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Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG)

Online Access:

Click here to begin searching TLG

NOTE: there is no translation included with TLG. However, if one chooses the option to link to Perseus (a one-time process on the account set-up page -- create an account, once you have accessed the account you can choose "My Settings" and scroll down to "Links to Perseus"  -- example below), then the search window always displays Greek texts with underlined words that, if clicked, will display the parsing of the word in a dialogue box. Furthermore, the same dialogue box also allows one to click on "LSJ" to automatically turn to that particular word in the standard classical Greek lexicon, Liddell-Scott-Jones (full version!). If you want, the dialogue also allows one to go to the Perseus translation of the text in question, or to search other texts with the same word in that corpus.

To view the texts in Greek, a polytonic Greek font must be installed on your computer (not applicable if you are accessing TLG from a computer in the Library, fonts have already been installed on the PC)

Please note that depending on your browser you may be able to input your search in Greek. In many cases, you may have to type Beta Code or Latin Transliteration (Click here if you want to read a more technical description on how to configure your font and input Greek). Even is you cannot input your search in Greek, you should be able to see your results in the Greek font you have selected (provided that this Greek font is installed in your computer.

Here is a list of fonts you can select and (in some cases) download:


Beta Code as well as Latin Transliteration can be used with all platforms.

For more advanced help see Font configuration.


Please specify your preferences. When you are done, please click the save button. Your selections will become the default settings for your searches. You can alter your settings at any point from the sidebar or the top section of any text search page.

A polytonic Greek font must be installed on your computer in order to view the texts in Greek. Some Canon entries also contain Greek titles and will also require a Greek font. Click here for information on HOW TO DOWNLOAD GREEK FONTS.

Greek Input and display options
Unicode display and input in Greek
Choose below
Display?  Input? 

Results per page?  Lines of context? 
Suppress beta escapes?  Links to Perseus? 
Diacritics sensitive?  Order results by date? 
Title List: All known ancient Greek writings up to A.D. 1453.
Subject Area: Religious Studies
Resource Type: Greek language database

The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLGŪ) is a research center at the University of California, Irvine. Founded in 1972 the TLG has already collected and digitized most literary texts written in Greek from Homer to the fall of Byzantium in AD 1453. Its goal is to create a comprehensive digital library of Greek literature from antiquity to the present era.

Since 1985, the TLGŪ Digital Library has been disseminated in CD ROM format. The most recent edition ( TLG E) was released in February 2000 with 76 million words of text.

In April 2001, the TLGŪ became available Online to subscribing institutions and individuals. The web version currently provides access to 3,700 authors and 12,000 works, approximately 95 million words. It is updated quarterly with new authors and works.

Information about the authors and works included in the TLG Library is stored in a database, known as the Canon of Greek Authors and Works. The full Canon is open to the public and can be searched on this site.

Search the TLG

The TLGŪ site allows you to search the TLG textual and bibliographical materials. You may begin your search from the Canon of  Greek Authors and Works (TLG Canon) or go directly to the texts (TLG Texts).

We recommend beginning your search from the Canon if you are interested in a particular author or ancient work;  or you wish to limit your search to a pre-selected group of authors or genre, historical period, or geographical location. We recommend a text search if you wish to search the entire TLGŪ corpus. In either case, your can always begin and change your search using the sidebar links.

  • TLG Canon Search:

    You can search the Canon by Author, Work or Published edition. Please note that names of works and authors are stored in Latin, not English or Greek; thus, the Iliad is stored as Ilias, and John Chrysostom as Joannes Chrysostomus. However, even if you enter part of the name of the author e.g. 'Chrysostom' for 'Chrysostomus' the search engine will locate the author.

    You can search an Author by:

    1. The author's name (or Canon number, if you know it), e.g. Homer(us) or 0012. You may also compile your own list of authors by selecting authors by letter. The complete TLGŪ author list is very long and may be slow to open. We recommend that you browse the author list and select your authors by letter. The search engine remembers your selection from the preceding screen selection. When you are ready to proceed to the simple search, the system will produce a list of all authors you have selected.


