Greek and Latin texts in digital form: Difference between revisions

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==See also==
==See also==
* [[Digital Critical Editions of Texts in Greek and Latin]]
* [[Digital Critical Editions of Texts in Greek and Latin]]
* [[Classical texts on Google Book Search]]


Revision as of 15:21, 1 July 2014

Where can I find collections of Greek and Latin texts?

There are a few aspects to this question:

  1. searchable databases of Greek and Latin texts which one can query to find instances of words in context, statistical and linguistic examples, etc.
  2. collections of Greek and Latin texts available for downloading and/or copy and pasting into articles, handouts, etc.
  3. Greek and Latin texts with translations, useful for translation and contrastive linguistic studies.

Searchable texts

The main databases are:

  1. TLG, for Greek texts
  2. Perseus with a smaller text base but more sophisticated tools and search engines
  3. PHI for Greek inscriptions
  4. DDbDP for documentary papyri
  5. EDH for Latin inscriptions
  6. More to be added...

More information

  1. The TLG is a huge collection of encoded ancient and mediaeval Greek texts. By far the best way to use the TLG is to buy a license for the TLG Online, but an institutional license is expensive and not all departments will be willing to pay for one. (See for information.) A personal license is more affordable, but cannot be shared, mounted on a department machine, etc. If you have the site license, you can use these from any fixed IP machines (i.e. on-campus, e.g. in your office, a computer lab, etc.) that you have registered with the TLG. I think the way this is calculated is that the more machines you register, the more the license costs. Departments who still have the old CD Rom #E (last updated in 2000) find that this is cheaper, but it is not as good: older texts, less coverage, no updates. Plus you have to acquire third-party software (these are not necessarily expensive, but not always reliable and certainly not as good as the online search engine.) See also Search_the_TLG_and_PHI_databases
  2. Perseus have a fair collection of canonical Greek and Latin texts, limited in number, but very richly enhanced by parallel original and translated versions, dictionary and search tools, statistics, morphological parsing, mythological encyplopaedia, etc.
  3. PHI also have a CD Rom (7.0) of Greek inscriptions and documentary papyri: this is in the same format as the TLG CD Rom, and needs the same third-party software to search. However, the Greek inscriptions are also available freely online at, which is good.
  4. The documentary papyri (also on the PHI CD Rom) can be searched freely online at, with TEI EpiDoc XML available for download on GitHub at
  5. For Latin inscriptions the Epigraphische Datenbank Heidelberg is probably the largest searchable corpus, although there are others, some connected to the EAGLE project, others not.
  6. For a CD of all the main Latin juridic texts see Biblioteca Iuris Antiqui. This gives the full text and bibliography on Roman law. Also useful is its thesaurus of over 8000 terms relating to ancient law.
  7. Bibliotheca Teubneriana Latina (BTL): the electronic version of the Bibliotheca scriptorum Romanorum Teubneriana. Versions 1 to 4 were on CD. The current BTL Online database provides electronic access (by subscription) to all editions of Latin texts published in the Bibliotheca Teubneriana (without preface or critical apparatus), ranging from antiquity and late antiquity to medieval and neo-Latin texts, for a total of approximately 13 million word forms.
  8. Library of Latin Texts (LLT). The project started in 1991 as CETEDOC Library of Christian Latin texts (CLCLT), in CD-ROM and then DVD-ROM. In 2002 the name was changed to LLT as it included classical and post-classical Latin texts. In 2009 it split into two different online resources. LLT-A is the direct continuation of the previous project, including digital editions of Latin texts mostly taken from Teubner editions and published with an accurate philological revision by CLTLO (formerly CETEDOC) under the direction of Paul Tombeur. LLT-B is meant as a more fast-growing supplement to LLT-A. The texts of LLT-B are drawn directly from printed scholarly editions while much of the revision work is dropped and precedence is given to large, homogeneous corpora of texts. The two collections do not differ in time scope (spanning from Classical antiquity to Neolatin texts until 1965, including decrees from the Vatican II Council), but in publication practices and philological standards. The quantity of texts and their overall philological quality are outstanding. Access to the collections, however, is by paying subscription through the Brepolis platform (more information on the collections is in their Database information page).
  9. More specialist Latin texts are out there but require a little research - such as Aristoteles Latinus (ALD) which is an electronic version of the printed series containing the complete corpus of the medieval translations of the works of Aristotle or the Archive of Celtic-Latin Literature (ACLL), "A full-text database of the corpus of Latin literature produced in Celtic-speaking Europe from the period 400-1200 A.D." (2010 Brepolis Flyer, PDF file). Access to both resources is granted (by paying subscription) by the online platform Brepolis (more information on the collections).
  10. Epigraph - a CD database of Roman inscriptions of Vol VI of Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. This fully searchable allowing searches to be made on inscription numbers, text strings, cognomina, greek text, numerals, Claudian letters, ligatures, reversed letters, short letters and tall letters.
  11. Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) Latin Library texts now in version 5.3 has full Latin texts and Bible versions up to the Second Century AD. This is probably the standard research tool as it is readily available in libraries and departments. Like TLG it also needs search software to make it work, like Musaios or Diogenes (the latter is free of charge and open source).
  12. An Italian project, IntraText Digital Library, has a quite extensive collection of freely accessible, searchable Latin texts (ancient, medieval and newer), linked to its concordances, enhanced with basic text-analytical data; simpler and more static, but also also faster to load than Perseus (at least from Europe), the IntraText Digital Library is somewhat more sophisticated than the Latin Library, whose texts it often re-uses.
  13. Thesaurus Linguae Latinae - the third edition is now out there. For the Bryn Mawr Classical Review on this see; (blogged on the Stoa).
  14. Online Latin texts as noted above are available on Perseus, often in a variety of editions along with (various) translations with useful links to morphological and lexicographical tools.

Downloadable texts

  1. The Latin Library has a simple to find and easy to download comprehensive collection of Latin texts. These are all texts collected from the public domain, have no critical apparatus or other indications of editions etc and so are not intended for research but nevertheless are convenient and available. This is made clear if you read the notes at the bottom of the home page.
  2. Perseus (see above A.(2)) have a considerable range of both Greek and Latin texts - some with multiple editions. When downloading texts, remember to switch off all the hyperlinks (go to 'Configure display' / Word Study Links select no) otherwise they will be downloaded as well. Translations are also available as well although sometimes in antiquated and stilted English. See also the copyright notice linked at the top of each page which says these materials are "provided for the personal use of students, scholars, and the public" but are copyrighted and not in the Public Domain.
  3. Bibliotheca Augustana by Prof. em. Ulrich Harsch is an extensive collection of Greek, Latin (also Medieval and Neo-Latin), and other texts for reading (individually or with students). In the Greek and Latin section editor's notes on periods and authors are in Greek [1] and Latin [2] respectively, which adds didactic value. Harsch's design of Persius' Satyres' page is especially attractive, as it mimics a papyrus scroll.
  4. The Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri (DDbDP) makes all data and version history available for download on GitHub:

Texts with translations

  1. Romulus Bulgaricus is an interesting collection of texts insofar as it contrasts, side by side, classical Latin texts and its Bulgarian translations. Although not finished yet (many texts are to be added), and with little searching and interlinking capability, it presents a provocative starting point for translation studies research and teaching.
  2. A subset of DDbDP texts have English and/or German translations available.

See also