Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New from Luminos: Language of the Snakes: Prakrit, Sanskrit, and the Language Order of Premodern India

Language of the Snakes: Prakrit, Sanskrit, and the Language Order of Premodern India
By Andrew Ollett

Language of the Snakes traces the history of the Prakrit language as a literary phenomenon, starting from its cultivation in courts of the Deccan in the first centuries of the common era. Although little studied today, Prakrit was an important vector of the kāvya movement and once joined Sanskrit at the apex of classical Indian literary culture. The opposition between Prakrit and Sanskrit was at the center of an enduring “language order” in India, a set of ways of thinking about, naming, classifying, representing, and ultimately using languages. As a language of classical literature that nevertheless retained its associations with more demotic language practices, Prakrit both embodies major cultural tensions—between high and low, transregional and regional, cosmopolitan and vernacular—and provides a unique perspective onto the history of literature and culture in South Asia.
“Andrew Ollett’s book is one of those scholarly breakthroughs that happen, with luck, once or twice in a generation. It reveals the richness of Prakrit language and literary modes with a precision and depth of insight never seen before.” DAVID SHULMAN, Professor Emeritus, Hebrew University
“Ollett offers a brilliant, original, and thoroughly engaging investigation of the complex language order of premodern India. Bringing to the fore the less-studied role of the literary Prakrits, his work makes a major contribution to our understanding of the history of language and literature in early India and beyond.” R. P. GOLDMAN, Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor in Sanskrit and India Studies, University of California, Berkeley
ANDREW OLLETT works on the literary and intellectual traditions of premodern India.

Open Access Book Reviews on Antiquity

These are the open access eJournals (or components thereof) focused on reviews of books on the ancient world of which I am aware.  Are there others?  Please let me know.

See AWOL's full List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies

Online Database of Egyptian Early Dynastic inscriptions

[First posted in AWOL 19 September 2011, updated 13 December 2017 (links fixed)]

Database of Early Dynastic inscriptions
By Ilona Regulski
The current database assembles all available Early Dynastic inscriptions, covering the first attestations of writing discovered in tomb U-j (Naqada IIIA1, ca. 3250 BC) until the earliest known continuous written text in the reign of Netjerikhet–more commonly known as Djoser (ca. 2700 BC).[1] The database originated as a computerized Access document containing the collection of sources on which the author’s publication “A Palaeographic Study of Early Writing in Egypt” was based.[2] The latter was kindly reformed into a web compatible application by Prof. Erhart Graefe, former head of the Department of Egyptology and Coptology at the Westfalische-Wilhelms Universität, Münster, Germany, which hosts the database. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to him. Additional information on bibliography, reading and interpretation of signs and whereabouts of the inscriptions have kindly been provided by: Eva-Maria Engel, Annelies Bleeker, Catherine Jones, Kathryn Piquette, the students of the third MA semester 2012-2013 from the FU Berlin (Stephanie Bruck, Dominik Ceballos Contreras, Viktoria Fink, Stephan Hartlepp, Ingo Küchler, Soukaina Najjarane, Niklas Schneeweiß, Melanie Schreiber, Dina Serova, Elisabeth Wegner).[3]

The database contains more then 4500 inscriptions and is constantly updated. Each inscription was assigned a source number. The source list, published by J. Kahl in Das System der ägyptischen Hieroglyphenschrift in der 0.-3. Dynastie, 171-417, was the point of departure.[4] The sequence of the Kahl list is chronological but this could not be followed when new sources were added as they were found. About 700 sources could be added to his collection starting with number 4000. Multiple impressions from the same cylinder seal were incorporated as one source since they are copies of one inscription. 

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Editorial: Network Neutrality

If you read The Ancient World Online you are interested in Open Access Scholarship. And if you are interested in Open Access Scholarship you should support Network Neutrality.

The American Library Association: Network Neutrality
Network neutrality is the concept of online non-discrimination. It is the principle that consumers and citizens should be free to get access to—or to provide—the Internet content and services they wish, and that consumer access should not be regulated based on the nature or source of that content or service. Information providers—which may be websites, online services, etc., and who may be affiliated with traditional commercial enterprises but who also may be individual citizens, libraries, schools, or nonprofit entities—should have essentially the same quality of access to distribute their offerings. "Pipe" owners (carriers) should not be allowed to charge some information providers more money for the same pipes, or establish exclusive deals that relegate everyone else (including small noncommercial or startup entities) to an Internet "slow lane." This principle should hold true even when a broadband provider is providing Internet carriage to a competitor.

Why is Net Neutrality an Issue?

