The Open UniversitySkip to content

Digital approaches to analysing spatial relationships in Herodotus 5

Barker, Elton and Isaksen, Leif (2013). Digital approaches to analysing spatial relationships in Herodotus 5. In: Barker, Elton; Bouzarovski, Stefan; Isaksen, Leif and Pelling, Chris eds. New Worlds out of Old Texts: Approaches to the Spatial Analysis of Ancient Greek Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, (In press).

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 Chapter
Copyright Holders: 2013 Oxford University Press
Academic Unit/Department: Arts > Classical Studies
Related URLs:
Item ID: 34490
Depositing User: Elton Barker
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2012 08:31
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2014 12:40
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

View Item
Report issue / request change

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340