Tuesday, 6 December 2022


I’ve made various resources available online over the years: the following is a static record of them. (There are disadvantages to announcing these things somewhere like Twitter: (a) the announcement will only be visible for a week or so; (b) if the Twitter account should happen to be closed the announcement will be deleted altogether.)

A searchable corpus of early Greek hexameter poetry

  • Iliad and Odyssey, edited by Helmut van Thiel (1991–2010; plain text, Beta Code, no diacritics or punctuation)
  • Non-Homeric hexameter, compiled by P. Gainsford (2015; plain text, Beta Code, no diacritics or punctuation)

Back in the 2000s the late Professor Dr Helmut van Thiel hosted the text of his editions of Homer on his homepage at the Universität Köln, making them freely available. He gave them as PDF files containing plain text versions of his edited texts, under the titles iliaspur, odysspur, and a combined version in one file, homerpur. Van Thiel’s homepage is long since gone. Following his death in 2014 it seems unlikely that the university will make these files available again. I have exported the text from the PDF files, and today I uploaded it to Zenodo.org.

A long time ago I realised that this format — plain text Beta Code, with no diacritics or punctuation, and with a text reference at the start of every line — was ideal for searching for metrical formulas, or indeed any kind of phrasing. But the absence of a comparable edition of other extant hexameter poetry was troubling. So in 2015 I released a plain text compilation of my own, using van Thiel’s Homer as a model.

In van Thiel’s Homer, each line is annotated from A1 to W804 (Iliad) and a1 to w548 (Odyssey).

My ‘non-Homeric hexameter’ has abbreviations listed at the start. It contains: the Hesiodic poems and fragments; the Homeric hymns; the contents of Bernabé’s PEG; Xenophanes; Parmenides; Terpander; epigraphic hexameters from Hansen’s CEG, Wachter’s Non-Attic Greek vase inscriptions, and other editions; early hexameters reported in Herodotos, the Lives of Homer, Pausanias, and Clement of Alexandria; oracles attributed to the Delphic Pythia; textual variants, where practical; and variants with and without standardised orthography. Spaces are added before and after every line to simplify use of regular expressions. Digamma and qoppa are encoded as additions to Beta Code (v and j respectively).

A feature-rich text editor such as Notepad++ is a powerful tool for analysing repeated phrases such as formulas. Notepad++ has commands for ‘Find All in current Doucment’ and ‘Find All in All Opened Documents’ which will produce a list of results in context, including the line reference. Each result is clickable and takes you to the full context. See the image below for an example. Notepad++ supports regular expressions. It is much faster than using the TLG, and far more powerful.

A Notepad++ window showing tabs for van Thiel’s Homer and my ‘non-Homeric hexameter’ compilation. In this screenshot, I have done a search of ‘all opened documents’ for the phrase Poseidawni anakti, Beta Code for Ποσειδάωνι ἄνακτι. The lower panel shows the search results: the search-term Poseidawni anakti is highlighted in its immediate context in each line; line-references are at the left. The upper panel shows the full context for the currently selected search result: Catalogue of women, Hesiodica fr. 136 Merkelbach-West, line 17. Note that the search results from ‘NAGVI’ (Wachter’s Non-Attic Greek vase inscriptions) are annotated as using standardised orthography: the original orthography (Π̣ο̣τ̣[ε?]ι̣δάνι ϝ[άνακτι], Ποτιδάϝονι ϝάνατ(τ)ι, etc.) is also in the file, given in Beta Code.

Early Greek hexameter inscriptions

While I was writing Early Greek hexameter poetry (Cambridge, 2015) I realised that there was no straightforward index of early hexameter inscriptions. Editions such as Hansen’s CEG do not normally have a metrical index.

I therefore realised it was necessary to create an index myself. The result appears on pp. 31–32 of the book. As part of the indexing process, I also made a full-text compilation of all available hexameter inscriptions. I uploaded this compilation to Zenodo.org in July 2019.

Unlike CEG, my compilation indicates long vowels with a macron (except where they already possess a circumflex). Cross-references are given between Hansen’s CEG; Wachter’s Non-Attic Greek vase inscriptions; Peek’s Griechische Vers-Inschriften; Pfohl’s Greek poems on stones; Inscriptiones graecae; Supplementum epigraphicum graecum; and versions with ionicised orthography in Friedländer’s Epigrammata.

The inscriptions are ordered roughly chronologically in fifty-year blocks, and are numbered 1 to 218.


Work in progress. A simple list of links to online copies of published editions of Greek papyri. Most links are to The internet archive.

The list includes 84 volumes of The Oxyrhynchus papyri (1898–2019), three volumes of The Tebtunis papyri, and assorted volumes of papyri held at Hamburg, Michigan, and elsewhere. Suggestions for additions to the list would be welcome.


Work in progress. A simple list of links to online copies of published editions of Greek inscriptions. Most links are to The internet archive.

The list includes 47 volumes of MDAI(A) (1876–1925), and assorted other volumes. As pointed out in the list, De.wikisource.org lists many volumes that I do not: that is because many of their links are not publicly available (Google Books, HathiTrust). Suggestions for additions to the list would be welcome.


  1. How about Perale's Adespota Papyracea Hexametra Graeca (de Gruyter, 2020)? Contains hexameter papyri from Egypt.

    1. These lists are open access materials -- I'd love to include more, but the books need to be open access first!