Greek and Latin texts in digital form
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Where can I find collections of Greek and Latin texts?
There are a few aspects to this question:
- searchable databases of Greek and Latin texts which one can query to find instances of words in context, statistical and linguistic examples, etc.
- collections of Greek and Latin texts available for downloading and/or copy and pasting into articles, handouts, etc.
- Greek and Latin texts with translations, useful for translation and contrastive linguistic studies.
The main databases are:
- TLG, for Greek texts
- Perseus with a smaller text base but more sophisticated tools and search engines
- PHI for Greek inscriptions
- DDBDP for documentary papyri
- EDH for Latin inscriptions
- More to be added...
- 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 Search_the_TLG_and_PHI_databases 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
- 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.
- 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.
- The documentary papyri (also on the PHI CD Rom) can be searched freely online at Perseus through the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri at . This collection is apparently a little bit problematic, and the people are Duke are currently working to get a new version of the corpus together.
- For Latin inscriptions the EAGLE project, others not. is probably the largest searchable corpus, although there are others, some connected to the
- 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.
- Biblioteca Teubneriana Latina CD: the electronic version of the Bibliotheca scriptorum Romanorum Teubneriana. This has the complete texts (without preface or critical apparatus) of the print editions with (BTL-2) over 800 texts from nearly 400 authors. Coverage claims to be Latin literature from the Roman Republic to the Imperial Period and Late Antiquity with yearly updates available.
- Library of Latin Texts (CLCLT5 - previously known as CETEDOC): Patristic and medieval Latin literature from the second to fifteenth centuries. In addition they claim (I've not yet checked) to include all the works from the classical period as well as from the 'beginning' of Latin Literature (Livius Andronicus 240BC) through to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).
- 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.
- 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. A popular and easy to use one is Musaios ( from the web).
- An Italian project, , 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.
- Thesaurus Linguae Latinae - the third edition is now out there. For the Bryn Mawr Classical Review on this see; http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2006/2006-02-19.html (blogged on the Stoa).
- More specialist Latin texts on CD are out there but require a little research - such as Aristoteles Latinus (ALCD) which is an electronic version of the printed series containing the complete corpus of the medieval translations of the works of Aristotle.
- Online Latin texts as noted above are available on
- 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.
- (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.
-  and Latin  respectively, which adds didactic value. Harsch's design of Persius' Satyres' page is especially attractive, as it mimics a papyrus scroll. 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
Texts with translations
- 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.