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Introduction: Electronic Resources at Yale for Hellenists and Latinists (ancient through 16th Century)
(Not all information is current; check Orbis for current CD-ROM locations)
The plethora of electronic resources available for classical languages can be slightly bewildering, since many are interrelated and even overlap to a certain degree. This guide will serve as a basic orientation to the various databases and software packages. It is designed to help the novice not only to understand what each resource offers, but also to choose the one which will serve as the optimal tool for research.  For an overview of online resources available to classicists, see the Yale Library's WWW Gateways for Classics.

Haec pagina est omnis divisa in partes duas.  The first part provides tables organizing our resources according to what kind of information or software you are seeking.  Electronic media provide many types of help to your research, including searchable texts, search engines, indices, multimedia, and reference works.  These tables should help acquaint you with the kinds of help we have available for students of Greek and Latin languages.

The second part of the document contains detailed explanations of what each of the search engines and their text databanks provide.

To get oriented, it is recommended first to consult the tables below and browse the brief descriptions to get an overview of what materials may be useful for your particular needs.  Then, for more detailed descriptions of the resources, either follow the links from the tables, or go directly to one of the following three detailed summaries.

The following electronic resources are available at Yale for Hellenists and Latinists:

Publisher info
Biblioteca Iuris Antiqui
Sources, bibliography, and vocabulary for ancient law.
c. 1994
Libreria Editrice Torre
Entire extant corpus of Greek literary texts, c. 800 BC through 600 AD, plus some Byzantine works.
CD ROM D, 1997.
CD 5.3  Latin authors and Bible versions.
CD 7     Greek Inscriptions & Papyri; Coptic writings.
CD 5.3:   1991
CD 7: 1991-1996
Past Masters
Philosophical texts including Plato and Aristotle in Greek and English.  Excellent version available online.
InteLex Corporation
Latin poetry, Ennius through 16th century.
Copyright 1995.



Publisher Info
Archive of Celtic-Latin Literature
Supplement to CETEDOC, containing Latin works of Celtic Europe, 400-1200 AD.
CD 1 (1994)
Critical texts of Patristic and Medieval Latin Christian authors.
CD's 1 - 3 (1991, 1994, 1996). 
Complete digital version of the 221 volumes of Migne's monument, containing Latin theological and philosophical texts, 100-1300 AD.
Final release.   c. 1995.



Classics Library
Hardware-software bundle for searching TLG and PHI.
No longer manufactured.
not available
Mac software for searching TLG
Perseus Project
Silver Mountain Workplace
Divinity Library
Search engine for TLG and PHI, including Coptic interface.
Silver Mountain Software
Publisher Info
In Principio
Incipit index of Latin manuscripts;  all Latin texts in manuscript from origins through 1500 AD.
Release 5, 1997
Iter Italicum
Database of uncatalogued manuscripts from Italian and other libraries.
  Release 1.0, 1995
 E.J. Brill
Late Medieval Liturgical Offices
Index of nearly 15,000 liturgical offices, 50,000 poems, 2,000 manuscripts, as well as plainsongs and chants.
 c. 1996
Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies.



Publisher Info
Database of Classical Bibliography
Reference cove, Sterling.  Classics Library.
Digital version of L'Annee Philologique, through 197???.
c. 1995.
Scholars' Press
ETC  (also online)
Texts, art & archaeology, maps, dictionaries and morphological tools.
Paulys Realencyclopaedie
15 volume encyclopedia of Classical Antiquity.
 Gesamtregister I, 1997
J.B. Metzler Verlag


1.  The TLG (Thesaurus Linguae Graecae)
The TLG is a databank of electronic texts on CD-ROM, comprising the entire corpus of extant Greek literary texts from Homer (8th century B.C.E.) to the sixth century C.E., as well as a selection of historiographical, lexicographical, and scholiastic texts from the Byzantine period. Approximately 3000 authors are represented, in over 8000 works and fragments. The TLG was developed at the University of California, Irvine; work continues there on correcting and expanding the corpus. A broader history of the project, as well as other useful information regarding software, ordering and upgrades may be found at the TLG Project Home Page.

The TLG is distributed as a simple databank -- a CD loaded with thousands of text files. The current CD is entitled TLG CD-ROM D. The databank is updated in the same manner as software programs: the current version contains everything from the previous one, with new additions. Hence CD-ROM D supersedes A, B, and C; users have need of only the most current one. Work is currently underway on CD-ROM E, which will add a number of late (and fairly obscure) authors to those already on CD-ROM D.

An ancillary publication has been put out by the Oxford University Press, called Thesaurus Linguae Graecae: Canon of Greek Authors and Works, 3rd ed. (New York: OUP, 1990). The Canon comprises a listing of the TLG's contents, organized by author's name, and contains a wealth of additional information including: basic chronology and provenance (where available), any descriptive epithets for each author, and the bibliographic record of the textual editions from which the electronic texts of the TLG were digitized. Copies of the Canon are available in the stacks at the Divinity and Sterling Memorial libraries, and also in SML at the Electronic Text Center (Room 509).

