Summer's Yield Projects from the Summer Graduate Fellowship in Digital Humanities

Jake Nabel

Jake Nabel is a Ph.D. candidate in Cornell's Classics Department. Nabel participated in the Summer Graduate Fellowship in Digital Humanities in 2014. As a result of the fellowship, Nabel began work on Parthian Sources Online, a public website containing a collection of Parthian Empire texts with translations, introductions and further readings.

Project Title: Parthian Sources Online

Project Statement:

Parthian Sources Online (parthiansources.com) is a digital collection of texts from the Parthian empire, one of the biggest and longest-lasting empires of antiquity. Under the kings of the Arsacid dynasty (c. 247 BCE–224 CE), the Parthians ruled a territory that stretched from central Asia in the east to the Euphrates river in the west. Their history is a crucial part of the legacy of ancient Iran, though in many respects it is still poorly understood.

My work on the site greatly enriched my dissertation, which dealt with foreign relations between the Parthian and Roman empires in the first century CE. The process of assembling, editing, and translating the documentary evidence gave me a deep knowledge of my primary sources that I would not have otherwise achieved, while my implementation of comprehensive vocabulary glosses strengthened my language skills in Parthian, Greek, and Latin. Perhaps most importantly, the project allowed me to make a neglected and disparate set of texts accessible to a wider audience.

Thanks to the generous support of a Summer Fellowship in Digital Scholarship Grant from the Cornell University Library and the Society for the Humanities, Parthian Sources Online remains a work in progress, with content added on a regular basis.