Net neutrality was a founding principle of the Internet. It is a principle incorporates both the common carrier laws that have long governed the phone lines used for both voice telephone and dial-up access. Now, many consumers receive broadband service over other technologies (cable, DSL) that are not subject to the same common-carriage requirements. While these technologies are unquestionably superior to dial-up, the lack of enforceable net neutrality principles concerns us. Cable and DSL companies are planning to engage in “bit discrimination” by providing faster connections to websites and services that pay a premium, or by preferring their own business partners when delivering content. As the Internet moves forward, is it really wise to leave net neutrality behind?
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Why Does Net Neutrality Matter to Libraries?

The American Library Association is a strong advocate for intellectual freedom, which is the “right of all peoples to seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction.” Intellectual freedom is critical to our democracy because we rely on people’s ability to inform themselves. The Internet connects people of diverse geographical, political, or ideological origins, greatly enhancing everyone’s ability to share and to inform both themselves and others.
Our libraries’ longstanding commitment to freedom of expression in the realm of content is well-known; in the context of the net neutrality debate, however, we believe it is equally important to stress that the freedom of libraries and librarians to provide innovative new kinds of information services will be central to the growth and development of our democratic culture. A world in which librarians and other non-commercial enterprises are of necessity limited to the Internet’s “slow lanes” while high-definition movies can obtain preferential treatment seems to us to be overlooking a central priority for a democratic society – the necessity of enabling educators, librarians, and all citizens to inform themselves and each other just as much as the major commercial and media interests can inform them.
With modern technology, individuals and small groups can produce rich audio and video resources that used to be the exclusive domain of large companies. We must work to ensure that these resources are not relegated to second-class delivery on the Internet—or else the intellectual freedoms fostered by the Internet will be constrained.
One application that libraries are especially invested in is distance learning. Classes offered using audio and video streamed over the Internet have huge potential to bring expert teachers into the homes of students around the globe.

The Issue of Regulation vs. Competition

Some of the carriers argue that net neutrality is an unnecessary regulation that will stifle competition and slow deployment of broadband technologies. But the truth is there is already only a little competition among broadband providers. In most parts of the U.S., there are at most two companies that provide a broadband pipe to your home: a telephone company and a cable company. Both of these industries are already regulated because they are natural monopolies: once a cable is laid to your house, there really is no rational, non-wasteful reason to lay another cable to your house, since you only need one at a time; therefore, most communities only allow one cable or telephone company to provide service to an area, and then regulate that company so to prevent abuse of the state-granted monopoly. Thus, we don’t allow phone companies to charge exorbitant amounts for local service; nor do we permit a cable company to avoid providing service to poor neighborhoods.
Contrast the quasi-monopoly on broadband pipes with the intensely competitive market of web content and services. There are millions of websites out there and countless hours of video and audio, all competing for your time and money.
With the advent of broadband connections, the telecom and cable companies have found a new way to exploit their state-granted monopoly: leverage it into a market advantage in Internet services and content. This would harm competition in the dynamic, innovative content and services industry without solving the lack of real competition in the broadband access market.
In contrast, net neutrality will encourage competition in online content and services to stay strong. By keeping broadband providers from raising artificial price barriers to competition, net neutrality will preserve the egalitarian, bit-blind principles that have made the Internet the most competitive market in history.


The American Library Association supports net neutrality legislation that preserves the competitive online markets for content and services. Bandwidth and access should be offered on equal terms to all willing to pay. Otherwise, broadband providers will be free to leverage their quasi-monopolies into lucrative but market-distorting agreements. The vitality of voices on the Internet is critical to the intellectual freedom that libraries around the world are trying to protect and promote. Laws that preserve net neutrality are the best way to preserve a vibrant diversity of viewpoints into the foreseeable future.

Where can I find out more?

Recent News


Additional Resources

Open Access Journal: Iris: Journal of the Classical Association of Victoria

[First posted in AWOL 30 August 2011. Updated 12 December 2017]

Iris: Journal of the Classical Association of Victoria
ISSN 1448-1421

What is Iris?

Iris is the journal of the Classical Association of Victoria. The New Series of the journal was founded in 1988. The Journal Editor is Dr Rhiannon Evans of La Trobe University. The Honorary Secretary is Dr. K.O. Chong-Gossard, lecturer at the University of Melbourne. Iris is published with the support of the Muriel P. Blackwood Memorial Fund.

What is in Iris?

The most recent issue - Volume 24, 2011 - is now available for download.
Iris is now a refereed publication. This means that articles published in the refereed section undergo a peer review process. This involves assessment of the publication in its entirety (not merely an abstract or extract), before publication, and by appropriately independent, qualified experts. Independent in this context means independent of the author.

How do I contribute to Iris?

