Peter Heslin's Homepage > Software > Diogenes

Diogenes is a tool for searching and browsing the databases of ancient texts, primarily in Latin and Greek, that are published by the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae and the Packard Humanities Institute. (NB. These databases are not distributed with Diogenes and must be obtained separately.)

Latest News

Note on Mavericks (Update). When the Mavericks version of OS X was released I was told by some users that it caused Diogenes to stop working. But that was apparently a transient problem, and I have recently upgraded my own Mac laptop to Mavericks without problems. If you had a problem earlier, try updating to the latest version of Mavericks.

The issue noted below under Lion still applies however. One quick but ugly fix is to hit Command-B, which brings up the "About" window and thus makes the application visible again.

Note on Linux. At the moment, Diogenes is not compatible with the latest version of Perl which is supplied with some very recent Linux distributions). Right now, Diogenes does not work if you upgrade your operating system. I will make the necessary changes to make Diogenes work with the newer version of Perl and release a new version very soon.

Note on Lion. Diogenes does work with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, but some users (including me) have come across an intermittent problem. Sometimes, when switching from another application, Diogenes appears in the Menubar at the top of the screen, but the window disappears. I have found that either clicking on the "About Diogenes" menu item, or viewing all windows of the current application (which can be configured as a keystroke or "hot corner" action in Mission Control) will bring back the missing window. I am also experiencing this problem with another application (Aquamacs), so my instinct is that it is a Lion bug, which I hope will be fixed in due course. It's just a mild annoyance and it certainly does not make Diogenes unusable on Lion.

Version 3.1. The latest version of Diogenes includes Perseus morphological data and the LSJ and Lewis-Short dictionaries. Jump from text to dictionary, clicking on a word to get its definition; and jump from dictionary to text, clicking on a citation to view its context. You can also now do morphologically aware searches: search for all of the inflected forms of a given verb.

Version 3 of Diogenes has a graphical user interface based on Firefox. It should be very easy to install, much more so than in the past.

Bob Kaster has written a nice beginners guide for the latest version of Diogenes (note that it doesn't cover installation and it is written for an internal audience at Princeton, so some aspects are not relevant to the general public). (Traduccion EspaƱol)

Advantages of Using Diogenes

The goal of this software package is to provide a free, transparent and flexible interface to the classical databases on CD-Rom in the PHI format, which include the TLG, the PHI corpus of Latin texts up to AD 200, the Duke Documentary Papyri collection, and the PHI-sponsored corpora of ancient inscriptions.


NB. This program is distributed in the hope that it may be useful, but with no guarantee that the data it produces are accurate. Diogenes has no connection whatever to the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae or the Packard Humanities Institute. The binary data format used by these databases was deduced by the author from observation; he had no access to its specifications, and he may therefore have completely misunderstood its design and implementation. Use this program at your own risk and confirm its results against those produced by other programs.

See this page for the license agreement and statement of lack of warranty.