Current Epigraphy
ISSN: 1754-0909

9 October, 2014

EAGLE 2014 International Conference: The inscription between text and object

Filed under: EAGLE,EpiDoc — Eleonora Santin @ 12:00

What is an inscription? There are different ways to consider what an inscription is:

  • Signifiers on a physical support [linguistic perspective]
  • An artifact bearing text [archeological perspective]
  • A text carved or painted on a durable material to be posted [historical-literary perspective]

In the past, scholars opted for just one of these viewpoints and most of them approached inscriptions as texts. But now the new positive trend is to mix disciplines and see the inscription between text and object as a semantic system to describe, read and interpret by means of at least a threefold approach: archaeological, textual and historical.

The task we now have is to restructure the epigraphic edition, not just by switching from the paper to the web, but by relying on a model that combines the textual as well as the material dimensions of an artifact bearing text, and that helps to determine:

  • The arrangement of an inscription on the support;
  • The textual cuts made by epigraphers on the base of different criteria.

In this endeavor, we have to keep in mind a trivial but essential notion: editing an inscription is, from start to finish, an interpretation and a matter of personal choice.

In a digital representation, a distinct markup is utilised to encode the physical and textual dimensions. In order to combine them, we submit a definition of some epigraphic notions, which supports the theoretical model of an encoding schema compliant with the EpiDoc guidelines. This model is designed as a part of the IGLouvre project lead by Michèle Brunet (Professor of Greek Epigraphy, University Lumière-Lyon 2), which aims to publish a digital edition of the Louvre collection of Greek Inscriptions.

The project’s guidelines specify some recommendations for the representation of 3 base structures. In the <teiHeader> of the EpiDoc files, a text is represented with a <msItem> element while a physicals part will be described in a <msPart> element. The surface, which bears the inscribed words, is analysed as a physical feature, that is to say a non-detachable part. It must be explicitly represented using a texpart subdivision of the <div> containing the transcription (e.g. div[@type=’textpart’][subtype=’face’]). Texts, objects, physical features and transcriptions are related with a combination of correspondence attributes (@corresp) and milestones (<milestone unit=’block’/>) for the representation of physical and textual boundaries.

Our encoding strategy permits us to meet the following requirements:

  • The material and abstract dimensions of the items in the Louvre collection are taken into account in an EpiDoc markup, exploiting its capacity to provide fine grained identifiers and linking mechanisms that are required to build on an interface showing inscriptions not just as decontextualized texts;
  • The scientific editors keep full control on the editorial choices they made beyond the structure of the printed or digital publication;
  • The deconstruction of the notion of ‘inscription’ will also provide help for designing and implementing several extractions and data exports that will have to be developed in the near future to ensure the interoperability of the digital collection and its re-use for other projects.

You will find more information about this work in our paper:

Emmanuelle Morlock, Eleonora Santin, The inscription between text and object, in Silvia Orlandi, Raffaella Santucci, Vittore Casarosa, Pietro Maria Liuzzo eds., Information Technologies for Epigraphy and Cultural Heritage Proceedings of the First EAGLE International Conference, Rome (forthcoming).


7 October, 2014

Digital Archive for the Study of pre-Islamic Arabian

Filed under: EpiDoc,Guest post — Pietro Liuzzo @ 10:12

Posted on behalf of Annamaria De Santis, Irene Rossi, Daniele Marotta

DASI-Digital Archive for the Study of pre-Islamic Arabian inscriptions is an ERC project of the University of Pisa and Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, directed by Prof. Alessandra Avanzini, aimed at digitizing the pre-Islamic inscriptions from Arabia.

The hybrid system, combining both the database and the XML approaches for archiving and displaying data, describes the inscribed artifacts taking into account their dual nature. Each item digitized in DASI is represented by a physical object linked to one or more epigraphs. Metadata of the “Epigraph” provide information on linguistic features, writing, chronology and type of text; in addition to the notes of apparatus, there are general and cultural notes. Texts are encoded in XML according to the EpiDoc standard and structural, grammatical, transcription phenomena and onomastics, as well as editorial interventions, are marked.

Information about the object is not embedded in the “Epigraph”, but has its own autonomy. The entity “Object” includes attributes regarding: type of support, materials and dimensions, provenance and archaeological context, and the detailed description of its decorative elements. Several contextual entities record translations, geographical information, bibliography and iconographic documentation. For instance “Site” supplies not only the information needed to contextualize artefacts, such as provenance or place of production, but also ancient and modern toponyms, geographical coordinates, country, region, ancient kingdoms, archaeological information about the sites, such as monuments, history of studies, archaeological missions and so on.

