Saturday, November 24, 2007


If you study ancient Greek, you can be thankful in 2007. This fall, two of our discipline's most important scholarly instruments have gone through extraordinary metatmorphoses. First, Peter Heslin released version 3 of Diogenes (; then this month, the Perseus project (
announced that source code and text data are being made available under open licenses.

Diogenes now directly integrates automated morphological analyses of ancient Greek from the Perseus project's morphological parser. The Perseus project's new open licenses guarantee that Peter Heslin will not be the last scholar to draw on the rich resources created at Perseus over the past two decades.

Perhaps these developments would be unremarkable in disciplines where contributions through collaborative work and critical assessment of evidence are valued more highly than career advancement. In the humanities, they stand out against a bleak landscape of subscription services and other forms of restrictions on access to scholarly work.

Taken together, Diogenes and Perseus illustrate the kind of cross-pollination that is possible when reuse of digital scholarly works is not outlawed. If enough classicists notice, we may have more good Thanksgivings ahead of us in the future.

1 comment:

Gabriel Bodard said...

This is great news, Neel. And precisely how academic projects should be working. Does the Hopper code up at SourceForge include the Morpheus code and data, do you know? (The SF repository is not very granular at the moment.)