Vinciator
© 2011 Abram Ring Need help? Contribute feedback.


The Vinciator can dynamically link any Latin or Greek texts to several online and offline morphological parsers and dictionaries.

Type or copy and paste your Latin and unicode Greek texts below.

Then click the button to link.





















HELP


What is Vinciator?

Vinciator is a program design to hotlink any unicode Greek or Latin text to any parser and dictionary. Once it links a file, you may save it somewhere on your computer (make sure to remember where you save it), and then use it again at any time by clicking the file to open it in your browser. Be sure to report any browser specific problems, as I use only Mozilla.

Why should I use Vinciator?

From my personal experience learning Anglo-Saxon with an electronic parser and lexical support (thanks to Peter Brown's Old English Aerobics), I found that I could read through texts without spending unnecessary time flipping through pages and managing multiple books. I spent more time with the texts themselves and could review my assignments more often which let me see the words in context more often. Personally contextual exposure helps me learn and retain meaning, and I believe that it does so for many if not all students of language.

Though I had used Perseus before, I found that it did not always have the texts that I wanted to read or that Perseus' version was from an outdated textual edition. I also found that Perseus' server was often overloaded and was sometimes down for maintenance. Thus I was spurred on to create LATNLINK, Lector Latinus, and now Vinciator in order to allow the user to link any Greek or Latin text and to change the link whenever a server was slow or down, simply by changing the dropdown menus at the top of the linked text. In fact, once the user installs Diogenes, it may be run in the background, and then the user may select to link their Latin and Greek texts to its parsers without the need for an internet connection.

Finally, I have found myself using numerous electronic resources in my research and teaching and have therefore spent many long hours looking at screens, so I am very interested in making resources user-friendly through attention to details such as font styles and sizes, eye-friendly contrast between background and foreground, different default print style (without a colored background to use up your ink), versatility (Vinciator automatically links Greek to Greek parsers and Latin to Latin parsers without requiring the users to mark up the text), and adaptability (the multi-linking capability of Vinciator). If you have any suggestions for making Vinciator more user friendly, please send them my way.

What is Vinciator not?

Vinciator and similar electronic resources like Perseus and Diogenes are not a substitute for basic education in Greek and Latin vocabulary and grammar. I do not recommend that beginning students (e.g. 1st or 2nd year secondary students or 1st or 2nd semester college students) use this kind of resource until they have finished their basic grammar instruction. A possible exception would be for mature students who have a solid, masterful knowledge of grammatical concepts from previous study of another language.

Vinciator and similar tools will not tell you the answer; they help you maximize your time. They simply provide you with morphological analysis and lexical information: the first, in case you forget a rare form or some of the many possibilities for an ambiguous form, and the second, in case you encounter a new word or need to be reminded of the idioms or range of meanings for one you know. In the end, you make the intellectual choices based on your own very human understanding of the context in the passage you are reading. To use a technological metaphor, never turn your own central processor off!

What can I do with the texts?

Please feel free to use this portal for all your Greek and Latin linking needs, and you have permission to distribute or host the linked files anywhere you want, though I would ask you to not remove my authorial attribution and contact information.

What are the parsers and lexica to which Vinciator links?

Perseus and its mirrors at Chicago and Berlin provide a select corpus of Greek and Latin texts that are linked to online parsers and lexica.

Words by William Whitaker has a different parser and Latin dictionary (with late and ecclesiastic vocabulary) designed by the author, and it has been hosted by Notre Dame.

Diogenes is a free platform independent program that was designed to aid users in searching and browsing the TLG and PHI databases of Greek and Latin texts. Since the Perseus project has made most of their code public, Peter Heslin has incorporated their morphological parsers and lexica into Diogenes to provide offline linking for Greek and Latin. Diogenes itself is tied to the TLG and PHI databases, but Vinciator and the Hopperizer (see below) can link any texts to Diogenes' implementation of the parsers and lexica. Once you install Diogenes, you need only start it up and have it run in the background when you want to use it with the linked texts that Vinciator produces. Download it here and get installation help for MAC, Windows, or Linux.

Finding Greek and Latin Texts

See the following:
Bibliotheca Augustana (Latin and Greek)
Perseus
Forum Romanum
Greek and Latin authors on Lacus Curtius
Attalus

Unicode Greek Resources

TLG's page on Greek unicode is very helpful.

The Hopperizer is great for converting several other Greek text formats to precomposed unicode (NFC ), and it can link texts, though it produces texts with fixed links to either the Perseus site or Diogenes and does not handle mixed Greek and Latin texts as Vinciator does.

This unicode normalizer converts other unicode formats to standard NFC which is the best format for Vinciator.

TypeGreek allows you to type simplified beta code and converts it to unicode.

Here is an overview of some good unicode fonts for Greek.

Feedback

If you encounter any errors or have ideas for improvements, please let me know and give detailed information. If there is an error in the linked file, please attach it to your email.

Thanks

Thanks to all those who have given helpful feedback on my classics programs in the past: LATNLINK (now defunct), Lector Latinus, my Roman calendar, my Roman clock (not yet published), and now Vinciator.

Thanks especially to Zach Leh who helped me detect a coding error where Vinciator failed to treat grave accents properly.

Thanks also to the following coding projects and authors from whom I derive inspiration (and, in some cases, specific code):
Everyone at the Perseus project and its mirror sites, Peter Heslin author of Diogenes, everyone at the Stoa consortium, especially the Suda On Line crowd, Kata Biblon host of the Hopperizer, William Whitaker author of Words, Randy Hoyt of TypeGreek, and all the other Classical coders out there.

Classical coders unite!