Digital Marmor Parium

Monica Berti (University of Leipzig)

Associate Editors
Angelos Barmpoutis (University of Florida)
Gabriel Bodard (King’s College London)
Eleni Bozia (University of Florida & University of Leipzig)
Michèle Brunet (University of Lyon)
Gregory R. Crane (Tufts University & University of Leipzig)
Andrea Rotstein (Tel Aviv University)
Charlotte Roueché (King’s College London)
D. Neel Smith (College of the Holy Cross)

Editorial Assistants
Giuseppe A. Celano (University of Leipzig – treebank)
Stella Dee (University of Leipzig – chronology)
Simona Stoyanova (University of Leipzig – EpiDoc XML)


The Digital Marmor Parium is a project of the Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig. The aim of this work is to produce a new digital edition of the so called Marmor Parium (Parian Marble), which is a Hellenistic chronicle on a marble slab coming from the Greek island of Paros. The importance of the document is due to the fact that it preserves a Greek chronology (1581/80-299/98 BC) with a list of kings and archons accompanied by short references to historical events mainly based on the Athenian history. The project team is producing a new XML edition of the text according to the EpiDoc Guidelines, is encoding all the named entities mentioned in the inscription, and is producing a timeline visualization of the chronological information preserved on the stone.

Visit the Digital Marmor Parium on GitHub.

The Marmor Parium Inscription
The Marmor Parium (IG 12, 5, 444) is constituted by two fragments. The upper part of the first fragment (A) is lost and known only from the transcription produced by J. Selden in the 17th century (ll. 1-45). The surviving portion of A (ll. 46-93) is now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. The second fragment (B) is preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Paros (ll. 101-133). The compiler of the text is unknown, but the date of the composition can be fixed at 264/3 BC thanks to the name of the Athenian archon Diognetus (l. 3). The stone includes a list of events from the reign of Cecrops (1581/80 BC) to the archonship of Euctemon (299/8 BC) with a main focus on the Athenian history. The events are arranged in paragraphs which present a very similar format including a short description of the event, the name of the Athenian king or archon, and the number of years elapsing from 264/3 BC that are expressed with acrophonic numerals (Cadoux 1948; Maddoli 1975).


Fr. A (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)

The Parian Chronicle
The Marmor Parium is the earliest example of this kind of document and it is a very valuable piece of evidence under many respects. It is not only a chronological record of Greek history, but it is also the result of a selection of events made by its compiler, whose name is unfortunately lost (ll. 1-3). The importance of the text from a historiographical point of view is shown by the fact that the document is part of the Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum by Karl Müller (FHG 1, 533-590) and of Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker by Felix Jacoby (FGrHist 239; Jacoby 1904). In this sense, this evidence is a perfect example of a fragmentary author whose work is not preserved thorough quotations in later texts, but in a fragmented original form. Accordingly, the Digital Marmor Parium is part of the Digital Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (DFHG) project developed by the Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig.

The Digital Marmor Parium
As mentioned above, the first goal of the project is to produce an XML edition of the text of the Marmor Parium according to the latest EpiDoc Guidelines. A dynamic electronic publication will provide not only wider audience and unlimited space, but also various pathways through the material, allowing users to navigate the edition according to their needs and interests. The use of the EpiDoc standard will also insure compatibility with already existing electronic databases of inscriptions, literary texts, and the EAGLE-Europeana network.
An important part of the project is identifying the named entities mentioned in the inscription. The Pleiades gazetteer will be referenced to for the place names. The personal names and identification of individuals will make use of and feed into the Standards for Networking Ancient Prosopographies project (SNAP). The encoded text of the stone and the images of the fragments will be part of Perseids, a collaborative editing platform developed by the Perseus Project, so that it will be possible to select regions of interest on the images and annotate them (cf. Almas-Beaulieu 2013).
The team is also producing a visualization of the chronology preserved by the Marmor Parium with the open source tool TimelineJS, which allows comparison between the epigraphical text not only with other ancient chronologies but also with different chronological interpretations of the content of the inscription made by modern scholars.

The Geography of the Marmor Parium
Place names mentioned in the Marmor Parium have been annotated using Pelagios/Recogito: look at the map of the Marmor Parium (document stats).


The Chronology of the Marmor Parium (by Stella Dee)
The Gregorian chronology of events and kingship of fragment A(a) as listed in Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker has been visualized using TimelineJS (the Greek text is from IG 12.5.444):

The Language of the Marmor Parium (by Giuseppe A. Celano)
The Greek text (IG 12.5.444) of the Marmor Parium is being treebanked in Arethusa:


IG 12.5.444 (+ Add. p. 315 + Suppl., p. 110)
FHG I, pp. 533 ff.
FGrHist 239
CIG 2374 (1843)
SEG 39.862 (1989)
Tod 205 (1962)

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