Our News!


The Open Greek and Latin project has released a new version of the TEI XML versions of public domain volumes from the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL).

The new versions include the following:

  • The reconstructed texts are now within div tags that contain the subtype “work”. The goal is that the reconstructed texts can thus be automatically separated from the introductions, textual notes, indices etc.
  • The div tags containing individual works are marked and contain the subtype “work”. Where we have canonical identifiers, we also include those identifiers in the n attribute: e.g.,


  • The citations have been extracted and tagged in a step towards making these texts more deeply compatible with the Canonical Text Services Protocol Architecture. This involves choosing one citation scheme to provide the dominant hierarchy as div tags, with others schemes as milestone markers.
  • The current texts have been compared against new OCR runs conducted with ABBYY Finereader. The results were compared with what we received from the Data Entry Contractor. The Data Entry Contractor was required to provide texts where at least 99% of characters in the OCR output for the reconstructed texts were correct. (The introductions, notes, indices etc. received TEI XML but the OCR-generated text was not corrected). Many of the remaining errors are now marked with sic tags and possible corrections from the alternate OCR marked with corr tags. Some errors remain (particularly on small words) but this is a first step.

Before deciding on whether to solicit corrections from the community or to pay for a Data Entry firm to correct the identified errors, we would like to evaluate other methods of error detection and correction. We encourage members of the community to download these texts and to see what they can do to improve them. We will make further decisions about how to remove remaining errors in January 2015.

Latin and Greek Texts: What Are We Reading in Schools and Universities?


School and university curricula love Homer. This is a fact. You don’t need to be a student of Classics to know who Homer was and what he wrote. Even Hollywood is familiar with his Iliad and Odyssey. What we’re interested in finding out, however, is who else and what else we are reading during our Latin and Ancient Greek lessons, and furthermore, if every country studies the same texts.
To this end, we picked a sample of six countries, each boasting a relatively high number of students taking these subjects at various levels of proficiency. These are the USA, the UK, Germany, Croatia, Italy and Austria. For each we visited their Ministry of Education websites, secondary school examination board websites and many university Classics departmental pages. We emailed and waited. At last, we were able to compile a list of the top most read authors for each of these countries. Though fully aware that the information we gathered is only part of the puzzle, we also chose to make one list of the top three authors of Latin, and top three of Greek across all countries considered.
Here is what we found: in first and second place for Greek, was, of course, the beloved Homer – his epic poems narrating the events of the Trojan War and the return of Odysseus to Ithaca being favourites among readers; in third place we have the Histories by Herodotus – considered by many the founding work of history. For Latin the first place is awarded to Vergil’s Aeneid recounting the adventures of Aeneas following the war of Troy; second place goes to Catullus’ Poems about his hated and beloved Lesbia; in third place we have Ovid and his Metamorphoses. You may not be surprised by these findings, but you might be surprised to learn that, according to our research, the most studied Greek author in the USA is, in fact, not Homer, but Aristophanes and his comedies Frogs and Clouds. However, just as we thought that the Americans were having all the fun, we discovered that the number one Latin text read in colleges is the far more serious Confessions by Augustine. The UK and Germany, on the other hand, stick to tradition with Homer, Vergil and Ovid. Croatia and Austria enjoy Apollonius’ Argonautica for Greek, which tells the myth of the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts. Our most unusual find is the Italian first choice of Greek text. Our study reveals that, above all, Demosthenes is the Italian number one with On the Crown and the First Philippic. As regards Latin, Italy’s choice is Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita, a chronicle of ancient Rome.
If you wish to take a closer look at these results, download the file below and tell us what you think by leaving a comment or by emailing us at efranzini(at)informatik(dot)uni-leipzig(dot)de !

Book Scanning Contract

SLUB logoThe Open Greek and Latin Project has recently signed a contract with the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB) to scan books dating between 1922-1984*. In particular, we are digitising editions that are in the public domain under European law. The EU allows its state members to assert copyright protection over scholarly editions for up to 30 years after publication. The argument has been made that an edition’s critical apparatus constitutes a separate work. In light of this debate and of all applicable copyright regulations, we have adopted the following strategy:

  • Editions published after 1922 whose editor(s) died before or during 1943 are being digitised in full (reconstructed text and critical apparatus).
  • Editions published after 1922 whose editor(s) died after 1943 are only partially digitised (reconstructed text only).

The contract runs until the end of 2014 so we need to be selective. While starting, of course, with Lipsiae: Teubner editions, our list will extend to other series.

SLUB scans will be added to SLUB’s digital collection and will ultimately be ingested in the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek.

Please address any comments, suggestions or questions to Greta Franzini at franzini(at)informatik(dot)uni-leipzig(dot)de


*Most editions predating 1922 have already been digitised and are available online via the HathiTrust Digital Library and

Different Cultures, Different Perceptions: HELP ME BY COMPLETING THIS SURVEY!

People from different cultures have different ideas about one single event, or even a historical figure in the ancient world. This may have an influence on how people interact while they are learning a historical language collaboratively.

I am trying to understand if this hypothesis is true. HELP ME by completing this survey.

Just click on the following link to participate in this study and I will be forever grateful!

Thank you for your feedback!

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Lange Nacht der Wissenshaften, Universität Leipzig, 27.6.14

The Historical Languages eLearning Project would like to extend a warm thank you to all of you who came to the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften to learn and play with Ancient Geek. Your feedback was invaluable and has helped us bring our research and development to the next level!










Long Night of Science / Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften!!

Tonight (27th July) from 6pm to 12am in the main building of the University of Leipzig our very own Historical eLearning Project team will be showcasing Ancient Geek, a user-friendly web application providing localized support to learners of Ancient Greek.

The project started in September 2013 and is now already at the point of offering a fully functional platform enriched with history snippets, gamified exercises, aligned text, parse trees, all designed with the sole purpose of teaching an ancient language, not through traditional grammars, but through direct contact with the text and active participation. So far, the text at the user’s disposal is a section of The History of the Peloponnesian War by the ancient Greek historian Thucydides, whose literal translation is made available in English, Croatian and Farsi.

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The project’s working name is Historical Languages eLearning Project and is part of the wider Open Philology Project led by Prof. Gregory Crane, Humboldt Professor of DigitalHumanities at the University of Leipzig and funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the European Social Fund and the Sächsische AufbauBank.

Ancient Geek was born and blossomed in the capable hands of three Research Associates at the University of Leipzig — Monica Lent, Emily Franzini and Maria Moritz — with the help of Maryam Foradi, professional translator, and their leaders Professor Gregory Crane, Dr. Thomas Köntges. Join us!