Thematic searches in CroALa

  • Objective: find in CroALa a concept or a theme, such as FREEDOM, TURKS, HOMELAND, LOVE, LANGUAGE, SLEEP, MOUNTAINS, BIRTHDAY
  • What do we need: a basic vocabulary of all forms and words that can be used to name a theme explicitly
  • What is very hard: finding implicit treatments of a theme.

Example 1: the Turks

We start with the obvious, looking in CroALa for Turcus, Turci, but with some regex added to find also Thurcus and Turchus etc. For easier orientation, we want to be served a list of the search terms found in CroALa's vocabulary, and to break down the results by years (centuries).

Here's the query string:


As well as the results, this produces the following list of terms:

Search Terms: thurca | thurcae | thurcam | thurcarum | thurcas | thurci | thurcia | thurciam | thurcica | thurcicae | thurcicis | thurcicus | thurcis | thurco | thurcorum | thurcos | thurcouith | thurcum | thurcus | thvrcas | turc | turca | turcae | turcaeque | turcaica | turcaicae | turcaicam | turcaicarum | turcaicas | turcaici | turcaicis | turcaicisque | turcaico | turcaicorum | turcaicos | turcaicum | turcaicę | turcam | turcamque | turcarum | turcarumque | turcas | turcasque | turce | turcharum | turchas | turche | turchenas | turchi | turchia | turchiam | turchica | turchich | turchicus | turcho | turchorum | turchum | turchus | turci | turcia | turciae | turciam | turcica | turcicae | turcicam | turcicarum | turcicas | turcicham | turcici | turcicis | turcico | turcicorum | turcicos | turcicum | turcicus | turcigenae | turcigenarum | turcigenum | turciniis | turcinnia | turcis | turcisque | turco | turcorum | turcos | turcum | turcus | turczi | turcę | tvrci | türcis

Reading the list, we conclude that we don't need the terms thurcouith and turchich (these are Croatian family names), and that we don't need the turcinnia (turquoise, that Didacus Pyrrhus composed a poem about).

So we copy the list into a text processor, remove whitespaces and newlines, and paste the result as a new query string:


It is long, but, as my colleague would say, the computer doesn't mind.

Example 2: Apollo and the Muses

Musa is the most frequent classical name in CroALa (certain Christian and personal names occur much more frequently). At the same time, there are words beginning with mus- that we want to exclude from the search. So, the same as with the Turks, we start with mUsa.*|mUsE.*|mUsI.* and clean up the results:


The search found 665 occurrences. Here's the frequency list for the search.

The next classical name is, as we could have guessed, Apollo (ap?pol?l[oi].*):

Search Terms: apoli | apolinis | apollinarem | apollinares | apollinari | apollinaris | apollinaristę | apolline | apollinea | apollineae | apollineas | apollinei | apollineis | apollinem | apollinemque | apollineo | apollineum | apollineus | apollini | apollinis | apollinisque | apollo | apollodori | apollodoro | apollodorus | apolloni | apollonia | apolloniani | apolloniates | apolloniatos | apolloniatum | apolloniensibus | apollonio | apollonium | apollonius | apollophanes | apollos | apologetica | apologeticis | apologetico | apologeticos | apologeticum | apologi | apologia | apologiam | apologis | apologo | apologos | apologum | apologus | appolinaris | appollinaris | appollonia | appolloniam

Edited query string:


It finds 361 occurrences.

However, we know that both Apollo and the Muses can be mentioned under other names. This complicates our search.

OK, so let's complicate it.

Gradus ad Parnassum

To gather other names for Muses, we consult an old textbook — the Gradus ad Parnassum sive promtuarium prosodicum… in usum juventutis scholasticae. The edition we used was prepared by Karl Heinrich Sintenis,1) published in 1822, and is available freely on Google Books (id BIsBAAAAMAAJ).

Here's Sintenis' entry on Musae, lightly reset to make it more readable:

Musae, arum. Auson. Edyll. XX. Meton. pro cantu.

Loca musis sacra: Pieria juga, Parnassus; Libethra, Termessus, Pimpla, Helicon, CAstalius fons, Aganippe.

Antiquos loquitur Musarum pagina reges. Claud.

SYN. Pierides, Camenae, aonides, castalides, Heliconiades, pegasides, parnassides, Moeonides, Pimpleides, Thespiades, aganippides, Corycides, ardalides, Libethrides, Pimpleides, olympiades, Hyantiae. EPIT. Doctae, canorae, blandae, sacrae, facundae, dulces, venustae, ingeniosae, castae, pudicae, comtae,vocales, disertae, geniales, sollertes, laurigerae, Castaliae, aoniae, pieriae, aganippeae, Heliconiae, Nymphaeae, sicelides, modulantes, cothurnatae, jocosae, pimpleae, laetae, laboriferae, docticanae, fontigenae, musicae, loquaces, ascraeae, querulae, sedulae, aeternae, amoenae, tenerae, tetricae, sanctae.