Persons interested into submitting articles or letters to the journal should send them to either the Journal Editor (Rhiannon Evans) or the Honorary Secretary (K.O. Chong-Gossard). Contributors should state whether they wish their article to be refereed or not.

  • ‘Iris’ Volume 28 – 2015
  • ‘Iris’ Volume 27 – 2014
  • ‘Iris’ Volume 26 – 2013
  • ‘Iris’ Volume 24 – 2011
  • ‘Iris’ Volume 23 – 2010
  • ‘Iris’ Volume 22 – 2009
  • ‘Iris’ Volume 21 – 2008
  • ‘Iris’ Volume 20 – 2007
  • ‘Iris’ Volume 19 – 2006
  • ‘Iris’ Volume 18 – 2005
  • ‘Iris’ Volumes 16-17 – 2003-4
  • ‘Iris’ Style Sheet

  • The (Proto-)Masoretic Text: A Ten-Part Series by Prof. Emanuel Tov

    by Prof. Emanuel Tov

    — Part 1—
    The Bible and the Masoretic Text
    The Masoretic Text (MT), whether in its consonantal form (Proto-MT) or its full form, is the commonly used version of the Hebrew Bible, considered authoritative by Jews for almost two millenia.[1] From the invention of the printing press, all Hebrew editions of the Hebrew Bible have been based on a text form of MT, with the exception of publications of the Samaritan Pentateuch or eclectic editions.[2]
    The roots of MT and its popularity go back to the first century of the Common Era. Before that period, only the proto-rabbinic (Pharisaic) movement made use of MT, while other streams in Judaism used other Hebrew textual traditions.
    In other words, before the first century of the Common Era, we witness a textual plurality among Jews, with multiple text forms conceived of as “the Bible,” or Scripture, including the Hebrew source upon which the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint (LXX), was built...
      Table of Contents
      Part 1   –   The Bible and the Masoretic Text

      Part 2   –   Judean Desert Texts Outside Qumran
      Part 3   –   Socio-Religious Background and Stabilization
      Part 4   –   The Scribes of Proto-MT and their Practices
      Part 5   –   Precise Transmission of Inconsistent Spelling

      Part 6   –   Scribal Marks
      Part 7   –   Key Characteristics of the (Proto-)MT
      Part 8   –   Other Biblical Text Traditions
      Part 9   –   Evaluating (Proto-)MT
      Part 10 –   Editions and Translations of (Proto-)MT

    The Khalili Research Centre Image Database

    The Khalili Research Centre Image Database
    The Khalili Research Centre Image Database contains just over 30,000 images that have been scanned of the slides used for teaching Islamic Art at the University of Oxford since the 1960s.
    The database includes slides from important collections including those of Olga Ford, Sylvia Matheson, and Antony Hutt, alongside slides and photographs taken by academics and researchers affiliated to the KRC, Ashmolean Museum, or Faculty of Oriental Studies.

    We continue to work on adding images to the database, and improving the metadata for records already within the archive, and we hope that it will prove a valuable resource to both students of Islamic Art and the public in general

    Monday, December 11, 2017

    Tesserae: A flexible and robust web interface for exploring intertextual parallels

     First posted in AWOL 21 December 2012, Updated 11 December 2017]

    Tesserae is a collaborative project of the University at Buffalo Department of Classics and Department of Linguistics, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the University of Notre Dame, and the Département des Sciences de l'Antiquité of the University of Geneva.
    The principal investigators are Neil Coffee, Associate Professor of Classics, University at Buffalo; Walter J. Scheirer, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Notre Dame; and Jean-Pierre Koenig, Professor of Linguistics, University of Buffalo. A list of personnel and collaborators is here.
    This project has been funded by the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities (Start-up Grant #HD-51570) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (Project #146976), and by the Digital Humanities Initiative at Buffalo.

    EpiDoc Guidelines 9.0 candidate

    EpiDoc Guidelines: Ancient documents in TEI XML
    (This page in Bulgarian | Spanish | Italian)
    EpiDoc is an international, collaborative effort that provides guidelines and tools for encoding scholarly and educational editions of ancient documents. These pages are the EpiDoc Guidelines produced by the collaborative. In addition, the EpiDoc Website provides access to other tools and collaboration environments supported by the collaborative.
    EpiDoc specifies a subset of the Text Encoding Initiative's standard for the representation of texts in digital form using the Extensible Markup Language (XML), a technical standard promulgated by the World-Wide Web Consortium. It addresses not only the transcription and editorial preparation of the texts themselves, but also the history, materiality and metadata of the objects on which the texts appear.
    These Guidelines contain descriptions of the textual, descriptive, and other features expressed with EpiDoc, as well as the TEI elements and attributes used to encode them. The pages below provide a number of entry points into the full documentation, via a series of thematic indexes into the content of the Guidelines, rather than a single "table of contents" reflecting a (nonexistent) ordered, hierarchical document structure.


