Thesaurus Linguae Graecae
The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) is a research center at the University of California, Irvine
University of California, Irvine
The University of California, Irvine , founded in 1965, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, located in Irvine, California, USA...

. The TLG was founded in 1972 by Marianne McDonald (a graduate student at the time and now Professor of Theater and Classics at the University of California, San Diego) with the goal to create a comprehensive digital collection of all surviving texts written in Greek from antiquity to the present era. Since 1972, the TLG has collected and digitized most surviving literary texts written in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 from Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

 to the fall of Constantinople
Fall of Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which occurred after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI...

 in 1453 CE, and beyond. Theodore Brunner (1934-2007) directed the project from 1972 until his retirement from the University of California in 1998. Maria Pantelia, also a Classics Professor at UC Irvine, succeeded Theodore Brunner in 1998, and has been directing the TLG since.

The challenge of this huge undertaking was originally met with the help of several classicists and technology experts but primarily thanks to the efforts of David Woodley Packard
David Woodley Packard
David Woodley Packard, Ph.D. is a former professor and noted philanthropist; he is the son of Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard. A former HP board member , David is best known for his opposition to the HP-Compaq merger and his support for classical studies, especially in regards to the...

 and his team who created the Ibycus system, namely the hardware and software originally used to proofread and search the corpus. David Packard also developed Beta code
Beta code
Beta Code is a method of representing, using only ASCII characters, characters and formatting found in ancient Greek texts . Its aim is to be not merely a romanization of the Greek alphabet, but to represent faithfully a wide variety of source texts – including formatting as well as rare or...

, a character and formatting encoding convention, used to encode Polytonic Greek. The collection was originally circulated on CD ROM. The first CD ROM was released in 1985, and was the first compact disc that did not contain music. Subsequent versions were released in 1988 and in 1992, thanks to technical support provided by David W. Packard.

By the late 1990s, it became obvious that the old Ibycus technology was outdated. Under the direction of Professor Maria Pantelia, a number of new projects were undertaken, including the massive migration out of the Ibycus, the development of a new state of the art system to digitize, proofread, and manage the textual collection, a new CD ROM (TLG E), released in 1999, and eventually the move of the corpus to the web environment in 2001. At the same time, the TLG undertook the project of working with the Unicode Technical Committee
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

 to include all characters needed to encode and display Greek in the Unicode standard. The corpus continues to be expanded significantly to include Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

, medieval, and eventually modern Greek
Modern Greek
Modern Greek refers to the varieties of the Greek language spoken in the modern era. The beginning of the "modern" period of the language is often symbolically assigned to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, even though that date marks no clear linguistic boundary and many characteristic...

 texts. More recent projects include the lemmatization
Lemmatisation in linguistics, is the process of grouping together the different inflected forms of a word so they can be analysed as a single item....

 of the Greek corpus (2006)--a substantial undertaking, given the highly inflectional nature of the Greek language and the complexity of the corpus, covering more than two millennia of literary development--and the Online LSJ (released in February 2011).

Since 2001, the TLG corpus has been searchable online by members of subscribing institutions, which number close to 1500 world-wide. All bibliographical information and a subset of the texts are available to the general public.

External links

  • Thesaurus Linguae Graecae: A Digital Library of Greek Literature
  • Online LSJ
  • Perseus Digital Library Many works of Classical Greek (and now Latin) literature (a smaller corpus than the TLG) is freely available (with annotation and translation links) at the Perseus Project
    Perseus Project
    The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. It is hosted by the Department of Classics. It has suffered at times from computer hardware problems, and its resources are occasionally unavailable...

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