Users should note that, since the TLG is simply a databank, one of various software programs is necessary to access and search it. The two most popular of these for the IBM platform are Musaios (see below) and TLG Workplace for Windows by Silver Mountain Software. For Macintosh, the HyperCard application Pandora permits searching of the databanks. The TLG may also be searched by means of a special hardware configuration known as the Ibycus system (also see below).

Summary: the TLG is the definitive electronic databank for classical Greek literary texts, and is thus the first place to look in many cases. A number of relevant resources are NOT, however, included on the TLG:

    Latin literary texts. These are available on the PHI (see below).
    Greek documentary texts (i.e., tax receipts, contracts, personal letters, etc.) These may be found on the PHI or in the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri; the Duke databank in turn is searchable on-line at the Perseus site (see below).
    Greek epigraphic texts (public inscriptions on stone, bronze, etc.) These are available in part on the PHI. Work on the corpus is ongoing, under the auspices of the Greek Epigraphy Project at Cornell.
The TLG is available at the Divinity Library, via TLG Workplace, and at the Classics Library, via Ibycus.

2. The PHI (Packard Humanities Institute) CD-ROM set

The PHI, like the TLG, is simply a databank of electronic texts, published on CD-ROM. It is the publication of the Packard Humanities Institute [Los Altos, California; no web site as of this writing.] The institute itself was founded by Dr. David W. Packard, the heir of the Packard (now Hewlett-Packard) computer fortune, and inventor of the Ibycus system. The CD-ROMs are updated in the same manner as the TLG, so that the user requires only the latest CD for each category. The contents of the two latest CD-ROMs are as follows:

    CD-ROM 5.3 - Latin authors and Bible versions
      Latin literature from its beginnings to 200 AD, plus Justinian's Digest, Servius' Commentaries on Virgil, and Porphyry's Commentary on Horace
      Several Bible versions in Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and Coptic.
    CD-ROM 7 - Greek Inscriptions and Papyri; Coptic writings
      Ancient Greek inscriptions, as compiled thus far by the Greek Epigraphy Project at Cornell (see above), including inscriptions from Attica, Delos, Peleponnesos, Central Greece, Delphi, Crete, Ionia, Caria; also Christian inscriptions from the Mediterranean.
      Greek Papyri from the Duke Data Bank of Documentary Papyri (see above) -- a comprehensive textual data bank of published Greek and Latin documentary papyri.
      Coptic literary texts: the Coptic New Testament; Nag Hammadi writings prepared at various universities.
The PHI is thus not directly connected with the TLG; the databanks were created by separate institutions, and overlap only in the area of Biblical texts. However, many search engines are configured to search both databanks, such as (for IBM) Musaios or Silver Mountain Software's Workplace Pack (which contains both a TLG Workplace and a PHI Workplace); and (for Macintosh) Pandora.

Summary: The PHI is the definitive electronic collection of classical Latin literature before 200, as well as both Greek epigraphy and documentary texts, although the Duke Data Bank of Documentary Papyri (contained on CD-ROM 7) is now available (searchable) on the Perseus web site as well (see above). At this writing, Latin literature after 200 is only available in digital form for Christian texts (for which see below).

The PHI is available at the CD-ROM Center in the Sterling Memorial Library. It is also available at the Divinity Library, via TLG Workplace, and at the Classics Library, via Ibycus.


1.  Ibycus
Ibycus is not simply a search engine, but rather a complete micro-computer system, including both hardware (CPU and drives) and software. It was invented by Dr. David W. Packard of the Packard Humanities Institute, and allows searching/ browsing/indexing of the TLG and PHI. This product was long the only means for accessing the TLG, but the development of software such as Musaios and Workplace for Windows (as well as Pandora for the Macintosh), has rendered investment in this separate hardware system unneccessary. The unit is no longer being sold or supported. Ibycus is still favored, however, in certain respects: it has the ability to search word fragments, for example, which is not possible with indexed systems.

Only one Ibycus machine is publicly available at Yale; it is located in the Classics Library (Phelps 5th floor).

2.  Musaios
Musaios is a software program designed specifically as a search engine for the TLG and PHI databanks. It is currently available only for IBM formats (Windows 3.1, 95 and NT), but a Mac version is under development. The program permits browsing, searching and printing of any of the texts from these CDs, by author or individual work. Its search capabilities are somewhat more restricted than those of the TLG Workplace software, as it does not permit searches by date or canon. Its overall program environment, however, is perhaps more user-friendly, since it features an extensive control bar and a one-touch interface with word-processing software - helpful for saving bits of text.

3.  Pandora
Pandora, a software product developed at the Perseus Project (see below), is a HyperCard application for browsing, searching, and indexing the TLG and PHI CD-ROM texts on a Macintosh computer. It consists of retrieval software written as a series of extensions to HyperCard. The current version (2.5.2) is necessary in order to use TLG CD-ROM D. Pandora is available from Scholars Press and/or Intellimation. The TLG and PHI are not publicly available via Pandora at Yale.

