The Wonderful TLG Gets Better -Update-

I use the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae database several times a week. It has by far the best database and software for morphologically analyzing Greek words and for performing word searches and morphological searches on words.  Its breadth of content is amazing as it covers the vast majority of the corpus of Greek writing before the fall of Byzantium.  It is updated on a regular basis and the TLG staff are, in my experience, more than willing to accept suggestions about further updates.

It’s morphological analysis is superior to the software provided by the Perseus Project (who also deserve much thanks for their pioneering efforts), very often a word that the Perseus Project is unable to analyze, the TLG succeeds. Additionally it also has digital versions of the LSJ, Lampe, Baur, and LSJ supplement dictionaries which are automatically linked to the words of every work of every author. The presentation is very nice and fluid.

Without the TLG database my translations of the Chronicon and the Commentary on Daniel of  Hippolytus would have taken much longer and been less accurate.

Though the TLG is subscriber-based, the annual fee is very reasonable at around $100-$125, meaning that non-academics like myself can afford it.  The pirated version of the TLG which floats from the Internet is not nearly as good as the subscriber-based database. The pirated version  is worse at morphologically analyzing words and lacks many of the Greek works that have been added over the years as well as the specialized dictionaries mentioned above.  The presentation of it is also poor in comparison to the legitimate version.

All of that being said, the TLG has managed to improve itself. Recently the TLG has published their own digital version of the Liddell-Scott Jones Lexicon and made it freely available to the public (you can read about some of the background of the project here). The presentation is splendid; they have somehow managed to make a dictionary as dense as the LSJ easy-to-read and browse through. Every word entry contains hyperlinked text to all ancient authorities that are cited. When you click the link you are immediately taken to that position in the text.  This feature appears to be enabled for non-subscribers, (but I am not sure about that) Wonderful!  Many of the links go to ancient lexicons, so the user can get to the very roots of how academics know what words mean.

Please visit it and check it out, I think that it will become the new standard of Greek reference on the Internet.  And consider subscribing to the TLG, I’m sure more subscribers will only make it better.

Maria Pantelia of the TLG has contacted me and confirmed that nonsubscribers do have access to the hyperlinked LSJ texts. If the text in question is present in the abridged TLG, which is free to access, then the entire text is made available, but if the text is only available to subscribers then the link displays 10 to 15 lines of context, quite a generous amount I think!

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