Listen to how Homer’s Odyssey sounded when sung in original ancient Greek

From Realm of History (read full article here):

While the Iliad and the Odyssey stand out as the ancient pillars of epic literature from the Western culture, there is complex historicity when it comes to their authorship. In essence, while it may seem controversial, Homer is a semi-legendary character, with oral traditions and romanticism possibly playing their part alongside real life personalities, thus resulting in a refined concoction of fable and history. In any case, beyond the question of single authorship or a string of contributions, most historians believe that the epic poems of the Iliad and the Odyssey were composed some time around the late 8th or early 7th century BC.

And during this epoch, writing was not really familiar to most Greeks – and thus the epic poems were recited and sung for the audiences in selected venues like courts of the renowned leaders and during festivals. According to the University of Cincinnati

A poet could actually improvise a tale in the six-beat rhythm of Greek verse if he knew the plot of his story, the themes and characters, and had descriptive formulas in mind such as “the wine dark sea” or “Hector, breaker of horses.

And now, Georg Danek of the University of Vienna and Stefan Hagel of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, have painstakingly reconstructed excerpts from the Odyssey, thus presenting to us a rough notion of how the poems sounded when sung in original ancient Greek. According to the duo –

In the course of the last years, we have developed a technique of singing the Homeric epics, which is appropriate for the primarily oral tradition from which these poems emerge.

This particular excerpt is the recreation of the lines 267-366 of book 8 of the Odyssey, in which Demodocus sings about the love of Ares and Aphrodite. And it should be noted that like most historical reconstructions, the melody shouldn’t be comprehended as a ‘precise’ recreation of its ancient counterpart. In any case, even when it came to the scope of ancient Greek recitation, the bards often improvised their texts and altered them in the various performances, while being accompanied by musical instruments like the phorminx, a four-stringed lyre-like craft. To that end, one can actually go through the various musicological theories and linguistic evidences that have rather aided these experts in their fascinating reconstruction….

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Sorgente: Listen to how Homer’s Odyssey sounded when sung in original ancient Greek

VENICE / “Mindful Hands”: Masterpieces of Illumination from the Fondazione Cini on exhibit in September

#VENICE / “Mindful Hands”: Masterpieces of Illumination from the Fondazione Cini on exhibit

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An exhibition of over 120 illuminated pages and initials from one of the most important collections of miniatures worldwide, once owned by Count Vittorio Cini and presented to the Foundation in 1962

VENICE (ITALY) –  A great exhibition entitled Mindful Hands. Masterpieces of Illumination from the Fondazione Giorgio Ciniis due to be staged on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice from 17 September 2016 to 8 January 2017 (official opening: Friday, 16 September 2016). Produced by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Studio Michele De Lucchi and Factum Arte, the exhibition is being organised with the support of the Helen Hamlyn Trust and the contribution of Pirelli. For the first time in over 35 years more than half of one of the most fascinating, invaluable Fondazione Cini collections will be on show: the collection of 236 miniatures acquired by Count Vittorio Cini from the Libreria Antiquaria Hoepli in Milan in 1939-1940…

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Alla ricerca delle lingue perdute: dal retico al venetico, dall’osco-umbro all’etrusco. A Verona seconda tappa del gruppo di ricerca europeo che censisce e valorizza le lingue frammentarie d’Europa


Tavoletta scrittoria con caratteri dell'alfabeto venetico conservata al museo Archeologico atestino di Este Tavoletta scrittoria con caratteri dell’alfabeto venetico conservata al museo Archeologico atestino di Este

La prof. Simona Marchesini, ricercatrice di Alteritas La prof. Simona Marchesini, ricercatrice di Alteritas

