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Professor Levaniouk reports on the Homer Multitext Project

Submitted by Alain M Gowing on November 11, 2013 - 3:30pm

Professor Olga Levaniouk has filed the following update on the Homer multitext project (click here for a last year's report on this marvelous undertaking):

This summer for the second time a team from the Classics department took part in an inter-collegiate undergraduate seminar at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC. Two of our students, Dillon Gish and Beni Ransom, spent two weeks at the Center; as their accompanying faculty member, I was there for the first week.  Our students worked together with students and faculty from five other universities and took part in seminar sessions, learning about the oral and textual transmission of Homer, textual editing, paleography, ancient scholarship on Homer, and the poetics of the Iliad. They also acquired the technique of xml editing.

Most importantly, they worked in teams on creating a digital diplomatic edition of Venetus A, the main manuscript of the Iliad, editing both text and scholia (marginal notes), which have never been fully edited before. This year the seminar worked on Book 10 of the Iliad, and this was an added bonus because two of the founding members of the Homer Multitext Project, Professors Casey Due (University of Houston) and Mary Ebbott (College of the Holy Cross) are also the authors of a ground-breaking monograph on this unusual book of the Iliad (Iliad 10 and the Poetics of Ambush: a Multitext Edition with Essays and Commentary, 2010).  They shared their insights with the group, and we all, faculty and students alike, learned a lot and had interesting discussions.

The work is now continuing here at UW. During the 2012-2013 academic year our team worked on the text of Book 23 in Venetus A; this year we are moving on to the scholia, with Dillon Gisch and Beni Ransom leading the team. If all goes as planned, we may not only do our bit to help with the creation of the multitext edition of Homer, but also produce a translation of the Iliad 23 scholia into English. As the faculty member on the team I will support their work and do my best to answer at least some of their questions—about Homer; as for the xml editing, Dillon and Beni are at the helm and I can only wonder at what they do.