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


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:

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

The project provides users with tools for consulting the text of the Deipnosophists and getting information about authors and works reused by Athenaeus.

The Digital Athenaeus is also implementing a system for involving scholars and students in improving and disambiguating data pertaining to the work of the Naucratites.


  • 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).