Texts

  • 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.

  • Browse bar: 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 manuscript traditions.

  • 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 tools. 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.

  • Display Preferences: 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.