Logos Bible Software has announced the addition of the Perseus Collection to their library for free. This is an amazing collection of resources and it is to Logos’ credit that they are not charging anything at all for the books. I originally wrote this post in 2011, and updated it in September 2022. I updated all the links and fixed a few minor typos. Many of the books are also available on Loebolus in PDF format.
The Perseus Project has been around since 1985, bringing classic literature to the internet. All of these books are out of copyright, most published before 1935. For example, Martial’s Epigrammata (Wilhelm Heraeus 1925/1976) was translated in 1993 by D. R. Shackleton Bailey for the Loeb Library, replacing the 1925 W. C. A. Kerr translation. The newer translation uses the latested Latin text (Teubner, 1990) and is translated into rather bawdy English in an attempt to catch the original spirit of Martial. These books are classical Greek and Latin texts and translations, commentaries and other resources. None of the Loeb Library volumes are included.
These are not scans (PDF, iReader, etc.). They are in full Logos- format resources with Greek words lemma-tagged. Potentially this means that you will be able to click on a word in Plato, for example, and find it in Liddell and Scott, BDAG, or BrillDAG. Click on a reference in BDAG and open the Greek resource. Latin resources are tagged with lemma and parsing information. Most Latin lexicons in Logos are Vulgate dictionaries, but Logos 9 will open a search using the Latin Study tool on the Perseus site.
Here is a list of the 1,114 items in the Classics Collection. This is an absolute treasure-trove of material which will enhance study of the Bible. For example, Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria, 9 books in Latin and English with notes by Harold Edgeworth Butler (1920-22). Several recent commentaries on Pauline letters make use of this rhetorical guide (Witherington on Galatians, for example). Likewise, the collection includes many volumes of Cicero’s letters which demonstrate the art of letter writing in the ancient world. In addition, there are numerous commentaries on important classic texts. For example, the collection includes Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War (in three translations) and several different author’s commentary on individual books.
In addition to the Classics collection, Logos is also offering 256 volumes in the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri at no cost. This is a fantastic resource for the study of NT vocabulary and textual criticism. For example, included in the collection are many published papyri from museums and libraries (the Greek Papyri in the British Museum for example), Nag Hammadi Codices, a couple of collections of Oxyrhynchus Papyri; Masada II, The Yigael Yadin Excavations 1963-1965 (Final Reports: The Latin and Greek Documents), and many others. it is difficult to tell at this point what this will look like in Logos, but the wealth of material here is amazes me. My hope is that (eventually) I will be able to click on a papyri link in BDAG or Moulton and Milligan and launch the document within Logos.
The catch? There isn’t one. If you are using Logos, you can download this massive collection for free. Check out the base packages: you should at least get Logos Fundamental ($49.99) or Basic (free) packages and take advantage of the free Logos Book of the Month promotion (check out my review of Logos 9). Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the free / cheap packages. All it takes is a Faithlife account, and you can read your books using the iOS or Android app, the Logos web app, or the (much more powerful) desktop version for both Windows or Mac.
The age of this material is a potential draw-back as well since there are newer, better translations of many of the important books in the collection. The only complaint I have heard over the last eleven years since I originally wrote this post is that some users were annoyed by over one thousand new books in their library. I like that kind of annoying!
3 thoughts on “Logos Bible Software and The Perseus Collection”
the entire collection is in fact downloaded to your hard drive.
I wrote this a month ago, since then several things have changed. One is that it is no longer 3000 items, since they used the Perseus Project’s numbers. The Richmond papers collection were counted as individual books, inflating the numbers a bit. I was also not really interested in that historical material and did not pre-order it anyway.
In addition, I have learned that you do download the books and that many of the books will be tagged so that your existing Greek lexicons will be used to identify words and forms. Some of the Latin will be as well, I suspect this is an ongoing tagging project and books will be updated as tagging is finished.
Still, the 1400+ items which are of interest to biblical scholars is overwhelming.