Digital Athenaeus
A digital edition of the Deipnosophists of Athenaeus of Naucratis

About


The Digital Athenaeus is a project directed by Monica Berti at the Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig for producing a digital edition of the Deipnosophists of Athenaeus of Naucratis.

The work is focused on annotating quotations and text reuses in the Deipnosophists in order to accomplish two main results:

  • Provide an inventory of authors and works cited by Athenaeus;
  • Implement a data model for identifying, analyzing, and citing uniquely instances of text reuse in the Deipnosophists.

The Greek text of the Deipnosophists is based on the Teubner edition of Georg Kaibel (1887-1890) and the Digital Athenaeus provides users with different tools for accessing the text and getting information about authors and works quoted by Athenaeus:

  • Retrieving citations:
  • Accessing and searching the text of the Deipnosophists:
  • Looking for Athenaeus’ quotations:
    • Digital versions of the indices scriptorum by August Meineke and Georg Kaibel, of the dialogi personae by Georg Kaibel, and of the index of authors, texts, and persons by S. Douglas Olson (see tools);
    • Book Stream: automatic alignment of index entries with links to the indices and to the Greek text of the Deipnosophists.
  • Named-entity recognition (NER) tools:
    • Index to Text: automatic alignment of index entries with the Greek text of the Deipnosophists based on the Levenshtein distance.

References:

  • M. Berti et al. “Documenting Homeric Text-Reuse in the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus of Naucratis”. In Digital Approaches and the Ancient World. Ed. by G. Bodard, Y. Broux, and S. Tarte. BICS Themed Issue 59(2), 2016, 121-139 (link);
  • M. Berti et al. “Modelling Taxonomies of Text Reuse in the Deipnosophists of Athenaeus of Naucratis: Declarative Digital Scholarship”. In Digital Humanities 2016: Conference Abstracts. Jagiellonian University & Pedagogical University, Kraków, pp. 135-137 (link);
  • M. Berti et al. “The Leipzig Open Fragmentary Texts Series (LOFTS)”. In Digital Methods and Classical Studies. Ed. N.W. Bernstein and N. Coffee. DHQ Themed Issue 10(2), 2016 (link).

The Deipnosophists


The Deipnosophists (i.e., The Learned Banqueters) is the description of several banquet conversations on food, literature, and arts held in Rome at the house of the rich patron Larensius. This work can be considered as an erudite and literary encyclopedia of many curiosities about classical antiquity. It is also an invaluable collection of quotations and text reuses of ancient authors, ranging from Homer to tragic and comic poets and lost historians.

Athenaeus, the author of the Deipnosophists, is almost unknown. The Byzantine lexicon Suda (s.v. Ἀθήναιος 731) describes him as coming from the Egyptian city of Naucratis, being a grammarian, and living in the time of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Athenaeus presents himself as participating in the banquets described in the Deipnosophists with other twenty-two sophists. He offers the account of the conversations to his friend Timocrates.

The text of the Deipnosophists has been transmitted in two different forms:

  • A mutilated copy of the original work (Venetus Marcianus 447), where the first part of the text until Deipn. 3.73e (= 3.4) and other scattered folios are lost.
  • An epitome of the whole work in four copies (Parisinus Suppl. Gr. 841; Laurentianus LX.2; BM Bibl. Regia 16.D.X; Erbacensis 4).

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