Intermediate Latin students typically encounter Latin poetry for the first time with Vergil’s Aeneid. After a brief tutorial on the rules and patterns of dactylic hexameter, they plunge in with arma virumque cano. They learn scansion not only for the sake of tradition and proper understanding of the poem, but also so that they can appreciate its rhythms and artistry—the same reasons English teachers have for teaching their students iambic pentameter for Shakespeare. The symphony of “longs and shorts” can seem forbidding to students at first, and the remedy for this is most often simply practice. Today, given the convenience of phone and tablet apps, and their potential to transform idle moments of otium into more productive ones, the Pericles Group, LLC has created the Latin Scansion App to help Latin AP students practice scanning Vergil.
The online Packard Humanities Institute’s Classical Latin Texts (PHI) makes freely available material that was originally included on the PHI’s CD ROM 5.3, issued in 1991. It contains the vast majority of Latin literary texts written before 200 CE, as well as a handful of Latin texts from late antiquity. It therefore offers an alternative to two other free online resources: The Latin Library and the Perseus Project. The former has already been reviewed for this blog by Ted Gellar-Goad, and some of his criticisms of it apply equally to PHI.
Housed at the Université catholique de Louvain, Hodoi Elektronikai: Du texte à l'hypertexte is a freely-available digital repository of ancient Greek texts, intended especially for students of language and history. It is part of Leuven’s Bibliotheca Classica Selecta—overseen since 2015 by Paul-Augustin Deproost of Université catholique de Louvain—which also houses the Latin-language site Itinera Electronica. Bibliotheca Classica Selecta was begun in 1992, and the Greek texts were uploaded into the environnements hypertextes of Hodoi Elektronikai between 2005 and 2010.
If you’ve studied or taught Latin in the last decade or so, you’ve probably used or at least encountered The Latin Library, administered by William L. Carey, Adjunct Professor of Latin and Roman Law at George Mason University. It’s a simple, free, HTML-based site with a huge collection of Latin texts spanning the longue durée of Latin literature. The purpose of the site is to offer digital texts “for ease of on-line reading or for downloading for personal or educational use” ( see “About These Texts”).
Johan Winge’s macronizer tool is a very welcome and well-designed tool for automatic macronization of Latin texts. Appearing in the same year as Felipe Vogel’s macronizer, Winge’s macronizer tool has quickly become the best available, working equally well on multiple versions of Windows as well as MacOS X using Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. The interface is clean and easy to use. Text can be pasted or typed in (20,000 characters max.) and return times seem very quick; the whole of Catullus 64 required less than 10 seconds. There are some options to the output, such as scanning a text as dactylic or elegiac meter (which increases accuracy of the macronization), and v/u and i/j conversion. There is also a nice function to automatically copy all macronized text.