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Epigraphical encoding, from the Stone to Digital Edition

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Presentation on theme: "Epigraphical encoding, from the Stone to Digital Edition"— Presentation transcript:

1 Epigraphical encoding, from the Stone to Digital Edition
Marion Lamé University of Bologna (Italy) University of Provence (France)

2 What is epigraphy? Definition from Wikipedia.
Epigraphy (from the Greek: ἐπιγραφή, epigraphē, "inscription") is the study of inscriptions engraved into stone or other durable materials, or cast in metal, the science of classifying them as to cultural context and date, elucidating them and assessing what conclusions can be deduced from them. A person studying this is called an epigrapher or epigraphist. (

3 Puzzle and broken stones
AE 2005, 1662 Proposition of restitution: Dibus Lepcis Magnae / M(arcus) Vipsanius Clemens redem(p)tor / marmorarius templi Liberi / Patris d(e) s(ua) p(ecunia) v(otum) s(olvit) sub cura / Q(uinti) Servili Candidi amatoris patriae / amatoris civium ornatori[s patriae] / flaminis divi Vespas[iani

4 Personality … Funerary stele of Agrippina the Elder, 14 B. C A. D., wife of Germanicus and mother of Emperor Caligula. CIL, VI, 886

5 One word on a cup. It means: «sweet to drink»
Very simple … One word on a cup. It means: «sweet to drink» Central Greece (IG VII-IX) : Phokis, Lokris, Aitolia, Akarnania, and Ionian Islands (IG IX,1) IG IX,1 265.

6 Graffiti… Puteolanis feliciter omnibus Nucerinis
felicia et uncu(m) Pompeianis, Petecusanis. (CIL IV 2183) Amphitheatre of Pompei. First century A. D., sweet message maybe written by supporters. English translation: "Viva the Puteolians and Nucherians! Pompeians and Pithecusans: go hang!“ Italian translation: “Evviva gli abitanti di Pozzuoli!!! Felicità a quelli di Nocera!! a Pompeiani ed abitanti di Petecusa si augura un uncino!”

7 hundreds of thousands of inscriptions collected up to now
Published in huge corpora (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, Inscriptiones Graecae)

8 RGDA: Res Gestae Divi Augusti, political testament of Agustus from the first century A. D. Editions: from Th. Mommsen (1883) to J. Scheid (2007

9 Rérum gestárum díví Augusti, quibus orbem terra[rum] ímperio populi Rom. subiécit, § et inpensarum, quas in rem publicam populumque Ro[ma]num fecit, incísarum in duabus aheneís pílís, quae su[n]t Romae positae, exemplar sub[i]ectum. <lb/>Rérum gestárum díví Augusti, quibus orbem terra<supplied resp="Mommsen">rum</supplied>ímperio populi <abbr type="altro" expan="Romani">Rom.</abbr>

10 Encoding "métasource" by the medievalist historian J.-Ph. Genet: "a set of structured information, modeled, passed on to the computer and processed by it" (ensemble structuré des informations mises en formes, transmises à l'ordinateur et traitées par lui.)

11 The mere representation of books in a digital form is a reduced expression of the computer's capacity. This mere representation makes impossible to highlight the essential complementarities of digital and paper tools. As M. R.  Laganà, M. Righi, F. et F. Romani say: "A computer is not just a toy for performing monkeys, it is a tool. It is to help us work and think“. (È infatti importante non fare del computer un giocattolo per "scimmie ammaestrate", ma uno strumento di pensiero e di crescita).

12 The main differences that characterize the digital representation can be grouped into four sections:
1- amount of data 2- primordial role of structuring data (through links for example): So Boonstra,  Breure and Doorn write: "Creating structure and linking the  structured text to semantic models (eg, authority lists of persons,  places etc.) are essential for historical data processing, however, it  is desirable to automate this process to a large extent."; 3- data processing. A paper tool cannot apply a process to its content. 4- updating the data becomes possible to correct the errors and increase the amount of data, with completeness of a type of document as an ideal.

13 Encoding historical information
Francesca Tomasi explains: "The problem is how to represent information in a form that allow an adequate and functional process." "When you want to create collections, in electronic form, and then put in relations  among them several documents (…), then you must  think about how to enable these relationships." (Quando si vogliono creare delle collezioni, su supporto elettronico, e quindi mettere in relazioni fra di loro documenti diversi (…)allora è necessario ragionare sulle modalità che consentono tale correlazione.).

