“Social networks”

in the scholia to the Venetus A MS of the Iliad


Two questions

Transmission of scholarly commentary? Interpreting digital corpora?


Prompted by theme of HC Honors Seminar:

Can social network analysis help?




Interpreting zones

  • T.W. Allen: exterior = editorial revision
  • N. Churik (HC ‘15): interlinear = “glossing commentary”

Other zones?

2017 HC theses analyzing ca. 80% of scholia:

  • Charlie Schufreider, topic modelling: distinct content ~ distinct sources
  • Melody Wauke, ML model identifying verbatim language of Aristarchus

Would social networks distinguish zones?


“Social network”

Achilles (266) <—22—> Agamemon (153)

Co-occurrence of names in a text

  • Names = nodes
  • Number of connections == edge

Visualizing a graph



“Force layout”

  • names (nodes) are marbles
  • connections (edges) are rubber bands joining names

Now shake







Separate by zones





Initial conclusions

  • parallel to Schufreider, Wauke results
  • largely independent method

But wait…




  • Transmission of scholia:

unique material reaches Venetus A in 3 related channels

  • Interpreting digital corpora:

new questions as frequent as new answers


Thank you!