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SunoikisisDC Summer 2021 Session 10

Gabriel Bodard edited this page Jun 17, 2021 · 13 revisions

Sunoikisis Digital Classics, Summer 2021

Session 6. Annotating Geographical Data with Recogito

Thursday June 17, 17:15-18:45 CEST

Convenors: Elton Barker (Open University, UK) and Valeria Vitale (The Alan Turing Institute)

YouTube link:

Slides: TBA

Session outline

In this session you will be introduced to research applications of the semantic annotation tool Recogito. In the first section, you will learn about the Digital Periegesis project, which is using Recogito to enrich a digital text of Pausanias’s second-century CE Periegesis Hellados (Description of Greece). Representing a journey around mainland Greece (roughly from Athens to Delphi via the Peloponnese), the Description presents a challenge to the semantic of place due to its high level of granularity (including statues and paintings). As well as finding out more about the issues raised, you will learn about the taxonomy that has been developed to structure geo-annotation, and attempts to markup other important aspects (such as focalisation and time). In the second section, you will hear about the use of Recogito to annotate secondary sources from the 18th and 19th centuries, and how this approach can be used to unpack, analyse, and compare different layers of interpretation. Both examples in the second section will focus on the description of ancient cities: Pompeii and Palmyra.

If you want to know more about Recogito and gazetteers, you can watch one of the previous SunoikisisDC sessions, for example the one from Fall 2019, or check out the tutorial and the other additional resources listed below in the page. More information on the annotation of the Wood Diaries is also available in the session from Spring 2019, presented by Jen Baird and Gabriel Bodard.

Seminar readings

  • Barker, E.T.E., Foka, A., and Konstantinidou, K. (2020) ‘Coding for the many, transforming knowledge for all: annotating digital documents.’ Publications of the Modern Language Association, Special Issue: Varieties of Digital Humanities 135 (1), pp. 195–202. Available:
  • Rainer Simon et al. 2019. “Revisiting Linking Early Geospatial Documents with Recogito.” e-Perimetron 14.3, 150-163. Available:

Further Reading

  • Chiara Palladino. 2016. "New Approaches to Ancient Spatial Models: Digital Humanities and Classical Geography." In Digital Approaches and the Ancient World. Edd. G. Bodard, Y. Broux & S. Tarte. BICS 59.2, 56-70. Available:
  • Randa El Khatib. 2019. "Laying the Foundation for Community-Driven, Open Cultural Gazetteers." KULA: knowledge creation, dissemination, and preservation studies 3.1, pp. 21–. Available:
  • Southall, H., Mostern, R., & Berman, M.L. (2011). "On historical gazetteers." International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing 5(2), 127-145. Available:
  • Alcock, S.E., Cherry, J. F., and Elsner, J. (eds) (2001) Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hutton, W. (2005) Describing Greece: Landscape and Literature in the Periegesis of Pausanias. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pretzler, M. (2007) Pausanias: Travel Writing in Ancient Greece. London: Duckworth.
  • Stewart, D.R. (2013) ‘“Most worth remembering”: Pausanias, analogy, and classical archaeology.’ Hesperia 82 (2), pp. 231-261.
  • Whitmarsh, T. (2015) ‘The mnemology of empire and resistance: memory, oblivion, and Periegesis in imperial Greek culture.’ In Galinsky, K. and Lapatin, K. (eds) Cultural Memories in the Roman Empire. Los Angeles, pp. 49-64.

Other resources


Depending on your interests / expertise, do one of the following:

  • Work on a section (up to ten paragraphs) of Pausanias, annotating the entities that you are interested in, and with a schema that helps classify them. Justify your choice.
  • Working with the data produced by the Digital Periegesis project, pick one aspect to visualise and explore further: an example of the built environment (city, sanctuary, temple, etc.), an object in space (a statue, painting), a feature of the physical landscape (rivers, mountains). Explain your process of aggregating and manipulating the data, as well as your initial observations.
  • Using the data produced by the Digital Periegesis project on Book 1 (“Attica”), identify and explore the connections between Pausanias’s description of artefacts and the holding of the American School in Athens’s Agora excavations. Document your process and conduct some initial investigations into the common features.