Digital Approaches in Greek Palaeography

Institute of Classical Studies, University of London

Room G37, Senate House, Malet Street WC1E 7HU

10:00-17:20 Friday, December 14, 2018


10:00 Introductions and opening discussion (moderator Gabriel Bodard)
11:00 Script types and scribal hands (moderator Antonia Sarri; short presentations Stewart Brookes/Simona Stoyanova & Rodney Ast)
11:45 Handwriting identification (moderator Oliver Thomas; short presentations Maruf Dhali/Gemma Hayes & Gregg Schwendner)

12:30 Lunch

14:00 Quantitative approaches (moderator Francesco Camagni; short presentations Timo Korkiakangas & Thomas Köntges)
14:45 New projects on documentary texts (moderator Joanne Stolk; short presentations Isabelle Marthot & Yasmine Amory)
15:30 Coffee
15:50 Digitization and corpora (moderator Maria Konstantinidou; short presentations Alberto Nodar & Charalambos Dendrinos)
16:35 Closing discussion (moderator Klaas Bentein)

17:20 ENDS

Klaas Bentein (
Gabriel Bodard (


In this one-day workshop, we want to address some key questions, including:

  1. What new research possibilities does digital palaeography offer?
  2. Can we arrive at a descriptive standard for (digital) palaeographical analysis?
  3. What role should the analysis of scribal hands and script types play in future investigations?
  4. Should new digital tools be developed, or can existing tools be modified and adapted to each researcher’s purpose? How much of the analysis can be done automatically with these tools?
  5. At what stages in research can digital tools assist the scholar—data gathering, categorization, synthesis, analysis, visualization, publication, etc.?
  6. What possibilities are there for interdisciplinary collaboration?

The main goal of the workshop is to bring together scholars with an interest in digital palaeography, focusing in particular on Ancient Greek. The workshop will be discussion focused, but will also involve a few short position papers or provocations to raise questions and structure the conversation.

Reading group

Ghent University – Faculty of Arts and Philosophy

Once a month from January 2019, the EVWRIT team will meet to discuss and develop a new theoretical perspective towards communication practices in Antiquity. Theoretical sessions on fundamental aspects of novel methodologies (cognitive sociolinguistics, social semiotics, paléographie signifiante…) will be interchanged with practical ones (doing statistics, showing a database, presenting a paper…).

The reading group is open to anyone interested.


First session: 15:00-17:00 Friday, January 25, 2019 (Grote Vergaderzaal)

Moderator: Klaas Bentein

Theme: social semiotics & multimodality

Background literature: G. Kress. 2010. Multimodality. A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London & New York.



1.     Bentein, K. Towards a typology of relative clauses in Post-classical Greek. Paper presented at the PapyGreek colloquium (Helsinki, June 8, 2018)

2.     Bentein, K. Deictic shifting in Greek contractual writing. Paper presented at the International Colloquium on Ancient Greek Linguistics (Helsinki, August 31, 2018)

3.     Bentein, K. The distinctiveness of syntax for varieties of Post-classical and Byzantine Greek. Paper presented at the Beyond Standards: Attic, the Koiné and Atticism conference (Cambridge, September 14, 2018)

4.     Bentein, K. Syntax: a sociolinguistically distinctive level? Some observations from the Life of Euthymius. Paper presented at the Metaphrasis workshop (Nicosia, October 13, 2018)

5.     Bentein, K., Amory, Y., De Mol, G. & E. Roumanis. Everyday writing in Graeco-Roman and Byzantine Greek. Paper presented at the Dialing Research Seminar (Ghent, November 8, 2018)

6.     Bentein, K. The decline of infinitival complementation in Ancient Greek: A reconsideration. Paper presented at the Classics Research Seminar (Cambridge, November 21, 2018)

7.      Amory, Y. Defense of her doctoral thesis [Title: Communiquer par écrit dans l’Égypte de l’Antiquité tardive: les lettres grecques des archives de Dioscore d’Aphrodité [Égypte; VIe s. apr. J-.C.]). Discussed at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris, December 1, 2018).

8.     Bentein, K. Variation equals social meaning? Developing a digital approach towards communicative variation in Roman and Late Antique Egypt. Paper presented at the Digital Approaches to Ancient and Modern Texts colloquium (Manchester, December 12, 2018).

9.      Amory, Y.  New projects on documentary texts. Paper presented at the Digital Approaches in Greek Palaeography workshop (London, December 14, 2018)

10.    De Mol, G. Hypercorrection in Greek documentary sources: a historical-sociolinguistic approach. Paper presented at the Linghentian Doctorials colloquium (Ghent, December 18, 2018)