Review of Digital Research in the Study of Classical Antiquity

Skipping ahead, a similar point is made more effectively in Notis Toufexis’ chapter on the diachronic study of Greek. Toufexis argues very convincingly that text mark-up allows us to move beyond the idea of a single critical edition of an ancient Greek text and instead to preserve the entire rich history of ‘misspellings’ and ‘misreadings’ in the manuscript tradition that the editors of ancient texts go to so much effort to marginalise. Here the review of the tradition of scholarship is well placed, for it highlights the specific textual and linguistic issues that might be tackled with a very large corpus of marked-up manuscript variants and clear digital conventions for editorial interventions. What Toufexis does not provide is a roadmap for the way in which the editor of a Classical text might approach the production of such a digital edition. Nor does he comment on the additional skills or effort a rich digital edition might demand of its editor, although he offers the reader several prototypes as examples (p116, footnote 49: an online edition of Galen’s commentary on Hippokrates and the ‘New Testament Transcripts Prototype’ give the reader a particularly good idea of the approach he envisions). One suspects, in fact, that such an edition would require far more than a single pair of hands. This is confirmed by the following chapter on the Homer Multitext Project, which describes the development of software for, and the practical execution of, a very similar approach.

via Internet Archaeol. 30. Review of Digital Research in the Study of Classical Antiquity [Book].
Reviewed by Adam Rabinowitz (July 2011)

“Rome Wasn’t Digitized in a Day”: Building a Cyberinfrastructure for Digital Classicists

“Rome Wasn’t Digitized in a Day”: Building a Cyberinfrastructure for Digital Classicists

September 10th, 2011 by Simon Mahony

A web only publication by Alison Babeu with good coverage of the Stoa and the Digital Classicist. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


The author provides a summative and recent overview of the use of digital technologies in classical studies, focusing on classical Greece, Rome, and the ancient Middle and Near East, and generally on the period up to about 600 AD. The report explores what projects exist and how they are used, examines the infrastructure that currently exists to support digital classics as a discipline, and investigates larger humanities cyberinfrastructure projects and existing tools or services that might be repurposed for the digital classics.

(Council on Library and Information Resources)


via The Stoa Consortium » Blog Archive » “Rome Wasn’t Digitized in a Day”: Building a Cyberinfrastructure for Digital Classicists.

I am quite happy that my One Era’s Nonsense, Another’s Norm article is quoted in this report. If nothing else, interdisciplinary work is getting noticed.


Review: Peter Mackridge, Language and National Identity in Greece, 1766–1976. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Pp. 385.

Published in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 35 (2011) 239-241.

The journal is available online under

You can download the PDF-file here.

Corpus linguistics in historical dialectology: a case study of Cypriot

Io Manolessou & Notis Toufexis
University of Patras & University of Cambridge

The present paper gives an overview of the branch of corpus linguistics that deals with historical corpora, i.e. electronic text compilations of of past forms of language, and discusses their applicability and availability for the study of the history of the Greek language. The methodology for constructing a historical corpus of the Cypriot dialect (Corpus of Medieval Cypriot Texts, CMCT) is presented, with discussion criteria for text inclusion and of modelling and implementation issues (mark-up languages, metadata, digital transcription methods).

You can download the PDF-File here.


50 Cent Euro Coin, Cyprus by on 2009-08-02 19:03:39

One Era’s Nonsense, Another’s Norm: Diachronic study of Greek and the Computer

This paper sets out to explore how and why digital editions of texts or text-versions could facilitate a truly diachronic study of the Greek language. It points out shortcomings of existing digital infrastructure and argues in favour of a general shift of focus towards linguistic analysis of transmitted texts with the help of electronic corpora that primarily model medieval manuscripts rather than modern editions.

Published in: Digital Research in the Study of Classical Antiquity, edited by Gabriel Bodard (King’s College London, UK) and Simon Mahony (University College London, UK), Ashgate 2010, ISBN 978-0-7546-7773-4 £ 55.00

For full details and the publishers blurb, see:

You can download the PDF-file here (with thanks to Ashgate for allowing self-archiving of my contribution).


Photo by Nemo (Pixabay)

Phonetic change in Medieval Greek: Focus on liquid interchange

“Phonetic change in Medieval Greek: Focus on liquid interchange” (together with Io Manolessou)

The present paper aims to propose a methodology for the research of phonetic change in Medieval Greek, and to show, through the investigation of the phenomenon of liquid interchange, that a) the new electronic tools available for the study of Greek can contribute crucially to the research on the distribution of phonetic changes and b) phonetic changes in Medieval Greek are to a large extent regular and conform to cross-linguistic patterns.

You can download the PDF-file here

Diglossia and register variation in Medieval Greek

Published in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies Vol. 32 No. 2 (2008) 203–217
The journal is available online at

This article recognizes diglossia as a key phenomenon for the interpretation of the existence of different registers in the late Byzantine period (twelfth-fifteenth centuries). The main characteristics of Byzantine diglossia are outlined and associated with language production during this period. Learned and vernacular registers are approached as extreme poles of a linguistic continuum and linguistic variation as a defining characteristic of a diglossic speech community.

You can download the PDF-file here.

Creating a database for the ‘Grammar of Medieval Greek’ project

“Creating a database for the ‘Grammar of Medieval Greek’ project”, in: Ι. Μαυρομάτης (εκδ.), Πρακτικά του διεθνούς συνεδρίου Neograeca Medii Aevi VI: Πρώιμη νεοελληνική δημώδης γραμματεία. Γλώσσα, παράδοση και ποιητική, Οκτώβριος 2005, Ιωάννινα (in press)

The main goal of the “Grammar of Medieval Greek project” is to produce a com­prehensive Grammar of Medieval Greek in book form;1 an electronic publication of the material collected in the process, or in the Grammar itself, is not planned for the time being. However, from its beginning the research project relies heavily upon the use of electronic resources; this is a reasonable decision when one has to collect and organize large amounts of data. Nowadays it is also often considered as a prerequisite for funding a large-scale research project. This paper aims at de­scribing all issues that are related to the creation of a custom-built electronic database and tries not to concentrate on technical aspects (as the interested read­er can find a full description of technical matters elsewhere) but on issues con­cerning modelling of data and research methodology.

You can download here the PDF-file

One era’s nonsense, 
another’s norm.
Diachronic study of Greek 
and the computer

Classics Association Conference 2007, Birmingham
Panel Digital Classicist 2, 13 April 2007

You can find the slides of my presentation here.