Archive for October, 2010


UGA Classics-Related Acquisitions in October

October 27, 2010

It’s been 4 weeks since I looked at the New Titles list from the UGA libraries for books of interest to the Classics Department.  This means I scanned through 2637 items on 10/26, looking for titles of interest.  I came up with:

  • Plato primer, Evans, J. D. G. (John David Gemmill), 1942-2009.  Location:  ‘Main Library 6th floor B395 .E93 2010
  • Plato, Mason, Andrew S.  Location:  ‘Main Library 6th floor B395 .M3875 2010
  • Image of a second sun : Plato on poetry, rhetoric, and the techne of mimesis, Mitscherling, Jeffrey Anthony. Location:  ‘Main Library 6th floor B398.A4 M58 2009
  • Aristotelian account of induction : creating something from nothing, Groarke, Louis. Location:  ‘Main Library 6th floor
  • Exploring happiness : from Aristotle to brain science, Bok, Sissela. Location:  ‘Main Library 6th floor BJ1481 .B64 2010
  • Minoan kingship and the solar goddess : a Near Eastern koine, Marinatos, Nanno.  Location: ‘Main Library 6th floor BL793.C7 M335 2010
  • Augustine in his own words, Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo.  Location: ‘Main Library 6th floor BR65.A52 E6 2010b
  • Pietre e le stelle : note sul primo cristianesimo nell’alto Adriatico, Iacumin, Renato. Location: ‘Main Library 6th floor BR133.I83 A675 2008
  • Christianity in ancient Rome : the first three centuries, Green, Bernard, 1953- .Location: ‘Main Library 6th floor BR165 .G74 2010
  • Space, time, place : third international conference on remote sensing in archaeology : 17th-21st August 2009, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil, Nadu, India, International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology (3rd : 2009 : Tiruchirappalli, India).  Location: ‘Main Library 2nd floor Folio CC76.4 .I584 2009
  • Seeing the unseen : geophysics and landscape archaeology. Location: ‘Main Library 2nd floor CC76.4 .S44 2009
  • Pioneers to the past : American archaeologists in the Middle East, 1919-1920. Location: ‘Main Library 2nd floor CC101.M628 U55 2010
  • Passion for the past : the odyssey of a transatlantic archaeologist, Noel Hume, Ivor. Location: ‘Main Library 2nd floor CC115.N64 A3 2010
  • Coping with the past : creative perspectives on conservation and restoration. Location: ‘Main Library 2nd floor CC135 .C675 2010
  • Archaeology : theories, methods and practice 5th ed. Renfrew, Colin, 1937-. Location: ‘Main Library 2nd floor CC165 .R46 2008
  • Writing ancient history : an introduction to classical historiography, Pitcher, Luke. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor D56 .P58 2009
  • Iron age and Romano-British settlements and landscapes of Salisbury Plain, Fulford, M. G. (Michael Gordon). Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor Folio DA670.S13 F85 2006
  • Cultural messages in the Graeco-Roman world : acta of the BABESCH 80th anniversary workshop Radboud University Nijmegen, September 8th 2006. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DE71 .C958 2010
  • Rural landscapes of the Punic world, Dommelen, Peter Alexander Rene van, 1966-. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DE73.2.C37 R87 2008
  • Agriculture dans la Grece du IVe siecle avant J-C : le temoignage de Xenophon, Marein, Marie-Francoise. Location: Main Library 4th floor DF105 .M37 2009
  • Local knowledge and microidentities in the imperial Greek world. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DF135 .L63 2010
  • Battle of Marathon, Krentz, Peter. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DF225.4 .K74 2010
  • Alexander the Great, Nawotka, Krzysztof. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DF234 .N392 2010
  • Alexander the Great and his empire : a short introduction, Briant, Pierre.  Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DF234.37 .B7413 2010
  • Etruschi della Valdera : forme dell’insediamento fra VII e V secolo a. C. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor Folio DG55.E87 E87 2006
  • Oxford handbook of Roman studies. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DG209 .O94 2010
  • Rome’s wars in Parthia : blood in the sand, Sheldon, Rose Mary, 1948-. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DG215.P37 S54 2010
