DH at Dickinson, 2019

We are now five years past the period of the $700,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation that spurred a good amount of new digital humanities activity at Dickinson and strengthened existing projects. The Dickinson projects, it seems to me, are in various ways good examples of the pursuit of humanistic goals using digital means. They help put the humanities in Digital Humanities. DH, of course, means various things to different people, for example:

  • the use of databases for literary analysis, distant reading, the computational humanities project of running computer programs on large corpora of literary texts to yield quantitative results which are then mapped, graphed, and tested for statistical significance
  • natural language processing and machine translation
  • online preservation and digital mapping
  • data visualization and digital publishing

What most of these things have in common is the use of large datasets and computational methods to try to understand human cultural products. There has started to be a substantial backlash against this kind of work. To some, the phrase digital humanities may even appear a contradiction in terms. The digital values large data sets of often messy and imperfect information, speed, and countability.  Humanistic ideals of exacting scholarship, searching debate, high-quality human expression, exploration of values, and historically informed critical thinking may seem incompatible. Nan Z. Da recently found a receptive audience when she surveyed computational approaches to literary texts and found them lacking.

When you throw social media in there, the digital seems like a positive threat to the humanistic. Jill Lepore speaks for many in her recent history of politics in the United States, These Truths, when she identifies a new, digitally enabled model of citizenship, “driven by the hyperindividualism of blogging, posting, and tweeting, artifacts of a new culture of narcissism, and by the hyperaggregation of the analysis of data, tools of a new authoritarianism.” She sees the Internet as having “exacerbated the political isolation of ordinary Americans while strengthening polarization on both the left and the right, automating identity politics, and contributing, at the same time, to a distant, vague, and impotent model of political engagement.” (p. 738) Digital media have taught us anew how to like and be liked, she points out, but also how to hate and be hated.

Despite these malign trends it is quite possible to pursue, promote, and defend the humanities in the new medium, and it is being done right here at Dickinson, in projects like the Carlisle Indian Industrial School Resource Center (Jim Gerencser and Susan Rose); Jim Hoefler’s “Caring During Serious Illness: Advice from Caregivers”; House Divided, the Civil War history site overseen by Matt Pinsker; and the project I direct, Dickinson College Commentaries.

Humanities goals include:

  • historically informed critical thinking
  • self-knowledge in line with prior understandings, the exploration of values
  • the cultivating of powers of thought and expression, including civil and substantive debate

Historically informed critical thinking

Tens of thousands of young people from Indian communities all across America were sent to the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania between 1879-1918. What was the purpose, the strategy, the outcome? What can we learn from interrogating this historical, educational experiment about the goals of its founders, the students who were sent there, the impact on their families and communities, U.S. military and domestic policy related to Indian tribes, the history of American education, about race and ethnic relations? The CIIS site gives you the tools to do this, from massive troves of digitized documents and photographs, to teaching modules for various levels, including close reading modules that teach how to interpret documents and discuss them productively.

The House Divided Project aims to bring alive and explain the turbulent Civil War era in American history.  Using Dickinson College as a both a window and a starting point, the House Divided Project hopes to find in the stories of thousands of individuals a way to help illustrate how the Civil War came, why it was fought so bitterly, and ultimately how the nation survived. The site provides thousands of documents, photos, and records of individuals to sift through, and provides guidance in the form of key themes such as Civil Liberties, the Dred Scott case, Ft. Sumter, the Gettysburg Campaign that link out to the records of places, people, documents, timelines, and images.

Self-knowledge in line with prior understandings

Most patients who live with serious illness (and their family members) will typically need to make a number of important decisions about the kinds of medical treatment that is provided in this time. Hoeffler’s Caring During Serious Illness site is devoted to providing patients and their loved ones with advice about these decisions, offered by Clinical Advisors whose unique perspectives derive from devoting  their professional lives to caring for patients with serious illness. The site gives you interview excerpts from dozens of advisors from different medical specialties, different faith traditions, with the aim to help us care for aging relatives in a sensitive and kind way, and to give us ways of thinking about death, to help us understand it for ourselves. Rabbi Feinstein, for examples says, “Death the most frightening thing in life. The only thing that is more powerful than the fear of death is gratitude for the blessings of life.”

Cultivated powers of thought and expression

Dickinson College Commentaries presents commentary and annotation on classical texts that guide readers through understanding and appreciation. We try to model humanistic reading practices and to infuse good teaching into the site: not too much information, close reading, provide varying perspectives. The Chinese sister site Dickinson Classics Online focuses on intercultural understanding, with Chinese commentaries on Greco-Roman classical texts, and (soon) Latin and English commentaries on the Chinese classics.

