Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fragmentary Texts Project

Fragmentary Texts Collecting and representing fragments of lost authors and works

Fragmentary Texts is a project edited by Monica Berti and devoted to models and methodologies for collecting and representing Greek and Latin texts of classical antiquity that have been preserved in fragments.

By “fragments” we mean both physical fragments – as, for example, fragments of architectural elements, scraps of papyri, or broken inscriptions – and indirect fragments, i.e. quotations by surviving authors, who quote, paraphrase, summarize or allude to authors and works that have not survived. Particular attention will be given to the category of “indirect fragments”, discussing its meaning and the complexity of the reconstruction of the relationship between a textual fragment and its source of transmission.

Collecting fragments is a well-established tradition and the great enterprises of scholars from the Renaissance onward have permitted us to rediscover and preserve an inestimable cultural heritage otherwise lost and forgotten. At the same time, looking for remains of lost works is a very useful methodological exercise for practicing reconstruction on ancient testimonies, and it is also a stimulus for interdisciplinarity, given that an editor has to face a lot of problems deriving from the great variety of subjects and many different kinds of texts that usually form a collection of fragments.

New technologies and the emerging digital repositories of classical sources are providing scholars with invaluable instruments for collecting and preserving ancient texts. These resources allow classicists to deal with challenging textual cases like fragments of lost works and authors.

The main goal of this blog is to discuss models and tools for representing fragmentary texts in a digital library, building a collaborative environment for scholars and enthusiasts who are interested in the topic.


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