Review: Discovering Intertextual Parallels in Latin and Greek with Tesserae

By Julian Yolles | Mar 24, 2019

Those days are gone whenever scholars of Ancient Greek and Latin literary works relied solely on a prodigious memory and an imprinted library of traditional texts, commentaries, and guide works. Digitized texts and brand brand brand new tools for textual analysis health health supplement conventional approaches. These procedures don’t require a real library, and so they vow to save lots of some time to create brand brand brand new insights.

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

For instance, you can seek out correspondences between Apuleius’ Apologia and a message of Cicero, measure the extent to which Apollonius of Rhodes observed Homeric diction, or recognize Juvenalian tendencies in Jerome’s letters. You could also compare Greek and Latin texts and examine, for example, just exactly how Sallust utilized Thucydides. While you could (whilst still being should) check out commentaries and specific studies, Tesserae performs an analysis that is focused of (sets of) texts, enabling the screening of long-held scholarly presumptions therefore the recognition of the latest relationships. Furthermore, since some texts contained in Tesserae’s corpus never have gotten committed studies and commentaries, users can create completely brand new insights.

The Search menu provides individual the choice to search in Latin (the standard), Greek, English texts, as well as in both Latin and Greek texts. How many Latin texts available (104, perhaps not counting writers detailed more often than once) is one of considerable, including not merely classical writers but additionally an extraordinary array of belated traditional article writers, and a few (Early) contemporary numbers such as for example Melchior de Polignac and Francis Glass, writer of an early on nineteenth-century biography of George Washington. Tesserae also provides a significant quantity of Greek writers (71), such as the mainstays regarding the traditional curriculum and a few very very early Jewish (Flavius Josephus) and Christian authors ( ag e.g., Clement, Basil, Eusebius). The English search choice, labeled as “untested,” provides eight authors/texts, including Shakespeare, Swift, plus the World English Bible.

The corpus of texts is compiled from an assortment of electronic databases, including The Latin Library, The Perseus Project, DigilibLT, the Open Greek and Latin Project, Musisque Deoque, and the Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum as the section on sources explains. A synopsis of sources for every text is offered, including, where available, information regarding the printing supply of the electronic text. The consumer probably know that the texts have already been modified “by changing the markup” and also by making changes that are“superficial orthography,” and so really should not be cited as representations for the posted texts without dual checking.

The user is allowed by the Basic Search function to choose a supply and a Target text. Supply represents the writing alluded to, Target the alluding text. This selection impacts just the purchase where the search engine results are presented, perhaps not the search it self. Quite simply, the algorithm compares two texts for similarities, then shows the outcome into the chosen purchase to provide users the impression of concern or impact. Picking Tacitus’ Annals as supply and Sallust’s Catiline as Target only will cause Tesserae to make the outcomes within an anachronistic purchase, however the matching passages could be the identical to as soon as the purchase is reversed.

Choosing an author populates another dropdown listing of titles. There are numerous limitations in picking 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 a time. Alternatively, Tesserae was designed to perform more focused analyses, that may create effective outcomes.

To simply just take complete benefit of the features, you need to make use of the Advanced Re Re Search choice ( simply click “show advanced” on any search web page) and browse the directions supplied. Users are able to specify a variety of parameters, most of all, whether to look by

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

The consumer can filter the noise out and restriction the outcome, for example by indicating how many stopwords, therefore eliminating highest-frequency words from outcomes. There are numerous different ways to fine-tune outcomes and also to customize your order by which they truly are exhibited. By standard, email address details are bought because of the rating Tesserae assigns each communication (in decreasing order), in line with the regularity of unusual words. Furthermore, results could be exported being a tab-separated .