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New Features in Beyond Translation

A brief outline and description of the new features available in Beyond Translation.

Published onMar 15, 2023
New Features in Beyond Translation


This document contains animated gifs illustrating new features in Perseus 6.0. Where available, we include links to live implementations in Perseus 6.0 and to additional documentation. The goal here is to provide a broad overview of functionality. More detailed documentation is planned for release before the end of summer 2023.


We start with a CTS-compliant transcription of the Iliad as it appears in the Venetus A. We then move to the beginning of Iliad, book 5, and compare the manuscript source. We then look at a transcription of the main annotations (scholia) and zoom in on the section of the manuscript with the opening annotation. See this in Perseus 6.0 here.

The following demonstration reflects functionality that is still under development but should appear in Perseus 6.0 in spring 2023. The key idea is to enable users to go between a transcribed chunk of text to the region of interest in an image from which it was transcribed. The goal is to include all the data about all types of scholia from the Venetus A manuscript of Homer published by the Homer Multitext Project.

Metrical Annotations

For now, these are available for Iliad 1. Note that clicking on the Audio button would play a recording of David Chamberlain reading (animated GIFs do not include sound). See this in Perseus 6.0 here.

Grammatical Entries

Perseus 6.0 illustrates how we can link particular words in a text to a traditional grammar (which contains explicit language-specific information not in the Perseus treebank). See this in Perseus 6.0 here.

Dictionary Entries

Perseus 6.0 includes three Greek/English dictionaries: the general Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek/English lexicon, as well as Richard John Cunliffe’s Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect and his Homeric proper and place names. If one of the available dictionaries specifically cites a particular instance of a word in the passage displayed (e.g., mênis, “wrath,” in Iliad 1.1), it appears as “cited.” If the dictionary word shows up in a dictionary but this particular instance is not cited, then it is “available.” If the dictionary form for a word displayed is not in any of the dictionaries, it appears as “missing.” See this in Perseus 6.0 here.

Named Entities

Already in the 1990s, David A. Smith at Perseus implemented dynamic maps of places referenced in particular works but those links were generated automatically. A great deal of work has gone into creating a gazetteer for the Ancient World (the Pleiades Gazetteer) and into helping users link references to places in particular texts with entries in that Gazetteer (e.g., Recogito). Josh Kemp of Furman University used Recogito to annotate named entities in the Greek text of the Odyssey (with a discussion of his work here). We hope to do a great deal also with the annotations on English translations in ToposText (for an example produced by the Tufts Datalab, see here).

See this in Perseus 6.0 here.

Translation Alignments

Perseus 6 supports word and phrase alignments between source text and translation. Perseus 6.0 contains born-digital aligned translations of the Iliad 1 (in English and Persian) and Odyssey 5 (in English). More information is available here.

Greek to English (born-digital)

Persian to Greek born-digital translation and alignment (Iliad 1)

Syntax Trees

Beyond Translation is able to publish syntax trees (treebank data) within the Perseus reading environment. (To see this Treebank in Perseus 6.0, see here).

Open Commentary Integration

The New Alexandria Foundation Open Commentary Platform (OCP) uses the same CTS data model as does Perseus. We were thus already able to integrate commentary entries from the OCP. This is a very powerful feature because the OCP can manage annotations to any CTS text.

Bilingual Searching

Bilingual searching allows readers to search for terms in one language and then see their translation equivalents in the other. In Beyond Translation, users can explore this function by searching Greek words in the Iliad and Odyssey and seeing how they are translated. This method allows those with no training in the language to begin to see how words are used in context and thus to explore what they truly mean.

The example illustrates the method and its potential with a search for the Greek word, mênis, which is conventionally translated as “wrath” or “anger.”

More information is available here.

Interlinear Annotations

Perseus 6 is designed to align an open-ended set of annotation types. Here we we see the opening of Beowulf, with the lemmas (normalized dictionary forms), grammatical codes and glosses for each token. This is available in Perseus 6.0 here.

Textual Notes

Christopher Marlowe, the Passionate Shepherd.

The Bellum Alexandrinum, ed. Cynthia Damon

The Digital Latin Library Github source text for this edition is available here. The DLL reading environment for this edition is available here and includes features that we hope to add as well. The textual notes in Perseus 6.0 can be found here and the side-by-side translation can be found here.

Gabriele Alfinito: