The Greek font sets.
Fonts for Classical (polytonic) Greek come in two basic types, or "codings": Unicode fonts, which use the ISO/Unicode standard; and other, idiosyncratic fonts. Many non-Unicode char sets use two consecutive characters to type a single Greek letter with its own spirit, accent or diacritic. Moreover, any use of special purpose Greek char sets needs to download and install the relevant fonts. When many Greek documents are treated simultaneously, e.g. during a research study, too many different char sets would be used simultaneously. In addition, it may be impossible or, at least, very difficult to translate a char set into another.
For these reasons the editorial board decided to report all Greek texts using the Palatino Linotype char set, which comes with Windows and belongs to the ISO Standard. One can thus cut and copy part of the texts and is not forced to download and install a collection of different char sets.
Moreover, this choice makes it possible to calculate both analytical indexes and concordances on these writings. In fact, indexes and concordances require that every letter be represented by only one character.
The following procedure may be a helpful way to import a large amount of Greek texts within a text editor. First, save the Acrobat file into the *.html format and then open it by a browser. Acrobat will save any Greek letter as «xxx;» coding format, where «xxxx» is a series of Arabic numbers. This is the ISO standard html representation of a character. The text editor will thus import from a standard coding. Obviously, Acrobat options should be set.
It is customary among researchers and theologians to refer to a given phrase out of the Migne’s text by identifying it using the author’s name, the title of the writing, and the volume number followed by the column label.
Downloaded documents do not contain the column number. In several cases some subjective labels are reported, but their meaning differs from case to case.
Therefore, we split the texts just after any full point, by introducing a line feed carriage return control sequence. In this way, our numeration unequivocally identifies the phrases in the order they appear. The old labels were retained and reported within square brackets «[ … ]» and they were placed as apex.
No correction has been made, but errors seem to be infrequent. Often one can find several words without the black space as separator, undue carriage return - line feed control characters, as well as a sequence of arbitrarily introduced characters, perhaps markers of the editor. Anyway, our texts retain the paging style they come from.
When more than four GB archives are concerned, analytical indexes may be very useful. It is obviously possible to use the «search» function of the text editor, but such a function works only within the limits of the given document. Moreover, many researchers prefer to use the classic analytic index. Dealing with an electronic edition, analytical indexes have been made for all the words.
Moreover, this index is a powerful tool to detect typing errors and allow one to debug them using the «replace» function, to save time and improve productivity and precision.
We placed the analytical index just at the end of each file.
Just before the analytical index we placed two tables, reporting the frequencies of every Greek character. The first table deals with letters without spirit, accent and diacritical, the second one with all the other Greek letters with their own spirit, accent and diacritical.
These contingency tables may be a useful tool to study the dictionary of a given author, since they represent his fingerprint. Moreover, one should realize that Greek Patrology spreads from the first to the fourteenth century and that the Greek language shows great variations over that time.
Concordances (Lexica Propria).
Lexicum Proprium seu 'Concordances' means to read occurrences of a given term (or expression) in the context the word comes from, that is, the whole phrases. Given a text or several texts of the same or several authors, the concordance program provides as many files as the words found in all these writings. The name of these files is the word itself. Each file holds the collection of all the phrases where the word of interest can be found in all the considered texts. Before or beside each phrase, we have reported the author, title of the writing to which the phrase belongs, and the relative reference. The reference is usually clickable, to see the full text just in the point where the phrase of interest can be found. Please, note that the efficiency of the pointer function depends on the type and setting of the web browser you are using.
As far as the concordances are concerned, we provide these tools on the Opera Omnia of every author, that is, simultaneously on his whole production. We report the full phrase, not just a few words before and after the term of interest, to make it fully understandable in its context.
Such a procedure allows one to build the dictionary of the author using just his words. It may be of interest to study how the conceptual content of a given word can change over the time, and may be useful to avoid interpretation, and therefore translation, errors.
Moreover, please note that the same word can hold different meaning when encountered in different contexts.
For your knowledge, this is the first attempt to build an exhaustive electronic dictionary of all the texts of the Greek Patristic. Cleary, it should be improved, but we hope that reader will appreciate our work.
As far as concordances are concerned, every author needs several GB of hard disk space. The relevant download from the URL actually needs several hours, even using a high speed connection. For this reason we placed into this Internet site only the concordances of few authors. Visitors can request by mail the lexica propria of a given author and the Cooperatorum Veritatis Societas will send it at cost price using one or more DVDs.
