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Visualizing Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean

Thomas Beasley

Bucknell University

Visualizing Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean is a web-based tool that makes it possible to view dynamic mappings of ancient networks and to explore the primary evidence on which those mappings are based. By entering a given network center (e.g., Athens), type (e.g., alliance), date (e.g., 454 BCE) and extent (e.g., the Chalcidice), users are able to generate a visualization of their desired network (e.g., Athens’ allies in northern Greece in the mid-5th century). Visualizing Networks also features a time slider, so that network mappings can be viewed diachronically as well as synchronically. And since users can overlay networks on top of each other, the website also makes it possible to trace the evolution of multiple networks through time, such as the extent of both the Peloponnesian League and the Athenian Empire over the course of the 5th century BCE.

            In addition to generating network mappings, Visualizing Networks also exposes the primary evidence that underlies each network. Once a given network has been visualized, the user may click on any link between two nodes to see a list of the primary evidence, (literary, numismatic, epigraphical and material) on which that link is based. Thus if users click on a link between Athens and Thasos, they are presented with the relevant chapters of Thucydides as well as the Athenian Tribute Lists. For evidence which has been digitized and made available online, the user is provided with a link to the relevant webpage. By knitting together textual and material evidence in this way, Visualizing Networks aims to be a resource for scholars and students alike. 

Session/Panel Title

Ancient MakerSpaces: Digital Tools for Classical Scholarship (all-day workshop Saturday January 7)

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