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Greek Anthology

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In the wake of recent advances in "digital classics,” the CRC on Digital Textualities is setting up a web platform dedicated to the Greek Anthology.



The CRC on digital textualities team, in collaboration with Elsa Bouchard, has started the creation of a web platform dedicated to the Greek Anthology, a Byzantine collection of Greek epigrams whose ancestor dates back to the Hellenistic era (323-30 BC).
We have created an open database, searchable via an API that allows users to:
  1. Transcribe the manuscript
  2. Submit translations
  3. Align translations
  4. Transcribe scholia
  5. Link the epigrams between them
    This project aims to meet three objectives:
    1. Euristic: highlight intertextual relationships between epigrams. Allo Hellenists to work with the content of the GA in a non-linear way, and to navigate the corpus by following coded markers (author, themes, and other keywords) directly inspired by the marginal annotations of the GA manuscript.
    2. Editing and Translation: simultaneously provide access to the original Greek text (images of the manuscript), a new French translation, and an unprecedented translation of the marginal comments of the GA manuscript (scholia, intertitles, etc.). This translation will reflect the state of recent research on the cultural context in which these poems were composed.
    3. Technical: to design a mutualizable platform for the valorization and dissemination of ancient texts. Identification of requirements and characteristics for the creation of a platform for scholarly publishing.

    The manuscript of the Anthology (Codex Palatinus 23) was found in 1606 by Claude Saumaise in Heidelberg. These poems have since had a major influence on literature from the Renaissance to today. The manuscript is now preserved in the Heidelberg University Library, where it has been digitized and made available in the library's digital collection. The Anthology as we have it today results from successive compilations, each time modified, added, and rearranged by the compilers. It derives ultimately from a collection built around 100 BC. by the poet Meleager of Gadara. This collection, entitled The Crown, was arranged by Meleager not randomly but according to certain organizational principles - first and foremost, literary themes present in the epigrams - which have been brought to light by recent research.

    The retranslation and online publication of the anthology are both essential to us. On the one hand, the project will give new visibility and better accessibility to a work whose translation is now obsolete. On the other hand, it allows for one to consider in a novel way contemporary issues specific to the digital humanities. According to Milad Doueihi, the notion of anthology is at the heart of the considerations of our time, called "digital". Milad Doueihi develops this idea in his book Pour une humanisme numérique, in which he notes that the anthological practice, through its necessary process of selection that is meant to be exhaustive and representative of a totality, "establishes a conceptual grid shaped by the dynamics of the reception and by the specific knowledge related to the texts circulating on the network and to the authorities associated with them." However, in our opinion, the manuscript of the GA responds precisely to this reception dynamic. Although the texts are classified one after the other by the constraints of the book's form, the notes and comments left by the readers remind us that the conception of an anthology also relies on an internal semantic system, a dialogue between texts extending beyond their mere proximity and linking them by their content. Studying this collection of epigrams reveals the existence of a network of motifs and figures representing a complex cultural universe that is rich in intertextual links. Taking these textual references into account is fundamental to understanding this cultural universe, and digital devices are particularly suited to highlight connections that are otherwise difficult to identify. Our project is based on these reflections and his objective is to produce, using a nonlinear classification, reading paths that are no longer governed by the materiality of the support, but by semantic links developed by the texts themselves.
    The project proposed here concerns a selection of books 4, 5 and 7 of the Greek Anthology. This initial selection is based on a chronological criterion - the selected epigrams will be those attributable to Meleager and the authors.

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