EDB: Knowledge Technologies for Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy
Classical Greek and Latin culture is the very foundation of the identity of modern Europe. Today, a variety of modern subjects and disciplines have their roots in the classical world: from philosophy to architecture, from geometry to law. However, only a small fraction of the total production of texts from ancient Greece and Rome has survived up to the present days, leaving many ample gaps in the historiographic records. Epigraphy, which is the study of inscriptions (epigraphs), aims at plug this gap. In particular, the goal of Epigraphy is to clarify the meanings of epigraphs, classifying their uses according to dates and cultural contexts, and drawing conclusions about the writing and the writers. Indeed, they are a kind of cultural heritage for which several research projects have recently been promoted for the purposes of preservation, storage, indexing and on-line usage. In this paper, we describe the system EDB (Epigraphic Database Bari) which stores about 30,000 Christian inscriptions of Rome, including those published in the Inscriptiones Christianae Vrbis Romae septimo saeculo antiquiores, nova series editions. EDB provides, in addition to the possibility of storing metadata, the possibility of i) supporting information retrieval through a thesaurus-based query engine, ii) supporting time-based analysis of epigraphs in order to detect and represent novelties, and iii) geo-referencing epigraphs by exploiting a spatial database.
KeywordsEpigraphy Information Retrieval Knowledge Bases Novelty Detection Spatial Databases
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