Contrary perhaps to expectation, Classical studies is at the vanguard of the latest technological developments for using digital tools and computational techniques in research. This article outlines its pioneering adoption of digital tools and methods, and investigates how the digital medium is helping to transform the study of Greek and Latin literature. It discusses the processes and consequences of digitization, explaining how technologies like multispectral imaging are increasing the textual corpus, while examining how annotation, engagement, and reuse are changing the way we think about “the text”. It also considers how the digital turn is reinvigorating textual analysis, by exploring the broader ecosystem, within which the digital text can now be studied, and which provides enriched contexts for understanding that are constantly shifting and expanding. Classical literature in the digital age has the potential to both challenge dominant modes of thinking about antiquity and disrupt traditional ways of doing research
Excellent idea, Caitlin. Thanks for getting it started. I work in ancient Greek literature and myth primarily, although I’m interested in the way that Greek texts and narratives interact with those from other cultures. At the moment I’m working on the connections between ancient Greek and Indian creation narratives, including the monstrous creator deities of […]
A reconstruction of Boccaccio’s engagement with ancient Greek literature and culture and its significance for distinguishing Boccaccio’s humanism from that of Petrarch.
Researcher in Latin & Greek literature and digital philology at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. PhD from Fordham University, Department of Classics.
Allen Romano runs the Digital Humanities MA program at Florida State University. He teaches a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in the Program in Interdisciplinary Humanities, from graduate classes in R, Python, and digital pedagogy to undergraduate classes in literature and culture. Trained as a classicist and specializing in Ancient Greek literature, Dr. Romano’s research work has focused especially on Greek poetry and drama and, digitally, on text-mining and, more recently, deep learning with ancient literature. With Tarez Graban, Sarah Stanley, and Judith Pascoe, he has helped launch and run the newly created Demos Center Project for Data Humanities at FSU.
In Greek literature from antiquity, there is a set of terms formed from verbs of origina-tion or generation and preﬁxed with αὐτο-, which are represented primarily in three types of literature prior to the ﬁfth century: in the surviving fragments from Numenius, in apologetic histories which incorporate oracular statements about ﬁrst gods,and in the reports about and examples of Sethian literature. By considering the range of transliterated words in the Coptic Untitled Treatise based upon αὐτο-preﬁxed generative terms from Greek, we can discern several of the traditions that underlie this text’s multiple, often competing, narratives about the structure and population of the divine world. Many of those traditions are also recorded in apologetic histories, and comparison with these shows that the Untitled Treatise is an example of a diﬀerent mode of historical writing, one which is preservationist rather than explicitly persuasive.
Many scholars of ancient Greek religion would probably agree that the use of curse tablets in the ancient Mediterranean world ‘cut across all social categories’. From a comparative perspective, it would be surprising if high levels of Greek literacy had been achieved by all social classes in classical and Hellenistic times. Greek literature, however, always represents these women using non-literary cursing techniques. While the use of figurines and spoken words were common features of ancient Greek cursing, specific mentions of curse writing are absent from classical and Hellenistic sources. According to Jordan, a single person from the mid-third century ce inscribed fifteen curse tablets and deposited them in two wells in the Athenian agora. Unlike many other ancient corpora, the corpus of ancient Greek and Latin curse tablets is in constant evolution. Since new evidence will likely come to light in the future, the study of curse tablets can afford bold hypotheses as well as falsification attempts.
early Greek thinking, Translation Theory, Philosophy & Literature, Comparative Literature
Tom Nelson is a Research Fellow in Classics at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. In 2018, he completed his PhD at Trinity College, supervised by Professor Richard Hunter (‘Early Greek Indexicality: Markers of Allusion in Archaic Greek Poetry’). His thesis explores the so-called “Alexandrian footnote” and markers of intertextuality in Latin and Greek Literature, with a particular focus on archaic and classical Greek poetry. It examines the manner in which these poets self-consciously signalled their interactions with other texts and traditions. He completed the MSt in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature at the University of Oxford, writing a dissertation on the various analogies and allegories employed to conceptualise victories over the Galatians in Hellenistic Literature and Art. From 1 October 2018, he will be a Research Fellow in Classics at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He has recently co-organised a conference on Hellenistic Poetry Beyond Callimachean Aesthetics, 1-3 September 2016 (http://www.castingoffshadows2016.co.uk/), and was also a member of the organising committee for the Cambridge AHRC DTP’s Conference on Time and Temporality, 14-16 September 2016. Teaching materials for his undergraduates is available at http://www.thomas-j-nelson.co.uk/teaching.html. He is very open to any kind of collaborative research and happy to be contacted about any ideas for collaboration, however preliminary.
I am the owner of Greek-Language.com, GreekLinguistics.com, and HellenisticGreek.com. You can find my blog at GreekLanguage.blog. After a career teaching Ancient Greek (both Classical and Hellenistic) and Biblical Studies, I made a radical switch in 2006 taking me much more into the field of modern language acquisition. I now teach both Spanish and English in a dual language elementary school, and I will co-direct an academic-vocabulary development program to support bi-literacy this year (2018-19).