Digital Humanities

The rise of Digital Technologies is an opportunity to re-assess and re-establish how the humanities can advance the understanding of the past and to support a dialogue among civilizations. After all, there is no field more international than Classics.

Gregory Ralph Crane

Gregory Ralph Crane combines classical philology and computer science in an innovative approach, applying computer science methods to systematise human cultural development. He owes his reputation as a pioneer of digital humanities to his development of the Perseus Digital Library, a comprehensive and freely accessible online library for antique source material. By appointing him to the University of Leipzig, the university aims to expand its Institute of Computer Science into an internationally visible digital humanities centre.

Reinvention of Publications in the Humanities Project

The Saxon Ministry of Culture has awarded the University of Leipzig a €1.1 million grant, with support from the European Social Fund and from the State of Saxony, to form an early career research group to help develop new methods of publication, predicated upon open data and open access, for the Humanities in general and for students of historical languages such as Greek and Latin in particular. This grant provides a first step towards reestablishing Leipzig as an international center for humanities publication, especially in technologically challenging areas such as ancient languages and music – and doing so in a framework that is born-digital from the start and that assumes the constraints and possibilities of an open, digital environment.

Scaife Digital Library

The Scaife Digital Library (SDL) commemorates Ross Scaife (March 31, 1960 – March 15, 2008) who did pioneering work for the study of Greco-Roman culture in a digital age, who was committed to collaborative scholarship and who was a champion of open data. The SDL is designed as a service, as an experiment, and as a space for research. An increasing amount of Ancient Greek, Latin, Classical Arabic and other sources are available under appropriate open licenses. The SDL builds upon the services and collections listed above. The SDL provides a mechanism by which to compare these services and collections with those available elsewhere, allowing research at the Humboldt Chair to explore new methods while making its own work more visible.


The Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig sees in the rise of Digital Technologies an opportunity to re-assess and re-establish how the humanities can advance the understanding of the past and to support a dialogue among civilizations. Philology, which uses surviving linguistic sources to understand the past as deeply and broadly as possible, is central to these tasks, because languages, present and historical, are central to human culture. To advance this larger effort, the Humboldt Chair focuses upon enabling Greco-Roman culture to realize the fullest possible role in intellectual life. Greco-Roman culture is particularly significant because it contributed to both Europe and the Islamic world and the study of Greco-Roman culture and its influence thus entails Classical Arabic as well as Ancient Greek and Latin.