Classics and Archaeology Virtual Museum


About Perseus

Perseus is a set of interactive resources for the study of Classical Greece.

Perseus 2.0 contains some 24,000 art and archaeology images and two-thirds of surviving Classical Greek literature up to the death of Alexander the Great, in Greek with English translation. The list of texts is being extended to include works of the Byzantine era.

These are supplemented by

The Art and Archaeology resources include images and full descriptive catalogue entries for:

Works of the following authors are included: Aeschines, Aeschylus, Andocides, Antiphon, Apollodorus, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Bacchylides, Demades, Demosthenes, Dinarchus, Diodorus Siculus, Euripides, Herodotus, Hesiod, Homer, Homeric Hymns, Hyperides, Isaeus, Isocrates, Lycurgus, Lysias, Pausanius, Pindar, Plato, Plutarch, Pseudo-Xenophon, Sophocles, Strabo, Thucydides, Xenophon (click here to see a list of authors and works available at the Perseus website).

The Philological Tools allow you to analyse any form of a word, to find it in the dictionary, find all the instances of that word in all its forms in an author or all the authors, and to go from the citations to the text. The dictionary has a reverse English-Greek index.

Many of the site plans have 'hot spots' so you can call up plans or photographs of particular buildings.

The Atlas includes colour contour maps and satellite images. You can plot sites and calculate the distance between them.

An outstanding feature of Perseus is the full indexing and cross-linking of almost every word in both Greek and English. You can search in a great number of ways.

There are two versions of Perseus that you can access from the University of Melbourne campus. The world wide web version is based at Tufts University and can be accessed from anywhere. The CD version has been mounted on a campus fileserver and is restricted to on-campus access.

The CD version of Perseus has all the images, but only the medium-sized version of LSJ. The web version has the full LSJ, but not all the images.

Web Version

To connect to the web of Perseus click here. Click here for instructions on viewing the Greek and downloading an appropriate Greek font.

The Perseus web server is located at Tufts University (just a couple of stops up from Harvard and MIT). You can connect to this edition of Perseus via any browser (Netscape, Internet Explorer etc) from any networked computer on or off campus. The connection to the USA can sometimes be a bit slow.

The web version has the full LSJ dictionary, but not all the images. There is also an outline of Greek syntax, and other goodies such as Roman Perseus.

The more adventurous might like to download and install the beta release of Platform Independent Perseus 2.0 for Mac® and Windows®. This is a special browser custom-designed for Perseus, much faster and with more features than general purpose browsers, and the interface is very similar to the Gateway familiar to those who have used the CD (see below for instructions on how to navigate around Perseus).

CD Version

The CD version can be accessed from any networked Macintosh computer on campus. You connect to it via the Chooser (under the Apple menu). If you are reading this from an on-campus Macintosh computer, you can connect to Perseus Disk 1 now without closing these instructions (you may have to move a window to be able to see things):

Connect to Perseus Disk 1

  1. From under the Apple menu select Chooser.
  2. Click once on the Appleshare icon (top left quarter) to select it.
  3. In the lower left quarter, select the zone unimelb-spine.
  4. In the top right quarter select the file server ARTILLA.
  5. Click OK.
  6. In the next window, click type in the user name perseus and the password perseus, then click OK.
  7. In the next window, scroll down the list of volumes and select (click on) the volume name Perseus disk 1, then click OK.
  8. Close the Chooser window. The icon of "Persus disk 1" should appear on your desktop.

Install Perseus Player

A folder called "Local Stacks" has to be installed on your hard disk, and you will need to install a Greek font. You do this only once.

Open up "Perseus disk 1". In the top left corner double-click on the file called


Read the instructions carefully. Everything you need is on "Perseus disk 1" (easier to find things if you view its contents as a list).

When the software and font has been installed, there will be a folder called "Local Stacks" on your hard disk. Inside this folder you will find "Perseus Player". Double-click on "Perseus Player" to launch the program.

Navigating Around Perseus (CD and Platform Independent versions)

Step 1

When you start Perseus Player or the Platform Independent Perseus, two windows open:

The Perseus Gateway:

and the floating Navigator Palette:

To park the Navigator Palette in a convenient place on your screen:

  1. Use the mouse to move the pointer to the top bar (as illustrated).
  2. Holding down the mouse button, drag the Navigator somewhere else.
  3. Release the mouse button when the Navigator is where you want to park it.

Step 2

For a list of guided tours, click on the Paths icon in the Gateway:

Step 3

The Paths Index card opens. Double-click the name of the Novice Tour path to open it:

Step 4

The Paths Index is replaced by the Path Note and the Notebook. Read the Notebook carefully:

Step 5

To go to the next location in this path, click the tip of the pointer on the right arrow of the Paths icon on the Navigator Palette:

Step 6

At each location, read the whole Path Note first before following any of its instructions.

Further Help

For further help, click here for the full Perseus 2.0 User's Guide written by William Merrill.

Here is the official online help guide.

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