demo.fragmentarytexts.org is a site complementary to Fragmentary Texts and its aim is to experiment tools and devise methods for representing quotations and text re-uses of lost authors and works (i.e., those pieces of information about lost authors that humanists call "fragments"). Print collections of fragmentary texts are collections of textual excerpts drawn from many different sources and arranged according to various criteria, such as chronological order or thematic disposition. The length of these excerpts can be significantly different from one edition to another and depends on the editor’s choice. The aim of a digital collection of fragmentary texts is to go beyond the limits of print collections and express fragmentary sources in a more dynamic and interconnected way.
We begin by presenting different examples from ancient Greek authors (Plutarch and Athenaeus), whose texts are rich of quotations and text re-uses of lost works. The Revolt of Samos is a section where we have chosen the tradition of the Athenian suppression of the revolt of Samos (441-439 BC) to provide a test case for designing a "synoptical representation" of primary sources. We are also working on a section about Istros the Callimachean, whose goal is to present differences between a traditional print edition and a new digital one of the same fragmentary author. The first aim of these experiments is to visualize quotations inside their contexts of transmission, which is the basic requirement to understand the origin of a text re-use and its meaning.
We have adopted Ajax technology to represent fragmentary texts and this experimental web site has been created using an Open Source CMS enriched with plugins created ad-hoc in order to add visual functionalities.
Support from the NEH/JISC PhiloGrid Project (Creating a Virtual Research Environment for Classics: NEH PX-50013-08) and from the Mellon Cybereditions Project allowed developing this project in conjunction with the Perseus Project at Tufts University.
For a presentation of demo.fragmentarytexts.org., see G. Crane. 'From Subjects to Citizens in a Global Republic of Letters'. In Going Digital. Evolutionary and Revolutionary Aspects of Digitization. Ed. by K. Grandin. Nobel Symposium 147. The Nobel Foundation, 2011, pp. 251-254.
Project director: Monica Berti