Two areas are in my opinion being neglected by DH scholars, here and elsewhere: translation and podcasting. If you want humanities to be global, good translations are crucial.  Literary translation on the open internet is abysmal, and this needs to change. Dialogue and debate are crucial to the humanities, and podcasting is absolutely golden opportunity to model humanistic dialogue and publicize humanities research. Edward Collins’ Kingdom, Empire and Plus Ultra: conversations on the history of Portugal and Spain, 1415-1898 is a great example.

The world needs historically informed critical thinking, high quality expression, and self-knowledge in line with prior understandings. The world needs the humanities. Our political system is in crisis for lack of a culture of democratic discussion. Social media seems to be doing everything it can to crush our capacity for understanding and dialogue. We have the digital tools to promote humanism. Dickinson is leading the way, and I am proud to be working among the scholars, librarians, and teachers who are creating these fine resources. 

Conventiculum Dickinsoniense 2020

2020 Conventiculum Latinum, July 8-14

Conventiculum participants enjoying dinner at the Dickinson Organic Farm

Conventiculum participants enjoying dinner at the Dickinson Organic Farm (2015)

The Conventiculum Dickinsoniense is an immersion seminar designed for those who want to acquire some ability at ex-tempore expression in Latin. A wide range of people can benefit from the seminar: professors in universities, teachers in secondary schools, graduate students, undergraduates, and other lovers of Latin, provided that anyone who considers applying has a solid understanding of the grammatical essentials of the Latin language. A minimum requirement for participation is knowledge of Latin grammar and the ability to read a Latin text of average complexity – even if this reading ability depends on frequent use of a dictionary.  But no previous experience in speaking Latin is necessary. Sessions will be aimed at helping participants to increase their ability to use Latin effectively in spoken discourse and to understand others speaking in Latin. After the first evening reception (in which any language may be spoken), Latin will be the language used throughout the seminar. Participants will be involved in intensive activity each day from morning until early evening (with breaks for lunch and mid-afternoon pauses). They will experience Latin conversations on topics ranging from themes in literature and art all the way to the routines and activities of daily life, and will enjoy the benefits of reading and discussing texts in the target language. Activities will involve both written and spoken discourse, both of which engage the active faculties of expression, and each of which is complementary to the other. The seminar will not merely illustrate how active Latin can be a useful tool for teachers, it will show how developing an active facility in Latin can directly and personally benefit any cultivator of Latin who wishes to acquire a more instinctive command of the language and a more intimate relationship with Latin writings.

Moderators:

Prof. Milena Minkova, University of Kentucky

Prof. Terence Tunberg, University of Kentucky

Latin Camp Farm dinnerWe can accept a maximum number of 40 participants. Deadline for applications is May 1, 2020. The participation fee for each participant will be $400. The fee includes lodging in a single room in campus housing (and please note that lodging will be in a student residence near the site of the sessions), two meals (breakfast and lunch) per day, as well as the opening dinner, and a cookout at the Dickinson farm. Included in this price is also the facilities fee, which allows access to the gym, fitness center, and the library, as well as internet access. The $400 fee does not include the cost of dinners (except for the opening dinner and the cookout at the Dickinson farm), and does not include the cost of travel to and from the seminar. Dinners can easily be had at restaurants within walking distance from campus.  Please keep in mind that the participation fee of $400, once it has been received by the seminar’s organizers, is not refundable.  This is an administrative necessity.

Registered participants should plan to arrive in Carlisle, PA on July 8 in time to attend the first event of the seminar. This first event is an opening buffet and welcoming reception for all participants, which will begin at about 6:00 p.m., in which all languages are acceptable. The actual workshop sessions (in which Latin will the exclusive language) will begin early the next morning on July 9.

For more information and application instructions write to: Professor Terence Tunberg:  terence.tunberg@gmail.com

Dickinson Summer Latin Workshop: Ovid, Heroides

July 15–20, 2020

The Dickinson Summer Latin Workshop is intended for teachers of Latin, as a way to refresh the mind through study of an extended Latin text, and to share experiences and ideas with Latinists and teachers. Sometimes those who are not currently engaged in teaching have participated as well, including retired teachers and those working towards teacher certification.

Moderators:

Chun Liu (Peking University)

Christopher Francese (Dickinson College)

Robinet Testard, Ipsipile scrive a Giasone

Robinet Testard, Ipsipile scrive a Giasone (Source: Folia Magazine)

The text for 2020 will be taken from Ovid’s Heriodes. One of Ovid’s earliest works, the Heroides is a series of elegiac epistles from mythical and historical women to their unfaithful lovers or husbands.

The participation fee for each participant will $400. The fee covers lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Dickinson cafeteria, the facilities fee, which allows access to the gym, fitness center, and the library, as well as wireless and wired internet access while on campus. The fee does not cover the costs of books or travel. Please keep in mind that the participation fee, once it has been received by the seminar’s organizers, is not refundable. This is an administrative necessity.

