Category: Resources

Nubian Monasteries

Nubian Monasteries is a website dedicated to Byzantine Nubia and Nubian monasteries. The website was created and is maintained by Dr. Artur Obluski, Research Associate, The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.

The Syriac Gazetteer

The Syriac Gazetteer is a geographical reference work of for places relevant to Syriac studies. “Places relevant to Syriac Studies” include places named in Syriac texts, places interesting to historians who work on Syriac texts, and places where scholarship on Syriac is being produced. There are no temporal or spatial boundaries for the geographic database, which collects places relevant to any period of history useful for Syriac studies, from places mentioned in the Peshitta version of Genesis to places founded recently, and from ancient Edessa to Mongol-era outposts in China and diaspora communities in the United States of America.

Mapping the Jewish Communities of the Byzantine Empire

Mapping the Jewish Communities of the Byzantine Empire

The aim of the project is to map the Jewish presence in the Byzantine empire using GIS (Geographical Information Systems).

All information (published and unpublished) about the Jewish communities will be gathered and collated. The data will be incorporated in a GIS which will be made freely available to the general public on the world-wide-web. Researchers and members of the public will be able to create maps according to their own specifications.

Chronologically, the project will begin in 650. This is soon after the Arab conquest of Egypt, Palestine and Syria when these regions, with their substantial Jewish populations, were permanently separated from the Byzantine empire. The end-date is fixed by the arrival in the region of large numbers of Jewish immigrants from Spain in 1492.

Geographically, the core areas of Asia Minor, the southern Balkans and the adjacent islands including Crete and Cyprus will be included for the entirety of the period, Byzantine Italy however, will only be covered down to the Norman conquest. Some smaller territories that were only briefly under Byzantine rule may be excluded. The Syriac Reference Portal The Syriac Reference Portal invites scholars interested in promoting Syriac studies to join as collaborators in the creation of a new online reference work for the study of Syriac authors, literature, and manuscripts.

We are pleased to announce that an international team of scholars has begun work on a new online reference resource for the study of Syriac authors, texts, manuscripts, and historical research. The Syriac Reference Portal is designed to meet the needs of a variety of academic users ranging from specialists in Syriac and related fields to students and the general public.

Specifically, the Syriac Reference Portal will bring together in an information hub the following resources:

  • an ontology or classification system for Syriac studies
  • a multi-lingual authority file for standardizing references to Syriac authors, texts, and place names
  • an online encyclopedia
  • a gazetteer of maps and geographic information related to Syriac studies
  • a classified bibliography

The above resources will be available in the first generation of the Portal. In later development, we will open these resources up for collaborative augmentation and annotation by scholars around the globe. In subsequent rounds of development, we will continue adding to the hub by linking additional digital content to the hub – for example, the electronic journal of Syriac studies, Hugoye, and the electronic corpus of Syriac literature being prepared at Brigham Young University. We will also add new tools such as a prosopographical component and, ultimately, the long-desired goal of a union catalogue for Syriac manuscripts.

The Rock Inscriptions Project (Sinai Peninsula)

The Rock Inscriptions Project (Sinai Peninsula). This site presents the data gathered by the Rock Inscription and Graffiti Project at the Institute of Asian and African Studies.  

These photographs were assembled before the reversion of the Sinai Peninsula to Egyptian sovereignty in 1982. The collection is designed to make available images of inscriptions, rock drawings, Beduin markings and other epigraphs and to organize them including descriptions, coordinates, and locations. In order to facilitate research into the human traffic in the Wilderness of Sinai, inscriptions in major published corpora have been included. To the material from Sinai, we have added epigraphs from the Christian Holy Places and also from the Negev desert. The collection does not claim to be exhaustive in any way.

The images belong to the Rock Inscriptions and Graffiti project. High resolution images for study and eventual publication will be made available to scholars on request.

Manar al-Athar Online Photo Archive

Manar al-Athar Online Photo Archive

The Manar al-Athar open-access website, based at the University of Oxford, aims to provide high resolution, searchable images for teaching, research, and publication. These images of archaeological sites, with buildings and art, will cover the areas of the former Roman empire which later came under Islamic rule, such as Syro-Palestine/the Levant, Arabia, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain. The chronological range is from Alexander the Great (i.e., from about 300 BC), through the Islamic period, to the present.
It has strong coverage of Late Antique sites in Syro-Palestine which have undergone conversion from paganism to Christianity, and sometimes, in turn, to Islam. Other Late Antique strengths include mosaics (of Jordan, Syria, Antioch, and Tunisia), synagogues, and Umayyad buildings and art. More images are being loaded regularly at present to build up this coverage.

Images are freely downloadable for use in academic and educational publications simply by acknowledging the source.

