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Hestia: The home for spatial analysis of Herodotus’s Histories


Hestia uses a range of digital technologies as part of a blended, innovative approach to studying the geography of Herodotus’s Histories. Using a freely available digital text of Herodotus from the Perseus on-line library, Hestia captures all place-names mentioned in the narrative, organises that information in a database, and then explores those spatial relations through a series of mapping applications, such as GIS, GoogleEarth and the Narrative TimeMap. Our work both challenges the usual division between East and West by bringing to light the deep network culture that underpins the Histories, and finds ways of bringing Herodotus's world into people's homes.

  • Hestia was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council from 2008 to 2010.

The Team

  • Elton Barker, Classical Studies, The Open University
  • Stefan Bouzarovski, Geography, The University of Birmingham
  • Chris Pelling, Classics, Christ Church, Oxford
  • Leif Isaksen, Archaeological Computing, The University of Southampton


  • 2010: 'Mapping an ancient historian in a digital age: the Herodotus Encoded Space-Text-Image Archive (HESTIA)' Leeds International Classical Journal
  • 2011: 'HESTIA (the Herodotus Encoded Space-Text-Imaging Archive): An Interdisciplinary Project’, in Research Infrastructure in the Digital Humanities, Science Policy Briefing of the European Science Foundation
  • 2012: ‘On using a digital text in modern humanities research: the case of Herodotus’s Histories’, in S. Mahony and G. Bodard (eds), Digital Research and the Study of Classical Antiquity

Editors: Elton Barker and Leif Isaksen