TITLE: The Perseus Project: An Evolving Digital Library on Ancient Greece.

ACCESS: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu

Perseus, son of Zeus and slayer of the Gorgon Medusa, is an appropriate namesake for this ambitious project. This site is exactly what its title implies: an enormous, searchable collection of Ancient Greek literature, art, and archaeology.

The literature database includes over 420 Greek texts and English translations. The Greek texts (the majority of which are edited from the Loeb Classical Library Series) can be displayed as transliterations into our Latin alphabet, into standard beta code, or into the Greek alphabet. There are detailed instructions that guide users through the options. In addition to the texts, the Project offers four tools for textual analysis: a morphological tool, word-frequency search tool, and two dictionaries. The morphological tool will parse a word in the text, giving gender, number, and case for nouns, or tense and mood for verbs. The word- frequency tool displays the frequency of the word and its forms by author and then links to each occurrence in context. Definitions are from the Liddell and Scott's _Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon_ and the comprehensive Liddell, Scott, and Jones _Greek- English Lexicon_.

The archaeological contents of the project are divided into five databases: architecture, archaeological site plans and pictures, numismatic images with transcriptions, vase images, and sculpture images. The first two are impressive in their breadth but the coin and vase databases contain images of selected collections only. The sculpture database is currently under construction. Each retrieval displays explanatory texts and links to related images within the Project, such as a summary of Apollodorus' _Library_ and the Project's own encyclopedia. Perseus boasts over 13,000 images but also has a text-only homepage for non-graphical browsers.

There is admirable consistency in the look and feel of the Project. Navigation between databases is seamless and easy thanks to standardized menu-like categories. Moreover, search results throughout the databases display in readable, appealing tables, with the cells linking to further information. Best of all, Perseus provides detailed instructions, cited sources, related resources, and authorship and copyright statements with each entry, database, or tool.

While the Perseus Project is a web treasure for students and scholars of ancient Greek civilization, it was not only beneficence that spurred its creation. The site is a subset (about half of the images and all of the texts) of the commercial Perseus Project CD- ROM. However, the highly practical nature of the site, the academic pedigree and extent of its sources, and the links to other resources make it a valuable supplement to print collections. A Perseus Project for Latin culture is planned as well.

Kristina L. Anderson
University of Alabama
kanderso@ua1vm.ua.edu.


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