XML Version
Sostaric, P., Jovcic, S. (2016). The Latin Batrachomyomachia Collection. In Digital Humanities 2016: Conference Abstracts. Jagiellonian University & Pedagogical University, Kraków, pp. 890-891.
The Latin Batrachomyomachia Collection

The Latin Batrachomyomachia Collection

The topic of our project follows closely the theme of this conference: the digital humanities have been a bridge between the past and the future in the field of classical philology, and the identity of the classical scholar has imperceptibly but steadily been merging with a digital humanist identity. As humanist translations from Greek to Latin receive more and more attention, it would be useful to have translations of specific texts collected, organized and made machine-searchable to enable further scholarly study, instead of having them scattered as scanned manuscripts in different repositories. Usually text collections offer a corpus of national literature (e.g. CroALa) or specific periods (e.g. Biblioteca Digital del Pensamiento Novohispano). This project focuses on a single text: the aim of this project is to produce an online collection of Latin translations of the Greek mock-epic Batrachomyomachia, consisting of 300 lines. The Batrachomyomachia had long been attributed to Homer and attracted much attention as such; it was even considered Homer’s best work by some. The revival of Greek studies in the West in the Renaissance lead to a lively production of translations from ancient Greek into Latin, even of what is now considered minor works and authors. The interest did not disappear after the Renaissance and the production of humanist translations of different works continued. The last Latin translation of the Batrachomyomachia was to appear in the 18th century, penned by a renowned Mexican humanist, Francisco Javier Alegre. Unfortunately, humanist translations are seldom included into existing online text collections. The database of Italian Renaissance Latin poetry, Poeti d’Italia, does not include a Latin Batrachomyomachia under the name of Renaissance humanist Carlo Marsuppini, nor is there the Latin Batrachomyomachia by Joachim Münsinger von Frundeck at the CAMENA database of neo-Latin poetry. The interest of modern day digital humanists for this mini-epic does not reciprocate the interest of the earlier humanists who used Latin as their medium of choice, but as translations from Greek to Latin have been coming into classicists’ focus in recent years, this kind of collection will certainly prove itself useful.

The aim of our project is to collect as many Latin translations of the Batrachomyomachia as possible (many are already in the public domain as they have been digitised by various institutions; they will be transcribed by researchers in this project) and make them machine searchable and available online for further scholarly study. Our application will be used for uploading  .docx documents and their conversion into xml files while erasing unnecessary tags. Every word will be saved in a lexicon and a table with information on the word’s position in the lexicon and in the text. The search will be conducted through a MySql query with word and context as a result. The project will also include Greek to Latin text alignments ( micropublications done in Perseids) and educational material: quizzes developed especially for teaching Greek while enhancing the learner’s Latin skills with material taken from the Greek and Latin Batrachomyomachias. The material collected in this project will be useful to teachers, students and researchers.

  1. Tufts University 2007. Perseus Digital Library: Perseids. Available at http://perseids.org/. Accessed 6. 3. 2016.
  2. UNAM 2016. Biblioteca Digital del Pensamiento Novohispano. Available at: http://www.bdpn.unam.mx/. Accessed 6. 3. 2016.
  3. University of Zagreb 2014. CroALa. Available at: http://croala.ffzg.unizg.hr/. Accessed 5. 3. 2016.
  4. University Ca' Foscari 2016. Poeti d’Italia. Available at: http://www.poetiditalia.it/public/. Accessed 5. 3. 2016.