  • Marco Aurelio : la miseria della filosofia 1. ed., Fraschetti, Augusto. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DG297 .F73 2008
  • History of Zonaras : from Alexander Severus to the death of Theodosius the Great Zonaras, Joannes, 12th cent. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DG298 .Z613 2009
  • Age of Constantine the Great, Burckhardt, Jacob, 1818-1897. Location: .Main Library 3rd floor Hargrett – S.S. Thomas (SubB) SST Gen Coll DG315 .B92313 1967
  • Costantino il grande tra Medioevo ed eta moderna. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DG315 .C66 2004
  • Empereur Julien et son temps. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor
  • Illyricum in Roman politics, 229 BC-AD 68, Dzino, Danijel. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DR1350.I45 D97 2010
  • Past in the past : concepts of past reality in ancient Near Eastern and early Greek thought. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DS62.23 .P37 2009
  • Ituraeans and the Roman Near East : reassessing the sources, Myers, E. A. (Elaine Anne). Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DS82 .M94 2010
  • Philistines and Aegean migration at the end of the late Bronze Age, Yasur-Landau, Assaf. Location: ‘Main Library 4th floor DS90 .Y37 2010
  • Eros : l’amore in Roma antica, Dosi, Antonietta. Location: ‘Main Library 5th floor HQ13 .D67 2008
  • Graeco-Roman slave markets : fact or fiction? Trumper, Monika.  Location: ‘Main Library 5th floor HT979 .T78 2009
  • Companion to Greek and Roman political thought. Location: ‘Main Library 6th floor JC73 .C67 2009
  • Monumenti antichi, fortezze medievale : il riutilizzo degli antichi monumenti nell’edilizia aristocratica di Roma (VIII-XIV secolo), Di Santo, Alberto. Location: ‘Main Library 7th floor NA1120 .D57 2010
  • Architecture in the Balkans from Diocletian to Suleyman the Magnificent, CurcŒic, Slobodan. Location: ‘Main Library 7th floor Folio NA1375 .C87 2010
  • Colloquial and literary Latin, Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA2311 .C65 2010
  • Greeks and their past : poetry, oratory and history in the fifth century BCE, Grethlein, Jonas, 1978-. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA3009 .G748 2010
  • Archivio di Senouthios Anystes e testi connessi : lettere e documenti per la costruzione di una capitale. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor Folio PA3308 .V5 2010
  • Cratinus and the art of comedy, Bakola, Emmanuela.  Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA3948.C84 B35 2010
  • Art of Euripides : dramatic technique and social context, Mastronarde, Donald J. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA3978 .M37 2010
  • Paradigmi politici nell’epica omerica, Catanzaro, Andrea, 1976-. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA4037 .C29 2008
  • Art and rhetoric of the Homeric catalogue, Sammons, Benjamin. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA4037 .S25 2010
  • Lebendige Kommunikation : die Verwandlung des Odysseus in Homers Odyssee als kognitiv-emotives Horerkonzept, Offermann, Ursula. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA4167 .O4 2006
  • Odes for victorious athletes, Pindar. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor
  • Onomastique et intertextualite dans la litterature latine : actes de la journee d’etude tenue a la Maison de l’Orient et de la Mediterranee–Jean Pouilloux le 14 mars 2005. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA6027 .O56 2009
  • Cicerone : la parola e la politica 1. ed., Narducci, Emanuele. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA6320 .N365 2009
  • Commentary on Lucan, De bello civili IV : introduction, edition and translation, Asso, Paolo, 1965- Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA6480 .A87 2010
  • Metamorphoses. Book XIV, Ovid, 43 B.C.-17 or 18 A.D. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA6519.M6 A14 2009
  • Ovide, figures de l’hybride : illustrations litteraires et figurees de l’esthetique ovidienne a travers les ages. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA6537 .O923 2009
  • Anger, mercy, revenge, Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, ca. 4 B.C.-65 A.D. Location: ‘Main Library 3rd floor PA6665 .A1 2010
  • Idea of the library in the ancient world, Too, Yun Lee. Location: ‘Main Library 2nd floor Main Z722 .T66 2010

Reference Query for an English Major

October 26, 2010

In the interests of giving a behind-the-scenes view of things I do while wearing my Classics Librarian hat, I thought I’d recount a recent reference question that came to me and for which my Classics expertise was useful.

A librarian colleague who had done a teaching session with an English class forwarded the following student email to me:

I’m one of the students [Dr. X] brought in the other day, and I have a question he said you might be able to help me with. In a paper written by A. H. M. Jones, he gives a summary of something the ancient Greek teacher Libanius said. His only reference to where he got it from was “Lib[anius], Or[atio], xxxi, I I.”. I was wondering if you knew of someplace I could find an English version of the original Greek writing so that I could read it for myself.

After about 10 minutes, I was able to reply:

Antioch as a Centre of Hellenic Culture as Observed by Libanius (link is to UGA catalog record) has an extended discussion of Oration 31 as well as a translation.  The passage the student wants is probably on p. 70/71.

How did I get there?  Here were my steps (remember, I have almost no print collection in the same building as my office, so I always turn first to the internet):

  1. Checked Wikipedia entry on Libanius to see what exactly he wrote and what the standard terminology is for it (Orations are different from Declamations, it turns out!)  Confirmed the citation probably meant Oration number 31, chapter 1, line 1.
  2. Checked Perseus.  No Libanius.
  3. Checked Loeb Classical Library web site to see what was contained in their volume of Libanius’ Orations.  Answer: not number 31.
  4. Googled “Libanius Oration 31“.  Came up with the book linked above, but landed on the discussion, so I didn’t realize there was a translation, too.
  5. Searched GILFind on author Libanius.  Came up with same book, hmm.  Noticed that Library of Congress subject headings mention ” translations into English.”
  6. Went back to the Google Books result and looked more carefully, and yup, there was a translation, although the relevant pages were not available in the preview.

What would you have done differently?  Did anything I did surprise you?  Did I do anything “wrong”? (Is there a “wrong”?)


Open Access Week for Classicists

October 21, 2010

The 4th annual Open Access Week is October 18-24, 2010. What does it mean for a classicist?

Open access resources are those that are available to all online, without the payment of a subscription by a university library or department or individual.  For many students and faculty based at large research institutions in the United States, it is easy to take access to appropriate scholarly resources  for granted.  Many undergraduates  I work with are surprised to discover that the UGA library pays for access to Jstor.  I field queries from students who are perplexed that a web site is asking them to pay $30 for a scholarly article they found using Google, and recent graduates who are distressed that they no longer have free access to Lexis Nexis.  And consider those who are based at small and/or ill-funded academic institutions, both in the US and abroad, and rely heavily on interlibrary loan and/or database license restriction-violating friends at larger institutions (who email them .pdfs or share passwords).

It is relatively easy to embrace the principle that scholarly information should be freely disseminated and available to all – but real life and the economics of scholarly publishing make open access more complicated.  To explore these issues, the Association for Research Libraries  has an Open Access initiative called SPARC.  SPARC produces a brochure (pdf) that is much more eloquent than I can be about the benefits of open access, and the web site has sections on economics and campus policies.  A few campuses have had their faculty commit to publishing their research in open access repositories, and many campuses have digital repositories, usually based in the libraries, to adequately organize and store various open access materials, which can range from digitized historic documents to data sets to student papers (including dissertations) to scholarly research by faculty.

