Peter Hinkelmanns/Manuel Schwembacher: ONAMA – Annotating Medieval Narratives using Linked Open Data

This talk presents results on developing an Ontology of Narratives of the Middle Ages (ONAMA) on the basis of exemplary text and pictorial sources of the Argonaut Saga. ONAMA enables cross-media research into the narratives and thus allows to overcome disciplinary boundaries between pictorial and textual traditions.

The ontology captures narrative elements such as actions, actors, objects, settings and their temporal structures as well as the roles and functions of these elements. With the help of the ontology, the genesis and transmission of narrative building blocks and the configurations of these building blocks in the respective medium, but also in the cross-media synopsis, can be examined. We distinguish between abstract narrative concepts and their realisations in concrete texts and images. Concepts can be assigned to any number of subordinate concepts, so that a very detailed recording of narrative sequences is possible. In ONAMA, a narrative is a single character activity, an event or a change of state. Following the linguistic concept of semantic roles, for example a distinction can be made between an agent and the person affected by an action (patient). Both simple and complex search queries are possible through the ONAMA frontend.

The ONAMA ontology was developed in the course of the project ONAMA – Ontology of Narratives of the Middle Ages, which is carried out as an interdisciplinary cooperation between the Middle High German Conceptual Database (MHDBDB) and the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture (IMAREAL), both of which are affiliated to the Interdisciplinary Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IZMF) at the University of Salzburg. The project was funded by the go!digital programme of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Lecture within the Data for History Lectures series
Time: Wednesday, 24 November 2021, 4.15-5.45 pm
Place: via Zoom  – Request access via email (

More information

Articles and abstracts presenting ONAMA

Image credits: Jacopo del Sellaio Scenes from the Story of the Argonauts, detail. Around 1465, Metropolitan Museum, New York. (Public Domain).

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Digital History Berlin (Redaktion) (2021, 22. November). Peter Hinkelmanns/Manuel Schwembacher: ONAMA – Annotating Medieval Narratives using Linked Open Data. Digital History Berlin. Abgerufen am 21. Mai 2024, von

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