, the search for information on inscriptions will be as short as a blink of the eye,” says Iversen, an assistant professor in the Department of Classics. Iversen said the latest CD-ROM has enough information from books and journal articles about ancient Greek inscriptions that in paper form, the information could fill his third-floor office in Mather House at Case and spill out into the hallways. Those CDs are finding their way into almost every classics department in the country and around the world, according to Iversen, who came to Case in 2001. He can attest to the speed of data-mining inscriptions. While his work is collecting, entering, editing and proofreading inscriptions and related information from established journals and books, every so often something intrigues him. An inscription on a stone fragment found in a private collector of antiquities in Rome was one item. Iversen said it was clear from the numeric system and the script employed on the stone that it had to come from some other region of Magna Graecia. A quick search of the project’s database of ancient recorded writings from 750 BC to approximately AD 500 proved this hunch correct. “Lo and behold, it was part of an inscription of donations during the First Cretan War of ca. 205 to 202 BC on the island of Cos,” said Iversen. He was able to link the fragment to a missing piece of an artifact now in the British Museum. He said someone named Ross published the inscribed donation list in 1845 while the piece was intact in the stairwell of the church of Saint John of Jerusalem on Rhodes. With a search through the PHI database, Iversen tracked the inscription to the island of Cos where it was made and later transported to the church on nearby Rhodes. Eventually the church became a mosque. One day, gunpowder stored in the mosque exploded to shatter the donation list. Most of what remained was given by the Pasha of Rhodes to Prince Edward Albert of Wales, who then donated the damaged inscription to the British Museum in 1873. One of the pieces, however, ended up in Rome. Iversen’s search is one of many searches are leading to new discoveries through the electronic corpus of Greek inscriptions provided by the PHI Greek Epigraphy Project that began 17 years ago as a collaboration between Cornell University and The Ohio State University (OSU). “The PHI disk has revolutionized the way epigraphists do their work,” explains Iversen. PHI was founded and funded by David Packard Jr.—also a classicist and the son of the Hewlett-Packard computer giant. The computer guru’s son saw the potential for digitizing known inscriptions and developed special software and computers called “Ibycus” machines. A new generation of computer software called “Betacode Editor” now enables the project to word process on Macintosh computers and soon they will launch a Web site for wider use for researchers and students with PCs and Macs. Iversen currently is contributing to the project by finding, editing and entering into the database all the known inscriptions on stone, marble, metal and even some ceramic from the regions of Boiotia and the Megarid, which are north and west of Athens respectively. These inscriptions are found on grave markers, at the bases of statuary, on the sides of buildings, on ceramic vessels or even lead or gold leaf message scrolls with prayers or curses left at temples of the oracles or in grave sites. Using a standardized editing system called the Leiden Conventions that reduces inconsistencies in reporting the ancient writings, he inputs the known Greek symbols and places notations where missing words or letters might be. He also reports where the inscription was found and some of the bibliography of earlier research published about the work. “Inscriptions,” Iversen says, “unlike writings on papyrus which are usually copies of copies of copies, come down to us directly with no intervening hand. They are thus original documents. And the PHI project has been pivotal in making sure the texts of these Greek inscriptions survive the jump from printed to digital form to be available for future scholars.” In his first year of studies towards his doctoral degree in classics at OSU in 1989, Iversen took an epigraphy class from Stephen V. Tracy, a world-renowned scholar of Greek epigraphy and the administrator for OSU work with the project. Iversen was hooked. Tracy asked him to join the project. Since 1990, he has contributed on a full- or part-time basis collecting, entering and editing the texts of known inscriptions as a tool for scholars. “While I have logged in many hours on the project over the last 15 years,” Iversen says, “the lion’s share of the work on the project has been done by John Mansfield and Nancy Kelly at Cornell University, and Philip Forsythe at The Ohio State University. They are due the most credit.” The project’s work is one of the first major update of known inscriptions in several regions of Magna Graecia that has taken place since the publication of multi-volume Inscriptiones Graecae series was begun in 1873. By updating the work begun with the Inscriptiones Graecae volume VII in 1892 that covered the regions of Boiotia and the Megarid, the project has almost doubled the corpus of Boiotian and Megarian inscriptions. Iversen has also worked on the material from Thessaly, Epeiros, Illyria, the Upper Danube, Thrace, Moesia Inferior, Scythia Minor, Dacia, the North Black Sea, Rhodes, the Rhodian Peraia, Cos, Cyprus, Aegean Islands, Italy, Sicily and the West. In addition to the PHI project, Iversen teaches Greek and Latin classes, a SAGES (Case’s new undergraduate seminar program Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship) class called “Myth, Ritual & Society in the Ancient World,” other Classics courses, such as“Myth, Hero and Performance in Greek Literature”, an ancient history course called “The Ancient World” and an etymology class for medical students at Case.

