Featured Pleiades Content: Strophades/Plotai Inss. and the "Pont Julien"

Today we've published two updates to the content in Pleiades.


Sean Gillies has contributed updated coordinates and descriptive information for the so-called Pont Julien, a Roman bridge (ancient name, if any, unknown), located to the west of Apta Iulia (mod. Apt) in France. It had been indicated on Barrington Atlas Map 15 E2). The point coordinates Sean provides, as you'll see from the KML if you've got Google Earth, are more precise than the BAtlas map could provide given its scale of 1:500,000 (+/- 930 meters). Their derivation from Google Earth and Geoeye imagery is described in the associated accuracy assessment.

With help from Brian Turner and Richard Talbert, I've remedied an oversight in the Barrington Atlas: the omission of the Στροφάδες/Strophades islands. We'd originally addressed this oversight back in 2003, when I still worked for the Ancient World Mapping Center, having been alerted to the problem by Rick LaFleur. After Sean loaded the legacy information associated with BAtlas Map 1 into Pleiades, I started working on a place resource as well. In so doing, I dug a bit deeper and discovered the ancient tradition of an alternate, earlier name for this peculiar island group: Πλωταί/Plotae. Once again, Google Earth provided us with better coordinates, although not this time without some confusion (see the associated accuracy assessment and the map on the main resource page). I was also able to exploit the greater flexibility provided by Pleiades to enumerate all the attested name variants (including an ethnikon asserted by Stephanus of Byzantium), in their original orthography, and to provide citations of most of the relevant attestations of same in ancient literature.

It's great to see Pleiades moving closer to full-spectrum use. We're no longer just bringing material forward from the Classical Atlas Project, we're also publishing new, more accurate and complete information. I hope that soon you'll be seeing more of this sort of thing, with contributions by a widening community. You can be part of this community, if you're interested: here's how.

Thanks to all, including our editors, who helped get these resources ready to publish.