Lodging: accommodations will be in a student residence hall near the site of the sessions. The building features suite-style configurations of two double rooms sharing a private bathroom, or one double and one single room sharing a private bathroom.

 

The first event will be an introductory dinner at 6:00 p.m., July 15. The final session ends at noon on July 20, with lunch to follow. Sessions will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. each day, with the afternoons left free for preparation.

 

Application deadline: May 1, 2020.

Fee deadline: June 1, 2020.

 

TO APPLY: please contact Mrs. Terri Blumenthal, blumentt@dickinson.edu by the application deadline. The fee is due in a check made out to Dickinson College, by the fee deadline.

 

For more information please contact Prof. Chris Francese (francese@dickinson.edu).

Dickinson Classics China-related activities

The Dickinson Classical Studies department has been privileged to be involved with a number of interesting initiatives related to the now flourishing study of the Greco-Roman classics in China. People sometimes ask me what all is going on, so I thought I would summarize where we are at this point, and think about what is coming next.

Dickinson and Columbia University co-sponsored a conference at the Columbia Center in Beijing in May, 2019.  Full program. It was organized primarily by Gareth Williams at Columbia. Their classics program (and the university as a whole) has a long history of sponsoring Chinese scholars. Jinyu Liu (DePauw U., pictured bottom right in the first link above) is in many ways the linchpin. She’s the leader on the large grant-funded project to translate all of Ovid into Chinese. This project was the subject of the conference.

This summer I made contact with two dynamic Latin teachers at Beijing Foreign Studies University, Li Hui (Rosina) and Luciano Romano. They teach entirely in Latin, using Oerberg’s textbook and techniques honed in Italy, where Rosina and Luciano were trained. I also made contact with and visited the classroom of Dr. Hendrikus A.M. van Wijlick (Rik), who teaches in a more traditional (English) mode at Peking University.

Dickinson Classics Online presents resources for Chinese readers of Greek and Latin. This is hosted at Dickinson with a far-flung editorial board. The officers are myself, Marc Mastrangelo (Dickinson), and Jinyu Liu (DePauw). This developed starting in 2015. The idea was Marc’s and mine (after seeing Jinyu and Harvard’s Michael Puett give talks at the 2014 APA). Jinyu is again the key connecting figure acquiring content, whereas I take care of the web development.

Dr. Elizabeth Penland, Upper School Latin Teacher, Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, PA, has been organizing her students to translate DCC Caesar and Vergil commentaries into Chinese. The Caesar is already published (actually made when Liz was at Concord Academy), and the Vergil is in process. The SCS published a blog post by her about forging connections between the ancient Mediterranean and modern Chinese culture. One of her students, Lixiang (Andy) Lin, also helping this summer with the following related project.

Digitization of Goncalves’ Lexicon Magnum Latino-Sinicum. I have a recent blog post about that. I have been leading this effort since 2016, but have had help from a number of students, some Chinese, some not. A preliminary test version is already up on DCO, and a mobile app is ready to launch as soon as we have the data cleaned. Hoping to be done by the end of this calendar year.

Digitization of the Cursus Litteraturae Sinicae (1879-1882) by Angelo Zottoli. This four-thousand page work, presented as a Latin introduction to the written Chinese language, is actually a synoptic guide to the Chinese tradition, encompassing a vast range of texts from the Shijing 詩經(Book of Songs) to Qing-era examination essays, poetry, and letters. See Nicholas Morrow Williams, “Angelo Zottoli’s Cursus Litteraturae Sinicae as Propaedeutic to Chinese Classical Tradition.” Journal of Oriental Studies 63.2 (2015), pp. 327–359. I am collaborating in the long-term endeavor of publishing this on DCO with Chinese scholars, especially Kang Kai and Wang Chen (both from Shanghai). Work is in early stages.

My main base in Shanghai is Shanghai Normal University, and the Guangqi International Center for Scholars, where Marc Mastrangelo and I are honorary fellows, and Jinyu has a regular appointment. This research institute is headed by Heng Chen, a dean at SHNU, and sponsors an active series of lectures and seminars in classical studies, organized by Jinyu.

Once I write it all out like that, I see there is a lot going on. The publishing projects alone could occupy me full time from here on out. I am finally learning Chinese myself, partly to be able to cope with Zottoli, which is a truly amazing work. Check out the Williams article cited above if you have the chance. For my own teaching, my goal is to take better account of comparative perspectives and read some Chinese and Latin classics in tandem. I’ve got an idea for a course on writing about war, with Homer, Sun Tzu, and Julius Caesar.

My contacts in China are at the university level, but I can see there is a lot of potential to promote Latin for high schoolers as well. I had a conversation at the Conventiculum Dickinsoniense with David Bonagura of Regis High School, who went on a mini-tour of a number of high schools in China promoting Latin, a tour initiated by one of his Chinese-born students and his family. There is real potential for establishing summer Latin programs in Beijing and/or Shanghai to further promote the subject. Conventiculum Pekinense, anybody?

