Jonathan Prag wins Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Award

Professor Jonathan Prag, Tutor in Ancient History at Merton, has received the Building Capacity Award at the annual University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards, which recognise and celebrate high-quality research-led innovation at all levels.

Professor Prag won the award for his I.Sicily and enabling access to ancient Sicilian inscriptions project: a digital, online, open access corpus and research tool – a vital language resource consisting of a large and structured set of texts, images and contextual data. The project has been the foundation for an innovative series of collaborations to make the ancient Sicilian inscriptions accessible to a much wider public.

The project includes texts in all relevant languages from the first inscribed texts of the Archaic period (7th-6th centuries BC) through to those of late Antiquity (5th century AD and later). In the first instance, the project is restricted to texts engraved on stone, but it is intended to expand that coverage in the future, within the framework of Professor Prag’s new ERC Advanced Grant “Crossreads” (2020-2025).

Commenting on the award, Professor Prag said: “I’m delighted to have received this award, above all on behalf of my Sicilian collaborators, and especially the students of the Liceo artistico statale M.M. Lazzaro, without whom none of this work would have been possible. I very much look forward to continuing to develop the project when ‘normality’ returns.”

Professor Prag has been studying the history of ancient Sicily for twenty years and has been a Fellow at Merton since 2005. He recently gave a lecture as part of Merton’s online lecture series entitled ‘The Writing’s on the Wall: New Approaches to Reading Ancient Sicily’. You can watch it below.Read more: