The Perseus Classics collection began as an integrated collection of materials, textual and visual, on the Archaic and Classical Greek world. Named for the Hellenic hero who explored the world to its most distant reaches, Perseus made it possible for specialists and non-specialists alike to move between traditionally distinct types of information, such as images and texts, and across traditionally distinct disciplines, such as classical archaeology and philology. Building on the success of the tools and resources developed for Ancient Greek source materials, the project expanded into the Roman world, with additional art and archaeology materials as well as new collections of Latin texts and tools.
The collection contains extensive and diverse resources including primary and secondary texts, site plans, digital images, and maps. Art and archaeology catalogs document a wide range of objects: over 1,500 vases, over 1,800 sculptures and sculptural groups, over 1,200 coins, hundreds of buildings from nearly 100 sites and over 100 gems. Catalog entries are linked to tens of thousands of images, many in high resolution, and have been produced in collaboration with many museums, institutions and scholars. Catalog information and keywords have been taken from standard sources, which are cited in the entries for each object.
Numerous secondary sources supplement Perseus catalog entries. Prominent art and archaeology works include the Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
, Attic vase paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
, by L. D. Caskey and J. D. Beazley, selections from Attic Document Reliefs: Art and Politics in Ancient Athens
, by Carol L. Lawton, One Hundred Greek Sculptors: Their Careers and Extant Works
, by Andrew Stewart, and more. All art and archaeology materials are extensively linked to the Perseus atlas, which contains over 5,000 classical sites.
In addition to art and archaeology sources, essays, and tools, the classics collection features several hundred works of classical Greek and Roman authors, both in the original language and in translation. Moreover, Perseus has created a suite of powerful linguistic tools, all extensively linked to lexica, which permit the careful study of Greek and Latin. All word study tools are documented; please visit the help and information center for the latest information on the scope and functions of these tools. Text based secondary sources include Greek and Latin grammars, commentaries, and Thomas R. Martin's popular An Overview of Classical Greek History from Homer to Alexander
, which acts both as an introduction to Greek History and an tool for accessing clasics resources in Perseus; it's a great place to begin exploring the classics collection.
Nearly all the classics materials are interlinked and accessible from any given resource. For example, a user reading Julius Caesar's Gallic War
in English, may wish to check the particular Latin word Caesar employs to describe a military formation. Simply by switching the version of the text, users may see the original Latin (De Bello Gallico
) and select a word of interest. This word is linked to the word study tool for Latin, which presents information on the form of the word, gives a brief definition, and provides links to other tools, such as the dictionary and word frequency chart. Or, a student may wish to plot all of the sites Caesar mentions on the Perseus atlas. A link on every text page makes this available. Additionally, users can access art and archaeology information such as numerous coins which depict Julius Caesar.