“Editing Texts in Context: Two Case Studies” by Prof. Neel D. Smith from College of the Holy Cross

Announcement posted and authored by Greta Franzini.

When: Monday, May 19th from 3:15 to 4:45pm

Where: University of Leipzig, Paulinum 801


Prof. Neel Smith

The two presentations in this seminar will illustrate the methods used to create digital diplomatic editions taking account of how physical artifacts have transmitted the texts to us, and will show the kinds of results these editions can lead to.

1. An unpublished manuscript of Archimedes:  Bodmer 8.  Rebecca Finnigan (Holy Cross ’15).
The manuscript tradition of Archimedes is minimal:  in addition to the famous palimpsest, all the known Greek manuscripts descend from a single source, now lost.  This presentation focuses on a sixteenth century manuscript of Archimedes photographed by the e-codices project, but never edited. Systematic comparison of the text with the collation of the major critical edition by Heiberg shows that, in contrast to accepted conclusions, Bodmer 8 cannot be an apograph from any known Greek manuscript of Archimedes.  The physical layout of the text, paleographic features of the main text, and evidence for how the text’s accompanying diagrams were produced all support the hypothesis that Bodmer 8 is a direct copy of a much older source, plausibly copied directly from the now lost Codex A, our earliest source for the works of antiquity’s greatest mathematician.

2. Reassessing Athenian Tribute.  Christine Bannan (Holy Cross ’14).
One of the most important questions in classical Greek history is how the League of the Greeks, originally a defensive alliance to protect the allied Greek states from Persian aggression, evolved into an Athenian Empire with members paying mandatory tribute to Athens.  Literary sources are scant, but one vital series of documents are the inscriptions recording the annual amounts that Athens held back from the tribute payments as “first fruit offerings” for Athena.    A diplomatic edition must capture the complexity of documents preserved in hundreds of stone fragments, and the richness of their contents recording geographic, chronological and quantitative financial data.  This presentation introduces a digital edition based on original, openly licensed photography, with new forms of visualization of the Tribute Quota List’s multidimensional data.  The work is being published through the Holy Cross Library’s Institutional Repository for digital scholarship, including a virtual machine specification allowing anyone to replicate the fully running system using the freely available Vagrant configuration system.

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