Open Access: You’re Already Using It

Some of the best-loved and most heavily used online resources for Classics research are open access: Perseus, the core collection of the TLG, and Lacus Curtius, to name some of the most popular.

The blog AWOL: The Ancient World Online has been collecting scholarly journals and other resources relevant to ancient studies that are open access, and has amassed an impressively long lost of titles.

The Hathi Trust catalog is an important scholarly site to be aware of.  Supported by major US research libraries,  it has online full-text of many scholarly works that are out of copyright, and the indexing and searchability are better than Google Books (which is also a valuable resource for open-access scholarly books and a few journals.)

What have I missed?  Tell me the best scholarly resource you use online for Classics research that is open-access.  I am certain I am missing many non-US ones!

Open Access: How You Can Contribute

As a teacher and scholar, you can help promote open access resources by:

  • Recommending them to your students and colleagues.
  • Publishing your scholarly papers in open access journals, especially if you are past the tenure process and can actually attract readers to these often newer journals because of your well-known name.
  • Looking closely at your contracts with publishers when you sign them.  If they don’t allow you to keep copyright of your own works, consider asking for an amendment of the agreement.
  • For scholarly works for which you hold the copyright, consider posting them online as free .pdf files, making them de facto open access.  A personal or departmental web site is a good place for this (you can link .pdf files to an online CV, for example) or a ‘scholarly social networking site’ like makes the process easy.

Are there other ideas I have missed?  Have questions about Open Access?  Let me know!


Resource Review: Handbook for Classical Research

October 19, 2010

The Classics Department recently purchased David M. Schaps, Handbook for Classical Research (Routledge, 2010) for the Alexander Room collection.

Illustration of book coverThis book serves as an introduction to Classical Studies research and  its various subfields.  It seems designed to accompany a proseminar for beginning graduate students, the sort of once-a-week, one credit hour seminar that many departments (UGA included) hold for new graduate students in their first semester.  As such it is useful – oftentimes graduate proseminars are a mixture of broad and narrow topics, more dictated by the research interests of departmental faculty than guided by a comprehensive approach to introducing the various sub-disciplines of Classics and the quirks of their research methods and research resources (topics include such diverse things as approaching research questions and understanding the notations used to describe coins).  This useful content  is organized well.  There are 30 chapters, divided into 4 sections (a table of contents is available at the Worldcat page, linked above under the title), so one could cover 2-3 topics a week in a 15-week proseminar.

The book has an unusually personal and chatty ‘voice’ that did not work very well for this reader.  It is not the sort of book many would want to sit down and read straight through, but neither is it really designed as a reference work to be kept on the shelf and consulted at need.  (Although each chapter has a section on “Major Resources”, the author explicitly notes that his coverage of bibliography will not be comprehensive, and recommends Fred W. Jenkins, Classical Studies: A Guide to the Reference Literature (Libraries Unlimited, 2006) as a bibliographic resource, as do I.)  This erstwhile classical archaeologist did a bit of eye-rolling at the sub-head beginning Chapter 10, “Classics Is Almost Entirely Literature,” although archaeology is covered reasonably well (one can always quibble the most about one’s own topic of expertise!)

The book is listed at $130 in hardcover, and $37.95 in paperback.  I would recommend it more for someone organizing a graduate proseminar in Classics than attending one; libraries with graduate Classics departments will rightly purchase it.  If you are a Classics grad student short on funds, I would purchase Jenkins (citation above, listed at $60 but available used for under $20, make sure you get the 2006 edition, not the 1996) over this volume.  (If you are a Classics grad student with too much money, please take your classmates out to dinner.)

I have not found any reviews of this work yet, although there was some discussion of the book on the list-serv Classics-L (search the archives for “schaps handbook” and you’ll find a few comments).  If you know of reviews, please link or cite in comments.


