Scraping XML from CAMENA

CAMENA – Latin Texts of Early Modern Europe was a great project at the University of Mannheim. The project ended in 2011, making available many thousands of pages of Neo-Latin texts, not only by German authors. Some of the texts are available in a machine-readable XML form, though (as the project carefully warns) the texts were not fully corrected, and are therefore to be considered as “raw material”. All material produced by CAMENA is available under a CC-BY-SA Open License.

CAMENA Thesaurus logo

An opportunity to experiment with a large collection of Neo-Latin XML is for us immensely attractive; we can use everything we had learned and developed for the Croatica et Tyrolensia project on other material.

The first step is, however, to collect machine-readable files of CAMENA. As its interface was designed more like a library than a database — perfect for reading, but less suited for other analytical approaches — finding all XML files (or, as will be seen, at least all that we could get) was a time-consuming operation.

We solved it by writing two Python scripts to scrape CAMENA’s index pages for links to their XML. The scripts can be seen as Github gists: Script 1 (which downloads XML files) and Script 2 (which only writes XML links to a file; the links are downloaded by a Linux Bash command such as wget -nd -i ../listthes2.txt).

The other approach — just collecting the links — enabled us to remove duplicates (CAMENA texts sometimes come from the same book, so the links point to thesame document).

There were some links which had to be corrected by hand, however, and some links which we were not able to retrieve at all. We also did not try to download page images (this time).

The textual part of CAMENA which is retrievable in XML consists of four collections (CERA, Historica et politica, Poemata, Thesaurus; the ITALI collection seems to lack any machine-readable XML), with ca. 1751 XML files.

We plan to publish here the full list of CAMENA XML links, and the files themselves.

Analysing XML with BaseX

TEI XML, often used for encoding texts in the humanities, actually carries in its elements certain semantic load. This means that just knowing which elements are used for encoding a file could provide some basic information about the file and its salient points.

We decided to experiment with two XQuery functions. One, currently called croala-analist, lists all documents in a database, e. g. for the database latty: latty. At the same time, as an orientational help, the function lists number of distinct elements used for encoding; e. g. there are eight different elements in the text part of the document putsch-c-brevis.xml.

The other function provides information on distinct elements: in XML/XPath parlance, who are their parents and their children, and how many occurrences of a certain element there are in the document. Here is the information for a latty document mentioned above: putsch-c-brevis.xml.

Joe Futrelle, "Guernica" (from Flickr)
Joe Futrelle, “Guernica” (from Flickr)

An additional challenge for our coding skills was making these functions as general as possible, i. e. applicable to all databases on our server. The two functions can be found inside the croala.xqm module in our Bitbucket repository (croalatransform / plutonbasex / repo /); functions are croala:analist and croala:anatomia.

Index of saints in Croatian Latin school drama

Saints often appear as characters in Croatian Latin school drama (which is mostly Jesuit). Here is how we index them in our digital bibliography. (A more technical note here.)

St Marianus, hermit and confessor of Berry, has until now received no identifier on the internet (though Fr Labbé wrote a page on him, available as a digital facsimile on BSB). Therefore his record has a digital ID / URL base exclusively in CroALa: croala.s.marianus.

On the other hand, St Margaret of Cortona is in Wikipedia, so we can use her Wikidata URL: www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q254632.

St Margaret of Cortona

Papers connected with Croatia in the IANLS 2015 Vienna conference

Source:

From the rich programme of the IANLS 2015 conference we have culled abstracts of twelve papers connected with Croatia, or neighbouring regions. Members of the Croatica et Tyrolensia project are strongly represented.

Dominik Bartsch, Lonely walk at Schönbrunn, Vienna  View from Neptune's fountain to Schönbrunn Castle, Vienna.
Dominik Bartsch,
Lonely walk at Schönbrunn, Vienna
View from Neptune’s fountain to Schönbrunn Castle, Vienna.

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Index personarum in CroALaBib

The bibliography branch of the Croatica et Tyrolensia project collects data on people and works connected with Croatian Latin. Following recommendations from the Cookbook of the SNAP:DRGN project, we have started putting our digital data online in a slightly more usable form (currently it exists in an XML database). The SNAP:DRGN Cookbook says:

The first task is to put your prosopography online, with stable URIs for as many entities as you can identify (person, name, source etc.). You need to be able to point (…) and reliably/persistently find (…) your record. This may be no more than an HTML page intended for human consumption.

For CroALaBib persons, this is now possible through the Index personarum on croala.ffzg.unizg.hr. Now the URL croala.ffzg.unizg.hr/basex/persona/jamometicd1e720 leads to data we have collected on Andrija Jamometić. The links and pages were created with a BaseX XML database instance, using the Bootstrap HTML framework.

