Suda On Line: Byzantine Lexicography STOA [Logo]

This page gives basic information on signing up as a translator, requesting translation assignments, submitting your translations and style guidelines. If you have any questions or problems, or suggestions for making the translation process easier, do not hesitate to contact the Senior Editor.

For a basic introduction to Greek Lexicography in general, we recommend all contributors take a look at Eleanor Dickey's new book Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica and Grammatical Treatises, from their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period. (Oxford 2007). Click here for the BMCR review.

To have a paper version of these instructions sent to you, e-mail

Contents of this page

How SOL operates
Who may be a translator?
What if you have no copy of the Suda?
How do you sign up as a translator?
How do you start translating?
Logging In
Requesting Entries
Adler numbers
Finding out which entries have already been claimed
Submitting your request
Entering your translation
Footnotes, bibliography and links
Using the automated linking system
Submitting your translation
Modfying your translation
Copyright issues
Guidelines for content and style
Your audience
Including Greek
References and citations


Unlike other translation projects, this one is completely electronic: translators submit their translations, editors edit them and readers read the results over the World-Wide Web. SOL will never stop being a work in progress:  even as our database is being constructed, editors will be at work improving and annotating the translations.  The mutability and adaptability of the Web will allow us to keep SOL up-to-date as new scholarship and electronic resources appear.
    If you are uncomfortable working with computers, but would still like to contribute to SOL, do not despair, contact the senior editor (see the home page).

WHO MAY BE A TRANSLATOR? Anyone who is competent at translating ancient Greek is welcome to contribute to the Suda On-Line project. "Competent" is a vague adjective, and we do not associate it with any particular level of experience or achievement. In general, however, the sort of ability we require is rare among those who have not studied ancient Greek for several years, and had at least some post-undergraduate training in the language. Nevertheless, if you feel that you are proficient in ancient Greek, chances are that you are competent enough for our purposes, regardless of your credentials. If you are unsure or hesitant, feel free to contact the senior editor (see the home page), who will probably suggest that you submit a trial translation to our test database.

WHAT IF YOU DON'T HAVE A COPY OF THE SUDA IN GREEK? You can still be a translator. An electronic version of the Greek text will be available for you on the web (without apparatus critici, however).


Follow the link labelled "Register as translator". You will be transported to a page similar to this:


Please enter your real name on this form and provide a genuine working e-mail address. The SOL is not like a blog or Wikipedia, where people can post under a pseudonym or screen name (contributors who are found to have given false information on this form may be banned from the project and their contributions may be removed). When it comes to choosing your login name and password, however, what you enter here is totally up to you. If your name is John Smith, you might make your login name "smith" or "jsmith" or "Torquemada." You will need to use your login name and password each time you visit the S.O.L. site to enter or modify your translations, so you should choose words that are distinctive and easy for you to remember. Make sure that "Translator" appears in the option box at the bottom of the page. Your request will be forwarded to the managing editors, who will either approve your request or write to you asking for more information. When your registration has been accepted, you will receive a note of confirmation.

After you become a registered translator, all subsequent actions you take will begin with the same process. You will need to enter your login name and password in the spaces provided on the S.O.L. home page:


Which will take you to the translator option page. If you encounter any difficulty logging in, or if you forget your login name and/or password, contact the senior editor (see the home page).


When you log in as a translator, the following options will be presented to you:


The three options "Translate entries", "Modify" and "Request Translation entry" are explained below. Notice that beside each of them are radio buttons for "Test Database" and "Real Database". You are welcome to play around with the Test Database. It's a good way for you to get used to the system without any serious consequences. When you get ready to enter something for real, however, MAKE SURE THE "REAL DATABASE" BUTTON IS SELECTED.


