Suppose I want to search for a certain word, expression or structure in the Latin literature. What online tools can I use for such purposes? Where can I find a large collection of Latin texts in easily searchable form?

To describe the source or tool, please answer at least these questions:

  • How is the corpus limited? (Is it only classical Latin, for example?)
  • What kinds of searches can be made?
  • How can I link to a specific passage that I want to cite?
  • Is it connected to some other tools (like a dictionary or a full text translation) that make usage easier?

You do not need to limit your description to answering these questions.

Please give only one corpus per answer. If you have many suggestions, give multiple answers — but read the other answers to avoid duplicates. This way people can vote on individual corpora, causing the best ones to rise up and the worst ones to sink down, so that we can easily find the most loved dictionaries.

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6 Answers 6


The PHI Classical Latin Texts Database


The Packard Humanities Institute provides free access to Latin Litterature texts from the beginning to ~200 AD.

There are currently two functions for searching through the database. It can be involved by using some keywords :

You can refine a search with logical operators.
&   and
|   or
~   near (within about 100 characters)
( ) precedence
#   word break

And you can restrict a search to set of authors or works by including filters in the search string. Filters use abbreviations (or numbers) for authors and works and are enclosed within square brackets. For example, [Cic] esse videtur would search for esse videtur in Cicero. These patterns are valid:
[Cic:Catil] Cicero's In Catilinam
[Cic:56-59] Cicero's Letters
[474:39-40,73]  Brutus, Orator, and Rhetorica ad Herennium
[Cic Quint] Cicero and Quintilian
[Catul Tib Prop Ov] Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid

Abbreviations (and numbers) can be found in the Canon.

Double clicking makes a search.


This is a meta-answer on How to find Latin corpora?

Go to the Virtual Language Observatory (run by the European Union financed CLARIN project), search all resources and restrict the search to Latin Language and Resource type Corpus. On the day of writing this answer, this search yields 26 hits.

The corpora are of very different nature and often contain additional annotations (like syntax trees).


The Latine version of Wikisource

Wikisource can be a good idea, as I think its code is pretty good standardized — as an illustration, books can be exported in many formats with this (experimental) feature: http://tools.wmflabs.org/wsexport/tool/book.php.

Furthermore, the corpus isn’t limited to classical Latin (there you can find works of Newton for example) and some of the texts can be compared to translations from other versions of Wikisource: e.g. https://la.wikisource.org/wiki/Summa_Theologiae_prima_pars, by clicking on , next to English in the section Aliae linguae.

However, quoting an exact part of the text (I mean more precisely than just the chapter) is possible only if the facsimile of the book digitized is on the website. In this case, it is possible to give a link to the exact page where the expression has been found. See for example, the De re metallica of Georgius Agricola.

  • Welcome to the site and thank you for the answer!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 21:14
  • @JoonasIlmavirta Please excuse me for this off-topic comment, but it seems I currently have only one reputation point : according to the documentation of this forum, I thought it would increase : am I doing something wrong? (I'll delete this comment when I'll have an answer to avoid the mess, but I currently haven't the right to write in the IRC).
    – Luc
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 15:04
  • 1
    This particular question is community wiki (CW). That means that anyone can edit the question and answers easily, and that no one gets reputation. You would deserve the points, but unfortunately CW questions do not give them. Non-CW questions and answers to them will grant reputation. (I understand that this is confusing at first! And it's ok to ask for technical clarification.)
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 16:24
  • Let's put it this way: Normal questions grant reputation. This question is not normal, this is CW. Most questions are normal.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 5:10
  • 1
    All is fine now, as I've finally earned the right to use all functionnalities. Sorry for the mess and many thanks for the help!
    – Luc
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 8:22

The Latin Library is one possibility. It is very light, consisting of simple HTML pages with no unnecessary features. There are no additional features, just the Latin texts. Some might argue that also necessary features are missing, but that is always a matter of taste.

The corpus has a large collection of texts which can be found following the links. There is no search feature. Because of the simple format, Google can be used efficiently. For example, to find whether the imperative sunto is actually in use, just enter site:thelatinlibrary.com sunto in Google. Also, the text is in large HTML pages, which makes searching with browser tools easy.

The corpus is not limited to any era. The only limitation seems to be Latin.

Precise citing is also complicated. Suppose I want to cite I.34.1 in Caesar's Commentarii de bello Gallico. The entire first book is a single page, and linking to that one is easy. There are links at the top of the page, and clicking on "34" gives me a direct link to I.34: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/caesar/gall1.shtml#34. There is no universally observed format for the links, so you have to either use the links or look at the source code near the desired passage for <a name="...">. Citing I.34 and instructing the reader to look at I.34.1 is often accurate enough, but sometimes the linked position is too far from the desired one.


The Loeb Classical Library has a search engine for searching a Latin text corpus.


It also has a library of books from Loeb that can be read for free.


The Perseus Digital Library has a search engine for searching a Latin text corpus.


It also lets you look up a Latin word and see its morphology.

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