IT Stuff

In the decade 2000-2010, I made my living from IT. I worked as a content consultant for businesses such as Siemens, Intel, AMD, and IBM. I also did several German translations of IT reference volumes, such as Rogers Cadenhead's "Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days" or William Boswell's "Inside Windows Server 2003." While these are tempi passati, I'm still an avid IT user. On this page, you'll find a few especially useful things computers can do for classicists.


Amanuensis is a rapid, powerful and convenient search utility for Romtext, the database of Latin juridical texts. A new, enhanced version of Romtext is included in Amanuensis. Amanuensis is available for free in different versions for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. Today, most legal historians working on Roman Law use Amanuensis as their tool of preference. Amanuensis is a joint project with Günther Rosenbaum and Philippe Basciano, and it is available at

Titivillus: Latin and Ancient Greek Spell Checking

How do you ensure that a Latin or Ancient Greek text is free from typos? No matter how careful your vetting is, mistakes can always happen, especially in Ancient Greek. Due to the high number of different diacritics in this language, there is always a good chance that some goofs go unnoticed. However, there is powerful help available: Titivillus. This program adds proofing for Latin and Ancient Greek to Microsoft Word on Microsoft Windows. Titivillus is a joint project with Philippe Basciano, Marjorie Burghart, and Federico Boschetti, and it is available at

Cursor: Visualization of cursus mixtus patterns

Cursor is a tool designed to assist editors of Cursus mixtus texts, which are characterized by an intricate prose rhythm system used in highbrow prose during a limited period at the end of antiquity. While manual counting is possible, it involves a lot of tedious work. Cursor simplifies this process by automating the detection of prosodical patterns and visualizing them. Titivillus is a joint project with Daniele Fusi and Lorenzo Livorsi, and it is available at

Determine unknown Greek words

It can be a daunting task to determine the basic form (and meaning) of an unknown Greek word. This is where the Greek Word Study Tool offers immediate help. Enter the form you do not understand in Beta-Code without accents (i.e., "h") and see all possible derivations, including clickable links to Liddell-Scott to give you immediate access to the meaning. Question: how many possibilities can you think of in the case of η?

Sorting Index Entries

I thoroughly detest machine-generated indices. The only useful way to create an index is to do so manually, i.e., open a Word document and create and update your entries while you re-read the proofs. The problem, however, is that mistakes in the alphabetical order may creep in, and trying to detect them can be taxing (especially in a longer index). Here's a nifty way to find such glitches automatically. I assume that the index is a Word file, and that every entry ends with TAB, after which the pages in question can be found. Start by pasting your document into Excel in the 2nd column of a blank spreadsheet. Because of the TABs, the head words should go in the 2nd column, the page numbers in 3rd column. Delete the 3rd column. Write into the first 1st column from top downwards: 1, 2, 3, 4, ... Drag that down to the very end of your index, so that there is a number in every cell of the first column which matches the row number. Sort your whole spreadsheet alphabetically, according to the second column. Put the following into the first cell of the 3rd column: =(ROW()-A1) , and again drag that down to the very end of your index. Finally, apply conditional formatting to that 3rd column: anything that isn't 0 should appear with red background. Now you can easily see where your index deviates from the alphabetical order.