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Susan Guettel Cole
Professor of Classics, Emerita
Susan Guettel Cole

Susan Cole and Michael Jones confer about conversion of Dionysos files at the Center for Hellenic Studies
Research interests: Greek History and History of Greek religion
Institutional affiliation: University at Buffalo
Departmental affiliation: Department of Classics
Office location: MFAC 338
URI: Classics profile
Membership status: Charter member
Digital projects: Epigraphica Dionysiaca

Susan Guettel Cole


I studied Greek literature at the University of Minnesota where I took a year long seminar called "The Conflict of Religions in the Roman Empire." The breadth of the course was no obstacle to a study in depth. My seminar project was the Samothracian mysteries, rituals that have left very scanty evidence. I began to study inscriptions in order to expand the discussion, a project that led to a dissertation and a book. In the mid-eighties I began to work seriously on the epigraphical evidence for the cult of Dionysos and assembled about 900 texts. The work demands dealing with physical objects (the stones on which the texts are inscribed); textual criticism (most of the stones are broken and the texts damaged); translation of the Greek and establishing the genre of the text; constructing the historical context for the inividual text (in commentaries); and writing about what inscriptions can tell us about Dionysos. I have traveled to Germany, Greece, and Turkey to work on these texts. The project focuses on the Greek god Dionysos and the organization of rituals dealing with his worship. I use Epidoc, a selection of TEI tags for encoding inscriptions. This project seeks to emphasize the ritual content of the texts and to make that content easily accessible through indexes and concordances generated by TEI procedures.

Digital interests

I began to use structural markup back in 1984 and all of my files are encoded with tags that can be converted to TEI conformant tagging. Epigraphists have been working collaboratively to develop internationally recognized tags for inscriptions and papyri (Epidoc), and 2009 will be the right year to bring my project into step with the latest developments for presenting inscriptions and commentaries in structured markup to readers via the internet.

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