Perseus 2.0:


Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Lookup Tool
  3. The English Index
  4. The Search Saver
  5. The Browser
  6. Some useful Perseus related WWW sites:


Introduction

Perseus 2.0, a Macintosh HyperCard program created by the Perseus Project, contains a vast collection of texts, tools, and images relating to the study of the ancient Greek world. The Perseus Gateway and Navigator Palette provide easy access to all Perseus data collections.

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These collections are represented as icons in the Perseus Gateway and are labeled: HISTORICAL OVERVIEW, ESSAYS & CATALOGUES, TOOLS & REFERENCES, ART & ARCHAEOLOGY, ATLAS, and PRIMARY TEXTS. By clicking on any icon in the Gateway, you can directly access that collection of information. Navigating or following links within a specific collection is simple and straightforward and needs no further explanation. For example, you can read a Perseus encyclopedia entry about the city of Athens and follow the links within the article to view maps, images, building plans, or read a Greek text about Athens.

If there is a particular topic you would like to study, or you are searching for information relating to a specific text or object, finding references to your area of interest in any or all of the Perseus' resources can be challenging. Happily, Perseus contains a number of tools that make collecting and sorting data simple; these are: The Browser, the English Index, the Lookup Tool, and the Search Saver. Each tool allows you to search for and create collections of references to any subject, topic, or theme within Perseus. Although these tools allow you to search and browse through all or most of the Perseus data collections at once, they will return different sets of results. This QuickGuide will not present an exhaustive overview of Perseus 2.0, rather it will summarize how to use The Browser, the English Index, the Lookup Tool, the Search Saver, and review the kinds of search results you can expect to receive. Always remember that you may need to use more than one search tool to get the most information out of Perseus.

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The Lookup Tool

Users can access the Lookup tool from the LINKS menu at the top of the Perseus screen. The Lookup tool allows you to make a global search of the Perseus databases with a single word or phrase. Searches using the Lookup tool tend to be in the form of a personal name, an object's name, a place name, or a broad topic or theme, for example,Hera, krater, Persia, Democracy. The Lookup tool will identify all resources containing your word or phrase (including related words), and point you toward the Perseus databases that contain information about that word or phrase.

For example, if a user types Poseidonia in the Lookup tool, Lookup will return results in two columns.

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The first column - the COULD BE column - lists the word you typed, Poseidonia, as well as Poseidonius, and Paestum, both of which are words related to the term Poseidonia. Your original term will be highlighted and the second column will list the resources within Perseus that contain information about Poseidonia: Poseidonia is in the ATLAS, it is a CONTEXT FOR VASES, a MINT FOR COINS, a SITE FOR ARCHITECTURE, it is in the ENCYCLOPEDIA, in the SITE CATALOGUE, and in the ENGLISH INDEX.

You can also click on either Paestum or Poseidonius to see the resources related to these words. You can click on any of the resources listed in the second column and go directly to that section of Perseus. Be aware that when you click on an item in the second column the Lookup tool will disappear and erase the search you have just performed. You will have to perform the search with the Lookup tool again, if you want to access any of the other search results.
N.B. If you want to search for all occurrences of a word or phrase in any of the English texts contained in Perseus, you need to use the English Index. The Lookup tool will only give to pointers to resources in Perseus where your word or phrase can be found.

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The English Index

Users can access the English Index from the LINKS menu at the top of the screen. The English Index allows you to perform word searches in English on all of the English texts in all of the Perseus databases. The English Index is exactly that, an index of all the words in Perseus occurring in the translations of the primary texts, the works of a specific author, the Atlas, the Encyclopedia, the Historical Overview, and the Art and Archaeology catalogues.

The English Index interface allows you to chose where and how Perseus searches its databases for your words. Type the word you are looking for in the LOOK FOR field, in this example we typed "Hera". Then click on the POSITION field to tell Perseus how to search for the word "Hera". You have four choices:



Once you have chosen the POSITION of your search term, you can tell Perseus how to narrow its search in the SHOW LIST AT field. The choices are: When you have made all your choices, click on the DO SEARCH button. The results of your search will appear in two columns.

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The first column will list the search term or terms (depending on the criterion you have chosen in the POSITION FIELD). The second column will list the Perseus references for the term you highlight. Just above the second column will be a message informing you how many "pages" (column screens) of references Perseus has found. To go to a reference, highlight it and then press the GO THERE button.
N.B. You can save all the Perseus references to a permanent file for future use, otherwise, you will need to hold down the SHIFT key each time you press the GO THERE button, or use the curved back arrow in the Palette in order to return to the references in the English Index.

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The Search Saver

The Search Saver and Search Saver To Notebook tools work hand in hand with the English Index. Whenever you perform a search in the English Index, you can save the search results in a new window or in a notebook file so you don't have to worry about your results being erased every time you follow up on a link. To save one page of English Index search results, click on the left most icon in the Navigator Palette. It looks like this *.


If the English Index returned more than one page of search results (it will tell you when it does) you will need to use Search Saver To Notebook instead; Search Saver will only save one page of material, Search Saver To Notebook will save an unlimited number of pages. To save two or more pages of English Index search results, choose SEARCH SAVER TO NOTEBOOK from the PERSEUS menu at the top of the Perseus screen.

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You can label your notebook entry in the field at the top of the card. Your note card will be saved in the Notebook Index. To use your notecard in future Perseus sessions, choose NOTEBOOK from the PERSEUS menu, click on the NOTEBOOK INDEX button, and choose your notecard from the list of cards.
N.B. Both Search Saver and Search Saver To Notebook will work in many of the Perseus databases, not just the English Index. Neither the Search Saver or Search Saver To Notebook will work with the Lookup tool.

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The Browser

Perseus' Browser is yet another tool for searching the Perseus. The browser provides access to the VASES, SCULPTURE, COINS, SITES, and ARCHITECTURE databases. Access the Browser by clicking on the Browser icon in the Perseus Gateway menu, it looks like this: *.


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The Browser is extremely easy to use. The database categories are listed on the right side of the Browser window. Choose a category and Perseus automatically presents an alphabetical list of items. To change the criteria by which this list of resources is sorted, click on the words in boldface above the resource list. Keep your finger on the mouse button and scroll through the categories.

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When you find a category that suits your search, release the mouse button and Perseus will automatically sort the resources according to the criterion you have chosen. In this example, we have selected the ARCHITECTURE database. A list of architectural resources will appear in the next window. Then click on the boldfaced heading and choose REGION. Perseus will re-sort the architectural resources and display them in order by region.

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Click on any of the resources and Perseus will list the information for each item associated with that resource in the columns below.

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Click on the THUMBS button to browse through thumbnail images of each item or click on the item name to go its image catalogue.
N.B. The Search Saver and Search Saver To Notebook can also be used in the Browser

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Last Updated: 01/24/97
URL: http://www.indiana.edu/~letrs/QuickGuides/perseus/about-perseus.html
Comments: Library Electronic Text Resource Service / LETRS@indiana.edu.
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