Category Archives: Uncategorized

Our new site is up!!

We have a beta version of our website up now, www.fromstonetoscreen.com.  We are very happy with how it looks and hope you like it!

If you have any comments or thoughts, definitely let us know!  We love how much the project is growing and appreciate all of your support.

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We’re upgrading!

Our project has had some amazing opportunities and exposure this academic year, and we’re only two months in!  To reflect this, our team is in the process of redesigning our webpage!  We have some great ideas and can’t wait to put them into place.

We also want to hear from you, though!  As our readers, supporters, and the whole reason why we’re doing this, we value your opinion and want to know what you’d like to see.  We would really appreciate it if you could take a minute to answer our poll and let us know what you would like to see on our website!  Vote on a particular aspect you think would be great to see upgraded or suggest your own!  We would love any feedback you have.

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Open Access Week, October 28th – 29th

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Every year UBC hosts participates in International Open Access Week, a global event aimed at the promotion of open access in scholarship and resarch. From Stone to Screen has been asked to join the panel on Student Innovation in the Open,  where we will present the digitizing work we’ve accomplished over the summer and talk a bit about how these resources are being integrated into classroom use. This is a great opportunity for us to engage with the academic community and discuss the value of open access to material, something we at FSTS feel very strongly about.

Open UBC is held in conjunction with the International Open Access Week, which encourages the academic community to come together to share and learn about open scholarship initiatives locally and worldwide. Open UBC showcases two days of diverse events highlighting areas of open scholarship that UBC’s researchers, faculty, students and staff participate in as well as guests from the global community. These events include discussion forums, lectures, seminars, workshops, and symposia on topical and timely issues from every discipline. All of these events are FREE and open to the public, students, faculty, staff and schools.

All sessions will be held in the Lillooet Room (301), of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC. Check out the schedule and if there are panels or talks you are interested in registration is free but required; coffee and snacks are provided.

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I3 Challenge – Update!

Our blog post, written by Lisa Tweten earlier this week, has been reposted on the GRAND website!  Her experience at the challenge, and the amazing support of our faculty, is a delight to read and such a great opportunity for us to spread the word about From Stone to Screen.  

GRAND in association with the University of British Columbia Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC Lab) hosted the I-Cubed (I3) – Idea, Innovation and Inaugurate Challenge in September. Participating teams pitched business ideas to a panel of judges drawn from the digital media and investment communities to earn a 3-month residency in the MAGIC Lab, and in-kind technical and business support to help take the proposal to the next stage. Lisa Tweten’s winning pitch was to develop a companion mobile app that will provide a visual complement to aid the study of epigraphic squeezes with relevant historical context.

i3The post was put up on Grand’s website yesterday.  Check out Lisa’s original post here.

 

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by | October 8, 2014 · 11:09 am

A new city, A new blog

A new city, A new blog.

Chelsea has a new post up reflecting on her year in Greece., everything from spiders – apparently everywhere, lying in wait for unsuspecting archaeologists – learning Greek from bathroom signs and what beer to drink while you’re there. Travel tips you won’t get any where else, that’s for sure.

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DHSI 2014

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to go to my first ever Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI), held annually at the beautiful University of Victoria. DHSI is a fantastic community of professors, librarians and graduate students who are passionate about digital humanities, and passionate about sharing their knowledge.

I was in the Digital Pedagogy course run by Diane Jakacki who has a prodigious knowledge of DH and who facilitated some great in-class discussions about both the value and challenges of digital humanities in the classroom – everything from a simple class website to having students use Twitter for presentation feedback, where the 140 character limit forces them to be concise and relevant in a way that provides better feedback for their peers.

UVic campus

UVic campus

 

It was a great week of classes, discussions, and presentations, and I would not have been able to attend had I not received one of the many very generous scholarships that DHSI provides that covers the majority of the tuition fee for the week. If you are interested, I highly recommend registering for DHSI 2015 early, and requesting a scholarship, as the courses fill up fast and scholarships are awarded early.

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In addition to learning a ton of new platforms and methods to incorporate interactive learning in the classroom, I had a chance to do a little teaching. I was invited to do a lightning presentation at one of the morning Colloquiums organized by James O’Sullivan and Mary Galvin, which provided a platform for many DHSI attendees to give a brief introduction to some very interesting projects. One of the more fascinating and interactive projects is the Ivanhoe project run by the University of Virginia Library, which enables roleplay and encourages students to think about how they interact with literature.

Our presentation was well-received, even though most in the audience had never heard of a squeeze before. In fact, one audience member works at the Okanagan UBC Campus and has invited our team to join them at Open Access Week this fall and give another presentation.

Opportunities like this are fantastic not only to get people informed and excited about our project but because we end up being exposed to ideas and tools that we may never have found on our own and making connections in the DH community. I’d recommend getting some experience in DH for anyone looking for academic jobs in the humanities, as it is a skill that is increasingly in demand.

Check out some of the current job postings at HASTAC.org if you’d like an idea what skills and platforms are most in demand; chances are there is a DHSI course that suits your interests.

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Guest Post by Bram ten Berge: New Research on the Athenian Tribute Lists

From Stone to Screen’s latest blog post features a guest author, Bram ten Berge, writing on the ATL’s from Athens, Greece. Enjoy!

 

Hello all,

My name is Bram ten Berge. I’m a PhD candidate in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan, and am currently living in Athens as a regular member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA). In this short blog I would like to share with you some of the new developments in the scholarship on the Athenian Tribute Lists about which I learned in a recent tour in the Epigraphical Museum; this new research shows that the digitization project at UBC coincides with an exciting time for Greek epigraphy.

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Bram investigating an inscription at the Epigraphy Museum, Athens

 

First some background information. The ‘Athenian Tribute Lists’ (ATLs) are inscriptions that record tribute payments made annually by Athens’ allies – the members of the Delian League – after 454 BC, when the League Treasury was moved to Athens from the island of Delos. What these inscriptions record are not the actual tribute lists (of which not a single fragment survives today), but rather a 1/60th part of each ally’s total assessed tribute, which was dedicated to the goddess Athena as ‘first-fruits’ (aparchai). These amounts are commonly referred to as the ‘tribute quota’ and the inscriptions that record them as the ‘tribute quota lists’. These amounts were annually inscribed on stone slabs (stelai), some of which have survived from antiquity. For the first fifteen years, from 454/3 to 440/39 BC, the tribute quota lists were inscribed on the four sides of a massive stele of Pentelic marble, the so-called Lapis Primus (‘First Stone’). For the following eight years, from 439/38 – 432/31 BC, the lists were inscribed on a smaller stele of Pentelic marble, the so-called Lapis Secundus (‘Second Stone’). In all subsequent years, down to 415/14 BC, each list was inscribed on its own marble stele and on one side only. The tribute quota lists were recorded annually after representatives of the allied cities delivered their tribute during the City Dionysia, a large festival in honor of the god Dionysus. The stones on which they were inscribed stood on the Acropolis, where visitors and allied representatives could witness them, a physical representation, if you will, of Athenian power. Some of these stones eventually made their way down to the Athenian Agora. Most of the fragments of these stones are now in the Epigraphical Museum in Athens, where they have been stored since their discovery. Many of the squeezes in the McGregor collection come from the above stones and allowed him to continue studying the evidence while away from Athens.

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The Lapis Primus (Photo courtesy of M. Miles)

The tribute quota lists form crucial evidence for our conception of fifth century Athenian financial, political, and military history. They are commonly used by modern scholars, together with other major inscriptions and the principal historical events, to reconstruct the nature and development of Athenian power in the Aegean throughout the fifth century. There are many other concerns, especially economic in nature, that are connected with the lists as well, such as the financial details of the building program on the Acropolis, for which we know part of the tribute surplus was used, the financial upkeep of the Athenian democratic institutions and judiciary system, supplied in part by the incoming tribute, the economic vitality of allied cities, and the location and identification of lesser-known cities based on the lists.

The major edition of the lists consists of four monumental volumes edited by Malcolm McGregor and his colleagues Benjamin Meritt and Henry Wade-Gery, titled The Athenian Tribute Lists and published over 14 years from 1939-1953. The volumes were a truly massive accomplishment on the part of the authors and still constitute the authoritative edition. Their reconstructions of the lists as well as their historical conclusions soon became orthodoxy and they remain the starting-point for any examination of the finances, history, and geography of the Athenian empire. All this is not to say, however, that the last word on these topics has been spoken, much less that our evidence is final or fixed. On the contrary, recent developments have left the field wide open to new interpretation.

