10.0795 bi-formed publication

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 20 Mar 1997 08:04:52 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 795.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk> (231)
Subject: BMR 97.3.22, Martin, Ancient Greece

Following is a review from the most excellent online series of <cite>Bryn
Mawr Classical Reviews</cite>. I send it along because the book presents
itself as complementary to an electronic publication, and the reviewer
specifically addresses the question of the relationship between the two forms.

Any other examples of complementary publication in print and electronic form
would be most welcome to us all, I'm sure.


>Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 21:49:43 -0500
>From: owner-bmr-l@brynmawr.edu
>>>Reply-To: bmr-l@brynmawr.edu
>Apparently-To: bmr-l-outgoing@amelia.brynmawr.edu
>Martin, Thomas R., <i>Ancient Greece From Prehistoric to Hellenistic
>Times</i>. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996. Pp. xiii & 252. B & w
>illus. 45. Maps 8. Plans and Tables 4. Timelines 10. ISBN
> Reviewed by Martha C. Taylor, Classics and History
> Taylor@Loyola.edu
> Loyola College in Maryland
> Baltimore, MD 21210
>Perhaps the most striking passage in this book comes in the introduction
>where Thomas R. Martin (hereafter M.) defends the relevance of books on
>the grounds that "the convenience and portability that books allow make
>them indispensable tools for learning and thinking." M. goes on to note
>that he "see[s] an ongoing need for both books and software in the study
>of ancient Greece" (p. ix). These statements presumably stand as retort
>to those who would argue that software has already or will soon supplant
>books as "tools for learning and thinking." M. is led to address this
>question because the text of his book is actually an expansion of a text
>available electronically his own "Historical Overview" which comprises one
>of the electronic databases published in <i>Perseus: Interactive Sources
>and Studies on Ancient Greece</i>, Gregory Crane, editor in chief,
>versions 1.0 and 2.0 (Yale University Press, 1992 and 1996 respectively)
>and now accessible to all on-line at
>http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Secondary/TRM_Overview/. M. expects his
>hard-copy text to be able to stand alone, but also sees it as a
>"complement" to the computerized materials and hopes that it will
>contribute to the "synergy that [books and software] can create when used
>together" (p. ix). This review must, then, address two questions: first,
>how well does the book stand alone, and second, how much does it
>complement the on-line version? Ultimately, it succeeds fully at neither
>of these aims.
>The book includes a short introduction and ten chapters: Backgrounds of
>Ancient Greek History; From Indo-Europeans to Mycenaeans; The Dark Age;
>The Archaic Age; Oligarchy, Tyranny, and Democracy; From Persian Wars to
>Athenian Empire; Culture and Society in Classical Athens; The
>Peloponnesian War and Its Aftermath at Athens; From the Peloponnesian War
>to Alexander the Great; The Hellenistic Age. Each of the chapters begins
>with a very brief summary of its content, and each is divided into short
>(sometimes no more than a page or two) sections marked out by useful
>sub-headings. The book is designed as a brief overview for the general
>reader with probably no prior knowledge of Greek or other ancient history.
....[much omitted]
>These are relatively minor criticisms of emphasis, however. The one major
>flaw that ultimately harms the book's usefulness and, in my eyes, makes it
>fail fully to stand on its own is the poor quality of its maps and
>The nine maps (one listed as plan 1) are, quite simply, too small for
>their purpose because most include almost the entire Mediterranean. This
>presumably stems from M.'s desire to understand Greek history "in the
>broader context of Europe and the Mediterranean region" (p. x), which is,
>again, an admirable goal, but leads to maps that are very hard to read.
>Map 1, for example, which is to serve for the Neolithic, Minoan, and
>Mycenaean Periods, covers in seven by four and a half inches the
>Mediterranean region East-West from northern Italy and the area of
>present-day Tunis to an inch inland from Byblos. The only cities actually
>plotted on the map outside of mainland Greece, however, are Troy,
>Hattusas, Catal Huyuk, Ugarit and Byblos, all of which find only brief
>mention in the text. Thus the locations of most interest Macedonia,
>Thessaly, Boeotia, Elis, Sesklo, Dimini, Lefkandi, Gla, Athens, Mycenae,
>Lerna, Pylos, Tiryns, Athens and the Francthi cave are all crammed into an
>area approximately an inch and a half square. The attendant jumble must
>be very confusing for a reader not already familiar with these sites and
>aware of their relation to each other. A full page map devoted to
>mainland Greece was in order. Most of the other maps suffer from the same
>Even more disappointing than the maps, however, despite the book jacket's
>claim that the text is "generously illustrated," are the black and white
>photographs. First, the quality of many of them is extremely poor.


>Some of these choices are explained, I think, by the origin of the
>illustrations. All views of sites, buildings, and statues come from the
>author himself or the Perseus project and all but two views of vases come
>from the Yale University Art Gallery (the other two come from the
>Worcester Art Museum). I can only assume that it was cheaper to use the
>author's photos than to arrange permissions for more conventional
>professionally-shot views, and that an arrangement was worked out between
>Yale University Press and the Yale University Art Gallery that made using
>images of its pots cheaper than more usual choices. The reader, however,
>has not been well-served, and most of M.'s discussion of art and
>architecture is rendered much less useful by his failure to illustrate it
>The poor quality of the illustrations and maps weakens the text's ability
>to stand on its own. To fully understand the Greek history that M.
>presents, to follow his discussion of trends in art and architecture even
>minimally, to comprehend his discussion of the lay-out of city-states, the
>reader would have to supplement this volume with other sources. Many (but
>not all) of the images demanded by the text are available on Perseus 2.0,
>but that means that this volume is, in this sense at least, not a
>complement to the computerized materials (as M. hopes it will be in his
>introduction [p. ix]); rather the Perseus is a necessary complement to
>the book.
>This leads, then, to our second question: how well does this book
>complement the historical overview of Perseus 2.0? First and foremost,
>the book misrepresents itself slightly. Both the book jacket and the
>introduction claim that the volume adds sections on "the prehistory of
>Greece, the Bronze Age, the Dark Age, and the Hellenistic Age" to the
>electronic version (p. ix), but the on-line historical overview contains
>material on the Dark age in sections 3.0-4.16. The text's chapter on the
>Dark Age represents a revision and expansion of this, but no more so, as
>far as I could tell, than its revision and expansion of other chapters on
>topics also covered in the electronic version. Thus the text adds to the
>on-line version only chapters 1 and 2 on the prehistoric period and Bronze
>age, and chapter 10 on the Hellenistic age. This represents 59 pages out
>of a total of 252.
>Furthermore, the expansion and revision over the electronic version of the
>historical overview seems in many cases to be relatively minor. Take the
>section on early colonization from the chapter on the Archaic Age (pp.
>55-60). The entire first paragraph appears almost word for word as
>section 5.5 in Perseus 2.0. Minor changes include Perseus' "Greek
>colonies were established" vs. the printed text's "Greeks had established
>colonies," Perseus' "eventually the Greek world had perhaps as many as
>1,500 different city-states" vs. the revised "eventually the Greek world
>included hundreds of city-states," Perseus' "revival of international
>trade in the Mediterranean in this era" vs. "revival of international
>trade in the Mediterranean in the Archaic era." Perseus' Archaic economy
>is described as "struggling" while the printed text's economy is
>"struggling overall." The printed text adds to Perseus' description of
>Phoenician settlements that they were founded "usually at spots where they
>could most easily trade for metals." Only the last line, "The natural
>resources of Spain included rich veins of metals," is a complete addition.
>The next paragraph appears as section 5.6 in the electronic version, again
>with only small changes made in the printed text. The introductory
>sentence in Perseus, "Like other peoples of the eastern Mediterranean,
>Greeks also established their own trading posts abroad," has become:
>"Although it was very common for emigrant Greeks to take up residence in
>overseas Phoenician communities, they also established trading posts
>abroad on their own." "Traders from Euboea" has been revised to read
>"Traders from the island of Euboea." "The Etruscans, who lived in central
>Italy" has become "The Etruscans, a thriving population inhabiting central
>Italy." The greatest change in the two texts comes in the description of
>the limited evidence for Greek trade abroad in the tenth century. Here it
>is the Perseus text that is the more detailed. Perseus notes that "for
>the tenth century, by contrast, only two pots have been found that were
>carried abroad," while the printed version is content to note that "by
