Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Vergil project

[First posted in AWOL 10 August 2012, updated 28 December 2019]

The Vergil project: Resources for Students, Teachers, and Readers of Vergil
The Vergil Project is a resource for students, teachers, and readers of Vergil's Aeneid. It offers an on-line hypertext linked to interpretive materials of various kinds. These include basic information about grammar, syntax, and diction; several commentaries; an apparatus criticus; help with scansion; and other resources.

The text

The display text that appears on the left side of the screen is that of the old OCT by Hirtzel (1900), with modifications. Each word is linked to a variety of resources that can be selected from the sidebar. The text initially displayed is always the first twenty-five lines of the poem. The user can then navigate to another book and line number by using the two slider bars that appear at the top of the screen, above the text and resources.

The sidebar

The right side of the screen contains a sidebar that is divided into four sections. By default each of these sections is visible, but each can be hidden or reopened at the user's discretion by clicking on the icon ( or ) in the top left corner of each box.
  1. The Options section allows the user to customize the display. Choices include:
    • Displaythe text in units of 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, or 1,000 lines.
    • Select from among the different kinds of resources. As a whole, these are available in three forms:
      • In-line textual aids are included within the text of the poem and are displayed in one of three ways:
        1. Modern punctuation is simply inserted into the primary text.
        2. Textual variantsappear as asterisks next to any word for which a variant reading (whether attested or conjectural) exists. Each different reading appears as a separate asterisk. Passing the cursor over these asterisks displays the alternate reading along with the sources that attest or endorse it.
        3. Natural vowel quantities replaces the original text with one that marks long and short vowel quantities. The individual words remain linked to other resources.
      • Mouse hover textual aid appears when the cursor is rolled over a particular word in the text
      • Sidebar resources are available in several areas that are arranged to the right of the text.
      Some resources are available in more than one of these forms so that users can consult them in the form that they find most convenient. Resources that involve displaying large amounts of text are generally available only as sidebar resources.
  2. The Reading assistance section contains basic information about grammar, syntax, and diction in the form of an approximate English equivalent for each word in context.
  3. The Concordance section lists every other occurrence of the same word in the poem, including all grammatical forms.
  4. The Resources for selected text gives access to several commentaries and translations of the Aeneid and to a full list of textual variants. < /li>

Release notes

Version 2.0

This is the first major upgrade to The Vergil Project since its original release. The most obvious feature of this release is the redesign of the user interface. New content features include additional analysis of gramamr and syntax, textual variants, natural vowel quantities, a more complete concordance function, the Servius commentary, and the translations of John Dryden (1697, a classic and somewhat free poetic rendering) and Theodore C. Williams (1910, also poetic but in a more modern idiom). These texts were digitized by The Perseus Digital Library. The textual variants listed here are based on the apparatus critici of the editions of R. A. B. Mynors' (the current OCT, 1969) and Mario Geymonat (Corpus Paravianum 1973). The new grammatical analysis is based on that of M. N. Wetmore's Index Verborum Vergilianus (1911), against which the older analysis has been checked.


  • Mary Costigan, Senior Director, SAS Computing, University of Pennsylvania - technical consulting and project coordination
  • Seth Fromer, A.B. '09, University of Pennsylvania - digitization of texts
  • Charles Ham, Classical Studies Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania - digitization of texts
  • Jay Treat, Educational Technology Services, SAS Computing, University of Pennsylvania - technical consulting
  • J. Reuben Wetherbee, SAS Computing, IRAD, University of Pennsylvania - programming and redesign of site

Version 1.0

After some initial experimentation and proof of concept beginning in 1995, The Vergil Project was created by a group of secondary school, college, and university teachers and graduate students in a pair of sumer workshops held at the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 and 2000. During that time the text of Aeneid 1, 2, 4, 6, and other of the most commonly studied parts of the poem were analyzed grammaticaly and syntactically. In addition, these parts of the poem were provided with a basic glossary and with the elements of an original commentary and other resources.

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