The Open UniversitySkip to content

Telling stories with maps: digital experiments with Herodotean geography

Barker, Elton; Isaksen, Leif and Ogden, Jessica (2016). Telling stories with maps: digital experiments with Herodotean geography. In: Barker, Elton; Bouzarovski, Stefan; Isaksen, Leif and Pelling, Chris eds. New Worlds from Old Texts: Revisiting Ancient Space and Place. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 181–224.

Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This chapter presents some initial attempts at exploring digital technologies for examining Herodotus’s Histories geospatially. The basis of this study was a digital copy of Herodotus’s Histories from the Perseus classical library: Isaksen and Barker here discuss the process of data cleaning and aggregating the repurposed text, and sketch out the configuration of the geo-referenced database, which stores the spatial co-ordinates of all place-names, their precise references in the narrative, and their categorization (as settlements, physical features or territories). With such a database, some of the ways in which Herodotus’s discursive model can be represented and explored visually are then demonstrated, using different kinds of web-mapping technologies, such as: (i) Geographical Information Systems (GIS), through which spatial concepts in the Histories can be queried and visualized; (ii) a KML ‘Google Earth’ layer that provides users with full English and Greek citations of references to locations in the Histories; and (iii) a narrative Timeline that shows locations appear and ‘fade from memory’ as the ‘reader’ moves along it. As well as discussing the advantages of and challenges posed by these varying visualizations,

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2016 Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0-19-966413-7, 978-0-19-966413-9
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > Classical Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 34490
Depositing User: Elton Barker
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2012 08:31
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:40
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU