Distance, above all, is what has motivated us to undertake to produce Electronic Antiquity: Communicating the Classics. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Asia, their distance from the libraries and the universities of the northern hemisphere is, for those of us who live in this region, a major difficulty. Even within these countries size, population and geographical diversity can make simple communication difficult, at times near impossible. Electronic transmission offers us one way of realistically and speedily communicating not just with the rest of the world, but also with one another.
Hence the Electronic Antiquity. We thought that it would be worthwhile to attempt to exploit the advantages of electronic communication in a more formal way. Rather than merely emailing one another, or setting up a local classics discussion group, we thought of a journal.
The idea grew from there. The tremendous advantages offered scholars by the Bryn Mawr Classical Review convinced us that more was at stake than just overcoming distance. Electronic publication, we decided, offered tremendous advantages in its own right. Cheap publication, no middle men, few size restrictions, and above all speed of publication and minimum distribution problems. These features make it an ideal medium above all for debate. That, rather than definitive statements, is what keeps our discipline moving.
Our concept of the sort of constituency that the EA should serve has therefore grown. This electronic medium offers all of us - not just those of us fortunate enough to inhabit the southern hemisphere - a means for real debate and the exchange of inforamtion, at least when the opportunity for face-to-face debate is not possible.
What sort of material are we looking for in Electronic Antiquity? It is not our aim is to replicate wholly the sort of material print journals carry. There are more than enough of them already. What we are trying to do is to offer a medium for intellectual exchange. The ideal material follows from that notion. Provocative articles looking for feedback (which we will certainly publish), summarising types of articles ('This Year in the Orators') are ideal. That is not to say we we will not handle articles of the traditional type: we will with pleasure. But our aim, especially, is to provide for these types of articles a medium in which they can not only appear, but also encourage critical reaction.
The speed of this medium and the ease with which we can distribute it also provide the Electronic Antiquity with another we hope useful function. We can advertise, in some detail, conferences and their proceedings. We can cover seminar series and lectures. Even if they are not in your part of the world, it is always useful to know what is happening. We will also carry advertisements for positions (there is one in this issue: see the file 'vacancies') and for books. There is no charge for this service.
This issue has been produced with the generous assistance of the Information Technology Services at the University of Tasmania, which has undertaken to store the journal and to provide gopher and ftp access. Their help with format and hardware has been invaluable, their service outstanding, and Ian Worthington would like to single out Steven Bittinger, Michael Henry and Jane Hogan of I.T.S..
There are other debts. The South African journal *Scholia: Natal Studies in Classical Antiquity* has formed with us a loose alliance. This is a particularly exciting prospect. Scholia, under the editorship of Dr. Bill Dominik, will reprint and preprint some of its material with us. An example in this issue is Jo-Marie Claassen's fascinating article 'The Teaching of Latin in a Multicultural Society: Problems and Possibilities'. Bill Dominik, who has made the arrangement possible, will regularly keep us posted on South African university developments and conferences.
In future issues we hope to broaden these alliances. We have been promised material from the Classical Association of England by Mr. Richard Wallace. That will appear in later issues. We have also been promised comprehensive material on New Zealand post- graduate and staff research. That material will follow next month.
The name has been a problem. Some of you will have been expecting us under the banner of The Electriconic Agora: Communicating the Classics. Serendipity, or was it just plain bad luck, had us choose The Electronic Agora as our title. We ought to have known that this was the name that had already adopted for the electronic journal of the American Philosophical Association.
A few technical matters. Copyright of all articles stays with the authors. If you want to rewrite and use your material in print, that is your business, but we would ask that due reference be made to this journal if you do so. Although we are resisting the temptation to develop a house style for articles, some consistency within the journal is necessary: please see the file 'guidelines'. Submission of articles should be electronic, either e-mail or on disk. We prefer e-mail. Our address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you'll deluge us with material.
Electronic Antiquity Vol. 1 Issue 1 - June 1993 edited by Peter Toohey and Ian Worthington antiquity-editor@classics.Server.edu.au ISSN 1320-3606