Contemplating a Digital Periegesis (Dr Anna Foka, University of Uppsala)

12:00pm - 1:30pm / Wednesday 3rd July 2019 / Venue: Arthur West Room, 8-11 Abercromby Square, Abercromby SQ (south)
Type: Seminar / Category: Department
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Classical Studies, History, and Archaeology scholars often use digital technologies to ‘map out’ and relate detailed geographic data to primary sources. Digital maps have provided insights into aspects of historical urban development and have facilitated critical discussions of the application of digital tools within the context of museology, or the narratives of cultural heritage. Online linked data initiatives that aim to represent the spatial footprint of literary texts, such as Hestia ( and Topos Text (, currently use digital texts and web-mapping technologies such as GIS, Google Earth and the Narrative TimeMap to visualize the digitized text and to facilitate a geographic reading of the ancient world.

This seminar talk discusses current possibilities for a dynamic digital cartography of Pausanias’s Periegesis Hellados (or Description of Greece). The word Periegesis derives from periēgeisthai, ‘to lead or show around’. This double sense of movement (through space) and description (of place) reflects not only how Pausanias describes and contemplates places and objects within them, but also the spatial organisation of his narrative theoria (or ‘viewing’) – how he relates places to each other and contemplates their relationship. The seminar provides an analysis of the process of creating and annotating a digital edition of Pausanias’s Periegesis. It further contemplates a digital Periegesis, a visual rendering of Pausanias’s spatial theoria: his (re)imagining of ancient Greece as a dynamic representation of networks, migration, and spatial transformation.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop and to create an account in the free open access platform

Dr Anna Foka is Associate Professor in Information Technology and the Humanities at the University of Uppsala, where she leads the Digital Humanities research centre. Her own research examines digital technologies and the representation of the past, with a focus on gender and Classical Antiquity.