Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Piranesi's "Views of Rome"

Piranesi's "Views of Rome"
Avanzi degl'Aquedotti Neroniani
In his Views of Rome (Vedute di Roma), a series of copperplate engravings, the artist, architect, author, and antiquarian Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 – 1778) portrayed the monuments of the Eternal City and its environs not just with precision and splendor, but as part of a living landscape. In Piranesi’s prints, aristocrats saunter, women hang laundry, and peasants water their livestock among the city’s ancient ruins and Baroque buildings. The quotidian life of eighteenth-century Rome is vividly portrayed against a backdrop of atmospheric, often-decaying grandeur. The Views also preserve for posterity a Rome now lost, for many of the monuments Piranesi portrayed have since vanished. A savvy entrepreneur, the artist sold prints of his Views individually and published them in multiple editions; immensely popular in his lifetime, they have continued to win admirers since.

Drawing on a gift made by Carl R. Ganter, Class of 1899, to fund new library acquisitions, Kenyon College purchased from the London bookseller Bernard Quaritch in August, 1945 for $208.00 a massive (55 x 81 cm) two-volume edition of Views of Rome published in Paris between 1800 and 1807, after the artist’s death, by his sons Francesco and Pietro (Hind 33). This was the first edition to appear after the dramatic recovery of Piranesi’s original copperplates, which together with other valuable objects had been looted from the family’s palazzo in Rome by soldiers from the Kingdom of Naples in 1799 and recovered by a British warship that had intercepted a Neapolitan vessel ferrying the booty (Minor 193). Kenyon’s copy of the Paris edition, like many later editions of the Views, is bound with an enormous fold-out map of Rome and the Campus Martius (Pianta di Roma e del Campo Marzio) originally published in 1788 or 1789 (Hind 87). 

Browse Piranese by volume:

Proof of Concept: DLME: Digital Library of the Middle East

DLME: Digital Library of the Middle East
In response to the tragic displacement of people and losses of life in conflict zones, and to ongoing threats to the cultural heritage of the Middle East through destruction, looting, and illegal trade, the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME) proposes to federate Middle Eastern collections from around the world, creating a publicly accessible, seamlessly interoperable digital library of cultural material.
The DLME is a worldwide effort to federate all types of cultural heritage material, including archives, manuscripts, museum objects, media, and archaeological and intangible heritage collections. The core principle of our collaboration is that of service to partners and peoples across the Middle East and North Africa—to help reveal, share, honor, and protect collections of cultural materials and the living and historical cultures they represent.
The DLME provides a digital platform that federates digital records of accessible artifacts ranging across twelve millennia. It incorporates metadata describing many aspects of each object or document, including its sometimes contested meaning or significance, its history, and its provenance when available. The DLME is accessible through desktop computers, tablets, and phones, and it will be continually augmented though subsequent generations of scholarly input, crowd-sourcing, and new knowledge discovered through its use. By providing accessibility and encouraging documentation and digitization, the DLME implements international cultural preservation goals and can help mitigate looting and the illegal resale of heritage materials.
In developing an extensible, open source platform and sophisticated tools and applications, we are creating a non-proprietary, globally accessible library of immediate importance, which over time may serve as a model for digital libraries of cultural and scientific heritage of other regions similarly under threat from conflict, environmental danger, or political instability and curtailment of human rights.
Proof of Concept


Diazoma logo
The DIAZOMA association was founded on the initiative of the former Greek Minister of Culture Stavros Benos and brings together three “families”: the archaeological community (archaeologists, curators, conservators, etc.), Greek artists and intellectuals and local authorities (mayors, regional administrations and citizens).

Our fundamental goal is to shape vast social networks of synergies in order to protect and promote this unique category of monuments that are the ancient theaters. To this end, Diazoma cooperates on an ongoing basis with the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs as well as with the Ministry of Culture and Sports and seeks to bring together and engage all actors of Greek society (population, mayors, prefects, universities, cultural associations) around this objective.
Raising awareness among the populations about the colossal cultural heritage and the unique potential of ancient theaters for their regions, having them participate in their preservation and revival, creating cultural routes and archaeological parks, organizing cultural events, enhancing the natural environment, adopting a charter of quality involving all the local actors (from small producers to local tourist companies), these are all steps to take towards the realization of the ultimate vision of Diazoma : the sustainable development of regions around their cultural heritage.
As a result, theaters are at the heart of two key encounters: the one with the people and the other with tourism economy, environment and culture.

