Review: Discovering Intertextual Parallels in Latin and Greek with Tesserae

Review: Discovering Intertextual Parallels in Latin and Greek with Tesserae

By Julian Yolles | Mar 24, 2019

The days are gone whenever scholars of Ancient Greek and Latin literary works relied solely on a memory that is prodigious a imprinted library of traditional texts, commentaries, and guide works. Digitized texts and brand new tools for textual analysis health supplement approaches that are traditional. These processes don’t require a library that is physical and additionally they promise to save lots of some time to create brand new insights.

The Tesserae venture seeks to make use of electronic corpora to allow the consumer to get connections between texts.

For instance, you could look for correspondences between Apuleius’ Apologia and a message of Cicero, gauge the extent to which Apollonius of Rhodes accompanied Homeric diction, or determine Juvenalian tendencies in Jerome’s letters. You could also compare Greek and Latin texts and examine, for example, exactly how Sallust utilized Thucydides. While you can (whilst still being should) seek out commentaries and specialized studies, Tesserae performs a concentrated analysis of two (sets of) texts, enabling the evaluating of long-held scholarly presumptions in addition to recognition of brand new relationships. Furthermore, since some texts incorporated into Tesserae’s corpus never have gotten committed studies and commentaries, users can create insights that are entirely new.

The Research menu provides individual the choice to search in Latin (the standard), Greek, English texts, plus in both Latin and Greek texts. The sheer number of Latin texts available (104, perhaps not counting writers listed over and over again) is considered the most considerable, including not just classical writers but in addition a remarkable selection of late traditional authors, and some (Early) contemporary numbers such as for example Melchior de Polignac and Francis Glass, writer of an earlier nineteenth-century biography of George Washington. Tesserae also provides a significant quantity of Greek writers (71), such as the mainstays regarding the curriculum that is classical a few very very early Jewish (Flavius Josephus) and Christian article writers ( ag e.g., Clement, Basil, Eusebius). The English search option, labeled as “untested,” provides eight authors/texts, including Shakespeare, Swift, as well as the World English Bible.

Given that part on Sources explains, the corpus of texts is put together from selection of electronic databases, such as the Latin Library, The Perseus Project, DigilibLT, the Open Greek and Latin Project, Musisque Deoque, while the Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum. A summary of sources for every single text is offered, including, where available, information regarding the printing way to obtain the text that is electronic. An individual probably know that the texts were modified “by changing the markup” and also by making “superficial changes to orthography,” and therefore really should not be cited as representations associated with the posted texts without dual checking.

The fundamental Research function enables the consumer to pick a supply and a Target text. Supply represents the writing alluded to, Target the alluding text. This selection impacts just the purchase when the search engine results are presented, maybe maybe not the search it self. The algorithm compares two texts for similarities, then displays the results in the selected order to give users the impression of priority or influence in other words. Picking Tacitus’ Annals as supply and Sallust’s Catiline as Target only will cause Tesserae to make the outcome within an anachronistic purchase, however the matching passages is the identical to if the purchase is reversed.

Choosing a writer populates another dropdown directory of games. You can find limitations in choosing writers and texts. The user would be required to perform separate searches of all combinations in each one of the authors’ works if one wished to find evidence of Vergilian allusions in the works of Tertullian, for example. One cannot compare the entire Vergilian corpus with most of the works of Tertullian at the same time. Rather, Tesserae was designed to perform more focused analyses, that may create effective outcomes.

To just simply simply take full advantageous asset of the features, you should make use of the Advanced Search choice ( simply click “show advanced” on any search page) and see the directions supplied. Users are able to specify a selection of parameters, most of all, whether to locate by

  • precise term (sequence)
  • lemma (disregarding inflection or conjugation)
  • semantic match (on the basis of the English dictionary headwords for the lemmata, hence including synonyms and words that are related
  • lemma + semantic match (a combination associated with previous two)
  • noise (trigrams: for example., any mix of three letters occurring both in texts could be flagged).

An individual can filter out of the sound and restriction the outcome, for example by indicating the sheer number of stopwords, hence eliminating highest-frequency words from outcomes. There are many different ways to fine-tune outcomes also to modify your order for which these are typically exhibited. By standard, answers are bought by the rating Tesserae assigns each communication (in decreasing purchase), on the basis of the regularity of uncommon words. Moreover, outcomes may be exported as a tab-separated .