Although we tend to think of all Greek myth as simply "Greek", Greek myths were initially the product of local oral traditions, tied to a specific geographic location in the Greek world. Different cities, towns and villages throughout the Greek Mediterranean (Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt, North Africa, Italy and southern Sicily) had different heroes, and different traditions regarding them. When these oral traditions were amalgamated and recorded in the Greek and Roman texts which preserve what remains of Greek myth, much of the original geographic information of the sources was retained. This geographic information can be mapped, and used as the basis for further studies in Greek myth, history, geography, and political relationships.
Myths on Maps is a searchable, interactive web-based map displaying the geographic locations recorded for Greek myths in Apollodorus’ Library. The accompanying reader displays the original text, annotated to display characters, places and events. Through the map and reader, users can explore connections between places, events and characters. This data, presented visually, easily shows the geographic connections which were self-evident to the original tellers and audience.
Myths on Maps displays all of the events, places and characters in Apollodorus’ Library and Epitome, in searchable format. These are accessed through the Reader and the Map.
The Reader allows the user to browse through the text of Apollodorus. A sidebar displays the events for each section and information about the characters and places. Clicking on the name of a character displays a sidebar with panels that show the character’s genealogy, geographical locations and events in which they participate in myth, and disambiguation of characters with the same name. Clicking on a place name displays a small map of the location in the sidebar, and panels showing a list of characters and events associated with the place.
The events, places, characters and citations in the sidebar are also clickable. Clicking on an “event” will show the event’s location, participating characters and groups, and links to other accounts of the event in Apollodorus.
The Map is searchable by text, character, place and group. Clicking on a place name will add the place to the map. Clicking on a character name will add to the map all the locations associated with the character in Apollodorus. Clicking on a place on the map will bring up a sidebar with the characters and events associated with that place.
Myths on Maps is a work in progress. Future developments for the site will include the addition of more texts, beginning with Homer’s Iliad Book 2 (the Catalog of Ships), Pausanias’ Guide to Greece, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Other features will include filtered searches, directional journeys of characters and groups, and greater user control of the map display. Feedback and suggestions are welcome to Laurel Bowman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Myths on Maps is hosted by the University of Victoria. It has been developed by Dr. Laurel Bowman, U.Vic Greek and Roman Studies (http://web.uvic.ca/grs/), with the support of the Humanities Computing and Media Centre at the University of Victoria (http://hcmc.uvic.ca/ ), and in particular with the support of programming by Greg Newton of HCMC. It has been funded by the Internal Research Grants program and the Work Study program at the University of Victoria.
Thanks to Simon Bild-Enkin (University of Toronto), Sophie Boucher, Chelsea Bryson, Rebecca Jamin, Carly Malloch, Lauren Mayes, Jennifer McLean, Katherine Ongaro, Matthew Prosser, Filiz Tütüncü-Çağlar, Amy Wilton, Frances-Jane van Wyk, and Zaqir Virani (University of Victoria) for coding and editing, and special thanks to Lauren Mayes (University of Western Ontario), senior research assistant, for project co-ordination and oversight.
The Myths on Maps project would not be possible without the work done by many pioneers in Digital Humanities and ancient geography. Of the many resources on which Myths on Maps depends we would like to single out for special mention the Perseus project (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu), which supplied in digitized form the source texts which were edited and marked up for this project; and the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (http://awmc.unc.edu/) and the Pleiades project (http://pleiades.stoa.org/ ), which supplied much of the geographic data. The maps are supplied by Google maps.