Our movement for the ancient theaters is getting stronger and richer each day.
The effectiveness of our work results from a solid and innovative operational strategy. It is based, on the one hand, on studies involving the greatest names in archeology but also on a comprehensive documentation including publications, articles, documentaries, presentations, etc.

We also implement three alternative modes of funding, namely sponsorships, contributions from cities / regions and citizen participation in response to DIAZOMA’s “Adopt an Ancient Theater” invitation.

In addition, we develop programs inspired by original proposals from our members and volunteers such as digital guided tours via mobile phone, 3D representations of monuments, diversification of sponsorship, etc.

Finally, absolute transparency in all administrative and financial transactions is Diazoma’s golden rule.
Our efforts have already borne significant fruits, as evidenced by the progress of the works in no less than fifty-five ancient theaters. The following synoptic table will provide you with information on this progress: AT A GLANCE.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Digital pasts for the Present. Proceedings of the 2nd conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Greek Chapter (CAA-GR) Athens, 22-23 December 2016

Vavouranakis, G., Katsianis, M., Papadatos, I., Mouliou, M. and Petridis, P. (Eds) 2017. Digital pasts for the Present. Proceedings of the 2nd conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Greek Chapter (CAA-GR) Athens, 22-23 December 2016. Athens: Department of History and Archaeology - National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. ISBN: 978-618-81101-8-2.
We are pleased to announce that the CAA-GR 2016 proceedings have been published in the form of an e-book (download) with an ISBN.
In total, 23 papers were submitted for consideration, with 21 papers accepted – after a thorough peer reviewing process – to be included in this volume. We are grateful to the members of the scientific committee for their invaluable contribution to the publication of the proceedings. Ägyptische Särge, Mumien und Masken in der Schweiz

[First posted in AWOL 5 October 2012, updated 30 January 2018] Ägyptische Särge, Mumien und Masken in der Schweiz


Es muss keine archäologische Grabung sein –
auch hinter Museumsmauern lassen sich Schätze aus der Antike neu entdecken!

Von Appenzell bis nach Brissago, von Chur bis nach Genf existieren in der Schweiz rund 40 Museen, die über 30'000 altägyptische Objekte beherbergen. Der Grossteil dieses Kultur-gutes lagert noch weitgehend unerforscht in den Depots. Glanzlichter der ägyptischen Sammlungen in der Schweiz bilden Särge mit Mumien sowie Mumienmasken, die im 19. Jahrhundert und zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts in die jeweiligen Museen gelangten. Obschon diese Objekte vergleich-baren Exponaten berühmter ausländischer Kollektionen ebenbürtig sind, wurden die meisten von ihnen bisher weder umfassend untersucht noch publiziert.

Dieser Umstand veranlasste Alexandra Küffer und Renate Siegmann im Sommer 2004 das „Schweizer Sargprojekt“ (Swiss Coffin Project) zu starten. Die beiden Ägyptologinnen arbeiten mit Spezialisten und Wissenschaftlern aus verschiedensten Fachgebieten zusammen. Ziel der "interdisziplinären Spurensuche" ist es, die Biographie der Objekte soweit als möglich zu rekon-struieren und bei Mumien die Lebensumstände dieser lange verstorbenen Menschen nachzuzeich-nen. Das Schweizer Sargprojekt ist unabhängig und wird von privater Seite finanziert...

