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Connected Contests: Ancient Athletes Online

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Connected Contests: Ancient Athletes Online
Connected Contests

Connected Contests is an evolving online research tool to facilitate the study of agonistic networks in the ancient, post-classical world. It is part of a wider research project on the history of athletic and other agonistic festivals from 300 BC-AD 300. (see above under about). This website aims to provide an intuitive database of the many contests of the Greek world, and of the athletes, performers and other participants in these contests. 

HOW TO USE THE DATABASE?

The quickest way of consulting the database is by clicking on Search Database (click top right in the menu bar). You may also consult the individual databases (left in the menubar)  which may take some time to load - we are working on that. The search will yield a list of 'events' (i.e. victories or other achievements) that can be sorted in different ways. From there you can refine your search. You can also download a CSV file with the results. A future release will include the possibility to produce geographically or chronologically determined distribution maps.

WHAT IS IN THE DATABASE?

The database is compiled from modern collections and catalogues with the aim of making these specialist data available as an accessible and public tool for further studies and network analyses of athletes and their role in connecting the Mediterranean. At this moment (April 2020) we have entered a selection of the data including inter alia the Isthmionikai - which we have based on  Andrew Farrington's  Isthmionikai : a catalogue of Isthmian victors (2012)as well as the Pythonikai (collected by Jean-Yves Strasser, 2001), Aktionikai, and Capitolionikai (based on Caldelli's L'Agon Capitolinus (1993). We are currently in the process of adding the last of the >1000 Olympionikai (collected by Luigi Moretti in 1957). The Nemeonikai are expected this summer, thus completing all known victors of the periodos

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE?

We aim to make this website available as an evolving open-access tool.  Approved users will be able to edit or add records. Individual users will soon be able to leave comments. We have made agreements for collaboration and data-sharing with international colleagues. We welcome further offers of collaboration. Please contact us via the address below.
If you have questions or comments please let us know at connected.contests@rug.nl

Connected Contests is provided through a grant from the Digital Humanities of the University of Groningen (see About)

Recent Posts

  • New content! Competitors associated with Hellenistic dynasties

    Over the winter we’ve added a miscellany of competitors associated with the royal dynasties of the Hellenistic world. These range from actual royalty (the Ptolemies in particular were very fond of chariot-racing) to Greeks who came to take part in the new contests established by rulers eager for recognition and cultural authority. Particularly notable is Arsinoe II (Person ID 4178) - successively married to two of the most powerful rulers in the Hellenistic world and the first woman in Greek history to be declared a god, she won three races at the same Olympic festival in 272 BC. Also fun is an unnamed actor from Tegea (Person ID 4202). Known for outstanding performances in tragedies, he also managed to win a boxing contest at the newly-founded Ptolemaia festival at Alexandria. It’s still uncertain whether this means that the quality of the new competition was low, or whether he simply got very lucky!

  • Caldelli's Capitolian victors online

    All victors and participants collected by Caldelli (L'Agon Capitolinus. Storia e protagonisti dall'istituzione domizianea al IV secolo, 1993) have been added to the Connected Contests database. Find out all about the strange story of Herakleides, whose dream that he butchered the audience and judges during his performance meant that he would lose - which he did (event ID 30166). Or about the enormously successful Marcus Aurelius Asklepiades (person ID 656), a.k.a. Hermodoros, who quit boxing in his prime (he was 25) because of 'dangers and envious people' in IG XIV 1102. 

  • Spatial Data Support awarded to the Deep-Mapping Sanctuaries project

    Christina Williamson's project 'Deep-Mapping Sanctuaries', a subproject of 'Connecting the Greeks', is the recipient of a competitive call for 5 days of support from the Geo-services at the University of Groningen. As a pilot, this support will focus on mapping the experiences of Aelius Aristides in the Asklepieion in Pergamon. See also: https://deepmappingsanctuaries.wordpress.com/2020/03/30/support-grant-from-the-geodienst/

  • Erfurt students learn about networking with ancient competitors

    Where did the victors in the Isthmian games come from in the Hellenistic period? What about the Roman period? What festivals did Pythokles, son of Aristarchos from Hermione, compete in? These were some of the questions that first-year digital humanity/archaeology students in Erfurt were able to answer after an introduction by Christina Williamson in network theory, ancient festivals, and the Connected Contests database. Students were interested to learn about festival culture in the post-classical world, how it spread and how inscriptions provide great sources of data for analyzing relationships ('Those lists aren't as boring as I thought' was overheard). We also learned that exporting files on csv works much better on a laptop than a tablet or smartphone, certainly if you want to do some geo-networking with Palladio! But they enjoyed the interactive component and working with the database. If you want to try out the practicum yourself, the instructions and files are available at  https://github.com/cgwilliamson1/connectinggreeks_demo

  • New Search Option Available

    We have added more sophisticated search option. Not only can you specify that you want to have a list of persons, rather than events, you also can use Boolean operators AND & OR. The find results are downloadable in CSV format for further processing. For instructions,  click on the search database button.


 


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