 

As part of the ASCSA regular program, I have had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Epigraphical Museum several times this year, and the last time under the guidance of well-known epigrapher Angelos P. Matthaiou. Judging from what our group discussed with him that morning I can tell you this is a great time for Greek epigraphy. First off, new discoveries of fragments constantly encourage us to reconsider the current configuration of the tribute lists as reconstructed by McGregor, Wade-Gery, and Meritt. Professor Matthaiou showed us a number of recently discovered (and still unpublished) fragments of the lists as well as a new fragment of the so-called “Thoudippos Decree” on tribute reassessment (425/4 BC) that proved that some of the seemingly secure restorations of the editors are in fact incorrect. Such new evidence reminds us of the risks inherent in restoring words (especially large chunks of text) that are not in fact present on the stone. Since the tribute lists and texts like the Thoudippos decree are crucial sources for any reconstruction of 5th century Athenian history, any changes in the lists’ configuration can have far-reaching implications for the historical conclusions that depend on them.

In addition to the discovery of new fragments, the resolution of the so-called “three-barred sigma controversy” is leading to the re-dating of many important 5th century inscriptions that are highly relevant to the tribute lists. Some of these will have their date shifted from the 440s to the 420s BC and vice versa, with significant implications for our reconstruction of the nature and development of Athenian power throughout the fifth century. Until about 15-20 years ago, there existed among epigraphers an orthodoxy (challenged early on by Harold Mattingly: see esp. The Athenian Empire Restored, 1996) whereby inscriptions containing a so-called “three-barred sigma” had to pre-date 448/7 BC, the year in which, according to this ‘rule’, sigmas with three bars went out of use and were replaced by sigmas with four bars. It has now, with the help of laser-beam technology, been sufficiently proven that three-barred sigmas did in fact continue to be used after 448/7, vindicating Mattingly, questioning letterforms as a secure dating-criterion, and opening up many 5th century inscriptions to re-dating and re-interpretation. A great place to see some of the new directions taken in the scholarship as a result of these developments is the recent volume edited by John Ma, Nikolaos Papazarkadas, and Robert Parker (Interpreting the Athenian Empire, 2009).

But perhaps the most exciting development, and certainly the one that will have the biggest impact on future scholarship on the ATLs, is the proposed dismantling and reassembling of the Lapis Primus, with its 180 fragments of ancient white marble. The interior rods of this massive stone (at c. 3.5 meters high it easily rises above all other inscriptions in the museum) have slowly deteriorated over time and, as Professor Matthaiou and the current director of the Museum told us, will soon (pending financial support) be replaced by titanium rods. When this happens (and we all hope it will be soon), it will give scholars the opportunity, for the first time since 1927, to reexamine the inscribed fragments from every side, to re-measure them, and, ultimately, to reassemble them again. Matthaiou and the director further told us there are plans for similar projects for the Lapis Secundus and the stele of the Thoudippos Decree, although I believe these plans are much less formalized for the time being. In addition to the above developments, careful searches through the storerooms of the Agora and Acropolis museums may yield further fragments of the lists that as of yet have remained undiscovered (Matthaiou recently found one such fragment in the storeroom of the Acropolis Museum). All of the above developments make for an amazing time in Greek epigraphy and the study of ancient Greece more generally. Given the projected dismantling and reassembling of the Lapis Primus it is all the more significant that the McGregor squeeze collection as well as McGregor’s personal charts be preserved online. It will preserve for posterity copies of the stone’s fragments as McGregor and his colleagues studied and configured them.

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The Lapis Primus (Photo courtesy of M. Miles)

 

I would like to congratulate the graduate students at UBC for initiating this wonderful project of digitizing the McGregor squeeze collection, including squeezes of the Athenian Tribute Lists and McGregor’s personal charts. These are truly remarkable resources that I’m confident many around the world cannot wait to be able to consult online. Congratulations also on the recent acquisition of additional funds from the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund at UBC. The project could not be happening in a more exciting context for Greek epigraphy!

 

All the best,

 

Bram ten Berge (bltenber@umich.edu)

 

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