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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New Version of Ancient Greek OCR Released

Visiting research scholar at Perseus, Nick White has released a new version of Ancient Greek OCR, free software to accurately convert scans of printed Ancient Greek into unicode text and PDF files, which can be easily searched, copied, archived, and transformed. It uses the excellent Tesseract OCR engine, tailored for Ancient Greek typography, syntax and vocabulary. Please visit the project website for more information.

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Announcing the Perseus Lexical Inventory – an open linked data set.

Many different linguistic services and tools are dependent on lexical information as it is commonly found in Latin and Greek dictionaries. Most of these applications rely on their own implementation of dictionaries, stem databases etc. but there is no centralized open-access resource on which these services can draw for supporting data. The Perseus Digital Library is releasing its lexical data as an open linked data set, starting with Latin and to be followed by Greek,  in the hopes that it may eventually become such a resource. Work on producing this data set has been a collaborative effort, and would not have been possible without the guidance of Neel Smith of Holy Cross and Helma Dik of the University of Chicago.

The core of the Perseus Lexical Inventory is a CITE collection of Lexical Entity URIs. Each Lexical Entity identifier has associated properties including a normalized form of the lexical entity (or lemma) and a short definition.   The accompanying linked data set includes links between the Lexical Entity URIs, morpheus lemmas, and entries in the Lewis and Short lexicons on Perseus, Alpheios and Logeion.  A VOID file describing the data set is available at and a SPARQL endpoint for querying the data set is at   There is also a simple demonstration query form that looks up entries based upon the Latin form at  The Tufts Morphology Service (currently available at ) also supplies the corresponding Lexical Entity URIs for lemmas returned by Morpheus.

Subsequent updates to the data set will include links to ontologies and other collections of uniquely identifiable entities, including part of speech, lexical tokens or forms, stems, prefixes and suffixes, morphological analyses, metrical data, orthographical variants, and named entities.  The lexical entities and tokens will also be linked to their occurrences in dictionaries and other lexica, texts (i.e. of the Perseus corpus, among others), treebanks, etc. Finally we expect to link to other established and emerging data sets, including the Pleiades Gazetteer and the SNAP dataset of ancient prosopography, among others.

Our ultimate goal is for the lexical data sets to be completely open with various channels, including both user interfaces and service-based APIs, through which people and systems can contribute new data and corrections.

In keeping with the approach we have been taking with the release of our data (see the Perseus Catalog’s Roadmap towards Linked Data standards compliance) we are releasing the data knowing we have much work to do still, and will make progress towards the larger vision in incremental steps.  Our next steps will include release of a companion Greek Lexical Inventory, followed by the addition of the stem and lexical token data sets and development of APIs and interfaces for using and contributing to the data.


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Pelagios used in Tufts Classes

Pelagios, Pleiades, and Perseids workshop took place at week-long hackathon

On Monday, March 3, students in Marie-Claire Beaulieu’s Medieval Latin class and Maxim Romanov’s Geography of the Classical Islamic World held a workshop together with the Pelagios team. Leif Isaksen (University of Southampton), Elton Barker (Open University), and Rainer Simon (Austrian Institute of Technology) directed the students in using the Pelagios interface to annotate place names in Latin, English, and Arabic documents. We were fortunate to also have Tom Elliott (New York University Institute for Studies of the Ancient World), the co-managing editor of the Pleiades Gazetteer used by Pelagios, participating in the workshop.

Read more.

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Announcing the Leipzig Open Fragmentary Texts Series (LOFTS)

The Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig is pleased to announce a new effort within the Open Philology Project: the Leipzig Open Fragmentary Texts Series (LOFTS). In the first phase of LOFTS we invite public discussion as we finalize the goals, technological methods and editorial practices.

The Leipzig Open Fragmentary Texts Series is a new effort to establish open editions of ancient works that survive only through quotations and text re-uses in later texts (i.e., those pieces of information that humanists call “fragments”).

As a first step in this process, the Humboldt Chair announces the Digital Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (DFHG) Project, whose goal is to produce a digital edition of the five volumes of Karl Müller’s Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (FHG) (1841-1870), which is the first big collection of fragments of Greek historians ever realized.

For further information, please visit:

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