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Tom Elliott

Associate Director for Digital Programs and Senior Research Scholar

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Tom Elliott graduated from Duke University in 1989 with B.S. in Computer Science and a second major in Classical Studies. Following service as a Communications and Computer Systems Officer in the United States Air Force, he worked as a software developer and program manager for AEgis Research Corporation on a number of visual and engineering simulation projects. He received his Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2004, for research focused on the intersection of Roman documentary, administrative and geographic studies. His doctoral dissertation was entitled: Epigraphic Evidence for Boundary Disputes in the Early Roman Empire.

Tom has spent over a decade advancing the practice of digital humanities in ancient studies. In the late 1990s, he wrote database software that was used to prepare the alphabetical gazetteer and Map-by-Map Directory that accompanies the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (Princeton, 2000). During that period he also started the EpiDoc Community, which creates standards-based tools and guidelines for the digital encoding of epigraphic and papyrological texts like those published in the Inscriptions of Aphrodisias 2007 or by the Integrating Digital Papyrology project. In August 2000, he was appointed as Founding Director of the Ancient World Mapping Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In February 2006, Tom stepped down from this position to assume full-time leadership of the Pleiades Project, which is developing an online workspace for ancient geography. In 2008, he brought this role with him to the Institute, where he is also responsible for developing and overseeing a spectrum of innovative digital projects and services.


  • Online Resource: demarc: Epigraphic Evidence for Boundary Disputes in the Early Roman Empire, Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2004; 2012-,
  • Online Resource: "Peutinger Map Names and Features, With Commentary and User's Guide," with R. Talbert, 2010, Cambridge University Press, 2010, (= Appendix 7 to R. Talbert, Rome's World, The Peutinger Map Reconsidered, Cambridge, 2010).
  • Book Chapter: “Constructing a Digital Publication for the Peutinger Map,” R. Talbert and R. Unger (eds.), Cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Fresh Perspectives, New Methods, Brill, 2008.

  • Book Chapter: “Bringing an Ancient Map of the Roman World into Modern GIS: Cartographic and Historical Perspectives Revealed,” with R. Talbert, in A. Knowles and A. Hillier (eds.), Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS are Changing Historical Scholarship, ESRI Press, 2008.
  • Published Conference Paper: "New Classroom Maps for Ancient Geography," The Occasional Papers of the American Philological Association's Committee on Ancient History 3 (2006), 61-80.
  • Book Chapter: “Mapping the Ancient World” with Richard Talbert in Anne Knowles (ed.), Past Time, Past Place: GIS for History, ESRI Press, 2002.
  • Numerous original map designs and digital map production for publication in monographs, journal articles, and educational games, as well as educational use, under the auspices of Classical Atlas Project and AWMC, 1999-2005 (samples available from the AWMC map room).
  • Web publication: “Abbreviations in Latin Inscriptions,” American Society of Greek and Latin Epigraphy (ASGLE) (, June 1998.