Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sarah Bond: A Top Ten List of Websites for Daily Life in Antiquity


In terms of understanding Roman Daily life, it is difficult to do without these sites. Here is a numbered list, presented in no particular order. It is not exhaustive, and you will find that my biases lie in perhaps (but perhaps not) overemphasizing epigraphy, maps, and Rome.

1. Classical Women: Diotima : Materials for the Study of Women and Gender in the Ancient World: The site has a number of exempla of courses and a wide-ranging bibliography for the study of women, gender, and religion in particular, but I have found that the anthology of translated texts is superb for assigning students reading.

2. Travel: Orbis: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World Another great tool to help students to understand travel in antiquity, but you yourself will get lost for hours (ahem, as I did)
constructing various routes and calculating travel time on these maps. As the site contends, it was cost rather than distance that determined antique connectivity.

3. Maps: The Ancient World Mapping Center and Pleiades.  Initially the AWMC was a digitization of the Barrington Atlas, but it has grown to become so much more than that, providing maps, bibliography, and the new À-la-carte application, which lets users make their own map. Pleiades is another invaluable tool, which allows users to interact with the ancient world on a new level, and currently has over 37,000 ancient locations mapped (but this number grows by the day!). I am excited to see it expanding increasingly into the Near East and Byzantine period.


4. Pompeii: To keep most up to date on the site, you need to be following the spectacular Blogging Pompeii. The site updates you on new happenings, but also has epublications, bibliography, and photos. For a  listing of the inscriptions from Pompeii there is Miko Flohr's website. He has a vast knowledge of fulleries/ workshops/commerce at Pompeii. Also note Pompeii in Pictures for a tightly organized collection of photos from the site that utilizes a block-by-block approach to presenting Pompeii pictures. links to other Pompeii sites, and a list of the current projects.

5. Epigraphy: First, please reference the work put into Tom Elliott's epigraphy guide at the ASGLE site. In terms of databases: Having worked there, I am partial to the Epigraphische Datenbank Heidelberg, which brings an ever-increasing number of the Latin and bilingual inscriptions of the Roman empire, along with some quality high-res photos. It is intuitive and has extensive bibliography, as well as meticulous editing. For Greek inscriptions, please see the Packard Humanities Institute

My favorite coin? A mustachioed
silver denarius of Elagabalus. 
6. Coins: There is the less specialist Roman imperial coinage, and then there is the more scholarly and extensive Roman provincial coinage to explore.

7. Water: I have always loved the Aquae Urbis Romae produced by IATH at the University of Virginia. It is an interactive cartographic experience that shows you the hydraulic and hydrological resources within Rome and Italy. It also adds a good amount of bibliography on water in antiquity. I like playing with the 1551 Bufalini map of Rome.

8. Pottery: The University of Oxford has come together with the Beazley Archive to provide a wonderful site on Greek pottery. Here you can find a database of the pottery, but also explore the artisans, bibliography, and images of Greek pottery between 1000 and 300 BCE. For Roman pottery, I enjoy playing Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery. As you may have picked up on, I believe  it is extremely important to connect material culture to the geospatial location.

9. Roman Britain: Roman Britain is a heavily covered area on the web. Try out the amazing Vindolanda Tablets site or travel along Hadrian's Wall on Per Lineam Valli . Note the British Museum's extensive guide to Roman Britain.

Mary Beard hangs out at the
 Roman latrines in Ostia. 
10. Random stuff I just think is cool: Roman Locks: You may think this is a niche subject, but this site on Roman locks, keys, and seals is extremely interesting. Blogs: Mary Beard's A Don's Life is always a favorite, and of course Kristina Killgrove's excellent Powered by Osteons, which looks at classics (and many other things) with a bioarchaeological eye. For breaking News: The Rogue Classicist: All the classical news fit to be posted, often accompanied with some outstanding analysis and commentary.



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