Classics Technology Center

Recently added to the Humbul database:

The Classics Technology Center is a website which provides free electronic resources for the teaching and learning of Classics-based subjects. These range from school to university level and cover Greek and Latin languages, ancient history, archaeology and literature, as well as more general material and teaching tools to help with the use of web-based Classics resources. The site includes topic-based tutorials on how to get the most out of the Perseus digital library, and advice on using Perseus in the classroom. Also featured are pedagogical guidelines for teachers of Latin and Greek, and advice from classicists relating to the teaching of a range of topics based on personal teaching experience (themes covered include: classical literature; the Olympics; Alexander the Great; Latin mottoes; Roman gladiators; Plato; Troy; the Greek gods; Latin and Greek languages). There is also a 'showcase' of academic papers on teaching Classics, an extensive glossary of Greek and Latin terms, and a variety of word games and trivia quizzes, including a classical crossword. All items are free to download.

Methods Network deadline extended

Job at King’s College, London

AHRC ICT Methods Network Administration Centre Centre for Computing in the
Humanities (CCH) King’s College, London UK

Senior Project Officer: Network Activities and Publications Coordinator.
Fixed term: 32 months (depending on the start date) ALC 3 £30363 - 35883 pa

Applications are invited for a new post in the newly established AHRC ICT
Methods Network Administrative Centre (NAC), based at the Centre for
Computing in the Humanities (CCH), King’s College London. This national
initiative will promote and disseminate the use of ICT in UK arts and
humanities research. The project will build a broadly based collaborative
network of researchers from all humanities and arts disciplines who are
working on the application of computational methods in research in the UK
higher and further education community. In developing a series of
activities and publications, the Network will build new modes of
collaboration and facilitate multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary
work. The work will be coordinated by a Network Administration Centre,
which will provide centralized support for the wide variety of distributed
activities and publications. This centre will be staffed by a manager,
two activities coordinators, and an administrator. The AHRC ICT Methods
Network will run for 3 years from April 2005.


Further details about this post, and the Methods Network, can be found at
the project website:
Or by sending e-mail to

Closing date for receipt of completed applications is: 8th August 2005

Monday, July 04, 2005

Propylaea Project

From Humbul Classics News; some exciting use of technology here:

The "CSA Propylaea project" concentrates on a single building, the Propylaea, which is at the entrance to the Athenian Acropolis, next to the Parthenon. This is one of the projects of the Center for the Study of Architecture/Archaeology, Bryn Mawr. The Web site makes extensive use of computer aided design (CAD) techniques. In addition to a general introduction and an essential bibliography, the Web site provides access to several pictures accessible through maps. These maps identify the angle at which the pictures were taken; the pictures are grouped accordingly. An ongoing initiative sponsored by the author is searching for old pictures and postcards featuring the same building. These are organised in the same way and are accessible from similar maps. This is especially useful to determine the level of decay of the Acropolis in the last few centuries and may prove helpful for its conservation. The restorers currently working at the site are indeed involved. A CAD model in DWG format is freely downloadable; it requires at least a browser plug-in to translate it to a virtual reality model, but would be most useful to those with previous knowledge of and access to CAD software. A search page is also available. The Web page is incomplete, very much a work in progress, but the approach is original enough and the building a masterpiece of art and architecture.