inlustre tumblre est

Classical. Programmatic, Antipodean. Socialist.

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Nam divitiarum et formae gloria fluxa atque fragilis est, virtus clara aeternaque habetur.
Sallust, Bellum Catilinae, 1.4

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ancientpeoples:

Cat with Kittens
Egyptian
ca. 644-30 B.C.
The Egyptians associated the female cat’s fertility and motherly care with several divinities. The base of the statuette of Cat with Kittens is inscribed with a request that Bastet grant life, directly linking the cat pictured here with the goddess Bastet. The kittens here point to the benevolent aspect of this feline divinity, while her pointed ears emphasize the feline’s attentive vigilance and ability to protect its young.
Source: Brooklyn Museum

ancientpeoples:

Cat with Kittens

Egyptian

ca. 644-30 B.C.

The Egyptians associated the female cat’s fertility and motherly care with several divinities. The base of the statuette of Cat with Kittens is inscribed with a request that Bastet grant life, directly linking the cat pictured here with the goddess Bastet. The kittens here point to the benevolent aspect of this feline divinity, while her pointed ears emphasize the feline’s attentive vigilance and ability to protect its young.

Source: Brooklyn Museum

(via classical-katie)

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hellenismo:

Πέμπτη Μεσοῦντος/ Πέμπτη ἐπὶ δέκα / Πεντεκαιδεκάτη, XV dayFrom today’s sunset: fifteenth day of Mounychion.The fifteenth of the month is always sacred to Athena."Shun the fifth days: i.e. the lunar days. Shun all the fifth days."(“Minerva of Arezzo”, a bronze Etruscan statue, presumably, made according to a Greek model attributed to Praxitele. From Arezzo, St. Lorenzo Church. Now in Florence, Museo Archeologico Etrusco)

hellenismo:

Πέμπτη Μεσοῦντος/ Πέμπτη ἐπὶ δέκα / Πεντεκαιδεκάτη, XV day
From today’s sunset: fifteenth day of Mounychion.
The fifteenth of the month is always sacred to Athena.

"Shun the fifth days: i.e. the lunar days. Shun all the fifth days."

(“Minerva of Arezzo”, a bronze Etruscan statue, presumably, made according to a Greek model attributed to Praxitele. From Arezzo, St. Lorenzo Church. Now in Florence, Museo Archeologico Etrusco)

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Epidoc and literary artifacts

It was with a fair amount of interest that I read through AWOL that Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL) texts are now available in XML (TEI/Epidoc) format through Github – just the sorts of texts I’m interested in adding to de commentariis

But it turns out there’s a fair bit of work to do on the texts before they’re usable in a programmatic way. The format of the XML raises two questions for me. It’s always confused me that people talk about using “epidoc” (“Epigraphic documents in TEI XML”) to encode literary texts. Why is it used in this way, to encode documents it is apparently not designed to encode?

The second question follows on from this. I don’t know whether this is an artefact of using Epidoc or if it’s an artefact of the particular choices made to encode the CSEL. The standard numbering systems of the critical editions of these texts are effectively lost in the Epidoc versions of the text online, rendering them problematic for programmatic access to the data in the standard scholarly reference systems.

Different texts have different breakdowns, for example, Book/Poem/Line, Book/Line, Letter Number/Line, and so on depending on the particular text and the choices made by the editor of the critical edition. In the Perseus format (the “old” format?) the TEI documents have a header that tells my programs on De Commentariis the structure of the document breakdown, thus:

<encodingdesc> <refsdecl doctype="TEI.2">
    <state delim="." unit="book"></state>
    <state unit="chapter"></state>
    <state unit="section"></state>
</refsdecl> </encodingdesc>

This tells me that that this particular text is encoded in book.chapter.section format, e.g. 5.3.2. Then the text body itself has those very book/chapter/section divisions in it:

<div1 type="book" n="1">
  <head>COMMENTARIUS PRIMUS</head>
  <div2 type="chapter" n="1">
      <div3 type="section" n="1">
          <p>Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur.</p>
      </div3>
      …
  </div2>
  … 
</div1>

