Plutarch, Athenaeus, Elegy and Iambus, the Greek Anthology, Lucian and the Scaife Digital Library – 1.6 million words of Open Content GreekMonday, December 13th, 2010
iThe Perseus Digital Library is pleased to publish TEI XML digital editions for Plutarch, Athenaeus, the Greek Anthology, and for most of Lucian. This increases the available Plutarch from roughly 100,000 to the surviving 1,150,000 words. Athenaeus and the Greek Anthology are new within the Perseus Digital Library, with roughly 270,000 and 160,000 words of Greek. The 13,000 words for J.M. Edmonds Elegy and Iambus include both the surviving poetic quotations and major contexts in which these poems are quoted. The 200,000 words of Lucian represent roughly 70% of the surviving works attributed to that author. In all, this places more than 1.6 million words of Greek in circulation.
The Need for Open Content Source Texts
It has been a decade since we published new Greek sources. There is nothing glamorous about digitizing source texts and many other more exciting research projects to explore as Classics in particular and the Humanities in general reinvent themselves within the digital world. Nevertheless, in working with our colleagues, we have come to the conclusion that the most important desideratum for the study of Greek is a library of Greek source texts that can be used and repurposed freely. Machine-readable texts are our Genome. We have therefore undertaken to help fill this vacuum. Support from various sources – including the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Mellon Foundation, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the UK’s Joint Information Services Council (JISC), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), and the Cantus Foundation – put us in a position where we could begin to contribute new Greek sources. A Digital Humanities Grant from Google helped complete the work published here and will allow us to release more Greek (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/our-commitment-to-digital-humanities.html).
Our goal is not simply to provide services such as morphologically aware searching but to provide the field with Greek texts that they can reedit, annotate, and modify as they wish. We offer these texts both because they are useful as they stand but also as raw material on which students of Greek can build. We look forward to seeing versions of these texts in Chicago’s Philologic, the Center for Hellenic Studies’ First Thousand Years of Greek, and many other environments.
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