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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 prodigious memory and an imprinted library of traditional texts, commentaries, and guide works. Digitized texts and brand new tools for textual analysis supplement traditional approaches. These procedures don’t require a library that is physical plus they vow to truly save some time to make brand brand new insights.

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

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

The Research menu provides the 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, maybe maybe not counting writers detailed more often than once) is one of substantial, including not just classical writers but additionally a remarkable number of belated classic authors, and some (Early) contemporary numbers such as for example Melchior de Polignac and Francis Glass, composer of an earlier nineteenth-century biography of George Washington. Tesserae now offers a decent quantity of Greek writers (71), such as the mainstays associated with the curriculum that is classical a few very very early Jewish (Flavius Josephus) and Christian authors ( e.g., Clement, Basil, Eusebius). The English search choice, labeled as “untested,” provides eight authors/texts, including Shakespeare, Swift, in addition to 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 summary of sources for every single text is provided, including, where available, information on 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 “superficial changes to 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 when the search engine results are presented, maybe perhaps maybe not the search itself. This means that, 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 in a order that is anachronistic nevertheless the corresponding passages could be the just like if the purchase is reversed.

Picking an writer populates another dropdown listing of games. There are several 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 corpus that is vergilian all of the works of Tertullian at the same time. Alternatively, Tesserae was created to perform more focused analyses, which could create effective outcomes.

To simply take advantage that is full of features, you ought to make use of the Advanced Search choice ( simply simply simply click “show advanced” on any search web page) and browse the directions offered. Users are able to specify a variety of parameters, above all, whether to find 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 associated terms)
  • lemma + semantic match (a combination regarding the past two)
  • noise (trigrams: for example., any mixture of three letters occurring both in texts will be flagged).

The consumer can filter out of the sound and limitation the outcomes, for example by indicating the sheer number of stopwords, therefore eliminating highest-frequency terms from outcomes. There are lots of different ways to fine-tune outcomes and also to modify the order by which they’ve been exhibited. By standard, email address details are bought because of the rating Tesserae assigns each communication (in decreasing purchase), on the basis of the regularity of uncommon terms. Furthermore, outcomes may be exported as a tab-separated .