Logos 4.3 and The Perseus Collection: 3000+ Free Books

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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.

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 or BDAG, or click on a reference in BDAG and open the Greek resource.  I did not see anything in the announcement which indicates that the Latin texts will be lemma-tagged, but I would not be surprised if this was included as well.  I am not sure if there is a good Latin Lexicon in the Logos library, I only own the tiny Vulgate dictionary and do not see anything on their site which might be similar to BDAG or Liddell and Scott for Latin.

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? You have to be using Logos 4.3 and you need to pre-order the collections.  The good news is that the base package for Logos 4.3  is free for the PC and Mac, as are the iPad / iPhone / Android apps.  It is possible some people will be unable to use Logos 4.3 if they are using an older computer, but most should have no trouble running the core program.

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.  I am not sure how this will work once they begin “shipping” since Logos 4.3 resources are cloud-based.  It is possible a user will have access to the books, but will not actually download them until they access a volume.  I am hoping that these resources are fully available for use in the Logos iPad app.  Since they are all out of copyright, I can see no reason why they would not be.

Be sure to visit the Logos site and pre-order the Classics and Papyri collections.