CSAD News and Events

Classics Centre

From September 1999 the Centre's address at 67 St. Giles has also become the address of an embryonic Classics Centre for the University of Oxford. Offices previously occupied by the Continuing Education Department are now available to provide computing facilities and a common room for Classics Graduate students, as well as rooms for language teaching staff and research projects within the faculty.

As part of this development, the Centre has acquired additional office space for its Administrator and its growing Research staff. Among the latter are two new arrivals in 1999.

In March Dr. John Pearce, who completed a Ph.D at Durham University, in May 1999, on funerary and burial practices in Roman Britain, was appointed as Research Assistant to the Vindolanda Ink Tablets project which the AHRB is supporting with a 3-year grant. This is directed in part to the digitisation of the ink writing-tablets from Vindolanda as the basis for construction of an electronic database of texts and images. It will also provide support for the work on The Vindolanda Writing-Tablets (Tabulae Vindolandenses III), currently being prepared by Dr. Bowman and Professor David Thomas, and for the eventual compilation of a corpus of Romano-British Writing-Tablets.

Dr. John Pearce, Research Assistant for the AHRB-funded Vindolanda Ink Tablets project

At the beginning of the new academic year, Dr. Graham Oliver arrived to take up a post as Senior Research Fellow of the University of Liverpool based at the Centre to work on the new edition of IG ii. Dr. Oliver describes earlier in the Newsletter the extensive consultations and preliminary planning that have prepared the ground for this major undertaking.

Dr. Graham Oliver, Senior Research Fellow of the University of Liverpool, who will be working on IG ii3 at the Centre.

Imaging Incised Texts

Work on the development of new image-enhancement techniques for incised wooden stilus tablets continued with the grant of £160k by the EPSRC for a further three years of work on the project. Dr. Xiaobo Pan has been appointed as postdoctoral researcher in succession to Stephen Se and has been concentrating on developing lighting techniques for image-capture.

The Royal Society and the British Academy have agreed to sponsor a symposium in December, 2000, organised by Dr. Bowman and Professor Mike Brady, entitled Artefacts and Images of the Ancient World; this will bring together scholars of antiquity and computing scientists to discuss the problems involved in computer reconstruction and imaging of three-dimensional objects, including writing-tablets.

Digitising the Oxyrhynchus Papyri

A successful application was made to the AHRB for funding to continue work on the digitisation of the Oxyrhynchus papyri for 5 more years and, at the same time, to begin work on a complementary project to encode the texts of the literary papyri in an SGML format that will be compatible with the revised version of the Duke DataBank of Documentary Papyri. Dr. Gideon Nisbet, the Research Assistant appointed under the previous grant made by the Research and Equipment Committee, continues in post and Dr. Alberto Nodar has been appointed to an additional, half-time post.

The project has been able to purchase its own Phase One digitising camera and a Fuji Pictrography Colour Proofer to output full-colour prints from the digital images.

The P.Oxy web site (http://www.csad.ox.ac.uk/POxy) has recently been updated to reflect continuing work and now includes images of published Oxyrhynchus papyri from volume 52 onwards.

Monumentum Ephesinum Colloquium

A two-day conference organised under the auspices of the Centre by Barbara Levick, Alan Bowman and Michael Crawford on October 1-2, 1999 re-examined the text and interpretation of the lex portorii provinciae Asiae from Ephesos with a view to the publication of a new text, translation and commentary in English. The Austrian Institute's generous loan of its latex squeeze of the inscription allowed participants in the colloquium to verify and augment current readings of the text.

A full report on the Colloquium will appear in Newsletter no. 9.

David Lewis Lecture

The Lewis Lecture for 1999 was given by Prof. Shaye Cohen of Brown University on Wednesday 26 May in the Lecture Theatre of St. Anne's College on the subject of 'Hellenism in Unexpected Places'. Prof. Cohen's lecture ranged widely from Herodotus to Rabbinic commentators on the domestic habits of the Persians, stressing commonalities of intellectual and moral traditions in Hellenism and Judaism.

The Lewis Lecture for 2000 will be delivered by Professor Lewis's close colleague and collaborator, Prof. P.J. Rhodes of Durham University.

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