New from the Ancient World Mapping Center

The AWMC announces the release of a series of geographically accurate, publicly accessible map tiles, suitable for use in nearly any web mapping application or GIS software suite.

Offering the first (and at the time of this writing, only) geographically accurate base map of the ancient world, the AWMC tiles conform to the broad periodization presented in the Barrington Atlas, with different selectable water levels for the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, and Late Antique Periods. The base tiles are culturally agnostic, allowing them to be used to represent the physical environment of nearly any ancient society in the Mediterranean world.

Read more about the tiles.

Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine (IIP)

Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine (IIP), an open-access epigraphic database directed by Professor Michael Satlow of Brown University.

The goal of the project is to digitize the approximately 15,000 published inscriptions from Israel/Palestine, over a broad temporal range, from the Persian Period to the Islamic Conquest (i.e. 500 BCE–640 CE); approximately 1,500 inscriptions have already been entered. Multiple languages are included: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. One can search the database in any of these languages, or their English translations (the project’s own); by content (e.g., “synagogue” or “church” for inscriptions in synagogues or churches); or by accompanying figures (e.g. cross). Similarly, one can browse by place, date, inscription genre, physical medium, language (including multiple languages such as Aramaic and Greek), and, finally, religion (Jewish, Christian, Pagan, but currently no Samaritan). This powerful tool allows for tracking various expressions (e.g., “one God”), and more generally, epigraphic practices, across the communities of Israel/Palestine.

Bibliographical Handouts by Dr. Sebastian Brock

detail of Syriac Bible BL Add. MS 14425, f. 31
The Bible in Syriac, Amid, Turkey, 463/4. Genesis 29:25-30:2 (detail). BL Add. MS 14425, f. 31. Copyright © The British Library Board

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections has digitized the bibliographical handouts prepared by Dr. Sebastian Brock over many years of teaching Syriac in the Oriental Institute at the University of Oxford. Dr. Brock has given DO permission to put the material online and has provided the most recent verisons of the documents. The digitized handouts are part of DO's Resources for Syriac Studies.

Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is very proud to present the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, a free online digitized virtual library of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Hundreds of manuscripts made up of thousands of fragments – discovered from 1947 and until the early 1960’s in the Judean Desert along the western shore of the Dead Sea – are now available to the public online. The high resolution images are extremely detailed and can be accessed through various search options on the site.

Akolouthies Digitization Project, The Gennadius Library

image of an AkolouthiaDaphne and Marina Heliades have donated to the Gennadius Library the corpus of printed Akolouthies collected by their mother, Dory Papastratou. The collection has been catalogued by Demosthenes Stratigopoulos and published as Ἔντυπες Ἀκολουθίες Ἁγίων, Συλλογὴ Ντόρης Παπαστράτου (Αθήνα 2007) under the scholarly supervision of Kriton Chryssochoidis (Research Director at the Institute for Byzantine Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation). This edition supplements that of Louis Petit, Bibliographie des acolouthies grecques [Subsidia Hagiographica 16] (Bruxelles 1926).

The Akolouthia records the religious worship that takes place in church and aims to praise the saint on the day that his memory is being celebrated. The printed Akolouthies usually have the form of a simple pamphlet or humble booklet (hence they are usually referred in Greek as “φυλλάδες”). The Dory Papastratou collection consists of 665 Akolouthies pamphlets and several books, which contain smaller or larger compilations of Akolouthies dedicated to one or different saints and to feast days with common characteristics.

The Akolouthies have been digitized and the material of the 2007 catalogue was used by the Gennadius to create the database. All search functions of the Akolouthies database are in Greek.

HAZİNE, a guide to researching the middle east and beyond

detail of Arabic manuscript

The core content of the new website HAZİNE is practical articles regarding how to access and use archives, manuscript libraries, and collections in the greater Islamic world, both large and small. Current content include four major archives inIstanbul-the Ottoman State Archives, Topkapı Palace Archive and Library, Süleymaniye Library, and ISAM. Planned weekly updates will expand coverage.

Madrid Skylitzes

The Madrid Skylitzes is online at the World Digital Library.

The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. The WDL was developed by a team at the U.S. Library of Congress, with contributions by partner institutions in many countries; the support of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and the financial support of a number of companies and private foundations.


ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World reconstructs the time cost and financial expense associated with a wide range of different types of travel in antiquity. The model is based on a simplified version of the giant network of cities, roads, rivers and sea lanes that framed movement across the Roman Empire. It broadly reflects conditions around 200 CE but also covers a few sites and roads created in late antiquity.



for Byzantine Arts and Culture

Founded in 2010 through a generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of knowledge about the rich heritage of Byzantine art and culture.