The archive that presently counts nearly 6500 inscriptions, allows to browse through filters on metadata. Moreover it is provided with sophisticated tools for studying languages of the ancient Arabia, such as the list of words and the textual search that allows to perform queries also on textual variants. Lexica of the south Arabian languages will be shortly available.

16 May, 2014

EpiDoc training, Lausanne, July 7

Filed under: EpiDoc,events,training — Gabriel Bodard @ 11:32

Introducing the EpiDoc Collaborative: TEI XML and tools for encoding classical source texts

Training workshop attached to the Digital Humanities annual conference in Lausanne, Switzerland
Monday, July 7, 2014

Gabriel Bodard, Charlotte Tupman (King’s College London) and Greta Franzini, Simona Stoyanova (University of Leipzig)

Information on the timing and venue of the DH 2014 workshops, and how to book can be found at the conference website.

The programme will begin with a short introduction the history and theoretical basis of EpiDoc, guidelines, schema and related tools for the encoding of epigraphic and other ancient text editions in TEI XML. We will give an overview of the structure of a traditional epigraphic edition, and show how TEI elements are mapped to the semantic distinctions and fields therein. We will continue with further discussion of the Leiden Conventions (rigorous and arbitrary sigla for encoding editorial features of transcribed text in use since 1931) and how we map TEI elements to the semantic features that they represent. The EpiDoc Guidelines and further examples will be shown. Some time will be given for practice throughout. As a self-checking mechanism, students will be shown how to transform their EpiDoc XML files into HTML resembling a conventional edition, using the EpiDoc Example XSLT.


3 February, 2014

Job vacancy: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Warwick/Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, Oxford

Filed under: EpiDoc,jobs — Charlotte Tupman @ 11:19

A Postdoctoral Research Assistant post has arisen at the University of Warwick for the ‘Facilitating Access to Latin inscriptions in Britain’s Oldest Public Museum through Scholarship and Technology’ project, which explores the place of Latin literacy in Britain, the role of inscriptions in writing Roman social history, and the history of the collection and changing attitudes to epigraphy from 1683 to the modern day. Of equal importance is its objective to explore ways in which Latin inscriptions can be used to educate the general public, visitors, and children about the Roman world, using the Ashmolean as a case-study.

The job is 50%FTE, fixed Term Contract for 13 months, based at the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents/Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

You will work on the AHRC funded project, Facilitating Access to Latin inscriptions in Britain’s Oldest Public Museum through Scholarship and Technology.

You will create an Epidoc corpus of the Latin inscriptions in the Ashmolean Museum, based upon research carried out by the project’s PI, customizing EpiDoc XSL stylesheets. You will create digital images of the collection of Latin inscriptions in the Ashmolean: to carry out digital photography and Reflectance Transformation Imaging of Latin inscriptions in the Ashmolean Museum; and to integrate these images into the online corpus. You will explore using EpiDoc tools to create resources for the visually impaired. You will help maintain the project’s website. You will assist in in recording and editing project vodcasts.

You will have a PhD or equivalent in a relevant area. You will have a good knowledge of Latin, particularly epigraphy. You will have experience in XML; EpiDoc conversion tools (Crosswalker) and EpiDoc XSL stylesheets. Experience in Reflectance Transformation Imaging and website editing is desirable.

For further details of the project see here.

For the job advertisement see here.

13 January, 2014

EpiDoc Workshop, London, April 28-May 1, 2014

Filed under: EpiDoc,events,news,training — Charlotte Tupman @ 16:48

We invite applications for a 4-day training workshop on digital editing of epigraphic and papyrological texts, to be held in the Institute of Classical Studies, London, April 28-May 1, 2014. The workshop will be taught by Gabriel Bodard (KCL), Simona Stoyanova (Leipzig) and Charlotte Tupman (KCL). There will be no charge for the teaching, but participants will have to arrange their own travel and accommodation.

EpiDoc is a set of guidelines for using TEI XML for the encoding of inscriptions, papyri and other ancient documentary texts. It has been used to publish digital projects including the Inscriptions of Aphrodisias, the US Epigraphy Project, Vindolanda Tablets Online and the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri. The workshop will introduce participants to the basics of XML markup and give hands-on experience of tagging textual features and object descriptions in TEI, as well as use of the tags-free Papyrological Editor.

No technical skills are required, but a working knowledge of Greek or Latin, epigraphy or papyrology and the Leiden Conventions will be assumed. The workshop is open to participants of all levels, from graduate students to professors or professionals.

