So you like the Ancient World? Good, then you are in the right place. Have you ever wondered how the research is done for the articles, blogs or books that you love reading? Yes? Then look no further! Of course, any good researcher starts with the traditional books and articles on the topic that you want to write about. Yet, I have found that there are a lot helpful digital tools that can save you some time, even reduce some of the grunt work. In this post, I want to give you some easy tools to help with your research.
Perseus Word study tool
I found this tool extremely useful when I was writing my PhD. Not only does it let you search for the conjugation, translation and other grammatical details of any Greek or Latin word via the Word Study Tool, the Digital Library also shows many of the literary texts – both in their original language and translations in English. This is very handy if you need to use the text in your piece of writing. If that was not enough, the website also has several other collections and databases for you to peruse. Make sure you check out the Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser!
CoinHoards is a research tool that has just gone online. As some of may know, I have an avid interest in numismatics and this new tool allows you to browse a database with the data of 2,387 hoards of coins in the Mediterranean between ca. 650 and 30 BC. When using the database, you will see an entry with a basic description, hoard mapping tools for the findspot and mint(s) where the coins found in the hoard were produced, bibliographical references, and a list of the hoard contents. Even though it is a very new tool, it has a lot of potential.
ToposText is another digital tool that I have found invaluable when doing my own research. While it is another online collection of ancient texts like Perseus, the beauty of this tool is that it allows you to browse a map of Greece or a list. Upon selecting a specific city or site, a table of two-line snippets from ancient authors pops up as well as an index list, which can be filtered by date, genre, and relevance. Therefore, you can immediately select and read the passages in ancient literature that give a place its historical and cultural meaning.
Attic inscriptions online
This is an collection of English translations of inscriptions from Athens and Attica. Updated regularly, it allows you to search for the translations and has an basic list of bibliographical references for epigraphy.
More exhaustive than the AIO, this allows you to search for inscriptions from the entire Greek World. The database is divided by region and shows you the original Greek text of the inscription. Some inscriptions also have additional information about the dimensions of the stone, the place it was found, etc.. A handy feature is the search engine which allows you to search the text of all the inscriptions.
A final tool that might be useful for those working with epigraphy and especially papyrology. Trismegistos is an online platform which allows you to explore several databases connected to literary texts of the ancient world. The core database, Trismegistos Texts, is a collection of metadata on published papyrological documents from Graeco-Roman Egypt. However, since its conception in 2005, other databases have been added and TM Texts has been expanded. It is definitely worth checking out!
This is just a short introduction to some of the digital tools that I have used a lot while doing my research in the past. I am constantly looking for new ones, which will soon be published on their own part of the website. In the mean time, check out and use the tools. Do you have a tip that you would like to share? Do not hesitate to get in touch!