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Contract number
Time span of the project

As of 01.11.2022

Number of staff members
scientific publications
General information

Name of the project: Digital commentary to antique texts: ancient Greek comedy

Goals and objectives

The aim of the project is the creation of digital commented editions of classical Greek comedy and the training of young researchers, building scientific infrastructure, and an information platform for further broadening of this corpus, which will be worked on after the conclusion of the project.

The practical value of the study

Scientific results:

  • The main scientific result became the compilation of an extensive modern commentary to individual comedies by Aristophanes (about 800 thousand characters). The commenrary was provided in Russian for the first time in this form in recent history. Deep preparation for the development of a digital commentary system has been conducted.
  • The leading scientist has prepared five different volumes of texts, commentaries and supplementary materials (indices) for various works for publishing: Antiphanes, «The Knights» by Aristophanes, «Deipnosophistae» by Athenaeus, Eustathius' commentary on Homer's «Odyssey».
  • We are working to translate commentaries (with additions) by the leading scientist to «The Clouds» by Aristophanes. We are conducting additional work to study the prologues to comedies, hapaxes and neologisms, comical fragments, papyruses.
  • We are gradually working to create a system of digital commentaries. Currently we have transferred from the scientific development of the basic parameters of the frontend to writing the code of the system. We have launched and approved the development of minimum requirements to ensure the required functionality of the platform. Additional requirements were developed for the platform from the standpoint of the user, refined the related requirements that are not part of the core functionality but are necessary to implement the project. We have created and approved requirements for the UI/UX of the platform: developed the design and the color scheme, various panels to provide the core functionality such as «editing body text and attributes», «editing digital commentary for text», «viewing text with attached commentary», «main panel of the digital library», «login panel for the digital commentary system» etc., developed modules for the interaction of the platform and the users, i.e. a set of actions of users and reactions of the platform to these actions.
  • We have developed and received approval for a layout implementing the user interface in a visual form, namely: created the minimally required graphic elements (icons), created the minimally required styles (CSS), marked up the panels developed at the previous stage using a markup language (HTML).
  • The Laboratory is currently developing the detailed markup and transferring the elements implemented at earlier stages (frontend) to the Internet, namely screens, styles, icon and others, splitting interface elements into modules, removing duplicate elements, binding screens to ensure user experience, developing the controller (the server part of the application responsible for the interaction with the frontend), that will ensure interaction with the data model, developing a data model that will allow to introduce any changes to match the tasks standing before the user.

Education and career development:

  • One Candidate of Sciences dissertations has been performed and defended.
  • In 2022, in accordance with the work plan, we compiled and implemented into the education process of the Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences a postgraduate degree program for the training direction «Classic philology».
  • In 2021-2022 the Laboratory conducted regular seminars for undergraduate and postgraduate students and young researchers devoted to commenting Aristophanes (supervised by: B.M. NIkolsky, I.A. Makarov). We are also conducring a weekly online seminar with the leading scientist Douglas Olson devoted to reading and commenting Aristophanes.
  • The Laboratory regularly stages open lectures inviting leading scientists both in the field of commenting ancient texts and in digital technologies in humanities (10 lectures have been held).
  • On the grounds of the Mesrop Mashtots Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts in collaboration with the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration we staged the international conference «Problems in commenting ancient and Middle Age texts» (1-5 November 2022, Yerevan, Armenia).


  • HSE University, «Shtormcorp» Ltd. (Russia): developing the system for digital commentaries.
  • Mesrop Mashtots Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts(Armenia): for young employees of the institute, a seminar on reading and commenting Greek and Latin authors has been organized.

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s. douglas olson
Dressing like the Great King: Amerindian Perspectives on Persian Fashion in Classical Athens. Polis, The Journal for Ancient Greek and Roman Political Thought 38 (2021). Pp. 9-20
s. douglas olson (ed.)
Antiphanes: Sappho - Chrysis, Fragmenta incertarum fabularum, Fragmenta dubia (Fragmenta Comica: Antiphanes frr. 194-330, 19). Biblioteca Teubneriana. De Gruyter, 2021. ISBN 978-3949189005.
s. douglas olson (ed.)
Athenaeus Naucratites: Deipnosophistae / A: Libri III.74-VII. B: Epitome. De Gruyter (Verlag), 2021. ISBN 978-3-11-055851-7.
s. douglas olson.
Pollux on the Anatomy of the Spine (Onom. 2.44–5, 130–2, 178–80) and the Modern Lexica. Apeiron, 2022. Volume 55, Issue 4. https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2020-0072.
s. douglas olson.
Aristophanes’ Clouds. A Commentary. University of Michigan Press. Ann Arbor, 2021. ISBN 978-0-472-07477-8.
и.а. макаров, б.м. никольский
Горести и радости Дикеополя: Аристофан «Ахарняне» 1–16 // Studia Litterarum, 2021, том 6, No 4. Сс. 88-120.
никольский б.м.
Горести и радости Дикеополя: Аристофан «Ахарняне» 1–16 // Studia Litterarum, 2021, том 6, No 4. Сс. 88-120.
степанцов с.а.
Был ли меч? К комментарию на «Фесмофории» Аристофана, ст. 134–140 // Studia Litterarum. 2022. Т. 7, № 3. С. 66–83. https://doi.org/10.22455/2500-4247-2022-7-3-66-83
б.м. никольский
Был ли меч? К комментарию на «Фесмофории» Аристофана, ст. 134–140 // Studia Litterarum. 2022. Т. 7, № 3. С. 66–83. https://doi.org/10.22455/2500-4247-2022-7-3-66-83
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