To apply for a place on this workshop please email with a brief description of your reason for interest and summarising your relevant skills and background, by Friday, February 21st, 2014.

29 October, 2013

Current Practices and New Directions in Digital Epigraphy

Filed under: EAGLE,EpiDoc,events,news,training — Pietro Liuzzo @ 13:37

Ljubljana (Slovenia) 19-20 February 2014 

Current Practices and New Directions in Digital Epigraphy is the first in a series of international events planned by EAGLE BPN. The event will feature presentations and hands-on workshops regarding themes of the EAGLE project, led by the project’s Working Groups.


Registration is free and open through December 15, 2013


The event will be held in English.

If you have any questions or need additional information,

Please contact:

Marjeta Šašel Kos

Pietro Liuzzo


27 September, 2013

Report on EpiDoc training, Sofia

Filed under: EpiDoc,training — Simona Stoyanova @ 15:19

Between the 3rd and 6th September 2013 we (Gabriel Bodard and Simona Stoyanova) taught an EpiDoc training workshop at the ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’ University of Sofia, Bugaria. The workshop was funded by the university’s Departments of Classics and History, and the Centre of Excellence in the Humanities “Alma Mater”, and organised by Dimitar Iliev. This was the first EpiDoc workshop held in Eastern Europe. The participants came from Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.

The programme of the workshop (see EpiDoc Summer School at the Digital Classicist wiki) involved a basic introduction to XML and TEI; the principles of EpiDoc markup, which are based on Leiden for the text transcription and the publication practices of epigraphers and papyrologists for descriptive, historical and supporting data. Most of the week involved hands-on experience for the participants in XML encoding and use of the Papyrological Editor tags-free interface (Leiden+), and ended with discussion of project management issues and the future of the EpiDoc community, and training possibilities in general.

We asked the participants to share their impressions of the workshop, and some of their responses are herebelow. (more…)

5 August, 2013

Postdoc position, Greek inscriptions of Ptolemaic Egypt (Oxford)

Filed under: EpiDoc,jobs — Gabriel Bodard @ 10:54

A position is about to be advertized in Greek epigraphy at Oxford, with a salary that would probably suit a newly qualified postdoc. This project looks like it will join the many other excellent EpiDoc corpora produced by the Oxford Classics/CSAD team. If you’re thinking about this, you really should contact Alan Bowman as soon as possible. (See the note from Bowman below.)

Simon Hornblower, Charles Crowther and I are pleased to announce that we have been awarded funding by the AHRC for a 3-year project on inscriptions from Ptolemaic Egypt. This project will create a corpus of up-to-date editions of the Greek, bilingual and trilingual inscriptions on stone from Ptolemaic Egypt (323-30 BCE), based on material collected and annotated by the late Peter Fraser FBA (1918-2007). The editions will include introductory material, commentaries, translations and digital images and will be made available both in book form and an on-line version. Fraser’s manuscript will be revised and updated, inscriptions published since the mid-1970s will be added, along with editions with translations of the Egyptian sections of bilingual and trilingual texts.

We will be seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Assistant to work on the Greek epigraphy for 3 years from October 2013, or as soon as possible thereafter. We expect the maximum possible salary to be in the region of £30,000 (sterling) per annum, depending on experience and qualifications. A formal advertisement will be posted soon. In the meantime, suitably qualified researchers who might wish to indicate possible interest in the position are encouraged to contact Professor Alan Bowman offline by email at

7 May, 2013

EpiDoc on Facebook

Filed under: EpiDoc — PaolaTomasi @ 14:48

From Laura Löser:

Dear all,
Exciting things are happening in the realms of EpiDoc. Since Thursday, you can find EpiDoc on Facebook:
First of all, if you are not a member of Facebook, worry not: any information that we publish on our Facebook page will also reach the Markup List. However, the page was established in order to keep anyone, whether just interested in learning more or established member of the EpiDoc community, up to date with current events and developments in an informal setting.
If you ‘like’ the page, you can show support for EpiDoc and share our news with your friends. Thus, you can make a contribution to promoting the benefits of EpiDoc, which may enlarge our community and thus increase the number of helping hands in the list – we shall regulargy encourage our followers to join the Markup List and make joining less ‘scary’, especially for students and younger scholars to widen access and outreach and raise awareness.



8 February, 2013

Bursaries available for EpiDoc workshop

Filed under: BES,EpiDoc,events,training — Charlotte Tupman @ 17:04

A reminder that we are inviting applications for a training event in digital encoding of epigraphy and papyrology at the Institute for Classical Studies, London, April 22-5, 2013 (see full announcement here).  Thanks to the generosity of the British Epigraphy Society and Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, we now have a limited number of bursaries available to assist students with attending this workshop.

If you would like to apply for financial support in attending the EpiDoc workshop, please note in your application email that you would like to be considered for a bursary, approximately how much you expect the trip to cost you, and what other sources of funding you have. If you have already applied for the training, please just send an additional email asking to be considered, and we’ll add a note to this effect to your application. A decision will be made shortly after the closing date on March 1st.

11 January, 2013

EpiDoc Workshop, London, April 22-25, 2013

Filed under: EpiDoc,events,training — Charlotte Tupman @ 15:57

We invite applications for a 4-day training workshop on digital text-markup for epigraphic and papyrological editing, to be held in the Institute for Classical Studies, London, with support from the British Epigraphy Society and Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. The workshop will be taught by Gabriel Bodard (KCL), James Cowey (Heidelberg), Simona Stoyanova (KCL) and Charlotte Tupman (KCL). There will be no charge for the teaching, but participants will have to arrange their own travel and accommodation.

EpiDoc ( is a set of guidelines for using TEI XML ( for the encoding of inscriptions, papyri and other ancient documentary texts. It has been used to publish digital projects including the Inscriptions of Aphrodisias and Tripolitania, the US Epigraphy ProjectVindolanda Tablets Online andCurse Tablets from Roman BritainPandektis (inscriptions of Macedonia and Thrace), and the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri. The workshop will introduce participants to the basics of XML and markup and give hands-on experience of tagging textual features and object description in EpiDoc as well as use of the tags-free Papyrological Editor (

No technical skills are required to apply, but a working knowledge of Greek or Latin, epigraphy or papyrology and the Leiden Conventions will be assumed. The workshop is open to participants of all levels, from graduate students to professors or professionals.

To apply for a place on this workshop please email with a brief description of your reason for interest and summarising your relevant skills and background, by Friday March 1st, 2013.

24 September, 2012

New online publication: MAMA XI

Filed under: EpiDoc,publications — Gabriel Bodard @ 10:10

Please find attached a flyer advertising the online publication of a new corpus of Greek and Latin inscriptions, Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua XI: Monuments from Phrygia and Lykaonia.

MAMA XI is a corpus of 387 inscriptions and other ancient monuments, 292 of which are unpublished, from Phrygia and Lykaonia recorded by Sir William Calder (1881-1960) and Dr Michael Ballance (†27 July 2006) in the course of annual expeditions to Asia Minor in 1954-1957. The monuments have been edited with full commentaries and marked-up in xml using EpiDoc electronic editorial conventions by Peter Thonemann with the assistance of Édouard Chiricat and Charles Crowther.

The full corpus was published online on 14 September 2012 at the following address: A print volume will be published later as a Roman Society monograph.

The MAMA XI project has been funded by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and is based at the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents in Oxford.

Peter Thonemann
Wadham College, Oxford

3 July, 2012

Seminar: Digital epigraphy beyond the Classical (London, July 6th)

Filed under: EpiDoc,events — Gabriel Bodard @ 13:49

Digital epigraphy beyond the Classical: creating (inter?)national standards for recording modern and early modern gravestones

Charlotte Tupman (KCL)

Institute of Classical Studies Digital Seminar 2012

Friday July 6th at 16:30, in Room G22/26, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Early modern and modern gravestones are a vast but rapidly decaying historical resource for the period from the 16th century to the present day. Processes of weathering, deliberate or accidental damage, the re-use of cemeteries and the uprooting and rearranging of monuments (such as the practice of removing stones from their original positions and stacking them around the edges of walls) all have an impact on both the size and the scholarly value of this body of evidence. Countless records have already been lost, which makes it particularly important to address as soon as possible the question of how to record and publish these monuments systematically and usefully.

Currently there are no agreed standards for recording such gravestones. Interested historians and volunteers in some churches or local areas have recorded their own particular monumental inscriptions, and have made these available on microfiche, CD, or in a basic form online. Typically these records only include the text itself; very rarely there might be a photograph, but almost never is any metadata recorded about the monument. The nature of these recorded examples is thus very fragmentary and inconsistent.

