A Red Letter Way: Color, Writing, and Reading in Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Within most medieval books of hours, there were ecclesiastical calendars that had important holy days printed in red. This was a type of textual highlighting used to call attention to important festivals; a visual language that had long indicated significant textual features, paragraph organization, and wordplay (e.g. acrostics). The Latin word for red ochre and red coloring in general was rubrīca. As such, making a text red is called “rubrication” and influenced the original use for the word “rubric.” The practice of coloring significant dates in red is perhaps best known through the English idiom of a “red letter day.”

What Are the Best Classics Books for Children?

Finishing my third trimester in the midst of a pandemic was not what I had planned for the last months of pregnancy. Since the Ides of March, we have sequestered ourselves in our house in Iowa City and cancelled any and all social gatherings––including the planned baby shower––as has almost everyone else across the globe.Continue reading “What Are the Best Classics Books for Children?”

Consider the Anus Radish: Etymologies, Adultery, and the Defense of the Microhistory

Isidore was a learned scholar and the Bishop of the Spanish city of Seville from 600-636 CE. Thousands of manuscripts containing his Etymologiae (“The Etymologies,” also called the Origines, “The Origins”) survive today; the only work to surpass it in terms of extant manuscript copies in Western Europe is the Bible (Throop 2005: xii). The sheer number ofContinue reading “Consider the Anus Radish: Etymologies, Adultery, and the Defense of the Microhistory”

The Gospel of Unicode: Digital Love Letter(s) and Art Through Numbers

Over at Hyperallergic this week, I discuss the proposed release of over 2,000 Hieroglyphs into Unicode by 2020 or 2021.  If you are a classicist then you know how important the Unicode movement has been in standardizing the visualization of Greek texts in particular. But the non-profit Unicode Consortium encodes many other ancient and endangeredContinue reading “The Gospel of Unicode: Digital Love Letter(s) and Art Through Numbers”

Anno Domini: Computational Analysis, Antisemitism, and the Early Christian Debate Over Easter

This post was originally published at the SCS Classics blog on March 30, 2018.  In the 6th century CE, a Scythian monk named Dionysius Exiguus was sent to Rome. Dionysius may have taken the monastic nickname of “the small” (exiguus), but his humility sheathed both his incredible abilities as a translator of Greek and Latin andContinue reading “Anno Domini: Computational Analysis, Antisemitism, and the Early Christian Debate Over Easter”

How Can Libraries and Digital Humanities Spaces Co-Exist?

Over at Hyperallergic, I have contributed a new article on the removal of books from the fine arts library at UT-Austin and the planned movement of books from the libraries at UW-Madison [Article Here]. The tales of these two libraries is an increasingly familiar one, wherein thousands of books are deaccessioned or moved into off-siteContinue reading “How Can Libraries and Digital Humanities Spaces Co-Exist?”

Replacing the Squeeze? Teaching Classical Epigraphy With 3D Models

This semester, I am incorporating more epigraphy into my undergraduate and graduate level courses. The University of Iowa has a top-flight classics program (if I do say so myself), but we do not have a proper squeeze collection to work with (something I took for granted while at UNC-Chapel Hill). As such, in addition toContinue reading “Replacing the Squeeze? Teaching Classical Epigraphy With 3D Models”

Eating Nocturnal Fruits: A Round-Up Of My Favorite Ancient and Medieval Posts of 2017

One of my favorite reflections on the act of writing was written by a late Roman historian, poet, and rhetorician from modern-day Bordeaux named Decimius Magnus Ausonius. Among many other works, he penned a treatise called the Fasti. In a note to his son, the author reflected on the act of picking and choosing historical events, andContinue reading “Eating Nocturnal Fruits: A Round-Up Of My Favorite Ancient and Medieval Posts of 2017”

Digital Palmyra: Resources for Researching the Ancient City

Yesterday on the Forbes blog, I discussed recent attempts to reconstruct the ancient busts of Palmyra damaged by ISIS and repatriate them back to Syria. As I suggested in the post, such efforts highlight the import of digital methodologies such as 3D printing and photogrammetry, but also underscore art as an umbilical cord that allows usContinue reading “Digital Palmyra: Resources for Researching the Ancient City”

Legitimizing The Blog: On Reading, Citing & Archiving Blogposts

Over at the Forbes blog this week, I wrote about an issue within academic blogging that has been bugging me for a long time: Why aren’t more academic blogs cited in the footnotes of journal articles and within academic books? While there are certainly still specious blogs that abound on the web, the number of trusted,Continue reading “Legitimizing The Blog: On Reading, Citing & Archiving Blogposts”