Focus Text: The focus text is in the center of the page and
will appear on a white background. Forward and Back arrows will
appear, as appropriate, for paging through the text. A text navigation
box containing the Perseus canonical abbreviation for the current work
is also available. To jump to the desired section, modify the citation
scheme as necessary, and hit enter or return. You may also enter the
Perseus citation for another work to change the focus text. For texts
in languages other than English, you may click on words to analyze and
parse forms and link to definitions and other word study tools. (Help
for these tools is forthcoming). Beneath the text, bibliographic
information on the source of the text and a credit line, if
applicable, appears. An orange XML button permits you to view the XML
source for this section. Works that are in the public domain are
offered for full text XML downloads under the noted license.
At the top of each page is the browse bar, which gives you a quick
overview of the structure and relative size of the sections of the
text. Your current relative position in the text will be marked in
blue; other parts of the text will be gray. Since every text is
divided differently (some have books and chapters, others have
arbitrary sections), the layout of the browse bar will vary depending
on the way the text is sectioned. In the Iliad of Homer, for
example, the top line of the browse bar designates the books of the
work (24 of them) and it is clear that Book 3, for instance, is
shorter than Book 2 by the relative sizes of the sections of the top
line. (In fact, Book 3 has 461 lines, and Book 2, 877). In dramatic or
poetic works, the divisions of the browse bar may be more arbitrary. A
play such as Aeschylus' Agamemnon has card breaks, which are
arbitrary chunks of text broken up by Perseus for easy browsing. In
this case, the browse bar makes it easier to navigate to the middle or
end of the play and get a sense of the length of the work relative to
the section you are reading. Traditional works, such as those derived
from modern sources, will have more familiar subdivisions. The browse
bar of the lexica and other reference works have a top line divided
alphabetically, followed by further alphabetical subsections which
allow you to jump to any given entry in three steps. As with most
features on the text pages, you may hide the browse bar
by clicking the so named link.
Text categorization (This text is part of:):
The uppermost gray box to the left of the text, This text is part
of:, denotes the collection(s) and categories to which the current
text belongs and offers links to view similarly classified documents
or works by the same author. A play of Aeschylus in the original
Greek, for example, is part of the Greek and Roman Materials (the
collection), and is categorized as Greek Drama, Greek Poetry, Greek
Tragedy, etc., and is also designated as a Greek Text, and a work of
Aeschylus. The final link in this box will be the author and title
that will show you all editions of this work in Perseus (in cases
where multiple editions are available).
View options: In some instances, you will have the option of
changing the way the focus text is divided for reading. When another
viewing option is available, a box named View text chunked by:
will appear under the categorization box and above the table of
contents. Be aware that selecting another option, particularly a
larger designation, such as a whole book rather than a chapter or
section, may slow performance.
Table of Contents: The Table of Contents for the focus
text appears in the lower gray box of the left sidebar. For works with
subsections or particularly large documents, click on the blue toggle
triangles to view more information. Table of Contents divisions will
match those of the Browse bar, but often provide greater detail.
Different editions/translations of a work: When different
Perseus editions or translations of the current focus text are
available, these will appear in the right sidebar. The language of the
text and the editor(s) are displayed in a gray bar, along with "focus"
and "show/hide" links. Clicking the "focus" link will change the
central display text to the selected focus text. Clicking the "show"
link will display the same passage of the focus work in the indicated
alternate edition and language. If the alternate edition is already
being shown, the "hide" link will close it. If notes on the focus text
are available in Perseus, the title Notes, the editor(s), and "focus"
and "show/hide" links will appear in the same general location on the
page. You may change the focus text to the texts of the notes just as
you can change the focus text to an alternate edition or translation.
The different edition will display the equivalent passage based on the
chapters, sections, or line numbers of the work. *Note that Perseus
is matching sections of texts based on numeration, not content. Thus,
if alternate editions come from different source texts, it is possible
that the translations may not correspond exactly. Editors may have
numbered works differently, moved, or removed text based on variant
References: Clicking the "show" link will reveal any
cross-references to this passage made in other Perseus works, most
commonly grammars, commentaries, and lexica. These may be hidden with
the "hide" link.
Places, People, Dates: Automatically extracted places, people,
and dates will appear in the right sidebar for certain texts. These
are entities the Perseus Digital Library system has identified and
classified. Lists of entities may be sorted in other ways, as
indicated. All entities are linked to Perseus searching, which allows
you to browse for the identified place, person, or date in other
Perseus works and collections. As with other right sidebar items,
these may be shown or hidden via "show/hide" links.
Vocabulary Tool: This links to the vocabulary tool for the
current passage of the focus text. This tool analyzes all of the forms
in the given passage and sorts entry forms by frequency.
Since some words may have more than one dictionary form, all possible
forms for a given word are included. These ambiguous words will
produce multiple results, some of which may not reflect the meaning
of a word in the given passage.
The usefulness of the frequencies depends on the size of the
passage. Larger passages may produce more useful results.
Search: The default language of in page searching matches that
of the focus text. (If you are reading a Latin text, searching will be
in Latin.) To search in another language, or further customize your
search, follow the "More search options" link to the general search
When searching from a text page, you may limit the search to the
current collection, category, author, or work, or, you may search all
collections. If you are searching in an inflected language, you'll
have the option of searching on inflected or exact forms.
You may set a preference for displaying Greek, either with a
particular Greek font style or transliteration.
You may also choose a default text view, applicable to collections
where Perseus contains multiple language versions of the same work.
For instance, when searching on a classical work by canonical
abbreviation ("Hom. Od. 4.5") from within Perseus, your choice of
translation or original language determines whether the focus text,
(in this example, Homer's Odyssey), will appear in the main
window as English (translation) or Greek (original language). You may
also choose to show or hide the Browse bar by default.
Clicking the Update Preferences button will save your preferences for
future Perseus sessions.