Samuel H. Kress Foundation grant awarded to Perseids for the Digital Milliet

The Perseids team is delighted to announce a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation ( for the Digital Milliet. The Samuel H. Kress Foundation devotes its resources to advancing the history, conservation, and enjoyment of the vast heritage of European art, architecture, and archaeology from antiquity to the early 19th century. We are grateful for the Foundation’s support as we begin our work on this exciting project.

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Perseids Participates in Sunoikisis Europe

The Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig is starting a Sunoikisis Program in Europe in collaboration with Sunoikisis at the Center for Hellenic Studies. Sunoikisis Europe will be based in Leipzig and will offer courses in digital humanities for students of Greek and Latin. Sunoikisis Europe will run every Spring (starting from 2015) and the program will enroll both American and European students, who will be able to take the courses both remotely and by visiting Leipzig. The Sunoikisis Europe team is led by Bridget Almas, Marie-Claire Beaulieu, Monica Berti, Gregory R. Crane, and Uta Kremer.

The Perseids platform will be used by the Sunoikisis Europe Program.

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Perseus Open Publication Series

October 2, 2014
University of Leipzig, Germany
Tufts University, USA

Initial Call for Contributions:
Greek and Latin Editions
Modern Language Translations
Contributions to the Ancient Greek and Latin Dependency Treebanks.


The Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University and the Open Philology Project at the University of Leipzig announce plans for the Perseus Open Publication Series (POPS), a new venue for open access and open data publications in any format and in any language that the Perseus Digital Library can support. The Perseus Digitary Library attracted 390,000 visitors in August 2014 while its contents are now prominent digital collections for two universities, one in Germany and one in the United States, each of which maintains its own repository. The Perseus Open Publication Series thus provides a visible, non-exclusive publication medium for those who wish their content to reach the widest possible audience and to be preserved as a part of the Perseus Digital Library.

Development of POPS will take place in stages and will ultimately include content in any format and on any subject within the Perseus Digital Library. This initial call is aimed at those who are producing, wish to produce, or who have already produced, well-understood forms of publication such as editions, commentaries, modern language translations, as well as the Greek and Latin Dependency Treebanks, and other resources that shed light upon sources in Greek and Latin and where the content can be reviewed with fairly traditional editorial processes. If you have published a digitized Greek or Latin edition or a new translation on a website or as a PDF file, and if you want to see this work also published as a part of the Perseus Digital Library, please let us know. You can continue to keep making your material available on your website and giving it to others to publish.

We expect the range of materials that we accept to expand in the coming years. We particularly encourage translations, both in English and in other languages — the ability to identify qualified reviewers provides the critical limiting factor on how much material we can assess. We encourage authors to produce their own TEI XML, using materials already in the Perseus Digital Library as templates and we will offer training for the most committed potential contributors and editors in producing EpiDoc TEI XML and/or creating morphological and syntactic annotations of Greek and Latin. This training can take place either at Leipzig or in other countries. We currently support training in Croatian, English, French, German, and Italian, with plans to expand to other languages. Where particularly important material already exists in HTML, Word, PDF or some other format, we will consider helping with the conversion into XML.

New contributions will be published initially as part of a new repository for Greek and Latin textual materials and accompanying annotations, based upon the Canonical Text Services Architecture. The CTS architecture will provide the backend for the next generation of the Perseus Digital Library website.

Our strategy to make the system itself is based upon making all content available under an appropriate Creative Commons license via the web site, while charging for services that make that content more convenient (e.g., a subscription that provides constantly updated versions of the Perseus texts in e-book format). All content and software that we produce will be open and others will be able — as they are already — to create their own versions and services based upon the Creative Commons licenses that authors select. Authors will be free to publish their materials in as many other venues as they choose (e.g., PDF representations of their materials might appear in or ResarchGate) and store their materials in additional repositories.

We have formed a steering committee to accomplish the following goals: (1) to identify potential authors and existing content; (2) to participate actively and constructively in planning the on-going development of the Perseus Open Publication Series.

Those interested in contributing send inquiries here.