Among the 1468 persons listed, there are some Italians and some other authors (e. g. Aristotle). They are included either because they were the audience of Croatian authors, or Croatian writers translated their works. Additions to the CroALaBib prosopography are expected soon — we will publish a list of persons involved with the Latin school drama.

A handwritten prosopography, Berkeley.

Technical note: installing PhiloLogic 4 on localhost

PhiloLogic, developed by the ARTFL Project and the Digital Library Development Center at the University of Chicago, is an excellent system for serving and querying XML texts. CroALa and LatTy are currently deployed using PhiloLogic 3, but version 4 is almost ready to be published; try it out on Github (github.com/ARTFL-Project/PhiloLogic4).

Some notes on how we tried — and, thanks to PhiloLogic 4 developers, also succeeded — to get PhiloLogic 4 working and serving Croatian Latin texts on a local machine (localhost in computer networking parlance) are published on the Croatica et Tyrolensia wiki: solr.ffzg.hr/dokuwiki/doku.php/z:philologic4.

Philologia Latina

Technical note: XSLT to number elements consecutively across parent elements

What follows is a solution to an XSLT problem.

The problem: in an XML document, we want to number consecutively elements which share a grandparent element, but not parent. The document contains multiple grandparents. In each we want to restart the counter (imagine a book with chapters which have section; we want to number paragraphs of each chapter consecutively, but across sections: Chapter 1 / Section 1 / Para 1 , Para 2 / Section 2 / Para 3, Para 4 / Chapter 2 / Section 1 / Para 1, Para 2 / Section 2 / Para 3 , Para 4 /).

We want to accomplish this with an XSLT stylesheet.

Short answer: add counts of all preceding paras in sections and preceding paras in current section; subtract the count of all preceding paras in other chapters, and add 1. Like this:

count(preceding::section/para) +
count(preceding-sibling::para) -
count(preceding::chapter/section/para) + 1

For a long answer, read more here: z:xslt-number.

Analysing names in three Croatian epic poems

Gorana Stepanić, project member from the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, works on comparing ways in which three Croatian neo-Latin epic authors – Jakov Bunić from Dubrovnik, Kajetan Vičić from Rijeka, and Josip Čobarnić from Makarska – use names in their poems. All three wrote long narrative religious epics, but each author is some 150 years later than his predecessor; they differ also in their places of origin (though all are along the Adriatic coast), in their social status, and in places where they lived.

The idea is to find all names (named entities) in their poems, lemmatise them, count their occurrences, and categorise: see which names belong to pagan mythology, which are Biblical, which are neither; which names belong to persons, which to places, and so on.

To achieve this, Gorana will be using not only our Croatiae auctores Latini text collection, but also a BaseX XML database of names and occurrences in the poems; one point of entry to this database, a special, sortable query, is on this page.

San Caetano di Thiene

Preliminary results will be published on our blog.

 

CroALa i CroTyr na festivalu (digitalizacije)

Željka Salopek, voditeljica stručne zbirke klasične filologije u Knjižnici Filozofskog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu i suradnica projekta Croatica et Tyrolensia, predstavila je naš projekt na Petom festivalu hrvatskih digitalizacijskih projekata i objavljuje o tome kratak izvještaj.

Salopek izlaganje

U Nacionalnoj i sveučilišnoj knjižnici u Zagrebu od 20. do 21. ožujka 2015. održan je jubilarni, 5. festival hrvatskih digitalizacijskih projekata. Ovogodišnja su izlaganja bila iz područja digitalne humanistike, autorskog prava, korištenja digitalne kulturne baštine i digitalizacije specifičnih vrsta građe.

Naglašene su promjene koje digitalna građa unosi u istraživanja u humanistici te mogućnost interdisciplinarne suradnje u digitalizacijskim projektima. Upozoreno je na važnost kvalitetnog menadžmenta tih projekata. Iskustva gotovih digitalizacijskih projekata pokazala su koliko je digitalizacija danas važna u očuvanju i predstavljanju kulturne i znanstvene baštine.

Tema drugog dana festivala bila su autorska prava i prava korisnika u digitalnom okruženju. Rasprave te brojna pitanja nakon izlaganja istakla su potrebu za boljim smjernicama za primjenu i zaštitu ovih prava.

U izlaganju pod naslovom Pet godina zbirke Croatiae auctores Latini i prva godina projekta Croatica et Tyrolensia sudionike smo bolje upoznali s rastućom zbirkom CroALa (koja već broji 451 tekst 194 autora) te predstavili prve bibliografske i tekstualne rezultate projekta. Prikazali smo i tehnološku pozadinu zbirke te proces nastanka, označavanja i objave digitalnih tekstova. (Prezentaciju s izlaganja moguće je naći na stranicama festivala [PDF].)