Concordance Liberation: Terence

Scantily clad young woman holding theatrical mask.

Thalia, Muse of Comedy, from the Goddesses of the Greeks and Romans series (N188) issued by Wm. S. Kimball & Co.,1889. Metropolitan Museum.

The plays of Terence (P. Terentius Afer) are widely admired for their pure Latin style, but there is as yet no parsed text in digital form that would permit valid statistical analysis of his language and the creation of accurate vocabulary lists to ease reading via tools like The Bridge. If and when DCC publishes an edition of a play of Terence, having a text in which each word form is associated with its correct dictionary headword (lemma) will make the creation of the vocabulary lists a relative snap. Computers can’t accurately parse texts on their own, but humans used to do it routinely in the genre of book known as the concordance or index verborum. With the help of Dickinson computer scientist Michael Skalak, Bret Mulligan of Haverford and I have been working on project to convert older concordances and indices verborum into parsed texts by essentially unscrambling them so they are organized by text location rather then alphabetically by headword, and putting the data into an openly published and freely available spreadsheet. We have successfully completed the transformation of print concordances to Lucretius, Apuleius, and Eutropius, and now we are on to Terence, based on a professionally digitized version of Index Verborum Terentianus by Edgar B. Jenkins (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1932, Pp. ix +187). (Worldcat record).

Jenkins’ book was meticulous, and it was well-received. Writing in Classical Review 47.1 (1933) 22-23 J.D. Craig called it “a miracle of compression without obscurity,” and he spotted only a small number of errors. Jenkins based his index on the text of Knauer and Lindsay, which is still in use (and on PHI). In each case, transformation from an alphabetical word list into a sequential parsed text requires careful examination of the system of listing lemmas, word forms, citations, and textual variants. Classical concordances are all slightly different in the conventions they employ.

The main peculiarity of Jenkins’ books is that he used a system of hyphenation, presumably to save space. This will have to be overcome by alteration of the base code for Michael Skalak’s Concordance Processor (code on Github). For my part, I had to filter out some information that was evidently important to Jenkins, but is not to us. For example, Jenkins put in parentheses all citations for words that are in parentheses in the text itself. Whether or not a word is in parentheses is immaterial to us, and having those citations in parentheses would have meant those citations were misinterpreted by the processor.

For the benefit of anybody who wants to try to do this kind of work in the future (and there are innumerable concordances that could be liberated in this way), here are my working notes and analysis of Jenkins. A random chunk of the .pdf looks like this:

selection from Terence concordanceAfter digitization by NewGen Knowledge Works it looks like this:

<il><B>scirp-us:</B></il>
<il> -o (ab): An 941</il>
<il><B>Scirt-us:</B></il>
<il> -e: Hc 78</il>
<il><B>sciscit-or:</B></il>
<il> -ari: E 548</il>
<il><B>scite</B> (3): Ht 729 764 785</il>
<il><B>scit-us</B> (pa; 5):</il>
<il> -a (ns): P 110</il>
<il> -um (ac): E 254</il>
<il> -um (n): Ht 210; P 821</il>
<il> -us: An 486 (in tmesis w per)</il>
<il><B>scopul-us:</B></il>
<il> -um: P 689(4)</il>
<il><B>scort-or</B> (2):</il>
<il> -ari: Ad 102; Ht 206</il>
<il> -atur: Ad 117(F)</il>
<il><B>scortum</B> (ac; 2): Ad 965; E 424</il>
<il><B>screatus</B> (ac): Ht 373</il>
<il><B>scrib-o</B> (19):</il>
<il> -am (ind): P 127</il>
<il> -at: P 3</il>
<il> -endo (g ab): E 7</il>
<il> -endum (g): Ad 25; An 1</il>
<il> -ere: Ad 16; E 36; Hc 56</il>
<il> -eret: Hc 27</il>
<il> -ito (3): P 668</il>
<il> -undis (ab): An 5</il>
<il> -unt: Ht 43</il>
<il> scripserit (subj): Hc 7a(DT); Ht 7</il>
<il> scripsit: E 10; Hc 6; Ht 15; P 6</il>
<il> scripta (sunt): An 283</il>
<il> scriptam (sc esse): P 329</il>

Skalak’s concordance processor will convert this into a spreadsheet with each piece of information in its proper category: lemma or headword (column 1), lemma homonym distinguisher, if any (column 2), citation for specific word forms (column 3), the word forms (column 4), word form homonym distinguishers or other information about a single word form (column 5), and textual variant information (column 6). The trick to the pre-processing analysis is to find the machine-readable characteristics of each kind of information, so the processor can be adjusted to the specific conventions used by the index. Examination revealed the following:

  • Lemmas [column 1] are introduced by <il><B> and terminated by a colon. The closing </B> tag may follow or precede the colon, but it will always be there. Only lemmas are enclosed with <B>…</B> tags. The colon is followed by </il>, </B></il>, or by one or more citations and </il>.Examples:
    • <il><B>abrad-o:</B></il>
    • <il><B>a</B> (prep; 87):</il>
    • <il><B>accurate:</B> An 494</il>
    • <il><B>abhinc</B> (3): An 69; Hc 822; P 1017</il>
  • Lemma distinguishers [column 2] sometimes precede (but never follow) the colon, and are in parentheses. This either indicates the number of times that the lemma occurs, or homonym distinguishers, or textual information, or some combination of the three, set apart with semicola. This info needs to go in column 2 next to every word form under that lemma.
    • <il><B>ac-er</B> (2):</il>
    • <il><B>act-us</B> (subs):</il>
    • <il><B>ad-eo</B> (verb; 26):</il>
    • <il><B>dehinc</B> (de(h)inc=KL; 8): Ad 22; An 22 79(dein=4) 190 562 (dein=4); E 14 296 872</il>
  • Word forms [column 4] sometimes directly follow the lemma after the colon and before the closing </il> tag (as just above). But in most cases they are listed on a new line, preceded by <il> and a tab, and followed by a colon.
    • <il><B>depecto:</B></il>
    • <il> depexum (ac): Ht 951</il>
    • <il><B>deper-eo:</B></il>
    • <il> -it: Ht 525</il>
    • <il><B>delir-o</B> (5):</il>
    • <il> -ans (n): Ad 761</il>
    • <il> -as: Ad 936; An 752; P 801</il>
    • <il> -at: P 997</il>
  • Word form modifiers [column 5] sometimes follow the word form in parentheses, before the colon. This information can be syntactical (most common) or textual, can indicate matter to be assumed, differentiate homonymns, or indicate frequency. Put this in column 4 next to every instance of the word form.
    • <il> aspexerit (subj): Ht 773</il>
    • <il> -andus (est): Ad 709</il>
    • <il>ante (adv; 6): An 239 556; E 733; Hc 146 581; P 4(antehac=DU)</il>
    • <il> -quid (-quit=U sometimes; ac): Ad 38 150 401 518 856 857 948 980; An 250 259 265(om=DU) 615 622 640; E 210 308 661 999 1001; Hc 333; Ht 69 339 533 670 763 1003; P 42 190 770 874</il>
  • Citations for instances of a word form [column 3] in each of the six plays follow the colon. Semicola separate instances for each play. Multiple citations from a single play are separated by a space only. </il> closes off the word form.
  • <il><B>de-us</B> (121):</il>
  • <il> -o (ab): P 74</il>
  • <il> -orum: An 959(sp=U); Ht 693</il>
  • <il> -os: Ad 275 298 491 693 699 704; An 487 522 538 664 694 834; Hc 476 772 772; Ht 879 1038; P 311 764</il>
  • The string “ae” followed directly by numerals (no spaces) should be treated as part of the numeral. This indicates the line numbers in the alternate ending of the Andria. Some line numbers will have a letter suffix, like 7a, 7b
    • <il> -averis (ind): An ae16</il>
  • Citation modifiers in parentheses [column 6].These are all textual variants. Depending on what it says, sometimes the parenthetical material only will be deleted, sometimes the citation will be deleted as well. This can be done after the creation of the spreadsheet. If the citation-distinguishing parenthesis in column 6 contains ‘=’, delete just the parenthesis. If it does not contain ‘=’, delete the entire citation and the parenthesis. Column 6 will then be gone.
    • <il><B>ergo</B> (38): Ad 172(ego me=F) 324 325(FT) 326 572 609 854 959; An 195 565 711 850; E 162 317 401 459 796 1062; Hc 63 610 611 715 787(4); Ht 398 550 821 985 993 (ego=FU) 1046; P 62 202 539 562 685 718 755 882 948 984 995</il>
    • <il><B>et</B> (538): Ad 2 19 30 34 35(om=4) 43 57 64 65 68 78 107 121 121(F) 122 129 138 144 207 230 251 263 272 279(F) 285 285 305 316 319 340 352 380 389 (U) 391 423 429 446 495 511 521 523 558 566 580 584(ei=F) 591 596 600(esse=FTU) 602 603 609 609 648 675 680 683 692 (4)
  • Lemmas sometimes have hyphens to indicate that subsequent inflected forms may be abbreviated. They may or may not actually be abbreviated. Word forms can be reconstructed by combining.
    • <il><B>adfer-o</B> (25):</il>
    • <il> -: Ht 223</il>
    • <il> -am (ind): Ht 701</il>
    • <il> -ant: Ad 300</il>
    • <il><B>admitt-o</B> (13):</il>
    • <il> admiserit (subj): P 270</il>
    • <il> admisero: E 853</il>

I made some alterations to the concordance to make it easier to process:

  • To avoid confusion, citations that are themselves in parentheses had to be removed from parentheses. Otherwise they will be treated as supplementary info for the previous citation.
  • Alphabetic headings had to be removed, since they looked superficially like lemmas.
  • Spurious lines in square brackets were removed.
  • All 59 instances of “*” were removed. The asterisk indicates that some minor point applies, e.g. that est is to be inferred with factum, or that ipsa is spelled eapse in F’s edition. This information was not significant enough for our purpose, which was to get each word form sitting next to its proper lemma.

