Changes to Electra and Maia Atlantis

This morning I've added the following blogs to the Electra Atlantis feed aggregator:

Thanks to Adam Brin at Digital Antiquity for alerting me to their existence.

I have updated feed addresses in Electra for the following blogs, which have changed recently:

I have also removed the following blogs for the reasons indicated:

  • Tom Goskar's Past Thinking blog as the feed URL is returning no data even though the site itself appears to be up
  • The feed URL for the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities (Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln) is returning an error 500
  • The Abzu feed URL is returning 404
  • Sheila Brennan's Relaxing on the Trail has had its permissions reset so that it is no longer accessible.
  • Notis Toufexis' blog seems to have disappeared.

I have added the following blogs to the Maia Atlantis feed aggregator:


    Flavia Faustina, version 3: chi-rho, dolium, multiple editors, rationale

    Ryan Baumann and Georgia Tsouvala have joined the mob!

    Ryan forked my Mob Epigraphy repository on github and added markup to the EpiDoc XML file to represent the Chi-Rho and dolium(?) that appear below the inscribed text. Then he sent me a pull request. I merged his changes and pushed them back to github, and then I pushed a few more modifications to show his contribution in the EpiDoc/TEI header and to modify the stylesheets to handle whitespace and multiple editors better (and to write out an HTML doctype). Here's the result:
    Ryan's change -- which parallels the treatment in ICVR II as reported via EDB -- raises some questions in my mind:
    1. Is the second illustration really a dolium? It doesn't look that much like what's illustrated at Why would a dolium appear on a Christian sepulchral inscription? Maybe someone like Sebastian Heath or Charlotte Tupman will have an idea about that.
    2. Are those two items really glyphs that should be "read" as part of the inscription and therefore marked up using the TEI "g" element (as Ryan has done), or should they be treated as figures or illustrations and therefore marked up a different way? If they are "glyphs", then what would be the corresponding glyph definition markup (if any) and where should it go in an EpiDoc file? Maybe someone like Gabriel Bodard or Marion Lamé will have an opinion about that.
    Meanwhile, Georgia wrote to me as follows:
    I like version 2. For one, I could see it and read it without any problems; something I could not do with version 1. I like the idea of being able to see pictures, texts, and translations of inscriptions on a single page. My question is: what are you trying to do here? What's the purpose, goal, etc. of Mob Epigraphy? And how can others help, contribute, etc.?
    My goal with Mob Epigraphy is two-fold. First, I want to create more on-line, open examples of real inscriptions marked up in EpiDoc. Secondly, I want to see how far we can push an openly collaborative model in the practice of digital epigraphy, welcoming all interested parties in editing the text and pushing the boundaries on what we can and can't do with standard encoding and web publication.

    How to contribute? There are many ways. This post highlights two examples. Ryan saw something missing and, exploiting the digital collaboration infrastructure provided by github, pitched in to fill the gap. Georgia had comments and questions and, after having some trouble with Blogger's comment functionality, sent me an email. Both are great ways to contribute, and I bet readers of this post can come up with more -- like suggesting answers to my questions above, or proposing more robust or interesting documentation of the inscription or elaboration of the encoding or HTML representation.

    Previous post.

    Flavia Faustina, version 2: style

    This is a follow-on to my initial posting about the Flavia Faustina inscription from St. Paul's Outside the Walls in Rome. Another contribution to the "Mob Epigraphy" thread. Still a mob of one, alas ... if you see something you think could be done better -- epigraphically or technically -- please chime in! There are deliberate (and no doubt accidental) omissions and mistakes.

    Not much substantive change, just style and inline image:

    Mob Epigraphy: Sepulchral Inscription of Flavia Faustina

    First installment in an irregular series (entitled "Mob Epigraphy") exploring the collaborative encoding, enrichment and publication of epigraphic texts on the web.

    Here's the deal: what follows is surely incomplete, or even wrong, from any number of perspectives (textual, historical, technical?). So, if you have ideas or expertise with respect to the text, translation, descriptive information, EpiDoc/TEI encoding of the XML, HTML encoding, etc.), then please weigh in via comment or another blog post (just make sure I discover it somehow!).

    What do you think would make this a better digital publication?

    Sepulchral Inscription of Flavia Faustina

    EpiDoc XML on github
    HTML on github

    Edited by: Tom Elliott
    • Observed at Rome in the lapidarium of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls on 2010-11-10.


    click for image
    Photo by Tom Elliott. 10 November 2010.


