Most of us have seen the 1981 film Clash of the Titans or the recent remake. Some of us may have even seen Percy Jackson and the Olympians (the best of the bunch, imo). You’ve perchance read an article or two in the Encyclopedia Mythica. Those familiar with any of these things will know that one common denominator between them is Perseus, son of Zeus and Danaë. And most readers of this blog have undoubtedly made use of the website that bears his name.
I’m also willing to bet that you’ve been made aware that Logos Bible Software has converted practically the entire Perseus corpus—to include, most importantly, works of classical Greek and Latin literature along with hundreds of other works in English and Arabic on a range of subjects from rare manuscripts to American history to Olde English Epics—into Logos 4 format.
Logos 4 users don’t have to be told about the many benefits of such a project. They’re already aware of convenience of having a large digital library where all the books are linked together and can be utilized in a seemingly infinite number of ways. But for non-Logos 4 users I thought I’d show a little bit of the benefits that comes with having Perseus available on Logos 4. I was fortunate enough to be among those were were given an early look at the corpus and after playing around with it for a little while I’m more than impressed.
I’m a diglot guy. I own a number of diglot Bibles (e.g., this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, and I can’t forget this one, or that one, which isn’t actually a Bible) and I love setting up diglots in my Bible software. So on one side I’ll put the source language text, be it Hebrew, Greek, Latin, or whatever, and then I’ll put the English translation beside it. This morning I decided that it might be nice to read a bit of Homer’s The Odyssey. Here’s what it looks like:
But you’ll notice that I just don’t have the Greek and English text of The Odyssey side-by-side. I also have W. Walter Merry’s 1886 Commentary on the Odyssey right below it. So now I can read the text along with some commentary on it. You’ll also notice from the pictures that I have all of the texts synchronized (this can be seen by the small letter A in the orange boxes on the top left corner of each panel) so that as I move through any one of them they will all go to the same place.
But what if I come across a word in the Greek text that I’m unfamiliar with? For me this is all of them but for the sake of demonstration I’ll choose one: μνηστηρες.
All I have to do is simply right click the word and choose from my options. You’ll see that I have two options highlighted in blue. The first is a Perseus Web Lookup. Clicking this option will take me directly to the Perseus Website’s Greek Word Study Tool.
Here it shows the root word with a basic definition/translation along with parsing info. There is a link to the Liddell-Scott-Jones lexicon if I want to know a bit more. Or I could just take advantage of having LSJ in Logos 4 and click the second highlighted option above, An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon.
As you can see, this makes things a bit easier, and it keep me from having to go online for more information. Either way, it’s nice to have both options available. Users who have LSJ in Logos 4 will undoubtedly take advantage of this option while users who don’t have this recourse will look to the website.
It’s also a pleasure to have these resources linked to others in the collection. For example, you’ll notice in the screen shot below a reference to Homer’s The Iliad in Merry’s commentary.
Clicking on the reference pulls up Allen Rogers Benner’s Selections from Homer’s Iliad (English), which is an extremely useful text in and of itself, but it’s not the full text of The Iliad.
Not to fear though; by clicking on the parallel resources icon you’re able to access the full English text of The Iliad (Samuel Butler’s edition).
But this isn’t the only parallel resource listed. Also on tap is Walter Leaf’s 1900 Commentary on the Iliad.
And just like other connected resources in Logos 4, this commentary can be linked to the text, either Benner’s Selections (pictured below) or Butler’s full text.
So by now it should be obvious just how useful having these resources in Logos 4 really is. Once you start adding search features into the equation then the usefulness is increased exponentially. And keep in mind that I’ve highlighted two books out of more than a thousand!
If you want to set up a Latin-English diglot of Cicero’s De Officiis then go for it (and I might mention that with this particular work you can access the Latin, English, critical apparatus, and index, and you can sync then all!). If you just want to sit back and read Beowulf in all its glory then you can do that too!
Oh, and did I mention that it’s ALL FREE?!! No? Well it is! If you have Logos 4 and you want access to this gargantuan collection (keep in mind that there are a number of collections under the broad heading of Perseus so you can select those that best suit your interests without having to get every collection) then all you have to do is order it.
So what are you waiting for? Get to it!