Thursday, September 29, 2011

Perseus in Logos

Logos has been advertising that they are making the Perseus Collections available within Logos... for FREE! But get it quickly. Right now they are taking pre-orders, but once it it ready to go live, they are going to stop taking orders for a while so that they don't get overwhelmed with downloads. I don't recall for sure, but I think it was only 70Mb or so. In any case pre-order until Friday, 30 September 2011.) Be sure to read my comments at the end of this post, but here's some basic info:
The Perseus Collections contain around 1,500 free books focused primarily on Greek and Latin classics, like Aristotle and Plato. They also cover the history, literature, philosophy, and culture of the Greco-Roman world—important contextual sources for biblical scholars. Additionally, they contain other key works of Renaissance literature, and literature from early America.
Of these 'libraries' within the collection, the ones of primary interest to Bible folks are:
This Logos video gives you a good idea of what can be accomplished:

  • It has been possible for some time now to go directly to access the Perseus information at the Perseus Project web site. (And if you haven't been there in a while, it works quite well now compared to the 'glitchiness' of the site in the early days.) Logos itself has for some time provided an external link to the Perseus web site where one can gain access to Liddell-Scott-Jones (even the Great Scott edition). Having the text within Logos, however, is much faster and much handier.
  • Note that this Logos integration only includes the classical texts, not the reference works. If you want the Great Scott you will still have to go online or buy it from Logos. (Also note that the classical references in BDAG are not linked.)
    UPDATE: Dave in the comments notes that the issue of linking to BDAG was addressed in the Logos forum. It's coming eventually!
  • The Greek is all morphologically tagged. If the word is one that occurs in a biblical text (LXX or NT), you will be able to access those lexicons directly.
  • Unless you know the classical work that you want to read, I suspect that the way most people wanting to access the texts when starting from a biblical passage are going to want to: A) Right-click, use lemma, do a Bible Word Study; B) Under the "Textual Searches" category, look for "Classics" usage. C) Click on that Classics to initiate a Word Search - NOTE: When working in the Classics, be sure you are using "Logos Greek Morphology"; D) When your listing of occurrences appears [and it could take a while if there a lot], you will be able to click to call up the text. - NOTE: Here's a little trick. If you click on the "Resource" link, it will bring up the original language text. If you hover your mouse over the "Reference" link, you will be able to see if there is an accompanying English translation. Click on that link to call it up.
  • I don't want to complain about a great, free resource, but one of the more frustrating aspects is trying to find English translations to accompany the Latin or Greek texts. I used the trick in the preceding bullet to show one way of getting at it. You can find English texts directly by creating your own collection, but it's still some work. (And why, for example, are there none of the English translations of Aristophanes?) You still may need to end up going to and searching the Loeb collection or to Project Gutenberg to find some English translations. (For example, Lucian's De Syria dea.)
    UPDATE: Be sure to read Mark Barnes' comment about creating a Perseus collection with parallel resources enabled. That is a great way to find when English translations are available.
All in all, this is really nice, and you can't beat the price! Thank you, Logos! Get it right away, but if you miss the pre-order offer, my understanding is that Logos will offer it again after things settle down.


  1. There's a relatively easy way to get to an English translation of a Perseus resource. First, create a Perseus Collection by using the collection rule "publisher:perseus" (without the quotes). Make sure "Show in parallel resources" is also ticked. Then, when you're reading a Greek or Latin resource, you can click the Parallel Resources menu, and simply switch to the English translation from there.

  2. BDAG will be updated with links to the Perseus collection - it's just going to take some time.