Steering Committee (as of October 1, 2014)
Bridget Almas, Tufts and
Alison Babeu, Tufts
Marie Claire Beaulieu, Tufts
Christopher Blackwell, Furman University
Monica Berti, Leipzig
Federico Boschetti, CNR, Pisa
Michèle Brunet, Lyon
Giuseppe G. A. Celano, Leipzig
Lisa Cerrato, Tufts
Harry Diakoff,
Reinhard Foertsch, German Archaeological Institute, Berlin
Greta Franzini, Leipzig (Goettingen, as of 2015)
Neven Jovanovic, Zagreb
Thomas Koentges, Leipzig
Matt Munson, Leipzig
Charlotte Schubert, Leipzig
Neel Smith, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester MA
Simona Stoyanova, Leipzig


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Opening up Classics and the Humanities: Computation, the Homer Multitext Project and Citizen Science

This paper is based upon discussions, especially with Manfred Thaller, at the 2014 Schloss Dagstuhl Seminar on Computational Humanities.

Abstract: Increasingly powerful computational methods are important for humanists not simply because they make it possible to ask new research questions but especially because computation makes it both possible — and arguably essential — to transform the relationship between humanities research and society, opening up a range of possibilities for student contributions and citizen science. To illustrate this point, this paper looks at the transformative work conducted by the Homer Multitext Project (see in particular its blog).

The full text is available here.

Gregory Crane
Universität Leipzig
September 29, 2014

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The Digital Loeb Classical Library — a view from Europe

The full text of “the Digital Loeb Classical Library — a view from Europe,” is available here.

Summary: The Digital Loeb Classical Library has gone live and many students of Greek and Latin are testing it. “The Digital Loeb Classical Library — a view from Europe” considers some of the issues that the new DLCL raises. First, there is the general question of how long the community will support new, proprietary systems, each with their own environment, none releasing their data under an open license, and all incompatible, for all practical purposes, with each other. More generally, this essay explores three issues that the DLCL raises in a European context: (1) the problem of depending upon, and actively supporting, commercial sources of Greek and Latin, especially in Europe, where tax dollars support virtually all professional intellectual life; (2) the problem of using English if we want to reach secondary schools — only about 5% (probably less) of those who study Greek and Latin do so in English; (3) the problem of encouraging students to produce annotations that are keyed to the idiosyncratic page breaks that appear only in the Loeb editions (and thus of implicitly making the Loeb a new standard for citation). Overall, the DLCL is yet another publisher’s portal, solid in implementation and not challenging to use, but dependent models from print, such as monopoly control of content to extract subscriptions and the print page as dominant metaphor.

The study of Greek and Latin needs to build upon what we already can see is possible in a digital space and to move forward if we are to offer a truly competitive discipline to new generations of students and to the general public. Some of the issues and opportunities before us are raised in the call for papers in Greek and Latin in an Age of Open Data, but there are many fora in which to discuss how to move forward. It is time for students of Greek and Latin to get on with it and accelerate the transition to a more open, sustainable and dynamic environment by which to advance the role of Greco-Roman culture in the intellectual life of society.

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The Digital Loeb Classical Library, Open Scholarship, and a Global Society

This piece was first published in February 2014 as an open Google doc on the Digital Loeb Classical Library, Open Scholarship, and a Global Society. Another piece is in preparation and will appear on the blog for the Open Philology Project at Leipzig.

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Announcing the Arethusa Annotation Framework

Developers Gernot Höflechner, Robert Lichtensteiner and Christof Sirk, in collaboration with the Perseus Digital Library at Tufts (via the Libraries and the Transformation of the Humanities and Perseids projects) and the University of Leipzig’s Open Philology Project, have released Arethusa, a framework for linguistic annotation and curation. Arethusa was inspired by and extends the goals of the Alpheios Project, to provide a highly configurable, language-independent, extensible infrastructure for close-reading, annotation, curation and exploration of open-access digitized texts. While the initial release highlights support for morpho-syntactic annotation, Arethusa is designed to allow users to switch seamlessly between a variety of annotation and close-reading activities, facilitating the creation of sharable, reusable linguistic data in collaborative research and pedagogical environments.


Arethusa is built on the angular.js javascript web application framework and provides a back-end independent infrastructure for accessing texts, annotations and linguistic services from a variety of sources. Extensibility is a guiding design goal — Arethusa includes tools for automatic generation of skeleton code for new features as plugins; detailed development guides are also currently in progress. We hope others will be able to reuse and build upon the platform to add support for other annotation types, languages and back-end repositories and workflow engines.

Arethusa is already deployed as a component of the Perseids platform, where it provides an annotation interface for morpho-syntactic analyses and will soon also act as a broker between the Perseids back-end (the Son of SUDA Online application) and various other front-end annotating and editing activities, including translation alignments, entity identification and text editing.

Screencasts are available that show how the Arethusa application can be used for syntactic diagram (treebank) and morphological analysis annotations on Perseids. Additional demos and slides will be made available soon which highlight additional features along with the architecture and design.

This project has been made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (Award LG0611032611), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the European Social Fund. We also are indebted to Robert Gorman and Vanessa Gorman of the University of Nebrask and Giuseppe G. A. Celano of the University of Leipzig for their invaluable contributions to the design and testing of the platform.

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Digital Classicist Seminar New England, Spring 2015

Call for Papers

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the third series of the Digital Classicist New England. This initiative, inspired by and connected to London’s Digital Classicist Work in Progress Seminar, is organized in association with the Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University. It will run during the spring term of the academic year 2014/15.

We invite submissions on any kind of research which employs digital methods, resources or technologies in an innovative way in order to enable a better or new understanding of the ancient world. We encourage contributions not only from students of Greco-Roman classics but also from other areas of the pre-modern world, such as Egypt and the Near East, Ancient China and India.

Themes may include digital editions, natural language processing, image processing and visualisation, linked data and the semantic web, open access, spatial and network analysis, serious gaming and any other digital or quantitative methods. We welcome seminar proposals addressing the application of these methods to individual projects, and particularly contributions which show how the digital component can facilitate the crossing of disciplinary boundaries and answering new research questions. Seminar content should be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, as well as to information scientists and digital humanists, with an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of these fields.

Seminars will run from mid-January through April 2015 and will be hosted at Brandeis, Holy Cross, Northeastern and Tufts. The full program, including the venue of each seminar, will be finalized and announced in December. In order to facilitate real-time participation from California to Europe, seminars will take place in the early afternoon and will be accessible online as Google Hangouts.

As with the previous series, the video recordings of the presentations will be published online and we endeavour to provide accommodation for the speakers and contribute towards their travel expenses. There are plans to publish papers selected from the first series of the seminar as a special issue in an appropriate open access journal.


Anonymized abstracts [1] of 500 words maximum (bibliographic references excluded) should be uploaded by midnight (CET) on 01 November 2014 using EasyChairWhen submitting the same proposal for consideration to multiple venues, please indicate this at the start of the paper or in the first footnote.

[1]: The anonymized abstract should have all author names, institutions and references to the authors work removed. It may be necessary to replace some references by a placeholder, “Reference to authors’ work.” The abstract title and author names with affiliations are entered into the EasyChair submission system in separate fields.

Organizing committee

Marie-Claire Beaulieu, Tufts University
Gregory Crane, Tufts and Leipzig
Stella Dee, University of Leipzig
Leonard Muellner, Brandeis University
Maxim Romanov, Tufts University
David A. Smith, Northeastern University
David Neel Smith, College of the Holy Cross

Questions? Email digitalclassicistne “at”

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Student Commentaries Published in Perseus

One goal of the Perseids Project is to engage humanities students in research and enable them to contribute to the open access resources on which the Perseus Digital Library is built. Tufts students in Professor Marie-Claire Beaulieu’s Fall 2013 Greek Mythology class completed commentaries on myths in selected texts and artifacts through the Perseids platform. The student commentaries were reviewed by graduate teaching assistants Julia Lenzi and Timothy Buckingham, who worked with the students to revise their work when necessary. Those commentaries that were accepted for publication are now available as reading aids on the Perseus platform, via the new annotations widget. This widget appears on the right side of the text display for only those passages of text on which commentaries are available. The Homeric Hymn 7 to Dionysus is an example of a text which has several commentaries available for it. For artifacts with commentaries, the annotations widget appears on the left side of the screen above the artifact metadata. An example artifact is the vase Munich 8297.

Going forward we expect to continue to expand upon to the number and variety of annotations available for the Perseus resources.

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