Besides the digitalized edition, the site also holds the full set of high resolution digital images of all the volumes of the Migne Greek Patrology. Each volume is about 500-800 MB large even using a medium definition setting.
These digital images belong to the reserved area of the site, that is the members’ area.
Latin translations of Migne's Greek texts.
Migne Patrologia Graeca provides the Latin translation of almost all the Greek texts. The language label «GM» characterizes the documents which report both Greek and Latin texts.
Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae (CSHB).
The original writings of Byzantine historians are of fundamental interest to better understand the texts carried over from Migne Patrologia Graeca. Therefore, we posted a large collection of historical texts taken from the «Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae», which bear the label CSHB. CSHB is no longer under copyright.
For reasons of practicality and provisionally, these texts are listed along with those of Migne Patrologia Graeca and bear the Language extension «GR»..
Abbreviations and acronyms.
The language extension «MGR» refers to Greek texts coming from Migne Patrologia Graeca and Migne Patrologia Latina (one should remember that several texts contained in the MPL were written in Greek language).
The language extension «GM» refers to Greek texts which are reported as high quality digital images of the Migne Patrologia Graeca.
The language extension «GR» refers to Greek texts which do not come from Migne Patrologia Graeca and Migne Patrologia Latina, except the volumes of Migne Patrologia Graeca scanned by Google.
The label «CSHB» placed at the end of the title identifies the texts coming from the Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae.
External Links to our files
Cooperatorum Veritatis Societas thanks all those who linked files placed on its site.
Please, link exclusively to the *.html index pages of the Authors, not to the documents.
The *.html index pages will remain unchanged over the time, whereas address, title and extension of documents may have to change, e.g., when we find a more accurate text.
Moreover, dealing with more than 60,000 documents, from time to time their allocations within the database may be changed. This topic is particularly important because we are adding almost a thousand new files each month.
We are working toward the definitive edition. Columns, numbers and footnotes will be added, and the writings will be thoroughly revised. We are also working toward the Latin texts, which are enclosed within the Migne Greek handbook, mainly translations of the Greek texts. Surely, these writings also belong to the Migne’s Greek Patrology and cannot be excluded from a full edition. Moreover, these Latin translations are really useful to deeply understand the meaning of the Patristic author’s Greek phrases and words: please, always remember that the Greek language varies over time. In our opinion this is the main reason by which several translations are poor and often misleading. We can suppose that the final work should be available by the end of the next year.
Our site has been made taking in mind actual and future technologies. Thereby, Internet pages were made to be seen using a 1600x1200 screen. Lower resolutions can severely reduce the readability of the texts. Similarly, files are usually large and high capacity hard disks are mandatory. Consequently, fast connection should be used.
As one can see, every file holds a full text. Therefore visitors are no longer obliged to download a lot of little single pages as well as to rebuild the full text by merging and editing a number of different parts.
Please, do not use a robot to download automatically all the site. Almost always, it is unnecessary to download simultaneously the whole site. Moreover, this procedure improperly rises our connection cost.
In the case one should need texts for an amount greater than 500 MB, please ask our Society and, when appropriate, we will send a CD or a DVD. This opportunity concerns homogeneous blocks of texts, e.g., the works of a given author. Via CD and/or DVD we can only distribute texts that are under our copyright.
According to international and local laws dealing with copyright, we cannot authorize or provide mirror sites.
Dear friend, please remember that disk space and connection have a cost: the more the traffic, the higher the cost. We provide a lot of free texts, but putting all the available materials on line is really too expensive for our Society.
As any Catholic opus, Cooperatorum Veritatis Societas is founded by members's salaries and alms.
We are only humble vintners who work in the Lord's Vineyard, ad majorem Dei gloriam.
We hope that many people will help us to correct and edit these texts properly. Suggestions and criticisms will be welcomed. The final goal is to make available all the texts coming from the Migne’s Latin and Greek edition without any charge. This is an expensive and time consuming work, and the initial releases should be improved over the time. Patrology is a heritage that does not belong only to the Catholic Church but to the whole of humanity.
How to request Documents and/or Lexica Propria
Please, read with the upmost care and follow the instructions which are reported in this form.
Datum die 15 mensis Novembris Anni Domini MMVII, solemni die festo Sancti Alberti Magni, isti loci patronus defensorque.
We thank with gratitude our american friend Steve who reviewed and improved some parts of this text.