PHR. Castaliae sorores, puellae, virgines, alumnae, deae, Divae Nymphae, novem sorores. Heliconis, Pindi, pierii montis alumnae, dominae, reginae. Pierius chorus. Castalidum turba, cohors, chorus. Cohors Heliconia phoebi. Phoebi, apollinis chorus. aonii turba novena jugi. Praesentia numina vatum. Deae parnassi juga sacra colentes. Novem phoebi comites. Heliconis docta Numina. Virgineus Musarum chorus. Flectentes animos modulamine cantus.

Vos o Calliope precor, aspirate canenti.

Musa mihi caussas memora.

Tu vatem, tu Diva mone, dicam horrida bellla.

Vos pandite vates pierides.

Pandite nunc Helicona Deae cantusque movete.

Te precor ignarum doceas parnassia vatem.

Helicona colentes. hyantiae sorores. ter tres puellae. doctae sorores. quae fontes tenent aganippidos. suggerentes carmina vatibus. cinctae lauro. habitantes in vertice montis aonii. laude Deum celebrantes, et pia facta canentes. ter trinae sorores. ter tres alumnae Phoebi. mulcentes, moventes, oblectantes animos dulcibus sonis. doctae animos blandisono, dulcisono flectere cantu.

Musae novem: Clio praeest historiae: Calliope Heroico carmini: Melpomene tragoediis: Thalia comoediis, et agriculturae: erato, amatorio carmini et hymnis: Euterpe tibiae cantui: Terpsichore citharae et choreis: Polymnia seu Polyhymnia, vel Polymneia, actioni et histrionicae: Urania astrologiae praesidet.

The entry simply begs to be transformed into a list of search terms for CroALa. But we can go the other way around, too: we can see which words are collocated near “Musae” in our collection. To achieve this, we use Collocation Table search (you'll find it under Quaestio subtilior in CroALa search form), or add the &OUTPUT=PF&POLESPAN=5 to the query string; experiment with numeric value of POLESPAN= to see if results will change. Of course, we reuse the “Musae” query string given above.


And here is the list of names from Gradus ad Parnassum transformed into query strings, with some statistics and comments. We also searched the Classical Latin Texts of the Packard Humanities Institute with the same search terms.

Search Term Results Comments Search PHI
AGANIP?PID* 3 after 1700 aganippid
AONID* 41 aonid
CAMEN* 156 #camen
CASTALID* 15 all periods castalid
CORICID* 0 corycid
H?ELICONIAD* 2 late authors heliconiad
H?IANTI* - too ambiguous, no Muses hyanti
LIBETH?RID* 2 older authors libethri
MO?EONID* 34 ambiguous (Homer!) maeonid
OLIMPIAD* 35 ambiguous
PARNAS?SID* 4 later authors parnasid
PEGASID* 4 3 earlier, 1 later pegasid
PIERID* 78 pierid
PIMPLEID* 0 try PIMPLE* (2) pimple; pipleid
TH?ESPIAD* 7 6 earlier thespiad

The results are easy to analyze and compare with the Gradus. At the same time, this is also part of a “profile” of the Muses in CroALa. We see which names are used often, which are used more before 1700, which later (this year seems to be the watershed in our case).

Example 3: Cicero

The next classical name after Apollo and the Muses is again someone that can be expected: Cicero, with 196 occurrences of the nominative. In all, there are 354 occurrences of the name (including one in a passage in German, and seven occurrences of Ciceronianus). Cicero is blessed with a name that's easy to search for, and hard to misspell: CICERO*.

Search Terms: cicero | cicero's | cicerone | ciceronem | ciceroneque | cicerones | ciceroni | ciceroniana | ciceroniani | ciceronianis | ciceronianum | ciceronianus | ciceronique | ciceronis | ciceronisque | ciceroque

The search is here.

1) see ibid: Von dem Philanthropinismus freilich, dem soeben 1774 Basedow im nahen Dessau eine Heimstätte gegründet hatte, wollte [Sintenis] nichts wissen; in einer Schrift von 1776 bezeichnete er Basedow’s System geradezu als eine Barbarei („De elementis Basedovii elementis barbariae“) und die Pflege der Muttersprache sollte doch die herrschende Stellung des Lateinischen nicht beeinträchtigen. Schrieb er doch 1780 ein Programm de nimia sermonis patriae cultura hodiernae barbariae causa und sprach sich 1782 de germana scriptorum classicorum interpretatione noxia magis quam frugifera aus. In der That behauptete nun auch im Stundenplane seines Gymnasiums das Latein ein alles beherrschendes Uebergewicht. Denn 1775 beanspruchte es in der Prima und Secunda je 14 Stunden (von 31 bzw. 30 St.), in der Tertia 9 von 22, selbst von den Emendationsstunden noch abgesehen; das Griechische war auf 3, 2 und 1 Stunde beschränkt, dem Deutschen wurde nur in Secunda 1, der Geschichte und Geographie in I je 1 Stunde gewidmet; dafür waren für die Religionslehre 8, 10 und 8 Stunden angesetzt.
z/croala-themata.txt · Last modified: 06. 09. 2012. 23:31 by njovanov
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