>contrast, almost no pots have been found that were carried abroad in the
>tenth century."
>The next two paragraphs of the printed text make similar minor changes to
>the text which appears in Perseus as section 5.7 and 5.8, although one
>sentence about the exclusively male nature of colonizing ventures is
>imported from section 5.8 into the text that comes from section 5.7. The
>next paragraph on the foundation of Cyrene appears in Perseus as section
>5.9. This shows the largest revision yet. A much longer section of the
>text of the inscription referring to the Theran colonization of Cyrene is
>provided in the print version than in the on-line version. The next six
>paragraphs, however, show only minor expansion or revision from their
>on-line version.
>It was impossible to make such a detailed comparison between printed and
>on-line text for the whole book, but I found the situation to be the same
>where I checked carefully in the section on Athenian tragedy, and my
>impression is that the level of expansion and revision of on-line text to
>printed version is substantially the same for the whole book. I am not
>convinced that these expansions are a necessary complement to the
>information available on-line; nor do I think that the user of Perseus
>will feel it necessary to have the printed text at hand so that he can
>check for any additional information. The additional chapters on
>prehistory, the Bronze age and the Hellenistic world are a very useful
>addition to the on-line text, and so complement it, but if the Perseus
>Project were simply to add these to Perseus' historical overview, the
>usefulness of the book to an audience comfortable with on-line texts would
>virtually disappear. Thus the book can not fairly be called a complement
>to the on-line historical overview, except for the 59 new pages on
>prehistory, the Bronze age, and the Hellenistic age.
>Those who want the portability of a printed text, or who prefer to read
>large swathes of text on the page rather than on the screen would prefer
>M.'s printed text to the on-line version even if the on-line version
>included the three chapters now available only in this book. Because of
>the limitations in the text's maps and illustrations, however, the book
>should be used only with Perseus as a complement for Perseus provides easy
>links to relevant maps, images, and encyclopedia entries. In many cases,
>therefore, Perseus gives more information than M.'s new text. In the
>discussion of Pausanias' arrogance with women referred to above, for
>example, M.'s text gives no reference to the sources about Pausanias (p.
>105). One must go to Perseus section 9.1.1 to find references and even
>links to the sources: Hdt. 5.32 [Text]; Thuc. 1.94-95 [Text]; Thuc.1.130
>[Text]; Plut. Cim. 6 [Text]. The "synergy" that M. hopes for between his
>printed and on-line texts is made more difficult, however, by the failure
>of the printed text to make any reference to the various links available
>on Perseus. The reader of the printed text must on his own find the
>relevant section of the on-line overview to access the various links
>available. Often the relevant section is obvious, but in some cases this
>will not be the case, and the reader of the printed text may search for
>some time before finding the appropriate section. For the reader
>determined to use the additional information available on the Perseus I
>think that the result will be that the printed text is soon abandoned.
>This book, then, does not fully stand on its own because of its poor maps
>and illustrations and its lack of references. Furthermore, its generally
>minor revision and expansion (apart from the three new chapters on
>prehistory, the Bronze age, and the Hellenistic age) does not really
>complement Perseus, which in many cases provides more information than the
>print version. Nevertheless, those desirous of a well-written, readable,
>clear and comprehensive overview of Greek history in specifically printed
>form will find M.'s book a useful addition to present printed surveys.
>(1)On this concept see S. Georgoudi, "Creating a myth of Matriarchy," in
><i>A History of Women</i>, P. Schmitt Pantel, ed. (Cambridge 1992).
>(2) Mary R. Lefkowitz and Maureen B. Fant, edd., <i>Women's Life in Greece
>and Rome</i> (Baltimore 1992). #83.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dr. Willard McCarty, Senior Lecturer, King's College London
voice: +44 (0)171 873 2784 fax: +44 (0)171 873 5801
e-mail: Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk