Topos text – a great website!

Today I received an e-mail about a great website: topostext.org. Like geopedia.de (my post on it), this website combines maps and other information–texts, in this case–for wonderful results.

topostext

Even though this website is relatively new, I can attest to its power because of Robert Strassler’s Landmark HerodotusLandmark Thucydides, and Landmark Xenophon which also combine texts and maps–although in a less dynamic, user-driven way (because they’re books). My first exposure to Thucydides was with the Landmark Thucydides, it was one of the main reasons that I learned Greek geography, and it really helped bridge the gap between intro student and specialist because I could understand where events were happening. One benefit of Strassler’s static maps is that they are keyed to the nearby passages so you are presented with a clear map where it is easy to find places. With topostext, you need to click on the link (e.g. Achaeans in the above image) to see the location in the map.  Then, you can zoom out to see more nearby sites (like the image above) and click on the name of the city (e.g. Tenedos (Troad), above) to see more information about the city: a description of the site, it’s modern and untransliterated Greek names, how confident they are that Pleiades has the location correct, and most importantly a list of all the other references to this location in their database.

topostext2

This makes it a great research and teaching tool. I certainly plan to use it in my ancient history survey class next semester. Hopefully it will help bridge the gap between intro student and specialist and help students better understand some of those confusing Greek toponyms.

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