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The Siege of Antioch Project: Digital Approaches

The Siege of Antioch Project is a collaborative digital project, begun in 2017, between Fordham University’s Center for Medieval Studies and a UK-based team of scholars including Dr. Simon Parsons (Teaching Fellow, King’s College, University of London). It aims to produce a full digital edition and translation of the Siège d'Antioche, a critically important, poorly known Old French verse account of the First Crusade (1096-1099). The project gives researchers access to a major, understudied, vernacular account of a pivotal moment in global history and one of the longest works written in the French vernacular of medieval England. The UK team transcribes and translates the text of the poem. The Fordham team then encodes the text into a TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) compliant XML. The site will be hosted on TEI Publisher and Fordham students have designed a WordPress site (https://medievaldigital.ace.fordham.edu/siegeofantioch/the-text/) for the wider project. The WordPress site provides resources for the poem’s historical context, suggestions for further study, and teaching aids. The site includes hyperlinked biographies and glosses of the hundreds of individuals and geographic places named in the text. The Fordham team will also compile geo-data to construct digital maps of the narrative world on the Carto platform. The presentation will outline our current status of the project, which has so far encoded 27 chapters, our approach to TEI encoding of the Old French, and our challenges in building a stable and user-friendly interface that can be used to consult the text, translation, notes, and apparatus.