This gives the document a structured, heirarchical view of the content. Everything contained with the div1 element with the attributes type=“book” and n=“1” is a part of Book 1, and the div2 element inside that with type=“chapter” and n=“1” is 1.1. and inside that the div3 with a type=“section” and n=“1” is 1.1.1. The abstract document structure (according to the standardised referencing established by the critical edition) is encoded directly onto the data structure. It’s an excellent XML structure that reflects directly the way the data is referenced, with enough flexibility to encode many different types of referencing schema, as long at it’s laid out in the metadata and the relationship is heirarchical. It’s easily navigable with standardised XML tools like xpath/xquery or simple XML DOM (document object model) manipulation.

On the hand, this is not:

<p>Sancto episcopo Salonio Saluianus salutem in domino. <note type="chapter"> 1 </note> </p>
<p>Omnes admodum homines, qui pertinere ad humani officii <lb n="5”></lb>

In this style of format, the presentation of the text (the original page it was scanned from) is confused with the data structure, and the critical data structure information is presented in the form of an annotation attached to a particular line (rather than enclose all the lines which belong to chapter 1). This style of document is incredibly difficult to use with standard tools like xpath. This is highlighted if we go down just a little further into the text:

tantum laudem aucupantes tam indignis rebus curam impen­ <lb></lb>
derent, non tam inlustrasse mihi ipsa ingenia quam damnasse<note type="chapter"> 3 </note> <lb n="10”></lb>
uideantur. nos autem, qui rerum magis quam uerborum ama­ <lb></lb>

Where does chapter 3 start? Clearly not half-way through impenderent and most likely not at the word break in damnasse uideantur. Is it at the comma after impenderent? At the full stop after uideantur? A human, familiar with the original text, might be able to decide: a simple algorithm inside a computer program, probably not.

I bring this up – I know it may seem churlish, after all any open XML version of an ancient text has to be a good thing – because I feel that in the “official” digital classics circles there is a certain enthusiasm for recoding existing XML texts to the Epidoc format, but if this is the result, it’s a definite step backwards. Forgive me if I am wrong and this is merely the first step in getting from the presentation layer (the scan of the book) to the data layer (a properly structured XML version of the text). But I certainly hope this style of markup isn’t regarded as the standard way to proceed into the future.

by scot mcphee on April 12, 2014 at 11:22PM
at http://ift.tt/1qOmmiB via inlustre monumentum est

Filed under IFTTT inlustre monumentum est scot mcphee

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Epidoc and literary artifacts

Epidoc and literary artifacts

It was with a fair amount of interest that I read through AWOL that Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL) texts are now available in XML (TEI/Epidoc) format through Github – just the sorts of texts I’m interested in adding to de commentariis

But it turns out there’s a fair bit of work to do on the texts before they’re usable in a programmatic way. The format of the XML raises two…

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Filed under digital humanities digital resources just saying is all software systems tools x=x

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There is no better expression of all this than in the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On”, which of course adorns everything cupcakey (“Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake” is almost as prevalent a poster as the original). The association is a profound one on many levels. The “Keep Calm” poster was originally designed as a propaganda poster during the second world war. It plays on similar appeals to vintage nostalgia that the notion of “having a cupcake” does. It appeals to an idealised past that was never experienced by the longer-​afterer. It is also a past that never could have been experienced, since the “Keep Calm” poster was never actually used. It was rediscovered in 2000 and was quickly found to have a vast appeal based largely on how much the slogan cohered with an idealised image of the 1940s. In fact, the poster had never been used because it was considered by those who saw it at the time to be patronising. Thus the form of the slogan is a perfect expression of the infantilised subject’s orientation towards reality. The same goes for the content. The idea that the best response to any situation is just to accept existing conditions, swallow your anger, swallow your pride, and continue as best you might is an expression of a sort of ideal Britishness, the “stiff upper lip”. But stiff upper lip is, dialectically speaking, nothing more than a form of cowardice; less a level-​headed stoicism than a neurotic unwillingness to confront an unjust reality.
Beware of cupcake fascism | Tom Whyman | Comment | The Guardian

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Preparation for Greek typeface design

typefacedesign:

Here is a short list of references for students beginning to work on Greek. It is not exhaustive by any measure, only a starting point. I list some historical texts, for the necessary grounding in the development of the [typographic] script, and some typefaces that are good examples of practice. (Don’t get all worked up about the typefaces on the list: each one listed may have unresolved issues, just as many good ones may not be listed. This is, after all, an introductory list. Also, I only include work I know in detail.) All texts are in English. (For MATD students: all items exist in the University Library, or the Department Reading Room, and in my office.)