The first thing you need to do is to figure out what you want to translate. There are basically two ways that translations are being allocated:

  • By block: contiguous series of entries are assigned to individual translators (e.g., the first thirty entries for the letter Delta). We offer this option for those who don't have a strong preference about what they translate -- it helps us get large chunks of the lexicon done and ensures that the more obscure and mundane entries are covered in addition to the longer and more exciting ones. Although a lot of the entries in any given block are bound to be pedestrian, many of our translators have found unexpectedly fascinating entries within the blocks they've been assigned.
  • Entry-by-entry: translators ask to be assigned entries, ideally ones that pertain to areas they have some interest and expertise in. If you aren't aware of any entries that pertain to your areas of interest, try checking the indices locorum of the important publications in your field.
You are free to request a block of entries, a single entry or a set of individual entries.  If you tell the managing editors what sort of entry you are interested in, we will be happy to try to find some for you, though we're also likely to try to talk you into taking on a block of entries.
ADLER NUMBERS Once you have decided on the entries you are going to translate, there is one more thing you need to know: the Adler reference numbers for your entries. The standard edition of the Suda followed by S.O.L. is Adler's Teubner edition. The S.O.L. database is programmed to recognize the reference number assigned to it in that edition. Adler reference numbers consist of the name of a Greek letter and an Arabic number; for instance: Alpha 3419 Is the Adler number for the entry on Apollonius of Rhodes.

If you are not using Adler's edition, you can find the Adler number for any entry you're interested in by consulting this list (graciously provided to us by TLG).

If you have trouble finding the Adler number for entries you want to translate, contact the senior editor (see the home page).  See below for more information on this topic.

How can you find out whether an entry you want to translate is already being worked on by someone else? Submit a request, and we will tell you if your entry is still available. Or, to save time, log in and click on the "View log of recent activity" option. You will be shown a list of recent changes to the database. If you scroll to the bottom of this list you will see a complete listing, by Adler number, of all entries that have been claimed and translated.

If an entry you are interested in has already been claimed, feel free to submit a request for it anyway. We will record your request and keep it on file in case the person who has been assigned the entry cannot complete the assignment for any reason. If an entry you are interested in has already been translated, please consider signing up as an editor, and employing your expertise at vetting and improving the existing entry. [Note: currently (10/30/99) computer glitches are preventing some entries from showing up on the lists of claimed and translated entries; we anticipate that this problem will be corrected soon, and apologize for any inconvenience in the meantime.]

When you have selected your entries, the next step is to enter your request, which you do by clicking the "Request translation entry" button on the Translators' Options page. This will take you to the following page:


Here you can enter the Adler numbers of your entries. This form will send a text message to the managing editors, so you can also include other information, questions and requests. The managing editors will verify the availability of the entries you request as quickly as possible (usually within a day or two) and send you a note of confirmation when the entries have been assigned to you.


Once you have received confirmation of your assignment, log in to the S.O.L. site again and click on the "Translate Entries" option. This will take you to a page showing you which entries you are signed up for and which you have already translated:


Enter the Adler number of the entry you want to translate. This will get you to a page similar to the following:


As you see from this example, you are given the transliterated headword or phrase for your entry and the Greek text from Adler's edition, which you have the option of viewing either in transliteration, in betacode, or in a number of popular Greek fonts (as here). To view the text in a Greek font you must have the font installed on your computer. For advice on downloading and viewing Greek fonts on the web, visit the following page from the Perseus project:

Immediately following is the form where you enter your translation:


1. Enter a translation of the headword(s), if translatable, in the box provided. If the headword is not translatable (e.g. if it is a proper name or an untranslatable exclamation) enter a transliteration in the box following the transliteration scheme given below. If there are noteworthy alternative translations or transliterations, include them after the first one, separating each alternative with a comma. The more (reasonable) alternatives you include in this box the easier it will be for people searching the database to find your entry.
2. Make sure that the appropriate button is selected, identifying the headword as an anthroponym (personal name), toponym (place name) or other (everything else). This will also aid in searching and in categorizing the contents of the database
3. Enter the translation itself into the large box provided. Pay attention to the formatting advice given above the box, particularly in regard to double-spacing (i.e. hitting the "enter" or "return" key twice) between paragraphs, and to the formatting of footnote numbers. The easiest and safest way to enter your translation is to write it all out using a word processing program, then copy and paste the text into this box.

More detailed instructions on formatting and style can be found in the Content and Style section below.


The translation entry page also includes boxes in which you can enter notes, bibliography and associated internet addresses:


You are encouraged to enter additional information in these boxes but you are not required to do so.

