The Perseus WWW Frequently Asked Questions List

This list is a summary of the most frequently asked questions received by the Perseus webmaster. If the answer to your question is not here, please e-mail us.

    About Perseus

  1. What is the Perseus Digital Library Project?
  2. Is this site free?

    General Questions

  3. Where do I start?
  4. How do I find something in Perseus? What types of searches can I do?
  5. What is the (Greek/Latin/English) translation of this phrase?
  6. Will you help me with my project or paper?

    Images

  7. Why does it say that I do not have permission to view the image I want to see and how do I get permission?
  8. I would like a copy of one of the images I've seen in Perseus. How do I get one?

    Texts

  9. Why don't you have a particular text?
  10. How can I download a complete text file?
  11. Where do I report a typo? What if I disagree with your translation?

  1. What is the Perseus Project?

    The Perseus Project is an evolving digital library of resources for the study of the humanities. We are funded to perform research on developing tools to provide users with improved access to various types of materials. Past work has focused on building and linking together collections. Current work considers ways of developing and refining tools for presentation of the materials in the Perseus DL. We are primarily a research project, although we do incorporate services for our audience. For more on who we are and what we do, see the About Perseus page and our list of publications.


  2. Is this site free?

    Currently, we offer access to materials free of charge, with the exception of certain copyrighted images, noted below. As we explain elsewhere, we are not funded to provide services, but to do research on how people use these materials and how use may be improved or refined. We offer no warranty on use, as outlined here. Although portions of the data may be derived from public domain materials, the Perseus Project has created tools and structure to link this data to the remainder of the library. Please see copyright information for more on rights and right holders, and consider supporting Perseus with a donation.


  3. Where do I start?

    There are many ways of accessing the materials in the Perseus digital library. In fact, there is more than one way of getting to the core content of the digital library.


    Multiple ways of getting to core Perseus contents.
    (Or, there's more than one way to slay a Gorgon!)
    Clearly, there are many ways you can begin exploring Perseus content. Which one best suits your particular needs? The answer to that question typically depends on the type of information you require. Read on for more information.

  4. How do I find something in Perseus? What types of searches can I do?

    The Perseus digital library contains a wealth of information but new users can have trouble accessing it all. We at the project are committed to providing resources and tools to use these resources to as many people as possible. We are not, however, a research service and we cannot answer specific questions or perform customized searches for information. We encourage users to continue to make use of local libraries and librarians when doing research projects.

    Here are some general suggestions to help introduce you to the way that the Perseus library is set up:

    Start with the Perseus lookup tool. The lookup tool is a map to the contents of Perseus: its results point you to the subject areas in which you will find information about your search topic. It is a guide to information within Perseus; you the user must decide which type of information suits your interest, but be aware that for certain types of inquiries, you may need another tool. The input box for the lookup tool is beneath the "Search" icon on the home page next to the banner image and on every other page in the same general location. You need only type your query in the input box and click the "Search," or the "return" or "enter" key. For more information on the lookup tool, and some sample searches, see the lookup tool help page.


  5. What is the (Greek/Latin/English) translation of this phrase?

    If you are a Greek or Latin novice and trying to translate a word or phrase, check our Greek and Latin translation tips [note: these tips were written for Perseus 3.0; a 4.0 update is coming soon!]

    Unfortunately, the Perseus Project does not have the staff or resources to perform custom translation services. Many common phrases may be found via a quick Google search. If you are learning Greek and/or Latin, you may wish to visit the forum page at Textkit - Greek and Latin Learning Tools.
    Here are some of the most commonly asked about phrases (please don't e-mail us about these!):

    • illegitimus non carborundum (comes in many variations): this is pseudo-Latin; check the classics list archives for more information.
    • Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, . . .. : it looks like Latin, but it's nonsense. This is the filler text used to demonstrate printing layouts which came into use not long after the printing press itself; it persists in software manuals to this day. It's believed to be a bastardization of some Cicero. Check the classics list archives for more information.
    • uva uvum (or uvam) vivendo varia fit from Lonesome Dove. Again, an instance of imperfect Latin. Check this wonderful WWW page for insight into the translation debate.

  6. Will you help me with my project or paper?

    The Perseus Project is not a research service and we do not have the staff or resources to fulfill all of the requests we receive for assistance. We will gladly assist our users in searching the Perseus digital library, but we cannot answer specific research questions or direct you to relevant sites or bibliography.

    Some good starting points are Wikipedia, About.com, Google, and Yahoo!.


  7. Why does it say that I do not have permission to view the image I want to see and how do I get permission?

    Many of the art and archaeology objects in the Perseus digital library are owned by museums. Perseus does not have permission to display all of the images of these objects on the WWW. Currently, we provide images from the following:


  8. I would like a copy of one of the images I've seen in Perseus, how do I get one?

    The credit notices for all images appear at the top of each image page. If this notice reads "...courtesy of X museum," you must contact the named museum for permission to reproduce their image. Addresses for museums are at the bottom of our copyright page.

    The Perseus Project does not have permission or resources to redistribute images. No image contained in the Perseus digital library may be reproduced in any form without permission of the copyright holders. We cannot authorize reuse of Perseus images on other WWW sites, even for educational, non-profit use. If you have further questions about images, please contact us.


  9. Why don't you have a particular text?

    The Perseus Project's initial focus was the ancient Greek world. Subsequent growth of the library into the Roman era and the Renaissance, including the works of Christopher Marlowe, has been a gradual process. Since we are a grant-funded project, we have limited resources at our disposal. If you have suggestions for future work, please let us know. We log all suggestions for future expansion.


  10. How can I download a complete text file?

    Our copyright agreements with the publishers of our texts do not permit us to offer full text downloading for all works in Perseus at this time. Texts for which xml downloads are available are indicated as such by a creative commons license and links to download options. You will find these in the center of a text viewing page, below the main focus text. We do not offer other formats for texts at this time. We realize that users with slower connections or those who prefer reading texts off of a hard copy, not the computer screen, prefer a downloading option. The addresses for the publishers of the texts are provided on our copyright page if our readers wish to purchase the books. Textkit - Greek and Latin Learning Tools is a fine site with many public domain texts in downloadable .pdf format.


  11. Where do I report a typo? What if I disagree with your translation?

    At this time, all reports of typographical errors should be sent to the Perseus webmaster. Please provide the exact text citation. We rely on our users to bring these to our attention, and welcome all reports. These will be logged and investigated. In the case of variant readings, Perseus follows the original print edition of the on-line text.

    Perseus does not translate works. You may disagree with the translation of a work provided in Perseus; this is to be expected. Keep in mind, however, that Perseus is a digital library and we are not the authors of the translations in the digital library, no more than your local librarian is the author of every book in his or her library.

    Perseus does not alter the content of a print work when it is converted to an electronic version except to regularize spelling and remove archaisms. In some rare cases, we have entered older source materials which may contain outdated information which has been superseded by recent research. Always check the publication date on materials. We have made an effort to provide as many materials as possible, and in doing so, we have had to rely on older, public domain sources.


document created: 1/12/98
document last revised: 8/30/07
LMC