Where to find the Classics (Greek)

Written by Michael Hanel on August 1st, 2006

In case you haven’t been able to tell by some of the blogging, I do a lot of work in Greek and so I thought it’d be a good idea to throw down some of the main resource centers that I turn to when I’m trying to find it online in Greek.

Perseus Digital Library.
Pros:

  • Contains numerous Greek and Latin authors and translations.
  • Also contains a few reference works which are more than handy.
  • Click on a word and find its parsing info and get lexical information!
  • Pretty slick user-interface once you get used to it.
  • Hosts a number of “newer” translations and original text documents.
  • Public domain texts now have posted XML versions for use under Creative Commons license.

Cons:

  • Some of the texts are unpredictable. There may be typos or broken links to lexica.
  • I have found it very difficult to get in touch with a person behind the database when I wanted to email corrections.
  • The site seems to go in random cycles where links work quickly, but then later are very slow.
  • Difficult if not impossible to search Greek texts for any kind of strings or grammatical features.

Bibliotheca Augustana.
Pros:

  • Constantly adding more texts to the site.
  • Contains unique texts from a variety of souorces.
  • Brief bibliographic and Vita information usually given about authors.

Cons:

  • The site is in Latin and can be cumbersome to navigate.
  • It is unclear to me whether the texts on this site are able to be copied and used elsewhere or whether they are illegally posted.

Sacred Texts: Classics.
Pros:

  • Seems to be adding new texts.
  • Contains a few works with Greek/Latin and English side-by-side
  • Hosts a few other general classics reference works

Cons:

  • Material is all public domain and therefore a little dated.
  • Mostly English, only a few original language materials

Library of Ancient Texts Online.
Pros:

  • Good organization helps user find e-sources to Greek authors.
  • Contains links both to original language source and translations.
  • Only site of this kind?

Cons:

  • It appears that it is not updated any more.
  • Many of the links are simply back to Perseus

The Little Sailing.
Pros:

  • Adding more texts a few times a year
  • Only source for the entirety of Greek version of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives?
  • Texts appear fairly accurate, though sometimes merely copies of Perseus’ text

Cons:

  • Not enough information is given regarding the provenance of the e-texts. So it is unclear whether they are actually in public domain (many of them seem to be violations of copyright laws).
  • Texts are quick and easy to download in Word format. This might be more beneficial than Perseus’ XML format.

Internet Classics Archive.
Pros:

  • A wealth of public domain translations of Greek authors

Cons:

  • A dead site that somehow still works.
  • Translations are public domain and quite old.

This is only a few of the many sources out there I’m sure. If you have some that you know that are valuable, let me know. These are the ones I frequent most often.

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