    Externally maintained guidelines for specialized communities:

    You can also download a zipped copy of the latest Guidelines from our Files section if you need to use them offline.
    You can consult previous versions of the Guidelines in the Archive area of the Files section.
    To cite the EpiDoc Guidelines, please use the following information:
    Tom Elliott, Gabriel Bodard, Elli Mylonas, Simona Stoyanova, Charlotte Tupman, Scott Vanderbilt, et al. (2007-2017), EpiDoc Guidelines: Ancient documents in TEI XML (Version 8). Available:

    Responsibility for this section

    1. Gabriel Bodard, author
    2. Elli Mylonas, author
    3. Tom Elliott, author
    4. Simona Stoyanova, author
    5. Charlotte Tupman, author

    The ACOR Research Library Photographic Archive Project

    The ACOR Research Library Photographic Archive Project 
    The ACOR Research Library Photographic Archive Project is made possible under a Fiscal Year 2016  American Overseas Research Centers grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

    The American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman, Jordan, is a non‑profit, 501(c)(3) academic institution dedicated to promoting research and publication in the humanities and social sciences, with a particular focus on issues related to Jordan and the broader Middle East. ACOR exists both to facilitate research by postgraduate researchers and senior scholars and to assist in the training of future specialists who focus on all phases of Jordan’s past and present.

    The ACOR Library holds a remarkable photographic archive related to its role in preserving and promoting the country’s heritage. The complete collection, estimated to number more than 100,000 images, provides primary visual documentation of Jordan, including the major archaeological and cultural heritage projects the center has sponsored across the country over the decades. Given its broad range of content and subject matter, the ACOR Library photographic archive has the potential to be a crucial resource for American, international, and Jordanian scholars involved in cultural and natural heritage preservation and management.

    As a first step in making this extensive archival collection available to researchers, the ACOR Library has begun to process, digitize, and make fully accessible (and searchable) online a majority of ACOR’s major institutional and donated photographic holdings. By leveraging technology to make these photographs available and freely accessible, the ACOR Library will better equip American, Jordanian, and international researchers and policy makers to monitor and assess the numerous threats facing heritage sites in the Middle East and especially Jordan.

    Manar al-Athar News

    Manar al-Athar News
    We have added keywords to all 30,000 photographs on so that you can search for them. We have 1262 photos of Greek inscriptions, many on floor mosaics, like this one in Hama, Syria. 1/5 More:

    Sunday, December 10, 2017


    Header Picture
    ArchaeOman ist eine projektübergreifende Informationsplattform für den Fachbereich der Vorderasiatischen Archäologie mit dem Schwerpunkt Oman. Sie macht webbasierte Inhalte gleichermaßen der Wissenschaft wie auch der interessierten Öffentlichkeit zugänglich. Der Begriff ArchaeOman setzt sich aus zwei Komponenten zusammen. ‚Archaeo’ ist eine griechische Vorsilbe und steht für alt, und ,Oman’ drückt den regionalen Bezug zum Sultanat Oman auf der Arabischen Halbinsel aus.
    ArchaeOman ist in erster Linie für den Zweck bestimmt, die bestehenden und geplanten wissenschaftlichen Publikationen (Artikel, Beiträge zu Sammelbänden und Monographien) durch digitale Inhalte zu ergänzen. Dabei handelt es sich vor allem um 3D-Modelle, Panoramen und WebGIS-Auftritte. Diese sollen nicht nur einen wichtigen Beitrag für die archäologische Forschung leisten, sondern auch der Nichtfachöffentlichkeit als wichtiges Anschauungsmaterial zur Verfügung stehen. Darüber hinaus wird allen Projekten eine kurze Zusammenfassung der Forschungsergebnisse vorangestellt.
    Folgende Projekte werden präsentiert:
    Bat (2010–2015), Al-Ayn (2010–2011), Al-Zebah (2011–2014), Al-Khubayb (2015), Muhaliyah (2016), Al-Khashbah (seit 2015) sowie die Nachnutzung von Gräbern (seit 2015).

    Open Access Journal: Bulletin of the History of Archaeology

    [First posted in AWOL 10 December 2011. Updated 10 December 2017]

    Bulletin of the History of Archaeology
    ISSN: 2047-6930 (online)
    ISSN: 1062-4740 (print)

    The Bulletin of the History of Archaeology (BHA) was inaugurated nearly 19 years ago as a forum to exchange research, information on on-going projects, and resources solely devoted to the history of archaeology. Since that time it has become global in its reach and interests, but retains its focus on exchanging knowledge about the history of archaeology.