The footnotes should offer clarification of muddy references, explanations of citations or allusions made in the text, references to ancient texts that are parallel to, derived from or sources of what's in the Suda (this sort of thing can frequently be gleaned from Adler's apparatus or that of another text).  Your footnotes should also point out information that is clearly or arguably wrong. References to easily obtainable reference works such as the OCD, Smythe, etc. would also be helpful, as would citations of modern scholarship on issues with which your entry deals.  For bibliographical references in notes, the preferred format is the MLA format for parenthetical in-text citations. Be sure to use the same method of numbering the footnotes that you use in the translation itself (i.e. [1], [2], [3] ... etc.). You may make a general comment on the entry by writing it at the top of the footnote box without a number. DOUBLE-SPACE between footnotes, as you did between paragraphs in the translation.

You should place all full bibliographical references in the "Additional Bibliography" section (the name of this section will soon be changed simply to "Bibliography". The preferred bibliographical format is the MLA "works cited" format. You should include in this section the full bibliographical information that you cite in abbreviated form in the notes. You may also include references to scholarship that is more general or tangential than what you put in your notes. Do not put ancient works in the bibliography section; refer to them instead in your footnotes. DOUBLE-SPACE between bibliographical entries

We have recently installed a quick and easy way to include Web links in your Suda entry. If you choose to include links, be sure that in your notes you explain the destination of the link. Below the "Notes" section you will find a system by which you can automatically generate links to a number of useful Web resources. Currently the system is set up to provide links to the following sites: Perseus, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, the "Stoa Waypoints" index of GPS data, the on-line Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites and an electronic edition of the Bible. More sites will be added later.

For each link you want to generate, select the Web database in the left-hand box. The pull-down menu in the center allows you to choose particular sub-sections of the site in question (for instance, for Perseus you can choose to limit your links to LSJ entries or to entries in their electronic version of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites. Enter the term you want to search for (e.g. a name, a site, or a textual citation) in the text field on the right-hand side of the page. It may take some trial and error to generate working links to the site you want, since you generally have to use the same transliteration and/or citation format that the target site does for the system to work properly. After you have submitted your translation, please be sure to check out each link you have generated by clicking on it and verifying that it takes you to an appropriate Web site. If it doesn't, go back and modify what you put in the text field or remove the link by clearing the text field and selecting "none" in the site selection menu.

Links that you cannot generate using the automated system should be put into the field labelled"Associated Web Addresses." Be sure to give the complete URL, including the "http://" part.  If you have a web browser that lets you view two windows at the same time, an easy and almost foolproof way to do this is to open another window, call up the page you want to refer to in that window, copy the URL bodily from your browser's address box, then return to the SOL entry page and paste the URL there.  DOUBLE SPACE between items in this section, just as you did for footnotes.  If you click HERE you will go to a site designed by our own Ross Scaife to make it easy to find internet resources of all sorts, and clicking HERE will take you to the Argos ancient/medieval search engine , in case you want to cast your net even wider.

The last thing you need to do is to select the subject area(s) to which your entry pertains using the list that occurs at the bottom of your entry page:


This is a very important step. It will add valuable information about your entry, and make it easier to search and analyze the database. Scroll through the options to find the appropriate categories. Click on an item to select it. If more than one item is appropriate, click on the first one, then hold down the Control (CTRL) key while you click each subsequent item (on Macintosh computers, hold down the Command Key [a.k.a. the "Apple" Key] instead of the CTRL key). You may select as many items as you deem necessary.


When you have completed then entire process, click on the button labelled "Click here to see what you have entered:


You will be shown a mock-up of how your entry will look when people access it from the database:


If you see mistakes or things you want to change, you can go back using the "Back" key on your browser and change whatever you like. Nothing will be submitted to the database until you hit the button labelled "Confirm to Save". If you get to this point and suddenly realize that you really ought to put a lot more thought into your entry, don't worry. You can simply leave the SOL site and come back to it later when you're ready. Again, nothing is submitted to the database until you click on the "Confirm to Save" button on this page.


As long as you are registered as a translator, you can go back at any time and add to or improve translations you have already submitted. Click the "Modify my own translation" button on the Translator Options page and you will be presented with the following screen:


Select the entry you want to modify. The subsequent process is identical to translating the entry for the first time.


