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Showing posts from March 25, 2012

Cristopher Kelty on Virtual Libraries: shutting down knowledge?

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An interesting article by C. Kelty, author of Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software (Experimental Futures) on virtual libraries and their role in shaping knowledge:
The disappearing virtual library The shutdown of library.nu is creating a virtual showdown between would-be learners and the publishing industry.  Last week a website called "library.nu" disappeared. A coalition of international scholarly publishers accused the site of piracy and convinced a judge in Munich to shut it down. Library.nu (formerly Gigapedia) had offered, if the reports are to be believed, between 400,000 and a million digital books for free.

And not just any books - not romance novels or the latest best-sellers - but scholarly books: textbooks, secondary treatises, obscure monographs, biographical analyses, technical manuals, collections of cutting-edge research in engineering, mathematics, biology, social science and humanities. Read more

Burial Chamber Dating Back to Byzantine and Ayyubid Eras Uncovered in Cavern in Sweida

A national archeological expedition working in Tel Ara in Sweida governorate uncovered an ancient burial chamber dating back to the Byzantine and Ayyubid eras in a cavern.

Hussein Zeineddin, head of the expedition, said that the volcanic cave is located north of al-Hesha volcanic hill, east of Ara mountain, and that it has an arch-like entrance with a roof consisting of handmade arches.

He said that excavations uncovered four semicircular tombs, the first located in the eastern part of the cave and consisting of an oval alcove serving as a grave for an individual or a family, while the second is located in the center of the cavern and is raised from the floor, containing small bone fragments that could have belonged to a young person. Read more.

Highlights from "Byzantium and islam. Age of Transition" exhibition

From the New York Times

And another article on the same exhibition.

Basel Psalter online, 9th century

Psalterium graeco-latinum, 9th century

Via Paleografia Greca:

Click here to browse the manuscript from the University Library of Basel.
Description:
In addition to Greek and Latin Psalms, written somewhere in continental Europe by Irish monks during the Carolingian period, this famous Basel codex also contains a brief series of devotions in Latin for private use, appended by the monks. The exact place where the manuscript was written and its various subsequent travels are unknown, although, based on one note, whose interpretation is under debate, some relation to the Abbey of St. Gall and/or to that of Bobbio is frequently mentioned. In about 1628-1630 the manuscript was listed in the catalog of the Amerbach family, then around 1672-1676 in that of Johannes Zwinger. (and)

BMCR Review of The Homer Encyclopedia, Three Volume Set

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BMCR Review of The Homer Encyclopedia, Three Volume Set
As the general editor Margalit Finkelberg explains in the Introduction, this Homeric Encyclopedia contains 1300 entries divided into three categories: the first one includes approximately 900 entries on personal or geographical names. Both groups cover a wide span of references, the former stretching from the two most important heroes of the Iliad and Odyssey (Achilles is masterfully presented by Seth Schein in a five-column entry— Odysseus receives an equally tight but outstanding treatment by Richard B. Rutherford) to the so-called minor warriors (around 220 Trojans and Achaeans), who enjoy only a passing reference in the epics as victims of the first- rank heroes, and the latter from Odysseus’ fatherland Ithaca and the debate concerning its identification to (the still picturesque) Oitylos in Laconia, as well as the other hapax legomena included in the Catalogue of Ships. The rest of the entries (i.e. the second and the third …

Wall Street Journal: Byzantine Route to Met

A recent article on the Met exhibition, Byzantium and Islam: As the Arab Spring roiled the Middle East last year, curators at the Metropolitan Museum were watching anxiously.
They were preparing an exhibition on art from southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire, including a swath of countries from Tunisia to Syria that were now suddenly consumed by revolutionary protests. The movement and its unprecedented demands for freedom captured the world's attention. It also made for unfortunate timing on the museum's loan requests. Read more here.