Rediscovering Forgotten Treasures in Swiss Museums

It still seems to be a little bit of a secret that almost every canton of Switzerland has at least one museum owning Egyptian artefacts. Over 30’000 objects are housed in more than forty museums all over the country. Most of the Egyptian collections are rather small ranging from a few pieces to several hundred objects with coffins and mummies forming their highlights. 
Many of these burial equipment had never been studied, published or even exhibited. That is why, in 2004, the Swiss Egyptologists Renate Siegmann and Alexandra Küffer initiated a small project called Schweizer Sargprojekt (Swiss Coffin Project) focusing on coffins, mummy coverings and masks. Currently twenty-eight Swiss museums and collections are participating in the project. The following account is a short summary of the project and presents some outstanding burial equipment and the stories behind them.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Quantitative Criticism Lab

Quantitative Criticism Lab

Founded in 2014 by a team of humanists, biologists, and computer scientists, the Quantitative Criticism Lab explores new approaches to the study of literature and culture. Taking inspiration from a wide range of quantitative disciplines - machine learning, natural language processing, bioinformatics, and systems biology - we seek to integrate literary criticism, philology, and big data. We have a particular interest in the literature of ancient Greece and Rome and the profound influence of the Classics on later traditions.
  • Intertextuality

    Computational tools for identifying related passages in large corpora
  • Stylometry

    Integration of natural language processing, machine learning, and literary criticism
  • Reception

    Evolutionary approaches to literary traditions and histories
  • Theory

    Literary theory inspired by biological processes and phenomena

Digital Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (DFHG)

[First posted in AWOL 4 January 2017, updated 29 January 2018]

Digital Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (DFHG)
The Digital Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (DFHG) is a project directed by Monica Berti at the Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig for producing the digital version of the five volumes of the Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (FHG) edited by Karl Müller in the 19th century. 

The FHG consists of a survey of excerpts from many different sources pertaining to 636 ancient Greek fragmentary historians. Excluding the first volume, authors are chronologically distributed and cover a period of time from the 6th century BC through the 7th century CE. Fragments are numbered sequentially and arranged by works and book numbers, when these pieces of information are available in the source texts preserving the fragments. Almost every Greek fragment is translated or summarized into Latin. 

The digital versions of FHG vol. 1 (7.4 MB), FHG vol. 2 (6.4 MB), FHG vol. 3 (7.8 MB), FHG vol. 4 (7.4 MB), FHG vol. 5-1 (2.9 MB) and vol. 5-2 (3.9 MB) are now available online. They collect fragments of authors from the 6th century BC through the 2nd century CE, including Apollodorus of Athens (with fragments of the Bibliotheca), historians of Sicily (Antiochus of Syracuse, Philistus of Syracuse, Timaeus of Tauromenius), the Atthidographers (Clidemus, Phanodemus, Androtio, Demo, Philochorus, and Ister), Aristotle and his disciples, historians from the time of Alexander the Great until 306 CE, fragments from the beginning of the reign of Constantine (306 CE) through the reign of the emperor Phocas (602-610 CE) and Greek and Syriac historical fragments preserved in Armenian texts. The Greek texts of the Marmor Parium (with Latin translation, chronological table, and commentary) and of the Marmor Rosettanum (with a French literal translation as well as a critical, historical and archaeological commentary) are online in a seperate appendix at the end of vol. 1. 

The Müller-Jacoby Table of Concordance lists correspondences among Greek fragmentary historians published by Karl Müller in the Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (FHG) and by Felix Jacoby and other scholars in the Fragmente der griechischen Historiker (FGrHist), including the continuatio and the Brill's New Jacoby (BNJ).

Universe and Inner Self in Early Indian and Early Greek Thought

Universe and Inner Self in Early Indian and Early Greek Thought
Editor(s)Seaford, Richard
PublisherEdinburgh University Press, Edinburgh
SubjectsHumanities, Philosophy, History of Western philosophy, Western philosophy: Ancient, to c 500
From the sixth century BCE onwards there occurred a revolution in thought, with novel ideas such as such as that understanding the inner self is both vital for human well-being and central to understanding the universe. This intellectual transformation is sometimes called the beginning of philosophy. And it occurred – independently it seems - in both India and Greece, but not in the vast Persian Empire that divided them. How was this possible? This is a puzzle that has never been solved. This volume brings together Hellenists and Indologists representing a variety of perspectives on the similarities and differences between the two cultures, and on how to explain them. It offers a collaborative contribution to the burgeoning interest in the Axial Age and will be of interest to anyone intrigued by the big questions inspired by the ancient world.