The experience of projects using EpiDoc and other shared standards for the recording and publication of ancient and medieval inscribed materials has shown that there is considerable value in agreeing a set of guidelines for encoding and publication. This applies to materials that span a variety of languages, geographical areas, and centuries. It is clear that many, if not most, of the standards described in the EpiDoc guidelines are appropriate for, and directly applicable to, the recording and publication of modern gravestones. This paper investigates what is required in order to make these standards a viable method of recording such a large body of data, where many of those doing the recording are not experts in epigraphy.

It is clear that considerable thought must be given to what is asked of those who are responsible for recording the monuments, and how this can best be balanced with the need to produce a scholarly resource that will be useful for local historians, genealogists and other interested parties, as well as to people who would define themselves as epigraphers and archaeologists. Crucially, the system must make it sufficiently simple to input the data, but must also ensure that the resulting records are sufficiently detailed and useful for enabling in-depth research to be undertaken. This paper discusses these challenges and suggests solutions with a view to designing a pilot project for a national (and potentially international) system for recording and publishing gravestone evidence.


The seminar will be followed by wine and refreshments.

27 January, 2012

EpiDoc training workshop, Calabria, June 4-7, 2012

Filed under: EpiDoc,training — Gabriel Bodard @ 14:16

EpiDoc and TEI / XML training workshop

Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche, Giuridiche, Economiche e Sociali dell’Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria
BILG Project

4 – 7 giugno 2012

The Department of Scienze Storiche, Giuridiche, Economiche e Sociali of University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria and the Department Diritto dell’Organizzazione Pubblica, Economia e Società of University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, within BILG (Inscriptiones Graecae et Latinae Bruttiorum) project, is organising an intensive training workshop of EpiDoc, with Monica Berti (Tufts University – Roma Tor Vergata), Lou Burnard (TEI Editor) and Marion Lamè (Università di Bologna).

This workshop is an introduction to the use of TEI and of EpiDoc, XML schema for the encoding and publication of literary texts and inscriptions, papyri and other documentary classical texts respectively. Participants will study the use of EpiDoc markup to record the distinctions expressed by the Leiden Conventions and traditional critical editions, and some of the issues in translating between EpiDoc and the major epigraphic and papyrological databases. The course is targeted at scholars of historical and ancient texts, epigraphic and papyrologic ones (from advanced graduate students to professors), that are interested and want to learn some of the hands-on technical aspects in the markup, encoding, and exploitation of digital editions.

The course will give a practical introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative, an introduction to EpiDoc markup and editing tools, and the text transformations with XSLT.

For more details about EpiDoc and TEI /XML, see at and Knowledge of Greek and/or Latin, the Leiden  Conventions, the distinctions expressed by them and the kinds of data that need to be recorded by epigraphic scholars and ancient historians are of  course essential. The course will be held in English with Italian tutors. No particular computer skills and technical expertise are required, even if the possession of an interest for computer know-how is preferable.

The workshop is free of charge and open to all, but spaces are limited (not more than 20 people) and registration as soon as possible is essential. To enrol in the training, please contact or with a brief statement of qualifications and interests.

5 January, 2012

A post-doctoral fellowship in Bologna

Filed under: EpiDoc,jobs,news — LuciaCriscuolo @ 10:09

This is a call for applications to a post-doctoral one year  fellowship in Greek Epigraphy, starting from March 1, 2012. Applications must be submitted by Jan. 31, 2012, according to the “Bando” on University of Bologna website (Dipartimento di Storia Antica/Società e potere nelle iscrizioni della Cirenaica),

The research fellow will allowed and welcome to work in English as well in French, and foreign applications are very much welcome. To get help in order to write down the application (in Italian), applicant can write directly to Lucia Criscuolo ( or to Alice Bencivenni ( The interview, which will take place on Feb. 22,  can take place via Skype.

The applicant will be involved in the international project on Lybian inscriptions, which has to develop a publication portal for several digital corpora of inscriptions from Libya. The Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania (IRT) were republished in 2009 (; the first volume of Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica (IRCyr) is scheduled for publication in 2011; the Greek Inscriptions of Cyrenaica are under preparation (IGCyr). All these corpora are prepared in EpiDoc. The portal will offer access to all these publications; it will provide a common bibliography, a shared search facility, shared indices, and draw on a shared geographic database. The bursar shall prepare and update the already existing Bibliography, according to the standard of the Bibliographie Papyrologique, and the Prosopography accomplished by A. Laronde, and collaborate in the mark-up and the preparation of the metadata, checking different sources and enlarging, if necessary, the information already provided by the other members of the team. Through this work the bursar will get an experience in the evaluation and interpretation of the epigraphical evidence of the ancient Cyrene, from VII to I century BC.

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