    2. Date. If you select this option the system will search through authors whose date can be determined with certainty. If you wish to include in your search authors of uncertain date, you need to check the box next to the scroll down menu to include varia, incerta, ante - and post- dates. Or,


    3. use the scroll-down menu to select authors by their generic or geographic epithet,

    You can search a Work by:
    1. the title of the ancient work, e.g. Cyclops, or
    2. use the scroll-down menu to select works by their classification 

    You can search for a certain Publication, i.e. modern text edition by:
    1. its title, e.g. Euripides Fabulae
    2. the title of the publication series, e.g. Corpus Christianorum or
    3. the name of its editor, e.g. B. Snell 

    Once you have made your selection, the search engine returns all the matching authors or works, with bibliographic details on each. You may search all retrieved items by pressing Search all texts, or click the checkboxes of the items you are interested in, and press Search selected texts. You can also click on Show works for any given author to select and search through that author's works instead.

    You are now presented with the Simple search form and you can begin searching the texts you have selected. If you prefer to search the entire corpus you have the option to reach this form directly from the sidebar without going through the Canon.


  •   Simple Text Search

     If you have already selected one or more authors from the Canon Search, your selection will appear at the top. Otherwise, the search engine assumes that you want a Full Corpus Search. Now you are ready to enter a word or string of characters to search for.

    ** Please note that most browsers do not allow you to input Greek, so you will have to enter the word you wish to search in Latin Transliteration or Beta code. (Clickhere if you want to read a more technical description on how to configure your font and input Greek). Even is you cannot input your search in Greek, you should be able to see your results in the Greek font you have selected (provided that this Greek font is installed in your computer.


  • Textual Search vs. Word Index Search

     You have a choice between a Textual Search or a TLG Word index Search. If you press Word Index, the search goes through all the word forms in the corpus. The text you have typed in is treated as a prefix of possible words to look for. (You can use space to terminate the word you are looking for.) You will then be presented with a list of all such word forms present in the texts you are searching through. You can select the word forms to actually search, or request a search through all the found word forms.

    If you press Textual Search, on the other hand, the search does not use the word index, but goes through the actual text files, character by character, to find the text you have specified. This text will be found anywhere in a word, and can even span across words. (Space can be used to indicate the beginning and end of words.) However, such searches are going to be significantly slower than word-index searches, particularly for the full corpus.

    Once you select the type of search (textual or Word Index) the search engine returns its results to you one page at a time. If a search times out (would take more than ten seconds), the search engine stops and asks you whether to continue its search, or display the results it has found so far. If your search is long, you may have to press Next Results to view the next page of results. Each result is displayed with a reference to its Canon bibliography and citation information so that you can locate the text in the printed edition. At this point, you also have the option to browse the text in its context.

    If you wish to have your results printed, click on the "Printable Form" button at the end of the page.

  • Advanced Search

    The Advanced Search works the same way as the Simple Search, except that it offers more options. It allows you to do wildcard and proximity searches, i.e. search for words in the vicinity of other words. For more information about Wildcard and Proximity searches, please read the longer version of the documentation.

  • Save My Searches

    The TLG allows you to save up to 10 completed searches to review at a later time. To save a search click at the "Save Search" button located at the end of each text search page. Your searches are saved on a separate page and can always be accessed by following the "View my searches" links.

    Canon Searches:
    Date: Prints the date each search was saved.
    Annotation: An additional box is provided for your own annotation. Click on "Apply Changes" to save the annotation.
    Display: Displays the saved search
    Edit: gives you the option to delete items from a saved search or modify an existing search and save the results as a new search.
    Merge: Allows you to click on two searches at the time and merge the results of these searches. This function works with similar types of searches only, i.e. you can merge two Author searches but not an Author and Work search.
    Delete: click on the box to permanently delete a search.

    Text Searches
    Text searches can also be saved. Please note that a saved search is recreated every time you request its display (the system saves only the parameters of your search) so a long search (e.g. a full corpus textual search) will take as long to resolve when you restore it as it took the first time you did the search. In the case of long searches where you may have to go through several pages (by clicking on "Next Results') you may use the 'save' feature at any point/page of your search. However, when you restore your search, the restoration will always begin from the first page.

    Saved text searches can be displayed or deleted. You cannot merge or edit a textual search. However, you can use the Save As option of your browser to export a search on your desktop and edit the search results using your word processing software.

Formats Indexed: Ancient Greek writings
Update Frequency: Quarterly
Coverage: Up to AD 1453



The license limits use to one concurrent user.

Help | More Information:

TLG Help

Bill Badke, Associate Librarian, TWU for Associated Canadian Theological Schools and Information Literacy, is the person to contact if you are having difficulties with TLG.  Reach him at 604-513-2121 ext. 3096 or William Badke

Need more general a TWU reference librarian at the Research Help Desk, or, Telephone: 604-513-2121 extension 3903, or, Ask A Librarian Online

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