After the spreadsheet is done I’ll check it, then hand it over to Bret Mulligan, who will ingest the parsed text into the Bride, adding Bridge display lemmas and definitions. Custom vocabulary lists can be created from there. The original .txt and the spreadsheet version will also be made available on our Github repository.

Digitizing Gonçalves’ Lexicon Magnum Latino-Sinicum

I’ve been working with others for several years now to digitize a large Latin-Chinese dictionary, but I realized that I have never blogged about the effort and publicly recognized the people involved. I just got back from China, where I discussed the project at a colloquium in Beijing, and work will intensify this summer, so now seems like a good a time as any to let people know about this exciting project.

Book title pages in Chinese and LatinThe goal is to create a large Latin-Chinese dictionary as standalone mobile application and as a database freely available on the website Dickinson Classics Online, which collects resources for Chinese readers of Greek and Latin texts. The source of the dictionary data is the Lexicon Magnum Latino-Sinicum of Joaquim Affonso Gonçalves, first published in 1841. The author was a Portuguese Jesuit professor working with Chinese collaborators in Macau. No similar resource exists, and the increasing numbers of students of Latin in China have little access to the books and references resources familiar to students in the West. The overall goal of the DCO project of which this is a part is to globalize the study of classical texts and the pre-modern humanities.

sample of dictionary

A sample showing Gancalves’ distinctive lemmatizations

Work Already Done

  • The book itself is very rare. In 2016 Don Sailer and the staff at the Waidner-Spahr Library at Dickinson photographed a borrowed copy (thank you, Princeton libraries. They had one of the three existing copies of the last edition, and it was checked out at the time!). In 2016-17 Dickinson students Siyun Yan and Seth Levin  ran the scans through the text recognition program ABBYY, hand-corrected and created an Excel spreadsheet of the result.
headshot photos of two students

Dickinson Students Siyun Yan and Seth Levin carried out initial editing of the ABBYY output.

  • Seth Levin began coordinating Goncalves’ headwords with the large list of Latin dictionary headwords known as Morpheus, used in the Perseus Project. The purpose of this was to make it easier to share and coordinate the data with other large Latin dictionaries, like those available on Logeion. At the same time the headwords were coordinated with the lemma list of The Bridge, a dictionary application created by Bret Mulligan that can create custom vocabulary lists for classical texts. The Bridge list largely overlaps with the Morpheus list, but includes some better definitions and “display lemmas,” the full forms of the dictionary headwords.
screenshot of ABBYY

correcting ABBYY output

Corrected output from ABBYY: single column

Corrected output from ABBYY: single column

 

screenshot of spreadsheet

Combinng Goncalves’ definitions with Morpheus lemmata and shortdefs

screenshot of spreadsheet

lemmatization problems

  • In 2017 Qizhen Xie, a classics graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, continued the editing of the Chinese and the Latin headwords, and made considerable headway on this very large set of lemmas.

headshot photo of Qizhen Xie

  • English definitions and display lemmas for most items were added from the Morpheus and Bridge data sets. As part of the digitization I made the decision not to preserve Goncalves’ display lemmas, since they are idiosyncratic.
  • In spring 2019 Eli Goings (Dickinson ’18) and I worked on adding missing display lemmas and English definitions for words that are in Goncalves but not in the Morpheus list, or for which the Morpheus display lemmas are inadequate.
  • Most recently, developer Lara Frymark (Dickinson ’12) created the Android mobile application that will carry the data, and Ryan Burke, our Dickinson Drupal specialist (without whom DCC and DCO could not exist) created a content type for it on DCO.
website screenshot

DCO sample

Android mobile app screenshot

Android mobile app screenshot

Work Remaining

  • This summer we plan to finish creation of missing display lemmas. These number in the several thousands. They need to be created in a specific standard format, used in the Bridge, based on information in Gonçalves’ book itself, and added to the Excel spreadsheet. There will also be proof-reading to be done.
  • If time allows, edit and improve the Morpheus English definitions, which are often missing or faulty. 
diagram

Gonçalves digitization workflow chart

For those who are interested, here is some English bibliography about western classics in China, and details about Gonçalves’ work.

