HESTIA provides a new approach towards conceptions of space in the ancient world, supported by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Combining a variety of different methods, it examines the ways in which space is represented in Herodotus' History, in terms of places mentioned and geographic features described. It develops visual tools to capture the 'deep' topological structures of the text, extending beyond the usual two-dimensional Cartesian maps of the ancient world.

Herodotus' narrative is 'marked-up' in such a way so as to capture spatial information, including place names and regions. By attaching spatial co-ordinates to place names, the resulting database is fed into a geo-server in order to construct a 'Herodotus Earth', with a 'mash-up' of locations and information about them, as provided by Herodotus. The way Herodotus' narrative itself organises space and relations between places is interrogated, quantified and then represented via a series of network maps.


Principal investigator
Dr Elton Barker
Principal project staff
Elton Barker,Stefan Bouzarovski,Chris Pelling
Start date
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Completion date
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Digital resources created
A spatial database of spatial entities are their corresponding references in the text. Webmapping services of the spatial data (KML, WFS, WMS) A 'Narrative Time Map' allowing users to visualise the places referred to as they move through the text.
Source material
The TEI-encoded texts of Herodotus' 'Histories' in English (Perseus:text:1999.01.0126) and Greek (Perseus:text:1999.01.0125) provided by the Perseus Project (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu).