Co-authored with Richard J. Tarrant.
Editor’s note: The guidelines under review here, while publicly available for comment, represent a pre-release version.
Catullus Online is a freely available digital edition of the poems of Catullus. It can be accessed simply as a Latin text of the poems—in editor Dániel Kiss’s own edition—or with each line linked to a full apparatus. Many poems can also be viewed in photographs from important manuscripts (such as O, courtesy of the Bodleian Library). This is a useful project for its intrinsic value as a new text of Catullus, for its ease of availability, and for the directions it implies for new tools in the study of very old texts. Here I will review it briefly as a text of Catullus, as a website, and finally as groundwork for the kind of online Catullus edition we can hope for in the future.
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.
Digital Augustan Rome is a web-based platform that provides a visual synopsis, with textual commentary, of contemporary scholarship on the topography of Rome, c. 14 CE. On the project’s homepage, the director David Romano emphasizes that DAR is in only the second of four planned stages (as of April, 2017). Even at this stage, however, DAR already constitutes a significant contribution to scholarship on the topography of Augustan Rome. I would highly recommend a visit to the site.
Attic Inscriptions Online (AIO) presents translations of Attic inscriptions alongside cross-references to Greek texts, images, and notes. The website is the creation of Stephen Lambert and is affiliated with the Europeana Eagle Project. As of March 2017, AIO contains over 1,000 inscriptions with the eventual aim to provide translations of the 20,000+ inscriptions originating from Athens and Attica. The majority of the translations are by Lambert himself, with the remaining texts translated by a team of collaborators.
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.
In June of 2016, the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) launched a redesigned interface through which to access its ever-expanding corpus of Greek texts beginning with Homer and ending with the fall of Byzantium. Subscription users get access to the full corpus—currently comprised of roughly 10,000 works associated with 4,000 authors. An abridged database is open to the public free of charge, as are digital versions of the LSJ, Cunliffe’s Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect, Powell’s Lexicon to Herodotus, and the Austrian Academy of Science’s Lexikon zur byzantinischen Gräzität. The TLG allows users to search and browse texts, consult lexica, explore N-grams, and generate statistics and vocabulary tools for selected texts. All users, even those accessing through an institution, must create a personal account to access any part of the TLG.
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”).
The online companion to the print book The Worlds of Roman Women is an important resource that should be far more widely known and used than it is. It offers annotated primary texts, images, and pedagogical materials for teachers of Latin and was called “the gold standard for a web translation resource for intermediate as well as more advanced students,” by Andrew Reinhard nearly a decade ago, and this judgment is still accurate—not because of a sleek or beautiful interface, but because of the wealth of carefully curated content it provides.