Old engraved writing found on the Greek island of Rhodes

Sharing Ancient Wisdoms: Exploring the Tradition of Greek and Arabic Wisdom Literatures


Project Summary

SAWS developed modern digital methods to explore large collections of ancient sayings that provided a crucial mechanism for exchange of ideas in medieval Mediterranean and European societies over many countries.

The project involved partners from the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

It focused on collections of wise and pointed sayings known as gnomologia. These collections have a moral and philosophical value, and are therefore of central importance to the theme of cultural dynamics. Such collections of ideas and literature, ranging from pithy sayings to short passages from longer philosophical texts, are traditionally described as Wisdom Literature. They are key to understanding the societies where they circulated, and the formation and transmission of ideas, both within societies and between them since many have been chosen for translation.

The project produced a new and full edition of gnomai arranged in alphabetical order of the speakers to which the sayings are attributed. This very rich tradition has been identified to date in 16 manuscripts, each with significant variations, all of which were explored in this publication. Another part of this project presented gnomological and philosophical in Arabic, several of them so far unpublished, accompanied in several cases by their Greek sources, or by Spanish texts translated from Arabic.

Benefitting from new technologies, SAWS also developed an innovative and visual way of exploring these texts. The aim was to provide a new approach to understanding the relationships between texts by taking advantage of contemporary developments in these technologies. For data preparation, publication and exploratory visualisations, the project built on established standards and current state of the art Semantic Web research.

Prof. Charlotte Roueché

Project Leader

King's College London
United Kingdom


Project Partners

Prof. Charlotte Roueché

Project Leader

King's College London
United Kingdom

Email

Prof. Stephan Procházka

University of Vienna
Austria

Email

Dr Denis Searby

University of Stockholm
Sweden

Email

  • King's College London

    King's College London

    Strand, London WC2R 2LS, UK

  • University of Vienna

    University of Vienna

    Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien, Austria

  • University of Stockholm

    University of Stockholm

    Universitetsvägen 10, 114 18 Stockholm, Sweden