Saturday, August 2, 2008

Patrologia Cursus Completus, Series Graeca

Note: If the words Schaff or Migne don't mean anything to you, I recommend skipping down to the picture at the bottom of this post.

Logos Bible Software recently announced plans to publish a searchable electronic edition of 18 out of the 161 massive volumes of Jacques Paul Migne's Patrologia Graeca. The volumes they have selected correspond roughly to Philip Schaff's English translation of the ante-Nicene church fathers, but include other patristic texts not translated in Schaff. Unfortunately, this Logos edition will not be tagged for morphology or word lemmas at this stage, but the text itself will be searchable, and wealthy Logos users will appreciate its integration with other reference works in their Logos libraries. Everything but the $400 pre-publication price tag is nice.

Thankfully, there are cheaper alternatives:
  • The Religion and Technology center (link not working) offers all 160 volumes as pdf images for $300.
  • If you plan to do a lot of searching in extra-biblical Greek, and your library does not subscribe to it already, why not order a five-year individual subscription to the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae? For the same price as the Logos package you get almost everything written in Greek between Homer and the fall of Constantinople.
Even better, Migne can be had for FREE:
The bottom line: Why pay for what you can get for free?

(From our July 31 trip to the Nicolle Flats Nature Reserve at Buffalo Pound. The occasion: t's birthday.)


Luis said...

Hola, como va?, muy buen Blog, voy a seguir pasando, cuando quieras pasate por el mio, Saludos!! que andes bien


Bill Erlenbach said...

David, at least some of these texts are also available for Bible Works. Various individuals have taken at least some of the texts and converted them to BW database format which you can install. In some cases both Greek and English. Note that this is not a Bible Works product rather BW users addons so caution may be needed related to the veracity of the texts. Check out the Bible Works forum or google it.

d. miller said...

Thanks for the comment, Bill. I'm aware of some classical Greek texts, the Apostolic Fathers in Greek, and a collection from the (English?) Ante-Nicene fathers, but not anything as huge as Migne in Bibleworks. As far as I know, the Augustine and Chrysostom add-on modules for Bibleworks are English only. Am I missing something?

Phil Gons said...


First, Logos never said their edition wouldn't have morph tagging. They said they were going to try to add it but weren't ready to publicly commit to it.

Second, the bottom line reason why you'd pay for what you can get for free is that you're dealing with two very different things. Logos sells public domain books all the time that can be obtained from Google Books and People know that, but want all the benefits of an integrated digital library with advanced tagging and hyperlinking, superior searching, highlighting and notetaking capabilities, etc., etc.

d. miller said...

Hi Phil,
Thanks for the clarification. I hope Logos does end up including tagging.

To be clear: There are a lot of things I like about Logos. (I use my copy of Scholar's Library Gold fairly regularly.) I agree that there are definite advantages to having Migne integrated into Logos. Since this will presumably involve converting scanned images to text and then proofreading them, I appreciate the expense involved in this particular project.

On the other hand, I wish Logos did not charge for public domain e-texts, such as those in the CCEL library, that are already available on-line. As Bill Erlenbach mentioned, the conversion process in Bibleworks is simple and cheap. I presume the same is true for Logos, though they do not pass their savings along to their customers.