Gone are the days when scholars of Ancient Greek and Latin literature relied solely on a prodigious memory and a printed library of classical texts, commentaries, and reference works. Digitized texts and new tools for textual analysis supplement traditional approaches. These methods do not require a physical library, and they promise to save time and to produce new insights.
The Tesserae Project seeks to take advantage of digital corpora to enable the user to find connections between texts. Its web interface allows users to search two texts or corpora from Greek and Latin literature for occurrences of two or more shared words within a line or phrase.
The Scaife Viewer of the Perseus Project pursues a simple goal: to provide a clear and enjoyable reading experience of the Greek and Latin texts and translations of the Perseus Digital Library. It is the first installment of Perseus 5.0 and eventually will replace Perseus’ current interface, Perseus Hopper, as the primary means for accessing the texts and translations of the Perseus library. In its goal to simplify access to Perseus’ repository of texts, the Scaife Viewer is a success. Its layout is uncluttered, its texts legible, its design refreshing. As a result, the Scaife Viewer is a welcome re-imagining of how users read Perseus texts.
Jacoby Online is a monumental resource encompassing several separate projects, all of them related to Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker (FGrH) of Felix Jacoby (1876–1959). The original reference work aimed to collect, edit, and comment on all the known testimonies and fragments of ancient Greek historians whose works survive incomplete. At the time of his death, Jacoby had produced fifteen print volumes covering 856 historians, distributed among three of five proposed areas: (I) genealogy and mythography, (II) history (Zeitgeschichte), and (III) local history (Horographie) and ethnography.
Co-authored with Richard J. Tarrant.
Editor’s note: The guidelines under review here, while publicly available for comment, represent a pre-release version.
A Mid-Republican House at Gabii is an ambitious project. It extends the born-digital movement in archaeology, in that the final publication of an excavation is a website with an ISBN and long-term hosting by the University of Michigan. In addition to a traditional presentation of the finds, the publication includes the full excavation database disseminated through the Archaeological Recording Kit (ARK). The resource also presents the architectural remains and contexts in an interactive 3-D environment, coded using the gaming platform Unity. The latter two components of this forward-looking publication especially merit review as a digital project. Does the Gabii publication represent a competitive alternative to the traditional format of the excavation monograph?
Latinists enjoy ready access to online texts collected under names like Perseus, PHI, and the Latin Library, collections which are now as much a fixture of scholarly workflows as OCTs, Teubners, and Loebs. Descriptive data and statistics about these texts are harder to find. How many times does Lucretius use the future imperative? How many ablatives absolute are there in Cicero’s De amicitia? Where does ensis appear in Caesar’s writings?
The Packard Humanities Institute’s Searchable Greek Inscriptions revolutionized the accessibility of ancient Greek epigraphic texts, first in CD-ROM format and then online since 2005. David Packard, Jr. initiated the project in the late 1980s as a collaboration between teams of scholars at Cornell University and The Ohio State University, and supported it financially through the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI). The original intent was to produce searchable texts of the well-over 200,000 inscriptions published in volumes like Inscriptiones Graecae (IG). The PHI editors did not aim to replace or fully re-edit the published editions of the texts, but did make corrections and standardize many inconsistencies.
The Atlas Project of Roman Aqueducts (ROMAQ) is an initiative to collect published information about Roman aqueducts from the period of 400 BC to 400 AD. The project website was developed between 2004 and 2011, but the database and other efforts do not appear to have been actively updated since 2013. As it stands, the project’s scope is limited to large aqueducts that served cities and towns, excluding smaller aqueducts that served areas like villas and mines. The need for such a project, as the authors highlight on the landing page, is four-fold:
The idiosyncratic Greek encyclopedia from the 10th century CE known as “The Suda” (from the Greek word souda, meaning “fortress” or “stronghold”) is filled with fascinating assertions, cultural minutiae, and enough gossip for a lifetime of anecdotes. Suda On Line (SOL) is the first and only translation of the entire Suda into a modern language, and it presents in some ways a model for digital scholarship, even twenty years after its inception. A team of seven managing editors, seventy-five editors, and over 125 contributing translators created it (a history of the project is available here). SOL is open to contributions from users; each entry is marked with a history of who translated it, who provided comments, and what, if any, editorial interventions were performed later.
The Pompeii Bibliography and Mapping Project, directed by Eric Poehler, sets itself lofty goals. PBMP seeks to compile a comprehensive online bibliography and full-text archive of scholarly research on Pompeii, to construct a data-rich, interactive map of the ancient city, and to integrate both into a genre-bending “carto-bibliography” linking scholarly resources with the physical spaces they study. By its own admission (in a 2016 NEH White Paper), PBMP has not yet fully achieved these goals with the project’s first products, a Zotero bibliography and web-map published in late 2014.