Western Classics in China

Bartsch, Shadi. “The Ancient Greeks in Modern China: Interpretation and Metamorphosis.” In The Reception of Greek and Roman Culture in East Asia: Texts & Artefacts, Institutions & Practices, ed. A-B. Renger.  Forthcoming from Brill. Pre-print available on Academia.edu.

Coleman, Kathleen. “Nondum Arabes Seresque Rogant: Classics Looks East.” Society for Classical Studies Blog, October 16, 2016. https://classicalstudies.org/scs-blog/kcoleman/blog-nondum-arabes-seresque-rogant-classics-looks-east

Li, Yongyi, “A New Incarnation for Latin in China.” Amphora, October 4, 2014. https://classicalstudies.org/amphora/new-incarnation-latin-china-yongyi-li

Liu, Jinyu. “Virgil in China in the Twentieth Century.” Sino-American Journal of Comparative Literature I (2015): 67–105. Available on Academia.edu.

Goncalves, Macau, and Missionary Scholarship

Gonçalves, Joaquim Affonso. Vocabularium latino-sinicum: pronuntiatione mandarina latinis literis expressa. Macao: A Lauriano Hippolyto typis mandatum, 1836. 246 pages; 17 cm. Repr. 1886. 246 p.; 17 cm. (OCLC: 419787323)

                             . Lexicon manuale latino sinicum continens omnia vocabula latina utilia et primitiva, etiam Scripturae Sacrae. Macai, in Collegio S. Joseph ab E. Rosa typis mandatum, 1839. ii-vii, 498 pages, 23 cm (OCLC: 7482643). Available on Hathi Trust and Google Books. Approximately 10,500 lemmas. 6th ed. Pekini: Typis Lazaristarum, 1937. viii, 446 pages ; 22 cm.

                             . Lexicon magnum latino-sinicum ostendens etymologiam, prosodiam, et constructionem vocabulorum. Macai, in Collegio sancti Joseph. ab E. Rosa typis mandatum, 1841. (OCLC: 39488723). iv, 779 pages 32 cm. Available on Google Books. 3rd edition, Pekini: Typis Congregationis Missionis, 1892 (OCLC: 663670553). Repr. 1936 (OCLC: 42878372).

Lach, Donald. Asia in the Making of Europe, vol. II: A Century of Wonder. Book 3: The Scholarly Disciplines. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

Tang, Kaijian. Setting off from Macau: Essays on Jesuit History during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Leiden: Brill, 2016. Ch. 2: “Macau and the Spread of Catholicism in Mainland China during the Late Ming and Early Qing Dynasties.”

Tiedemann, R.G. Handbook of Christianity in China. Leiden: Brill, 2010.

Maffeius on the effect of incendiary weapons (1546)

Maffeius,telling the story of the Second Siege of Diu (1546), describes the effects of the thrown incendiary weapons (ardentia iacula) used by both sides. They did less damage to the Portuguese than to the Gujarati soldiers, he says, because of the cotton clothing they wore, and the closeness of their formations (Historiae Indicae [1588] 13.45):

Quos autem flamma comprehendisset, ii, abiectis armis, cum simul vestimenta proiicere non valerent, ceterosque ab iis adiuvandis exuendisve sui quemque periculi metus averteret, caeci amentesque crebro cum gemitu incerto vestigio extra ordines ferebantur. Hinc deformatos vultus, exusta lumina, pendentem e nudatis artubus cutem ac velut in lora dissectam horrendo spectaculo cerneres.

 

Moreover, those whom the flame had engulfed threw away their weapons and, as they could not remove their clothing and fear of the danger kept the rest of their comrades from helping to strip them, they ran blind and mad beyond their ranks in uncertain wandering, screaming all the while. It was a horrific spectacle: disfigured faces, burned out eyes, skin hanging from naked limbs as if flayed to ribbons.

Maffei had various written sources, and also a live informant who was present. His Latin can be ornate and periodic when discussing complex matters, but also intensely vivid in story telling. Note how he

  • spotlights the unfortunate men (quos … ii),
  • focuses on the emotions and desperation of the Gujaratis (non valerent … metus … caeci amentes)
  • employs the vivid 2nd person singular cerneres, used also  by his beloved Livy, and in a similar context in Apuleius (Met. 4.14, looking at destruction:  passim per plateas plurimas c e r n e r e s iacere semiuiuorum corporum ferina naufragia).

The scene is focalized through the eyes of the Portuguese within the walls, but Maffei takes us close enough to see the haunting, burned out eyes (exusta lumina) of the victims. This phrase might be borrowed from Plautus, Men. 842, minatur mihi oculos exurere, but notice the substitution of the more poetic lumina for oculos. The equally poetic incerto vestigio (as opposed to something like errantes or palantes) is full of pathos. Maffei’s rhetorical virtuosity shows in the climax of the last sentence quoted, with its inconspicuous simile, in the balanced phrasing and the interlaced and chiastic word order throughout.