Once you are assigned an entry, there is no fixed deadline by which you must complete the translation. After one month, however, we may start reminding you about it. After three months we reserve the right to reassign the entry to somone else without your permission, though we will make every effort to keep you informed and to honor requests for more time.


You maintain the rights to your translation in the sense that you may publish it or disseminate it elsewhere to your heart's content. However, if you submit material to S.O.L. it is with the understanding that it will become a permanent part of the S.O.L. database. The editors of S.O.L. can (and will) add to and modify your entry and may even replace it or delete it from the database without obtaining your permission.

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The standard text for the S.O.L. is that of A. Adler's Teubner edition. You are welcome to use some other edition if Adler's is unavailable, but please inform us of the edition you are using and note, as far as possible, any deviations from the text of Adler as it is presented on the entry page. You will need to know the Adler reference numbers of the entry you want to translate, both to request assignment of an entry and to enter your translation.


Because of the way this project evolved, we received a lot of translation entries before we worked out anything like a style sheet, so if you browse through the existing entries, you'll notice a lot of variation. Here are some guidelines that we are currently urging on our translators. Eventually all the entries will be regularized to this standard:

  • Imagine as your ideal audience advanced undergraduate students who have some knowledge of ancient history and literature but little or no knowledge of ancient languages. Avoid putting in your notes information that could be easily found in basic textbooks and in readily-available reference works such as the Oxford Classical Dictionary
  • Avoid leaving untranslated Greek in your translation. If you think anything needs to be clarified by the inclusion of the original Greek word(s), relegate the Greek, if possible, to footnotes. Sometimes (for instance, in entries that give morphological information), it will be necessary to include Greek words in your translation.
  • When you include original Greek in your translation or footnotes, the preferred format is betacode. To learn how to write Greek in betacode, visit this site.
  • Enclose any betacode Greek in the <g></g> tag. For instance, typing:
will make Plato's name appear in Greek on the user's screen (if he or she has a compatible Greek font on his/her system).
  • Transliterate Greek names and words using the direct, non-Latinized system:
alpha-iota = ai
epsilon-iota = ei
gamma-gamma = ng
gamma-kappa = nk
gamma-chi = nkh
zeta = z
iota subscript = i
kappa = k
omicron-iota = oi
omicron-upsion = ou
final omicron-sigma = os
phi = ph
upsilon = y
chi = kh
final omega-nu = on

EXCEPTIONS: you need not follow this system when there is a Latinized or Anglicized form so familiar that confusion might arise in its absence (e.g. Alexander, Aristotle, Plato), and you should NOT follow this pattern when the Greek represents a Latin name (e.g. Phi 4: fabwri=nos should be transliterated as Favorinus, not Phaborinos). To assist people searching the database, if the headword of the entry your are translating is a proper name susceptible to different transliterations, put as many different transliterations as you can think of in the "translated headword" box on the translation form, with separate transliterations separated by commas. For example:
Translated Headword: Alexander, Alexandros, Alexandrus
Translated Headword: Kimon, Cimon, Cimo

Put the most recognizable or popular transliteration first, if there is one; otherwise put first the transliteration that follows the rules given above.


  • As mentioned above, use the MLA standard of citation in referring to modern works.
  • In referring to ancient works in footnotes, use the standard abbreviations as found in LSJ and the Oxford Latin Dictionary, or, where possible, the TLG-standard abbreviations, as used by Perseus.
  • In citations, you may use the standard abbreviations used in L'Année philologique and the Oxford Classical Dictionary for periodicals and well-known reference works. For a list of standard abbreviations visit this site (from the TOCS-IN project):
  • Aside from Greek, the only special formatting or typeface you should use is the italicization of titles, abbreviations of titles and foreign words. To italicise something in your translation or your notes, enclose the words to be italicized with the <i> </i> tag. For instance:
<i>The Ethics of Deconstruction</i>
  • will make "The Ethics of Deconstruction" appear as The Ethics of Deconstruction on the Web. Note that if you copy italicised text from your word processor, it will not remain italicised when you paste it into the text entry box. You must add the <i></i> tag either before or after you copy and paste the text.

If you have any trouble, questions, or suggestions for improvement, the Managing Editors would be very happy to hear from you.
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This document was last updated Thursday April 21, 2011.

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