Announcing a New Blog: Ancient World Open Bibliographies

October 18, 2010

Today is the first day of Open Access Week (October 18-24, 2010).  I am happy to announce, in collaboration with Chuck Jones of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University and the blog AWOL- The Ancient World Online, the debut of a new blog: Ancient World Open Bibliographies.  Please have a look and consider subscribing by RSS or email.

This new blog is for discussion and development of a project to collect and solicit annotated bibliographies about subjects relevant to studies of the ancient world.  It is the first concrete step to come from a conversation Chuck and I began after I posted  Oxford Bibliographies Online: More Rant Than Review. In this blog we will collect existing open access bibliographies we find on the web, and discuss the goals, audience, format, and scope of the final project: a dedicated wiki site collecting bibliographies, which will be open access.

I will continue to blog on more general issues related to classics resources and research at this address.


Robert Fitzgerald Centennial

October 12, 2010

Today is the 100th anniversary of Robert Fitzgerald‘s birth (12 October 1910 – 16 January 1985). One poet celebrates another:

In Memoriam: Robert Fitzgerald

The socket of each axehead like the squared
Doorway to a megalithic tomb
With its slabbed passage that keeps opening forward
To face another corbelled stone-faced door
That opens on a third. There is no last door,
Just threshold stone, stone jambs, stone crossbeam
Repeating enter, enter, enter, enter.
Lintel and upright fly past in the dark.

After the bowstring sang a swallow’s note,
The arrow whose migration is its mark
Leaves a whispered breath in every socket.
The great test over, while the gut’s still humming,
This time it travels out of all knowing
Perfectly aimed towards the vacant centre.

Seamus Heaney


Resource Review: Comparative Grammars

October 11, 2010

Jenkins notes on p. 179 that “there is no compelling linguistic reason for the comparative study of Greek and Latin.”  Nevertheless:

The 20th century standard was Buck’s Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin (Main Library 3rd Floor PA111 .B922C – currently checked out!); Jenkins (no. 528) notes it is “now badly dated” (it was originally published in 1933.)

The new standard is Sihler’s New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin (1995), (Main Library 3rd floor PA111 .S54 1995 – also checked out, yay!)  Jenkins (no. 540) describes it as “valuable” and notes in detail the differences between this work and Buck – of which this was originally intended to be a revision.

Searches of UGA’s GIL catalog for the subjects “Latin language – Grammar – Comparative Greek” and “Greek language – Grammar – Comparative Latin” have, as one would hope, a nearly 100% overlap.

I also want to mention a new work, Michael Weiss’ Outline of the Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin (2009), which was recently reviewed by James Clackson at BMCR.  Clackson describes it as “by far the most comprehensive and reliable compendium of the historical and comparative grammar of Latin available in English, and even gives the monumental work of Leumann (1977) [Lateinische Laut- und Formenlehre (Man Library 3rd Floor PA25 .H24 Ser. 2, Sect. 2, v. 1, rev. 1977)] a close run for its money in terms of scope and coverage.”


The Best Greek and Latin Grammars (are in German)

October 7, 2010


Previous posts have covered the best and/or commonly used Greek and Latin grammars available in English. In both languages, the standard grammars are in German, however, so serious researchers will want to consult the following.


Lateinische Grammatik (Main Library 3rd floor PA25 .H24 Ser. 2, Sect. 2, v. 1, etc.) by Leumann, Hofmann, and Szantyr, is described by Jenkins (no. 536) as “the best available comprehensive latin grammar.”  Kühner-Stegmann (see below) is a better descriptive grammar, but this work surpasses it in all other areas.

Ausführliche Grammatik der lateinischen Sprache, vol. 2, also known as ‘Kühner-Stegmann,’ is described by Jenkins (no. 534) as “the best descriptive latin grammar available.”   Jenkins also includes information about the index, separately published (Index Locorum zu Kühner-Stegmann “Satzlehre,” Jenkins no. 535).  At UGA we only seem to have the 1912 edition, although Jenkins implies the text has been revised further since then.  Our copy is located at the Repository (off campus storage); we do not appear to own the Index Locorum.


Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache (Main Library 3rd Floor PA255 .K95a 1898; also available online through Perseus) falls into two parts: volume 1, ‘Kühner-Blass,’ which covers phonology and morphology and which Jenkins (no. 532) describes as “still useful [but] somewhat dated” (he prefers Schwyzer, see below); and volume 2, ‘Kühner-Gerth,’ which covers syntax, and is described by Jenkins as “sound and detailed.” We had a chase after the Kühner-Blass volumes last year and discovered them missing, so we are in the process of acquiring new copies. There is an Index Locorum zu Kühner-Gerth (Main Library 3rd Floor PA254 .K72 C3; discussed by Jenkins as no. 533).

Schwyzer’s Griechische Grammatik: Auf der Grundlage von Karl Brugmanns Griechischer Grammatik (Main Library 3rd Floor PA25 .H24 Ser. 2, Sect. 1, v. 1, etc.) is in four volumes: the first is preferable to Kühner-Blass for morphology and phonology, and the second is described as “offer[ing] extensive illustrative examples from greek literature” but sometimes inferior to Kühner-Gerth for descriptive grammar. The final two volumes contain indexes.


On iPads in Fieldwork and Digital Workflow

October 5, 2010

I have kept thinking about the iPads at Pompeii topic over the past week.  William Caraher has too, and posted about a digital workflow for excavations.  Since my old research interest in fieldwork was largely on methods in archaeological field survey, my thoughts naturally headed towards what one could do with iPads in surveys.  Since iPads (and iPhones and iPod Touches) all have GPS capabilities, in theory you could equip a field survey team with an array of devices.  The team leader would have a iPad, having the need for more detailed and extensive data collection – and also a map big enough to try to figure out where you are!  The fieldwalkers could each have an iPod Touch.  Instead of “clickers” for artifact counting, an app could be customized to allow taps for counts of artifacts (or multiple types of artifacts depending on the situation – i.e. sherds, tiles, lithics, etc.)

The GPS should – in theory – allow exact calculation of routes walked  (I don’t honestly know if GPS is yet this good – I left fieldwork in 2001, before GPS was much use for survey, because it wasn’t precise enough and wasn’t cheap enough – but I do know that fitness apps like “Runkeeper” purport to collect detailed information about distance and path traveled.)  One could take photos of artifacts encountered in the field and automatically associate them with tracts in the database, and one could photograph artifacts collected as a caution against the lost or mislabeled bag of sherds (when you spend 8 hours a day living out of a backpack and traveling several miles, bags of sherds are more likely to go astray than when you are in a trench.)  All the benefits of an iPad in a trench would apply, essentially, plus the added GPS bits.

So, now I just need a field survey project and a friendly contact at Apple to provide me with devices, app programming support, and a photographer for the advertising layout…

Thinking about a digital workflow also got me thinking about how the researcher – the reader of scholarly books and articles –  is moving towards a digital workflow.

It seems like many academics I know are “belt-plus-suspenders” types who keep a .pdf AND a print copy of a scholarly article, not least because their research process involves taking notes with a pen on the print article. Maybe we’re all kinesthetic learners and find the physical act of writing makes us retain information better than typing does, or maybe we just haven’t devised a good workflow for taking notes digitally in direct association with the .pdfs yet.

Benjamin Wolkow, UGA Classics’ new Visiting Assistant Professor (whom I welcome!), has a Wacom tablet and pen that he uses to take notes “digitally” directly onto a .pdf of an article, which he can then save with his notes attached. I think he started because the tablet and pen helped prevent mouse-related repetitive stress injury, but what a neat trick! The basic tablet-and-pen combo is only about $70 – cheap enough that experimenting with adding this to your research workflow is a possibility.

wacom bamboo tablet

A neat EndNote Library filled with digitally marked-up .pdf files could replace bulging file cabinets – and fit on a thumb drive.