Ancient World Research and Tools in Synergy

Mark Depauw

University of Leuven

"To use tools well, we must, in some real sense, understand them better than the tool maker. The best kind of tools are therefore the ones that we make ourselves."
     - Dennis Tenen, Debates in DH 2016

Starting from the example of Trismegistos, Depauw will discuss how digital tools are transforming antiquity research. Heuristics used to be the most time-consuming task of the scholar, but are increasingly a matter of a few mouse-clicks. This implies that scholars of the ancient world will have more time to do what lies at the core of the humanities: asking questions and studying ancient society and culture critically. On the other hand, some of these new questions can only be answered by developing new tools.

Mark Depauw is a professor at KU Leuven (Belgium). He studied Classical Philology and Egyptology, but after working in Brussels, Cologne and Oxford, he is now a member of the Ancient History Department in Leuven again. His original specialization is Demotic, a stage of the Egyptian language and script, but he is increasingly involved in Digital Humanities, more particularly in the form of his engagement with Trismegistos.

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