Let´s talk about DATABASES...
AELAW census of inscriptions is taking its first steps and the number of inscriptions contained in it is increasing little by little. But our database is not the first one that records inscriptions in epichoric languages, although is the first to have the ambitious objective to record all the epigraphs in Ancient European languages. There are other databases out there where you can find information of inscriptions in Raetic, Lepontic and Palaeohispanic languages, all of them created by members of the AELAW network. In Jaca, one of the first steps of our project, all these databases were shown by their authors, so we were able to compare them and find new ideas in order to create the AELAW database, that will contain all these inscriptions. Let´s learn about them!
LexLep is a database that records inscriptions written in Lepontic, but also includes some Celtic inscriptions from the Northern Italy and Switzerland, the Cisalpine Gaul. The software that is used is the same as Thesarus Inscriptionum Raeticarum, developed by Martin Braun (programmer) at the University of Vienna, based in the MediaWiki system, which makes the database very similar to Wikipedia and easy to use by the visitor. The project was developed between 2009 and 2012, under the direction of David Stifter with the collaboration of students of the University of Vienna. The inscriptions are shown in different pages, one that describe the object and one that studies the epigraph, and they contain information about the finding place, the chronology, the writing system, and, when it´s possible, a commentary of the meaning and the palaeography, accompanied by images. Also, if you click on the words from the inscription, you have access to a etymological dictionary in where it is shown all the times that word appears in this corpus and the possible function and meaning of it.
Thesarus Inscriptionum Raeticarum is directed by Stefan Schumacher and employs other researchers, also members of the AELAW network, as Sindy Kluge and Corinna Salomon, who presented the database in Jaca. The project was developed between 2014 and 2016, conducted at the Department for Linguistics of the University of Vienna, using the same platform created for LexLep. The main objective was to collect all Raetic inscriptions known and give all the possible information about them: finding places, object, museums, writing system, chronology, morphemes, words, possible meaning, etc., also with pictures and drawings of them, very similar to the LexLep web.
With a different code-system, in this case FileMaker, the Palaeohispanic databank Hesperia was introduced in Jaca by Eugenio Luján and Eduardo Orduña, two of the researchers working in this project, directed by Javier de Hoz, coordinated by Joaquín Gorrochategui, Eugenio Luján and Francisco Beltrán, in which more than 15 members of the AELAW net are collaborating, from the Complutense University of Madrid, the University of the Basque Country, and the Universities of Zaragoza and Barcelona. The main objective is to collect all the inscriptions found in epichoric languages from the Iberian Peninsula. There are different sections: Epigraphy, Numismatics, Onomastics, Lexicon and Bibliography. The main page contains a map of the Iberian Peninsula in where it is possible to find the different epigraphical areas classified by Untermann in MLH. The Hesperia databank records information about the objects, the text, the palaeographic aspects, the finding places, and also includes hypotheses for the interpretation of these inscriptions, all with pictures and drawings of the epigraphs, maps and indexes. One of the main differences from the FileMaker system, developed in this case by Fernando Quesada, is that the files of each inscription are together, separated in different tables, with different sections, which makes it very easy for the visitor.
We hope you enjoy this post and feel curious about the databases. Go check them!