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Homer and the papyri

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Homer and the papyri

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:47 pm

There's an online database of Homeric Papyri called "Homer and the Papyri". According to this, however, "The database is now more than a decade old and has not been updated since 2003. Instead, complete editions of Homeric papyri are now being published as part of the Homer Multitext project."

No matter how much I search, I'm unable to find the same sort of information on Homeric papyri in the Homer Multitext site. The site is a bit messy, so maybe I just don't know where to look. I'd especially like to look for Odyssean papyri.

Maybe somebody here has experiences with this?
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Re: Homer and the papyri

Postby huilen » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:39 pm

Hello Paul,

It seems that the Homer Multitext project is a web service that implements a generic architecture for working with citable scholarly data. May be you want to read this if you have some time:
http://chs.harvard.edu/wa/pageR?tn=Arti ... 12&mn=4846

But if you don't, all that you need to know is this: all the resources of the project are identified by a CTS URN (which is an unique identified that encodes information like the author, the work, the manuscript, the specific passage you are searching for, etc.). In order to look up one resource, you have to build a URN with that information according to your searching, and send it to the web service.

For example, the URN for the first verses of the Iliad would be:
urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg001.msA:1.1
Where tlg0012 identifies Homer works, and tlg001 identifies the Iliad, etc. (In the site of the project is documented how to build these URNs according to the CTS protocol).
Then you just have to send the URN to the web service, which you can do here:
http://beta.hpcc.uh.edu/tomcat/hmtdigital/svcforms
Put the URN in the correspond text field and click in the "get passage" button. That would create the request to the web service for you and you will be redirected to:
http://beta.hpcc.uh.edu/tomcat/hmtdigit ... .msA%3A1.1

You can see the available resources and the URN for each one here:
http://beta.hpcc.uh.edu/tomcat/hmtdigital/overview
But sorry, I don't see the Odyssey in the catalog :(

I didn't know this project until now, I think it has a great potential, because, although it is a web service and is not designed for end-users, it defines a protocol to provide other computer application with the texts. So in the future, if web developers are not too busy with some new absurd Facebook application, this web service may integrate with other scholarly software that everybody may use from their Kindles, iPhones, etc.
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Re: Homer and the papyri

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:13 pm

Thanks! The site seems to be down at present, I'll try again tomorrow.

Yes, I noticed there was a some technical writing, but I didn't bother to read it, since I stopped being a computer nerd in the 1990's... Nowadays I only use Apple products and barely know what a microprocessor does. :) Anyway, they seemed to imply that there was an end-user application as well, so I thought I just couldn't locate it.

Apparently "complete editions of Homeric papyri are now being published" means "are going to be published", then, if you say they haven't got the Odyssey yet. Apparently no one has kept track in public of the Odyssey papyri that have been published in the last decade.
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Re: Homer and the papyri

Postby mwh » Mon May 26, 2014 4:03 am

The Center for Hellenic Studies under Greg Nagy’s directorship took over Dana Sutton’s original work, which had been kept updated. Now in its electronic version it has been rejigged in such a way that you need to know what you are looking for, and has nothing later than 2003. Nor will it, apparently, for it has in principle been superseded by the fabulously well-funded and very ambitious Homer Multitext project, designed to promulgate Greg Nagy’s vision of the Homeric text and its editing. This will keep a number of acolytes in very remunerative employment for the foreseeable future and a host of students in unremunerated. For Odyssey papyri published since 2003 it’s so far useless.

There are two resources available to use instead, neither terribly convenient for this purpose: CEDOPAL (originating in Roger Pack’s catalogue of “Greek and Latin literary texts from Greco-Roman Egypt” updated by Paul Mertens), and the Leuven Database of Ancient Books (LDAB, owed to Willy Clarysse). The LDAB (which you can access directly or via Trismegistos) is very useful for finding papyri of a given author or text. For the Odyssey you enter “Homerus” (sic) and “Odyssea” (sic) in the relevant boxes and up comes a list (290 papyri as of this moment); it includes quotations in other papyri as well as actual Odyssey manuscripts, but most of them will be Od. manuscripts, though without organization; you need to do your own sifting. The passages covered are given, as are dates, but no transcript or record of variants. You can narrow the search by papyrus date (3rd cent. BC, for instance: 24 records) and other criteria. CEDOPAL aims to keep up to date, and the LDAB actually does; as papyri are published they are registered in the database (and assigned a Trismegistos reference number).

To track pre-2003/4 papyri containing some particular verse (or part thereof, more likely) the CHS’s Homer and the Papyri is handy enough (while it lasts). A new edition of the Odyssey can be expected to list the papyrus manuscripts. Meanwhile the LDAB is the least cumbersome way to go.
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Re: Homer and the papyri

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat May 31, 2014 10:54 pm

Thanks a lot!

"A new edition of the Odyssey can be expected to list the papyrus manuscripts."

Do you know about a new edition upcoming or are you just being hopeful?
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Re: Homer and the papyri

Postby Qimmik » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:01 am

Is there an edition by one of the Wests in the future?
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Re: Homer and the papyri

Postby mwh » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:47 am

Just being hopeful. I have no inside information, probably know less than either of you. I was thinking Martin West might produce one, but his upcoming Odyssey book makes that seem less likely? No doubt others know, but I don't.
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