    Flavia Faustina vixit an-
    nos duos mensis octo ⌜e⌝t
    diis octo.


    Flavia Faustina lived two years, eight months and eight days.

    Published Editions

    • EDCS
    • EDB
    • ICVR II 5946
    This work is copyright by the editors and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (

    National Adoption Month

    November is National Adoption Month:

    Giving a child a strong foundation -- a home, a family to love, and a safe place to grow -- is one of life's greatest and most generous gifts. Through adoption, both domestic and international, Americans from across our country have provided secure environments for children who need them, and these families have benefited from the joy an adopted child can bring. Thanks to their nurturing and care, more young people have been able to realize their potential and lead full, happy lives. This year, we celebrate National Adoption Month to recognize adoption as a positive and powerful force in countless American lives, and to encourage the adoption of children from foster care. (President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation: National Adoption Month, 1 November 2010).
    There is also a blog post and video from the Secretary of State.

    One User's Experience with Pleiades

    I just finished posting an extended comment on Hethre Contant's consideration of her initial experiences with Pleiades, entitled "Regarding the Pleiades: A Vision of the Future for Mapping the Past." She prepared it as a report for an Urban Media Archaeology class at New School University, taught by Shannon Mattern.

    I assume my comment is in queue for moderation. Since I think it (and Heathre's report) are of potential interest to the Pleiades community, I'm re-posting my comments here:

    Hi Heathre:
    Thanks for giving us your perspective as a new user of Pleiades. It's really helpful to hear how people are trying to use this emerging resource and to see where they run into trouble.
    The delay in signing you up initially is an occasional consequence of the fact that our signup procedure is manual and occasionally the editors are unavailable while on travel or the like. I apologize if it put you in a difficult situation time-wise. 
    We currently have funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support software and content development through April 2013, but editorial work is all volunteer.
    We're not finished loading up all the legacy content from the Barrington Atlas. You can read more about the state of that process here: with maps here: .
    Since you last looked at the site, Sean has rolled out some improvements to the individual maps. They now show you nearby places as well. See further: .
    The squares you see on the maps for many places correspond to the grid squares on the Barrington Atlas maps from which they derive. We are currently working with colleagues at Harvard, who have digitized the exact coordinates from the Barrington compilation materials and improved their precision by visually checking them in Google Earth. We anticipate these coordinates will be added to Pleiades by mid-2011, replacing the squares that frustrated you. We'll also have reciprocal links to the Harvard project's online system, the Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilization:
    "Phokaia" is a transliteration of the ancient Greek, whereas "Phocaea" is the Latin version, used by the Romans and subsequently in the west during the Medieval and Renaissance periods. I'm glad Pleiades was able to help you sort this out, despite the fact that our resources do not yet comprehensively list all the variants for every site. This is something we're encouraging our users to help flesh out.
    Please let us know if you have further observations or suggestions (or complaints) about the site.
    Best wishes, 

    Updates to Maia Atlantis

    The following changes have been made to the subscription list of the Maia Atlantis Feed Aggregator:


    • Ancient Mediterranean Musings (author has taken the blog private)
    • Ars Nesciendi (blog not found; presumed deleted)
    • Charles Watkinson's Blog (feed gone)
    • Dacian Archaeology (author has taken the blog private)
    • Iconoclasm (site reports error; will try again in 1 month)
    • Idle Musings of a Bookseller (content has been orthogonal to the focus of the aggregator for several months)
    • Japanese Archaeology (blog not found; presumed deleted)
    • Logos Bible Software Blog (feed is future-dating posts; will check again in 1 month)
    • Thoughts on Antiquity (domain no longer registered)
    • Novum Testamentum Blog (domain no longer registered)
    • Numismatics and Archaeology (author has taken the blog private)
    • The Oresteia Project (blog not found; presumed deleted)
    • Scarring the Past (author has taken the blog private)
    • Scribal Practices (blog not found; presumed deleted)
    • Transport Archaeology (blog deleted by author)
    • A Way Through The Hills (blog deleted by author)
    • What's New in Abzu (feed access has apparently been blocked for the aggregator: 403 forbidden)

    Updates to Electra Atlantis

    The following changes have been made to the subscription list of the Electra Atlantis Feed Aggregator:


    Modifications (feed URLs changed):