4.  Silver Mountain Software's Workplace Pack
Workplace Pack is a program group produced by Silver Mountain Software. The constituent programs are designed to access the databanks contained on the TLG and PHI CDs. In addition, the Workplace set contains a Coptic Workplace application, which allows access to the Coptic Biblical and Gnostic texts included on PHI CD-ROM 7. The Workplace programs offer a greater range of search options than Musaios, since they permit searches by date (down to one century, or any range of centuries), or by a number of "Canons" such as author's geographical provenance. The program environment is somewhat odd, however, in that it consists only of a thin bar occupying perhaps 5" on the screen (though any subsequent window opens up to the full screen size). Overall the programs are slightly less intuitive than Musaios, but slightly more powerful. The Workplace programs are available at Yale only at the Divinity Library workstations; the respective CDs (i.e., the TLG and PHI databanks) are located at the Reserve desk.


The CETEDOC set features both a CD databank (published on a single CD) and a DOS-based software application which permits searching. CETEDOC stands for "Centre de Traitement Electronique des Documents," which is the research institute of the Catholic University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). The set contains texts of Latin patrological works from the late second century to the fifteenth century:

    The full text of the Corpus Patrum Latinorum, (i.e. all the texts edited in the Corpus Christianorum Series Latina and Continuatio Mediaevalis).
    The exhaustive corpora of several major authors (e.g. Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, Gregory the Great).
    A number of texts and authors not yet published in the Corpus Christianorum but included in the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum of Vienna, the Patrologia Latina of Migne or other collections.
    The Vulgate and the Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament.
Summary: The CETEDOC set is probably the first place to look for Christian Latin texts. It overlaps greatly with the Patrologia Latina database (see below), but is based on more recent and more scientific textual editions. It is available at the SML CD-ROM Center, and also at the Divinity Library Reserve desk. A basic help sheet is also available at the Electronic Text Center.

2.  Patrologia Latina

The Patrologia Latina is an electronic databank, published on 5 CDs by Chadwyck-Healey, of the works of the Christian Fathers from Tertullian in 200 C.E. to Pope Innocent III in 1216. It is an electronic version of the first edition of Jacques-Paul Migne's Patrologia Latina, published between 1844 and 1855, and the four volumes of indexes published between 1862 and 1865. As such, it is a monumental collection of Christian Latin texts. However, it was the editorial board's decision to remain true to Migne, and thus the database reproduces the texts in Migne's nineteenth-century editions (as well as the prefatory material, notes, appendices, etc.) without addition or deletion. As a result, the Latin texts have not had the benefit of emendation in the light of new manuscript discoveries or more modern textual criticism. The texts of the CETEDOC database (see above) are more reliable in this regard, precisely because the CETEDOC editors have attempted to present the most precise Latin texts possible. Regardless, the PL is significant both for its vast scope and for its extensive annotation. Non- (or pre-)Christian Latin texts are available via the PHI databank, for which see above.

The PL is available at Yale on CD-ROM in the SML Electronic Text Center, and at the Divinity Library at the Reserve desk. It may also be accessed (and searched) on-line from terminals with Yale IP addresses. An extensive comparison of the CD vs. the on-line versions may be found on the ETC web site; in general, the on-line version is more limited but faster and easier to use, whereas the CD version is more powerful.

3.  Perseus

The Perseus Project is a continually growing digital library of resources for the study of the ancient (Mediterranean) world, administered through the Classics department at Tufts University. Its resources include ancient texts and translations, philological tools, maps, extensively illustrated art catalogs, and secondary essays on various topics. It exists as both a multimedia set of 4 CD-ROMs, published by Yale University Press; and as an independent, searchable web site. Perseus is perhaps less useful for the extent of its electronic texts (less than fifty authors represented, with only nine thus far for Latin) than for its library of images, including art, architecture, and numismatics.

A highly useful feature of the set/website as a whole is its search capability, by English keyword. Thus for example entering the keyword "Ephesus" yields all textual references and images of the city, as well as art or coins found there, and any articles about Ephesus -- in short, every item in the database which has to do with Ephesus in any way. In addition, Perseus features a number of text tools and lexica (including the entire Intermediate Liddell-Scott Greek Lexicon and the Lewis and Short Latin Dictionary), which permit sophisticated searching and word analysis of the textual databases. The Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri is also accessible and searchable via the Perseus site; instructions for enabling Greek fonts on a web browser are included on the site. Overall, Perseus is a remarkable multimedia tool for the general study of classical civilization. It is available at Yale on CD-ROM at the SML Electronic Text Center, and on-line without restriction on the Perseus site itself. In addition, a comparison of the on-line vs. the CD versions may be found on the Perseus site as well.

© 2007 Yale University Library
This file last modified 02/19/02
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