TLG Canon of Authors and Works

Classification of Works in the Canon

TLG Works are assigned a classification tag which denotes their general character or literary genre. These tags are helpful in searching the corpus under the Search by Work function and will also appear beneath the name of the Work in any Canon Search.

The following classification tags have been used (tag definition provided, when needed, for the purpose of clarification).



Anthol(ogia) is used to classify postclassical collections such as the Anthologia Graeca that represent a sizeable collection constructed in late antiquity from earlier disparate sources.

Apocalyp(sis) defines works of a prophetic nature but with a focus clearly directed "towards the end of things and to the destiny of the world in general." (F.L. Cross, The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church [London 1958] 67). Prophecies that look toward the future but without the apocalyptic vision of a grand terminus are labeled Prophet.

Apocryph(a) is used to identify two kinds of works: 1) works that have come down to us as part of the Septuagint but were not part of the traditional Hebrew Bible and 2) works that are generally regarded by Christians as extracanonical in relation to the New Testament. Pseudepigr. on the other hand, has been used for works that belong neither to the Septuagint not to the Hebrew Bible but have been transmitted under the name of a Jewish religious thinker.


Apol(ogetica) is applied to works written in defense of the tenets of one religious system against those of another. It is also used of works written in justification of orthodox Christian faith in opposition to heretical beliefs.

Biogr(apha) indicates both biographical and autobiographical writings.


Caten(a) is restricted to scholiastic comment upon biblical passages and lists of variae lectiones to a given catena on a biblical passage. Commentaries by individual authors ot scriptural texts are classified as Exeget. whereas commenta derived from catenae are tagged both as Exeget. and Caten.




Concil(ia) signifies a miscellany of writings including speeches, letters, rosters, and proceedings of ecumenical councils.

Dialog(us) is reserved for literary works written in the form of a prose dialogue.


Eccl(esiastica) is a multipurpose tag attached to works that seem to be ecclesiastical in nature but lack characteristics that would permit a more specific definition. In general, Eccl. refers to themes, concerns, and attitudes associated with the Christian church.





Encom(iastica) is used for eulogy, panegyric, laudationes or any kind of work (poetry or prose) that falls under the general variety of laudatory literature.

Exeget(ica) distinguishes writings that interpret the texts of the Old and New Testaments from the commentaries that focus upon secular literature.




Gramm(atica) is used to tag those works explicitly entitled Ars grammatica or Fragmenta grammatica, as well as treatises on prosody, orthography, accentuation, aprts of speech, and inflection.

Hagiogr(aphica) is used to characterize works whose principal themes are the lives and acts of saints, martyrs, and heroic figures in Judaeo-Christian tradition.

Hexametr(ica) is used of poems (or fragments of poems) that do not betray a generic affiliation with some species of poetry in terms of theme or tone. The generic tags Epic., Bucol., and Parod., when used, indicate an implicit assumption of the hexameter form. In these cases, the tag Hexametr. is not added.

Hist(orica) is added to the following categories:

  1. extant works of Greek historians;
  2. fragments of lost historical works collected in independent editions or generic collections such as FGrH, FHG, and HGM, and
  3. works of ecclesiastical writers that focus upon the history of the Church.

Homilet(ica) is used to distinguish homiliae (i.e. discourses on religious and moral topics delivered, or written as though they were intended for delivery to a congregation) from orationes (i.e. discourses on secular topics)

Hymn(us), regardless of meter, is assigned to the great variety of hymnal poetry ranging from the Hymni Homerici to the polymetric hymns of Gregory of Nazianzus.

Hypoth(esis) defines the hypotheses transmitted as prefixes to Greek tragedies and comedies.





Lexicogr(apha) used for word-lists and glossaries but also any lexicon that incorporates commentary.






Med(ica) is applied to a wide range of medical writings (including veterinary treatises and writings that deal with antidotes and pharmacological prescriptions.



Mus(ica) used to classify theoretical works on music but also musical scales, notations and fragments of music.

Myth(ographa) used to classify the works of mythographers but also works of historians (especially the early logographers) who cited myths as evidence in their historical accounts.

Narr(atio) Fict(a) is used to categorize a variety of novelistic writings that range from novel or romance to novella, story, tale, and vignette.

Nat(uralis) Hist(oria) includes a broad range of topics such as animal nature, horse breeding and training, colors, stones, rivers, meteorology, and agriculture.










Poem(a) indicates metrical pieces that do not readily admit generic definition either by reason of meter or in terms of themes and tone.




Relig(iosa) is used exclusively to designate texts that constitute the basis for the scripturae sacrae of Judaeo-Christian tradition. The term has been used only for the 27 books ofr the New Testament and the 59 works of the Septuaginta.

Rhet(orica) is used to classify works concerned with the art, science, theories, and techniques of persuasion, of which oratory is the principal beneficiary.






Theol(ogica) is used to classify works that can be defined as religious literature insofar as they are concerned primarily with the nature of divinity, the relationship between human and divine, religious doctrine, and other spiritual matters. A distinction is made between Theol. and Eccl. where Eccl. characterizes matters of interest to the Christian church but without principal focus upon divinity.




Created: March 15, 2009

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