The TLG® Canon of Greek Authors and Works


The Canon is a bibliographic guide to the authors and works included in the TLG® Digital Library. It represents many years of research conducted by TLG staff members. Professor Luci Berkowitz and Karl Squitier authored most of the Canon entries until their retirement from the University of California in the mid 90's.  Andreas Rhoby, Antonia Giannouli, and Astrid Steiner-Weber contributed to the expansion of the Canon into the Byzantine period. Maria Pantelia has been responsible for updating the Canon since 2002.

Today the Canon is an invaluable resource, the first truly comprehensive list of all known extant texts in Greek. It contains more than 3,500 authors and an excess of 12,000 works (from Homer to the late Byzantine period) providing information about the names, dates, geographical origins and descriptive epithets for each author together with detailed bibliographical information about existing text editions for each work. A printed version of the Canon has been published by Oxford University Press (Luci Berkowitz and Karl A. Squitier, Thesaurus Linguae Graecae Canon of Greek Authors and Works, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 1990). A digital version of the TLG Canon is also included in all TLG CD ROMs. The online version is regularly updated to include information about new authors and works as they are included in the TLG Digital Library.

Each author and work in the Canon is accompanied by categories of information that may be useful to users interested in history, literary history, and prosopography. These categories form the basis of a relational database and can be searched either in the full or demo version of the Online TLG. The searchable categories of information are:

  1. TLG Author Number (an arbitrary 4-digit number used to identify the author)
  2. Author Name*
  3. Author (Generic) Epithet
  4. Date
  5. Author Geographical Epithet
  6. TLG Work Number (an arbitrary 3-digit number)
  7. Work Title**
  8. Classification
  9. Title of Print Edition
  10. Editor of Print Edition
  11. A description of the structure of the text
*Author names may be enclosed in angle (< >) or square brackets ([ ] ). Angle brackets indicate an author to whom a given work has been assigned, although that person may not be the author of the work in question. For example, <OSTANES Magus> may have no connection with the alchemical fragments assigned to him by Bidez and Cumont. Square brackets are used to question the authenticity of the name or the existence of the author. For example, [BACIS] (see Anthologia Graeca 14.97-99) seems to have been the name not of an individual author but of an entire class of inspired priests or prophets.

 **Work title is used to refer to the commonly recognized Latinized title of the ancient work. Where the title of a work either resists Latinization or is simply better known by its Greek counterpart, the Greek title is retained.

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Last modified:March 12, 2009
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