Alla ricerca delle lingue perdute: dal retico al venetico, dall’osco-umbro all’etrusco. Fa tappa a Verona la Seconda Training School promossa dal gruppo di ricerca europeo AELAW (COST Action “Ancient European Languages and Writings”) costituito nel 2014 per censire e valorizzare le lingue frammentarie d’Europa, di cui l’Italia detiene il primato con oltre 15mila iscrizioni in etrusco, osco, umbro, venetico, messapico, retico, camuno, leponzio e altre lingue di minore entità. A due anni dalla prima scuola di formazione sulle lingue frammentarie della Spagna preromana, tenutosi a Jaca (sui Pirenei), il progetto, finanziato dall’Unione Europea, fa ora tappa nella città scaligera dove dal 5 all’8 settembre 2016 al centro studi sulle interazioni tra popoli Alteritas con sede nel Seminario vescovile, la rete scientifica con capofila l’università di Saragozza, e composta da 24…

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Appel à contribution – Relics at the lab

27 & 28 October 2016 – Brussels

Over the past decade the scientific interest in relics and kindred artefacts has grown enormously. Without any doubt relics as well as relic shrines and associated objects have played a prominent role in European history since the introduction of Christianity. While in the past primary, secondary as well as tertiary relics were merely studied in relation to their religious and (art) historical background, recently the rise of a more scientific and archaeological approach is noticed. Nowadays researchers become more interested in the origin and nature of these sacred objects and ask different questions:
  • What information can relics give us about the people buried in the shrines? Who were these people? What do we know about the way they lived? When did they live? What about diseases and other disabilities?
  • What information can be retrieved from the objects kept with the relics and made…

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Rare medieval plainsong discovered in Norfolk, UK — minimamedievaliablog

An unusual discovery has been made in the library of Norwich Cathedral. Conservator Lorraine Finch, brought in to check over books hundreds of years old, has found something hidden inside one of the covers: a 600-year-old plain chant parchment written by a monk, with a doodle in the margin, hidden as recycled binding in an … Continue reading Rare medieval plainsong discovered in Norfolk, UK

via Rare medieval plainsong discovered in Norfolk, UK — minimamedievaliablog

Manuscriptorium, a digital library for manuscript resources and virtual research

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xManuscriptorium is a freely accessible digital library which enables ready access to concentrated information on historical resources via sophisticated search tools. The aim is creating a virtual research environment providing access to all existing digital documents in the sphere of historic book resources (manuscripts, incunabula, early printed books, maps, charters and other types of documents). These historical resources, otherwise scattered in various digital libraries around the world, are now available under a single digital library interface.

Access is provided to more than 5 million images. Registered users have access to a set of tools that allow them to add favourite items, organize documents into collections, create virtual documents from the digital images aggregated in the Manuscriptorium, and save both simple and complex queries as well as query sequences and repeat them by a single click.

A blog, a guide and several tutorials also provide help and support to…

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New Discovery Pushes Back Date Of Human Existence In Ireland By 2,500 Years


A remarkable archaeological discovery in a Co. Clare cave has pushed back the date of human existence in Ireland by 2,500 years.

This discovery re-writes Irish archaeology and adds an entirely new chapter to human colonisation of the island – moving Ireland’s story into a new era.

Radiocarbon dating of a butchered brown bear bone, which has been stored in a cardboard box at the National Museum of Ireland for almost 100 years, has established that humans were on the island of Ireland some 12,500 years ago – 2,500 earlier than previously believed.

Since the 1970s, the oldest evidence of human occupation on the island of Ireland has been at Mount Sandel in Co. Derry. This site has been dated at 8,000 BC, which is in the Mesolithic period, indicating that humans had occupied the island for some 10,000 years.

However, new analysis of the bear patella – or knee bone – originally found in Co. Clare in 1903 gives us undisputed evidence that people existed in Ireland during the preceding Palaeolithic period at 10,500 BC, some 12,500 years ago.

This is a major breakthrough for archaeologists who have spent decades searching for earlier signs of human occupation on the island.

The discovery was made by Dr Marion Dowd, an archaeologist at IT Sligo, and Dr Ruth Carden, a Research Associate with the National Museum of Ireland.

Read the whole story on IT Sligo News

Full article with evidence is published on Quaternary Science ReviewsVolume 139, 1 May 2016, Pages 158–163.

Latin & Greek Manuscripts in Rome

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xc Boezio, De Institutione Musica Italia settentrionale, ultimo quarto del sec. XV Roma, Biblioteca dell’Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei e Corsiniana, 36 E 8 Foto © Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei

A total of 180 Greek, Roman, Arabic and Hebrew manuscripts will be shown in the Rome’s Accademia dei Lincei’s new exhibition, “I Libri che hanno fatto l’Europa. Manoscritti latini e romanzi da Carlo Magno all’invenzione della stampa”. Manuscripts come from the most prestigious Roman collections: Biblioteca Corsiniana, Angelica,  Casanatense,  Nazionale,  Vallicelliana, and Apostolica Vaticana.

Opening : Thursday, March 31st. Closing on July 21st, 2016.

More info: Press release.

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All about Mantua: Isabella d’Este’s world online


An instrument for scholars, students, and visitors, but also an exercise in imagination, exploration, and critical engagement. All this and much more is IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive, a project which focuses on one of the most influential figures of the Italian Renaissance, Isabella d’Este (1474-1539).

IDEA offers users around the world new ways to explore the history and culture of early modern Europe through  a digitalized version of Isabella’s letters, music, and art collections, as they evolved during her reign as the marchesa of Mantua. These resources map a world where politics, art, music, family life, business, and social relations intertwined, prior to the modern separation of many of these concerns into separate spheres.

The IDEA Site is currently under construction but some contents are already available. Researches and contributors can join project teams as well as discuss in Forums.


Deanna Shemek, PhD
University of California, Santa Cruz

Anne MacNeil, PhD
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Dott. Daniela Ferrari
Ricercatore Indipendente
Già Direttore dell’Archivio di Stato
di Mantova e di Milano

More info & official website:




American Journal of Archaeology (AJA): New issue out

AJA, American Journal of Archaeology: April 2016 issue out.

AJA (American Journal of Archaeology): April 2016 (120.2)

Table of Contents


Reconsidering Technological Transmission: The Introduction of the Potter’s Wheel at Ayia Irini, Kea, Greece (pp. 195–220)

Includes Open Access Supplementary Content

Evi Gorogianni, Natalie Abell, and Jill Hilditch

The Fate of Temples in Noricum and Pannonia (pp. 221–238)

Includes Open Access Supplementary Content

David Walsh


Politics of Periodization and the Archaeology of Early Greece (pp. 239–270)

Open Access

Antonis Kotsonas

Field Reports

The Basilica, Bouleuterion, and Civic Center of Ashkelon (pp. 271–324)

Open Access
Includes Open Access Supplementary Content

Ryan Boehm, Daniel M. Master, and Robyn Le Blanc

Review Articles

Ontology, World Archaeology, and the Recent Past (pp. 325–331)

Open Access

William Caraher

Online Necrology

Khaled al-As’ad, 1934–2015

Open Access

Andreas Schmidt-Colinet

Book Reviews

Open Access

Reviewed by P. Nick Kardulias

Open Access

Reviewed by Eric M. Moormann

Open Access

Reviewed by Andrew Stewart

Open Access

Reviewed by Philip Sapirstein

Open Access

Reviewed by Peter J. Holliday

Open Access

Reviewed by Olivier Hekster

Open Access

Reviewed by Ine Jacobs

Books Received

Description: The American Journal of Archaeology, published by the Archaeological Institute of America, was founded in 1885 and is one of the world’s oldest and most distinguished and widely distributed archaeological journals. The AJAreaches more than 50 countries and almost 1,000 universities, learned societies, departments of antiquities, and museums. It is published quarterly in print and digital formats. TheAJA regularly publishes open access content on its website.