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I’d just like to alert people to a new digital classics resource I’ve been working on during the evenings and weekends these past three weeks or so.


The tool is about the creation of “crowd sourced” / “social” commentaries on ancient texts. I hate both of those terms in scare quotes — I don’t like buzzwords like that — but I can’t think of better term. Being literal-minded with the domain name, “a network on commentaries”. What’s not to like? Click the link above and find out!



De Commentariis uses data from the Perseus project’s online open-source data repository. Because of this the number of texts – especially Greek ones – is severely limited at the moment but I hope to get more as the texts improve in the Perseus repository and I overcome my own technical limitations effectively extracting the data. I’ve got a some “suggested texts” linked from the home page, but you can list and view all the available texts (some that say they are available aren’t in a great state though, so please be aware of that limitation! I’m a Livy scholar and there’s next to no Livy in it!).


DeCommentariis.Net example commentary.

In order to see the texts you must register an account.[fn1] You can sign up with either Google, Twitter, or Facebook credentials (OAuth); or just register a simple account on the site and fill in the fields and put a good password in place. Once you do any of the former steps you’ll be sent an automatic email address verification email. In this email there is a link. Click the link and you should be able to use the site.

After you register, send me an email, or just reply to the verification email and I will add the “make commentary” permission to your account (on my to-do list: automate those permissions). Until I do that you can’t enter any commentary items. (Update: if you verify your email address – google+ social logins are automatically verified – permissions are added automatically).

The site is running on pretty limited resources at the moment so be a bit forgiving if it gets slow under all your eagerness to log on and check it out.

I would love to hear your feedback.

[fn1]: Your browser will warn you about “insecure” security certificate. I have to use a “self-signed” certificate for the moment, because at this point I’m not about to pay $200+ per year bribe to a security signing authority for a signed security certificate. The alternative is let you send your password unencrypted to my server and that’s just silly. Therefore, there’ a self-signed certificate. Update: proper security cert installed.