CroALa se već šestu godinu upotpunjuje digitalnim izdanjima djela hrvatskih latinista nastalim u sklopu raznih domaćih i međunarodnih projekata. Već šestu godinu služi kao referentno mjesto i istraživački alat znanstvenicima koji se u svom radu koriste tim tekstovima. Osim toga, ima i njen velik potencijal u učenju latinskog jezika.

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Thinking about Croatian neo-Latin school drama

In philology and literary history, thinking starts from bibliography. Croatica et Tyrolensia now have a working page for browsing material on Croatian neo-Latin drama which Nina Čengić has collected and formatted into XML from the excellent bibliography:
Petranović, Martina and Lucija Ljubić. Repertoari hrvatskih kazališta: Repertoar hrvatskih kazališta : Knjiga peta : Deskriptivna obrada važnijih predstava na hrvatskom jeziku i izvedbi na stranim jezicima hrvatskih izvođača do 1840. godine : na temelju znanstvene literature. Zagreb: AGM, 2012.

Our browsing page (with categories in Croatian) is here:

solr.ffzg.hr/basex/croalabib2/drama

First results show that there were at least 594 Croatian performances in Latin from the end of the 11th century until 1805.

Latin school drama, a few lines

This is just the first step, however. We intend to analyse and categorise themes of school plays (according to their titles), and to analyse places and times of performancees.

 

Špoljarić on politics, patronage and intellectual culture at the Hungarian court

The volume 38 of Građa za povijest književnosti hrvatske (Materials for Croatian literary history), published by the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, appeared recently. The long-awaited volume presents an impressive selection of writings by past Croatian authors in Latin, Italian, Croatian, and German (including Croatian translations and paraphrases from Italian and Latin); most of the texts are edited from manuscripts, and appear in critical editions. The earliest work in this volume is the Navicula Petri, a short theological treatise composed during summer of 1463 by Nicholas bishop of Modruš, and edited by our own Croatica et Tyrolensia postdoc, Luka Špoljarić. For the blog, Luka has provided a summary of his contribution.

Remains of the city of Modruš on a drawing from the 17th century.
Remains of the city of Modruš on a drawing from the 17th century.

Politics, Patronage and Intellectual Culture at the Hungarian Court in the First Years of Matthias Corvinus’ Reign: Nicholas of Modruš and Peter’s Barge (Study, Critical Edition and Translation)

The article presents a new critical edition accompanied by a facing Croatian translation of Peter’s Barge (Navicula Petri), a theological treatise on the problem of physical evil composed by Nicholas bishop of Modruš (ca. 1425–1480). Nicholas was a Croatian Renaissance prelate who enjoyed close contacts with the court of the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus (1458–1490) before embarking on a successful career at the papal Curia. The edition is based on the sole extant witness of the text, preserved as part of a fifteenth-century miscellany located in the Archive of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (AHAZU) under shelfmark II.b.3. Two earlier editions of the work (Veličan 1999; Hrkać 2006) are not only marred by errors in transcription, but have moreover failed to recognize two major scribal errors and have thus included not the end of Peter’s Barge but the end of Leonardo Bruni’s Short Oration before Pope Martin V, the work which follows in the manuscript. The critical edition presented here corrects the transcription errors of previous editions, includes for the first time the ending of the work which can be found two folios further in the manuscript, and establishes the original sequence of
this final portion of the text.

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Implicitne godine u bibliografiji hrvatskih latinista

Nina Čengić, postdoktorandica koja se pridružila projektu Croatica et Tyrolensia početkom ove godine, izvještava o svome prvom zadatku.

Određivanje vremena u kojem je neki tekst nastao važan je element filološkog istraživanja. Osim unutrašnjih elemenata koji nam otkrivaju kronološke podatke o djelu, postoje i vanjske odrednice koje ukazuju, često jednoznačno i vrlo jasno, kada je ono nastalo. Među njima se nalazi i godina izdanja: egzaktan podatak, zatvoren za višestruke interpretacije, kostur kronologije mnogih istraživanja

Digitalna bibliografija hrvatskih latinista (radni naziv: croalabib) predstavlja korpus s velikim brojem jedinica za koje je godina izdanja važna i ključna sastavnica. Klasičan bibliografski pristup (npr. onaj Bibliografije hrvatskih latinista Šime Jurića i suradnika) priznaje kao pouzdane samo one datacije koje su na naslovnici izdanja navedene u impresumu. Zato 1442 jedinice nose kod Jurića oznaku sine anno. Ipak, i one se mogu datirati, te smo zapise uspjeli obogatiti 1181 naknadno uspostavljenom datacijom.

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