The EpiDoc Collaborative, building recommendations for structured markup of epigraphic documents in TEI XML, was originally formed in 2000 by scholars at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Tom Elliott, the former director of the Ancient World Mapping Center, with Hugh Cayless and Amy Hawkins. The guidelines have matured considerably through extensive discussion on the Markup list and other discussion fora, at several conferences, and through the experience of various pilot projects. The first major—but not by any means the only—epigraphic project to adopt and pilot the EpiDoc recommendations has been the Inscriptions of Aphrodisias, and the guidelines have reached a degree of stability for the first time during this process.

The EpiDoc schema and guidelines may also be applied, perhaps with some local modification to related palaeolgraphical fields including Papyrology (projects in progress), Sigillography, and Numismatics.


The EpiDoc Guidelines are available in two forms:

  1. the stable guidelines, released periodically and available at: (Current version 5)
  2. the source code, available in its most up-to-date form in the CVS repository at SourceForge; the GL source files are a series of XML documents


Tool developed by and for the EpiDoc community include:

  • The EpiDoc webapp, available from the SourceForge CVS repository (the same application is used to deliver the guidelines).
  • The EpiDoc Crosswalker, a tool to transform data in both directions between EpiDoc and other encoding schemes, markup schemas, and databases. (In progress.)
  • CHET-C (the Chapel Hill Electronic Text-Converter), an application originally written in VBA, then as a free-standing Java app, and now available as a self-contained Javascript platform written by Hugh Cayless. [1] (A Python and XSLT version of CHET-C is under construction as part of the IDP project.)
  • Transcoder: a Java tool for converting between Beta Code, Unicode NF C, Unicode NF D, and GreekKeys encoding for Greek script on the fly (download link to follow).



  • G. Bodard, 'Digital Epigraphy and Lexicographical and Onomastic Markup', in (edd. Aitken, Fraser, Thompson) Ancient Greek Lexicography: Electronic Databanks and the design of new dictionaries, Cardiff: University Press of Wales, (forthcoming 2007).
  • G. Bodard / Ch. Roueché, 'The Epidoc Aphrodisias Pilot Project', Forum Archaeologiae 23/VI/2002, online at (available: 2006-04-07)
  • J. Flanders / C. Roueché, 'Introduction for Epigraphers', online at (available: 2006-04-25)
  • A. Mahoney, 'Epigraphy', in (edd. Burnard, O'Brian, Unsworth) Electronic Textual Editing (2006), preview online at (available: 2006-04-07)

See alsoEdit

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