98133 - Digital Laboratory for Classical Sources (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

At the end of the laboratory, students are able to collect and organize complex information relating to classical textual sources in a coherent way, can apply methods of critical analysis, of reconstruction and preservation of the texts. Students are able to identify a problem relevant to the research on classical textual sources and they can identify and properly use the convenient tools, including digital ones, to tackle it.

Course contents

Through this laboratory students can learn methods and acquire knowledge to draw up scholarly editions of written artifacts.

Students will be trained at encoding manuscripts, inscriptions and other documentary sources according to TEI XML standard and EpiDoc XML conventions, which are the reference tools for the digital encoding of ancient and mediaeval documents. Semantic encoding addresses not only the transcription and editorial treatment of texts themselves, but also the history and materiality of the objects on which the texts appear.


Preliminary readings: G. Bodard, EpiDoc: Epigraphic Documents in XML for publication and interchange, in F. Feraudi-Gruenais (ed.), Latin on Stone: Epigraphic Research and Electronic Archives, Lanham 2009, 1-17; C. Roueché, J. Flanders, Gentle Introduction to Mark-up for Epigraphers.

The course doesn't require any further reading, but it does promote knowledge of the guidelines for digital semantic encoding and the production of digital editions. Students will train on a selection of written artefacts of their choice.

To apply for a place on this laboratory, which requires attendance and will take place in the third period, please send a brief explanation of your motivation for seeking this training (including any sources or projects you will be working on) to alice.bencivenni2@unibo.it before December 15, 2023.

Teaching methods

The laboratory consists in workshops: hands-on training will involve real-time discussion and feedback sessions (live) as well as tutorials and exercises (asynchronous). Students will practice on classical sources contributing also to collaborative and international platforms for the digital publication of ancient texts.

No preexisting technical knowledge is required, but participants are expected to be familiar with the transcription conventions for inscriptions and papyri (“Leiden”) and for manuscripts, and either Greek, Latin or other ancient languages of their epigraphic tradition.

The course participates in the University's didactic innovation project according to the 'Integrative Digital Didactics (IDD)' model.

Assessment methods

Digital exercises and scholarly editions of written artifacts chosen in accordance with students' research interests will be drawn up by the students during and after the course and will be evaluated by the teacher. 

Evaluation will consider methodological accuracy, mastery of contents and work autonomy.

Teaching tools

On the platform Virtuale (virtuale.unibo. it) will be made available in a structured form the tools produced within the EpiDoc community, which collaboratively elaborates and shares guidelines for the digital semantic encoding of ancient written sources, and of ENCODE, an EU-funded Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for higher education project (2020-2023), which aims to bridge the gap between the peculiar humanities education and the now necessary digital skills required for study, research and employment in the field of teaching/learning ancient scripts.

Office hours

See the website of Alice Bencivenni


Quality education Partnerships for the goals

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.