14 link between them all  ancient documents that have this person in common: Gaius Vibius  Pansa Caetronianus (colleague of Aulus Hirtius for the consulate of 43 A. D). and not all the «Pansa» of the classical world or the strings of character p-a-n-s-a. To identify in an information system these historical features, we need: «historical encoding».

15 To some extent, codification is interpretation, as it removes ambiguities, makes explicit what is implicit, associates what may be similar or correlated the case of Lepidus: Augustus refuses to name in the chapter X of the RGDA: " Pontifex maximus ne fierem in víví conlegae locum  ". How could a computer could find this passage about Lepidus if it is not explicitly identified in the system through encoding?

16 SGML family (Standard Generalized Markup Language), its subset XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language).
TEI Encoding, and the part of it dedicated to epigraphy: EpiDoc.

17 Boonstra, Breure and Doorn write: "(
Boonstra,  Breure and Doorn write: "(...) the core question seems to be: how can we create structure in historical material in a way that is (...) appropriate to the source's complexity."

18 . It would be desirable to interpret and encode a number of historical data in order to apply a process on them. A historical encoding represents digitally networks of primary documents linked together by historical information.

19 Nicole Dufournaud and Jean-Daniel Fekete : «One of the essential profits is (...) the passage from the mode "production of document" [thesis, article, monograph, corpus] to the mode "process of production of knowledge "» ("un des bénéfices essentiels (...) est le passage du  mode "production de document" [thesis, article, monograph, corpus] vers le mode "processus de production de connaissances").

20 Bibliography (1/2) Bocchi, F., Denley, P. (a cura di) Storia & multimedia: Atti del settimo congresso Internazionale Association for History & Computing. Bologna: Grafis. Bodard, G The Inscriptions of Aphrodisias as electronic publication: A user's perspective and a proposed paradigm. In Digital Medievalist. 4. Boonstra, O., Breure, L., Doorn, P Past, present and future of historical information science. Amsterdam: NIWI-KNAW. Borillo, M Informatique pour les sciences de l'homme: limites de la formalisation du raisonnement. Bruxelles: Pierre Mardaga. Dufournaud, N., Fekete, J.-D Comparaison d'outils pour la visualisation de sources historiques codées en XML / TEI. In Document numérique. 9, n°2. pp Elliott, T The EpiDoc Collaborative for Epigraphic Documents in TEI XML. Gardin, J.-C Les analyses de discours. Neuchâtel: Delachaux et Niestlé. Gardin, J.-C Le calcul et la raison: essais sur la formalisation du discours savant. Paris: École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Genet, J.-P Source, métasource, texte, histoire. In Bocchi, Denley pp

21 Bibliography (2/2) Laganà, M. R., Righi, M., Francesco, R Informatica: Concetti e sperimentazioni. 2a ed. Milano: Apogeo. Lamé, M Critères d’évaluation des documents écrits primaires des sciences de l’Antiquité sur le Web: l’exemple des Res Gestae Divi Augusti. Aix-en-Provence: Université de Provence. Mémoire de Master recherche " Sciences historiques et humanités ", Spécialité " Histoire des Mondes méditerranéens, européens et africains ". Dir. : Brigitte Sabattini (Aix-en-Provence), Carla Salvaterra (Bologne). Lamé, M Codificare le inscrizioni antiche: l'esempio delle Res Gestae Divi Augusti. Venise: Università Ca' Foscari. Tesi di Laurea Specialistica di Informatica per le Discipline Umanistiche. Relatrice: Prof. Giovanella Cresci-Marrone, co-relatore: Prof. Fabio Ciotti. * Mommsen, T Res gestae Divi Augusti ex monumentis Ancyrano et Apolloniensi. Berolini : Weidmannos. Orlandi, T Sulla codifica delle fonti archeologiche. In Archeologia e Calcolatori. vol. 4. pp * Scheid, J Res Gestae Divi Augusti: hauts faits du divin Auguste. Paris: Belles Lettres. Tomasi, F Metodologie informatiche e discipline umanistiche. Roma: Carocci.

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