Maffei uses the grotesque rarely, but in a fuller narration such as this it helps him convey some of the horror of (for him and his readers) modern warfare.

 

Concordance Liberated: Apuleius

About a year ago Bret Mulligan and I started on a project to liberate the data contained in concordances of classical authors, by digitizing the concordance, then unscrambling it to produce a fully lemmatized text. This lemmatized text was then to be combined with dictionary head words and definitions to create a full lexicon. The idea is that those who want to read the author could create full, accurate vocabulary lists based on this data, using The Bridge.

In April 2018 we received a Pedagogy Grant from the Society for Classical Studies (see “Flight of the Concordances“) to begin with the Index Apuleianus by William Abbott Oldfather et. al. (published in 1934 by the American Philological Association). Today I am proud to report on the  successful completion of that part of the project.

A website describing the broader Concordance Liberation Project is now live. 
The Gituhub repository contains the plain text of the concordance and the lemmatized text with full dictionary forms and definitions.
The searchable interface at The Bridge makes this data available to teachers and others who want to create vocabulary lists for works of Apuleius.

The digitization was performed by NewGen Knowledge Works. Chris Francese and Bret Mulligan performed the data analysis prefatory to processing and conversion. Michael Skalak wrote the code and transformed the plain text to a spreadsheet. Post-processing involved creating equivalencies between the lemmas used by Oldfather and his team and the lemmas or “titles” used by The Bridge; making sure that dictionary forms or display lemmas matched those; and then equipping the dictionary headwords with appropriate definitions. This difficult and meticulous work was carried out by Eli Goings (Dickinson ’18) and John Burgess (Haverford ’19), with funding from Dickinson and Haverford Colleges. As those who know Apuleius are aware, his vocabulary is immense. This work effectively creates a full lexicon of his works with definitions for even the most obscure words.

“Concordance Liberation” is now an ongoing project, and the SCS grant gave it an important impetus, for which we are very grateful. The next author we are tackling is Eutropius, and we have many others in the queue. Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.

Fresh translations of the DCC core vocabularies

Five new translations of the DCC Core Latin and Ancient Greek Vocabularies are now up and downloadable in various formats (download buttons can be found at the bottom of the pages):  Greek-Italian, by Elisa Ruggieri, Latin-Italian by Gian Paolo Ciceri, Latin-Portuguese by Vittorio Pastelli, Latin-Spanish by Francisco Javier Pérez Cartagena, and Latin-Swedish by Johanna Koivunen. We at DCC are extremely grateful to these scholars for their work. Thanks are due also to developer Lara Frymark, who figured out a way to upload the lists efficiently. If you would like to contribute a new translation (no German yet?! What about French? Russian?) please see this page.

 

DCC 2018 analytics

This is the time of year when I examine the site analytics for DCC, ahead of the editorial board get together at the SCS annual meeting. Use of DCC continues to grow, according to Google Analytics. In the last calendar year the site had a total of 1,033,730 page views, a new high. The graphs below show (1) the growth over last year; (2) the most popular parts of the site (Allen and Greenough continues to prevail there), and (3) the most popular commentaries, excluding the reference works. All this is for December 2017-November 2018. Monthly data in four different metrics for each commentary is on the site. Thank you to all the many scholars—students, secondary teachers, and college and university faculty—who have contributed to DCC this year. Thanks are also due to the editorial board for their work on peer review and editing, and to our fine Drupal developer Ryan Burke of Dickinson’s Academic Technology office. Happy Holidays, everybody!

 

DCC total monthly page views, 2017-2018

1: DCC total monthly page views, 2017-2018

 

DCC analytics by content type, December 2017 to November 2018

2: DCC analytics by content type, December 2017 to November 2018

 

DCC analytics, Nov. 2017 to Nov. 2018 just commentaries, not reference works

3: DCC analytics, Nov. 2017 to Nov. 2018 just commentaries, not reference works

Analytics term definitions:

Pageviews: the total number of pages viewed over the date range in question. Repeated views of a single page by the same user are counted. A Pageview is counted every time a specific page is loaded.

Unique Pageviews: the number of sessions during which the specified page was viewed at least once. Unique Pageviews are counted for every session, including distinct sessions by the same user during the specified date range (30 minutes of inactivity ends a session). A Unique Pageview is counted for each page URL + page Title combination.

Users: distinct IP addresses that have had at least one session within the selected date range. Includes both new and returning Users. A User is counted in every session that User visits the site or a commentary during the selected date range. Subtracting the figure for New Users from this figure yields the number of people who visited, left, and returned.

New Users: the number of first-time Users (distinct IP addresses) during the selected date range. They may be returning Users from a time before the selected date range.