Manuscripts and writing 

Books with manuscripts and images of rare books might be good; there are some truly comprehensive editions of Greek manuscripts (like Greek literary hands by C H Roberts, in two volumes, and Repertorium der griechishen Kopisten, in three volumes. It is important to get a feeling for Greek writing, as it is (and was) done on entirely different models than western writing. In short, the the arm rotates freely, and the nibs (when not round) are cut with an opposite bias. If the titles above are not available, look up sources on Byzantine scribes. (But note: if you do general searches online, you must focus on secular or less formal documents, rather than the very ornate manuscripts of the Empire.)

As with all unfamiliar scripts, doing some writing exercises is essential to understand the entry and exit strokes, and the structure of the letterforms. I have included two sheets for practice in a zipped archive; use a pencil or other “direction-agnostic” tool when starting with writing exercises.

Typographic history

Victor Scholderer’s Greek printing types 1465–1927 catalogue is a good historical introduction. It stops in 1927, and has a specific bias. Scholderer outlines helpfully the three early strands of Greek typeface “design”: the upright joined style of Zacharias Kalliergis, the eventually dominant Aldine style, and the short-lived Complutensian. (I put “design” in quotes since “typemaking” would be more appropriate term. Our current interpretation of “design” implies a level of deliberation an reflection that did not apply at the time.) There is a somewhat rare original (500 copies only, grab one if you find it on sale) and a reprint from 2004 or so, with new essays by John Bowman and Martin Davies added. (Oak Knoll sells it in the US, and independent booksellers elsewhere.) The original has some exceptional reproductions in collotype, worth the price of purchase alone.

If you read this you can safely skip Robert Proctor’s The printing of Greek in the fifteenth century (1900), the other key text for early Greek printing, which is also more limited in coverage. (If interested, you can get a free PDF of Proctor’s book.)

H. D. L. Vervliet had published significant texts on the history of Greek typefaces. The Journal of the Printing Historical Society has two relevant articles: “Greek printing types of the French Renaissance: the ‘grecs du roy’ and their successors” (in new series no 2, 2000) and “The Greek typefaces of the early French Renaissance” (in New Series no 4, 2002).

John Bowman’s Greek printing types in Britain: from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century is based on his PhD (Reading, 1988). It is interesting in its totality, but has an invaluable second chapter where forms from different typefaces are compared. It is published by Typofilia, and should be available to order via independent booksellers.

Michael Macrakis’s Greek Letters: from tablets to pixels has some articles that are very useful, and a few that are not very helpful, or under-researched. Some are out of date. But John Bowman and John Lane’s are essential reading.

I wrote an article in Language, Culture, Type (ed. John D Berry, ATypI/Graphis 2002) with some basic ideas on the development of Greek typeface design. Also, I posted a couple of short texts on Typophile, one in a thread on Garamond Premier Pro encapsulating the history of Greek typefaces, and one on Greek scripts that comments on the model that designers need to have in mind.

There are also some useful comments on parallel script development in the booklet produced by Microsoft to document the development of the ClearType typefaces, Now read this (2003). According to a recent Typophile thread, it may eventually be available as a PDF. Regardless, the typefaces are relatively easy to view, since they are available with Microsoft Office.

Typefaces to study

In addition to the historical examples illustrated in the publications above, it is worth studying good examples. My list below is not exhaustive, and is only focused on text-intensive typefaces.

- Start with the Didot Greeks, which defined the contemporary modulated-stroke style; and

- the Monotype hot metal monoline / low contrast Greeks, which were models for Greek adaptations of Latin sans serifs

I omit on purpose the first batch of phototypesetting Greek typefaces, which were intentionally “Latinised”. Contemporary digital typefaces to look at:

- the ClearType family: the Greeks in all are good enough, but Gary Munch’s Candara is a superb example of fresh thinking.

