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Locating materials on CSL

[ Author Index ]    [ Search Engine ]    [ Secondary Materials ]

This project seeks to catalogue the entire body of Latin literature, spanning from the earliest epigraphic remains to the Neo-Latinists of the eighteenth century. That alone equates to tens of thousands of Latin texts, and when you throw in the translations and secondary materials that are also available through this site, there's quite a lot to sort through.

At present, the CSL catalogue is arranged alphabetically by author, with title, genre, and chronological indices currently in the process of being compiled.

Author Index   [
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To find the complete listing of an author's works (along with any texts and translations that are available for that author), one option is to search the author index for the most common name by which that author is known: for example, look under Vergilius Maro, Publius for Publius Vergilius Maro and Cicero, Marcus Tullius for Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Of course, it is not always obvious which of a particular author's three names should come first in an alphabetical listing, and indeed, not even trained classicists can agree on these points. Therefore, while CSL (sometimes arbitrarily) adopts its own ordering for each author, we also insert redirecting links for the other arrangements, helping those who might look under Albinovanus Pedo instead of Pedo, Albinovanus, etc.

And by similar reasoning, the index also includes any anglicized versions of author names that may be so far removed from the original Latin that the connection is no longer obvious. Thus, anyone who looks for Jerome will be redirected to Hieronymus, while Alain de l'Isle, Alan of Lille, and Alan von Ryssel will all take you to the same page for Alanus ab Insulis. To avoid glutting an already large catalogue, not all of these variations will be listed in the main index, but all known variants of an author's name can be found on that particular author's page. To locate an author with one of these forms, use the search box in the left-hand sidebar.

Just because you've found an author's proper listing, however, doesn't necessarily mean you're in the clear. For example, the following three consecutive entries may be found in the index:

Aemilius Lepidus, Marcus Epist. (fl. 180 BCE)
Aemilius Lepidus, Marcus Orat. (fl. 80 BCE)
Aemilius Lepidus, Marcus Epist. (89 - 13/12 BCE)

If you're looking for literary output from the overshadowed member of the Second Triumvirate, you'll have to use the additional information to the right of these names in order to decide which one to choose. In this particular example, the chronological information on the far right will immediately tell you that the third entry must be the Lepidus you're looking for, since the other two are too old to have participated in the fall of the Roman Republic.

In addition to the approximate dates for each author, another bit of information comes directly after the author's name, where an italicized abbreviation denotes the genre(s) in which that particular author wrote. Returning to the Lepidus entries, you can see that the first and the third Marcus Aemilius Lepidus wrote letters, while the middle one was an orator. The complete listing of all generic epithets used in these listings is as follows:

Agr. = agriculture, land surveying
Arch. = architecture
Astr. = astronomy, astrology
Biogr. = biography
Comic. = comedy
Comm. = commentary, literary criticism
Eleg. = elegy
Epic. = epic
Epigram. = epigrams
Epist. = letters
Fab. = fables
Geogr. = geography, ethnography
Gramm. = grammar, philology, lexicography
Hist. = history
Hymn. = hymns
Inscript. = inscriptions
Iurispr. = jurisprudence
Leg. = laws, decrees
Lyr. = lyric poetry
Math. = mathematics, geometry
Med. = medicine
Mim. = mime
Mus. = music
Myth. = mythography
Orat. = oratory
Phil. = philosophy
Poet. = miscellaneous poetry
Rhet. = rhetoric
Satir. = satire
Tact. = military science
Theol. = theological and ecclesiastical works
Trag. = tragedy
Transl. = translation (usually from Greek to Latin)

When an author wrote in more than one of these genres, multiple abbreviations will be listed next to his name. Likewise, authors whose works are not so easily catalogued may not have any generic epithets listed.

Search Engine   [
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We are currently exploring possibilities for developing a search engine specifically tailored to CSL's resources, but until we're able to make that available, we're providing a simple search tool powered by Picosearch.

This search engine works according to the typical Boolean operators, accepting both +/- and AND/OR/NOT in defining the parameters of a particular search. These rules work as follows:

  • Typing in one or more words without any particular operators will search for any of the words.

  • Surrounding two or more words in double quotes ("...") will search for an exact phrase.

  • Typing + in front of a word or a quoted phrase requires that this word or phrase appear in the results, while typing - in front of a word or a quoted phrase excludes it from the results.

  • You may also include/exclude words and phrases by typing AND or NOT in front of them.


 Query   Search results 
Julius Caesar

All pages that mention either 'Julius' or 'Caesar.' Thus, you will get all references to 'Julius Caesar,' but this search will also report matches for such people as 'Julius Agricola' and 'Augustus Caesar'

"Julius Caesar"

Only those pages that contain the exact phrase 'Julius Caesar'

+Tiberius +Augustus


Tiberius AND Augustus

All pages that contain both 'Tiberius' and 'Augustus'

+Tiberius -Gracchus


Tiberius NOT Gracchus

All pages that contain 'Tiberius' but not 'Gracchus.' You would use this if you were looking for Tiberius the emperor and not Tiberius Gracchus the tribune.

Other notes about the search engine:

Capitalization doesn't matter.

Don't be so specific that you end up excluding results that may actually be exactly what you're looking for. Such words as 'picture', 'Roman', and 'ancient' are utterly useless when searching this site (which has pictures on every page and is all about Romans, who happen to be ancient). Words like these end up killing an otherwise good search.

Especially if you're looking for Latin words, it may help to include several forms of the word in the same search. For example, if you wanted to find all references to Tarpeia in the texts, your search could look like this:

Tarpeia Tarpeiae Tarpeiam

without any quotation marks or plus signs (since you would want any of these results).

And most important of all, do your best to use the search engine as a last resort. The content within this site is organized along some very clear schemes, and it is often much easier to take the few necessary seconds to examine this setup and think about where you might find what you're looking for. If you depend entirely on punching word combinations into a little white box, I guarantee that you will miss a number of valuable resources.

Secondary Materials   [
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In addition to our large offering of Latin texts and translations, this site also contains a number of secondary resources that provide background information on a wide range of topics. These materials are fully integrated into the current design (for example, authors are linked to passages that refer to them), but a full listing of all available secondary sources may be found on this page.