Sharing Ancient Wisdoms (SAWS)

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  • Charlotte Roueché


The aim of the Sharing Ancient WisdomS (SAWS) project was to present and analyse the tradition of wisdom literatures in Greek and Arabic. Throughout antiquity and the Middle Ages collections of wise or useful sayings (gnomologia) were created and circulated, as a practical response to the cost and inaccessibility of full texts in a manuscript age. The project aimed to provide a clearer picture of what was read and deemed important at a particular time and place, focusing on collections of moral and social advice. The compilation of these collections formed a crucial route by which ideas of reasonable behaviour and good conduct were disseminated over a large geographical area over the course of many centuries.

The project published several of these gnomologia, along with some of their source texts and 'recipient' texts (those that drew on the gnomologia). TEI XML was used to encode the texts, and RDF to express their relationships - with the ancient texts on which they drew, with later texts which drew on them, and also with one another, since such collections were frequently translated. Each of the sayings was given a CTS URN, so that external projects could link their own texts to those that were published within the SAWS project.

See here for the citation ontology used, which was an extension of FRBRoo.

The project was composed of three teams working at King's College London (Stuart Dunn, Mark Hedges, Anna Jordanous, Faith Lawrence, Charlotte Roueché, Charlotte Tupman), at the Newman Institute, Uppsala (Denis Searby, Måns Bylund and Pontus Österdahl), and at the University of Vienna (Stephan Procházka, Elvira Wakelnig, Ines Dallaji, Lorenz Nigst, Christoph Storz).