- Robert Slimbach’s modulated Greeks: Garamond Premiere Pro offers a re-interpretation of a historical standard; Arno Pro, a versatile update of a calligraphy-inspired family, and the relatively new Adobe Text Pro (which always makes me think “This is what Times Greek should look like!”).

- Jeremy Tankard’s Greek typefaces: his Bliss Pro (as well as the CT Corbel) are exemplary low-modulation Greeks.

- Frantisek Storm’s Anselm Sans Pro and Anselm Serif Pro show a successful adaptation of Greek to a very eclectic style.

- Peter Bilak’s Fedra Greeks (the family is massive, and in the serif styles I strongly prefer Serif B over A). The extensive weights and styles of Fedra have made it extremely popular within Greece in recent years, mostly in newspapers and magazines.

- Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ Whitney Greek, a very good example of a Greek extension to a successful Latin family

Last but not least, John Hudson’s SBL Greek is probably the best updating of the traditional Didot style, with a twist. It has a massive character set, but unfortunately only one weight. It is a free download from the SBL site.

There have been some very good custom jobs, like the Vodafone Greek corporate typeface done a few years back by DaltonMaag (unfortunately the site does not show the Greek portion of the job) and the localised Cheltenham for the Greek edition of the New York Times (not easily seen online, if you don’t know Greek). Others are similarly difficult to see.

Student typefaces

Some very good Greek typefaces have been designed by students at the MATD. Here’s a small selection:

- Ben Jones’ Emrys (2011), an interpretation of a low-contrast style with an incised feel.

Toshi Omagari’s Marco (2011), a contemporary modulated style.

- Riccardo De Franceschi’s Ginnasio (2010), a typeface for reference editions.

- Alice Savoie’s Capucine (2007), a novel style reminiscent of a modulated brush stroke. The typeface is now published commercially by Process Type Foundry.

Postscript: letter grouping

If you are starting to design Greek letters, it is good to avoid the alphabetic sequence. A good basic set to begin with is alpha / epsilon / eta / iota / mu / rho (α, ε, η, ι, μ, ρ) which give a structure to the main counters, and some form to instrokes and outstrokes. This sequence will also allow many typical test words, such as είμαι, αίμα, ηρεμία, άρμη, ρήμα, ημέρα, ερημιά.

Try to group letters by their features. Here’s one grouping:

αδορσυωφβθ  ες  ηιμ  γνχλ  ζξ  κ  πτ  ψ[φ long]

And another (with thanks to IV):

αηιμυ ψφ βδεθορσω  πτ  ζξς  γκλνχ

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ancientart:

The Sanctuary of Isis, ancient Dion, Greece.

Near the Vaphyras river, the ancient people of Dion built a sanctuary devoted to Aphrodite and Artemis. In the 2nd century BCE however, Artemis was succeeded by Isis, an Egyptian goddess, whom Alexander the Great held in the highest esteem. He had the sanctuary rebuilt to honour her, apparently while he was in Egypt. Most of the visible ruins seen today date back to the 2nd century AD, with older remains underneath. Multiple inscriptions and statues in the sanctuary date to the Hellenistic period.

The elongated pathway flanked by low walls, presumably symbolizes the Nile, the sacred river of Egypt. The two marble bulls on the steps of the central altar depict the Egyptian god Apis. In the north wing the large statue of a women stands on its pedestral. It was placed there in the middle of the 2nd century AD by the city of Dion, in honour of the donator Loulia Frougiane Alexandra.

The Isis festival took place every spring and autumn. During that time, the area outside the sanctuary walls flooded with villagers, craftmen, and merchants who sold animals, gold and silver artefacts, and a wide variey of merchangise. However, only the initiated pilgrims could enter the sanctuary, where they spend the night waiting for the great goddess to visit their dreams, and listen to their prayers.

-Archaeological Park of Dion. Also for those interested, the park provides this digital reconstruction of the sanctuary.

Photos taken by Carole Raddato.