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Bill Thayer

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Current Web Projects

This list serves four main purposes:

  1. General information. What's coming onsite? What's the status?

  2. Personal discipline. I need to finish what's on my plate before going on to too much more!

  3. Call for advice. If you think you might have a solution to any of the problems I list in the last section below, especially the systemic ones, I would be very grateful to you for dropping me a line.

  4. Dissuasion. Some of you may want me to add various resources to my site. Maybe not quite right yet: see (2).

    And yet — I can be tempted: that's how I got into this fix in the first place. If you've got a good idea and the enthusiasm to go with it, some of the stuff below can surely wait.

Book Transcriptions

These items still need work: the darker the red, the more the work.


To be done

Aelian: De Natura Animalium (a Latin translation)


Proofreading, clean up the homepage.

Proofreading; many notes; the (modern) list of Medicamenta.

Some notes; proofreading.


Proofreading; the numbering and local link scheme. Also some of the notes.

Proofreading. I intend to put the Latin text online as well, but haven't started.

Proofreading: the English is completely proofread, but the Latin is not. See also below.

Proofreading; complete the links in and to the various indexes.

Proofreading, index.

Some maps and the index remain to be done.

Some woodcuts are still missing, especially maps.

140+ photographs remain to be inserted.

All that remains is to complete the index.

Three or four maps remain to be colored and inserted.

I don't know how much of this comprehensive work I'm going to put online. For now, the text and engravings of the 2 chapters on Norwich Cathedral are complete; and the text of 7 chapters on Oxford, Peterborough, Ely and Lincoln Cathedrals, and that's all.

Proofreading; complete the various indexes.

The English is complete and proofread. The Latin I rescued from another site that went offline for a while and (a) inserted local links thruout; (b) started proofreading it, but not got very far.

Some proofreading remains; but mostly the numbering and local link scheme.

Proofreading. A decent homepage and Table of Contents need to be provided

About 90% of my scans of the medieval manuscript have yet to be attached; the rest of the format is OK.

Books 1‑13 of the English are complete and proofread, but Books 14‑20 are not online because of copyright restrictions: I need to find a public-domain version of them. The Latin I rescued from another site that went offline for a while. It is completely online. I've (a) inserted local links thruout; (b) started proofreading it, but not got very far.

Almost all the many illustrations remain to be inserted.

Almost all the many illustrations remain to be inserted.

Almost all the engravings and maps remain to be inserted.

Most of the many images remain to be slipped in.

The photographs remain to be inserted, around 100 of them.

Formatting, local links, image placement remain.

Although I intend to put both Latin and English online, for now there's only the latter. Some notes remain to be inserted; some proofreading remains; none of the illustrations is up.

Being input. Books 5‑12 are being held up until I find a public domain copy.

Ohl's critical and explanatory notes; Aenigma 96.

Being input.

In corso: immissione, rilettura, immagini tutte insieme.

C. Hülsen: The Roman Forum (an English translation)

Being input. (The Italian version, mind you, has been complete since Mar 00). Those chapters that are onsite are completely shipshape.

Formatting, proofreading, local links, image scanning and placement remain.

A complete, but raw, transcription of the 1814 edition is temporarily parked on this page, which will disappear as I divide the book into its chapters. It is not proofread; there is no homepage yet.

Valerius Maximus
(Latin text)

No home page yet; link is to Book 1.

I have taken a scanned text as it appears on the Latin Library site and (a) inserted local links thruout; (b) started proofreading it, but not got very far.

Being input.

Being input.

Proofreading; but mostly, this is a picture book: 350+ illustrations remain to scan, place, and caption.

In corso d' immissione.

Being input.

HTML formatting in progress; also, the illustrations are all copyrighted: we'll try to work around that.

Formatting, proofreading, local links, home page.

Being input.

In addition, the following three books, comprising many articles from a few lines to tens of thousands of words in length, are being input as background work. Each webpage is thoroughly proofread before being put onsite.

Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities: in progress; mostly the Roman articles.

Wish List:

I also have a short wish list of items that I may eventually get to, although I'm actually hoping you will beat me to it; or that are otherwise under the radar. Among them:

• a decent dictionary of Greco-Roman mythology (this is probably the most sought-after resource not yet online anywhere, and fully 95% of webpages out there that deal with mythology are mediocre and usually much worse)

• the Liber Pontificalis

• Markham's History of Peru

• Pickett's History of Alabama

• one or more good books on Roman roads elsewhere than in Britain; etc.

Original Material

Now this is where my heart is, since it's where I get to share my enthusiasms about beautiful and interesting places: towns, churches, monuments, Roman roads. . . In roughly descending order — and a few projects, not necessarily minor, are not mentioned:


Level of

Although over 650 pages with nearly 1600 large photos have been completed in English (30 of which translated into Italian), many hundred more pages are planned. The first steps should be • to create fuller sites on the four towns I've lived in: Todi, Spello, Fossato di Vico, and Umbertide • to finish translating into Italian the 92 orientation pages to the comuni.


Other parts of Italy that I may not know as well as Umbria, but that are beautiful and interesting too: • the Marche • the Duomo of Milan the vie cave of Pitigliano • the Roman salt pond of Mozzano in the Abruzzo. I hope my first project in this area would be to complete my site on the Via Flaminia.


My entire travel diary is online, but for years before 2000, a few more photos should be added.


Existing photos

Photos taken before 2000 were scanned on a flatbed from prints. I now have a negative scanner, which gives far superior results: a rescan of all pre-2000 photos is in progress.


New photos

I have far more photos than are available online: they are being scanned. An index was being provided online but in 6 years only a tiny handful of people used it to good purpose; it has been removed.


There is already an enormous amount of material onsite about the many churches of the Eternal City, but it consists mostly of some 2000 pages of unillustrated text by other people. I have some ideas of my own and quite a few of my own photos to go with them. There's surprisingly little online elsewhere.


A joint venture, barely started; I expect it to reach about 30 pages and 50 photos.

Roman Architecture

So much of my site relates to Roman architecture, yet I have no topical approach to the subject. I have lots of pages on individual tombs or arches, for example, but no systematic treatment of The Roman Tomb, or The Roman Triumphal Arch.



Some are systemic, others only involve certain sections of my site. The alacrity with which I'm searching for solutions is partly a function of how sanguine I am about finding them in the first place. This list starts with the most serious problems and ends with those most nearly hopeless.

Certain pages of the site, in particular the Books of Pliny's Natural History, sometimes refuse to display, or cause browser hangs or even crashes, depending on the browser. Certain browsers (e.g., the Italian version of MSIE), fortunately a minority, refuse to render Greek.

Help Screens

With several years of modifying and streamlining the site, the help screens, which were pretty much my first pages online, no longer match the site. . . .

This Roman author is really comprehensible only when accompanied by clear illustrations. Over the centuries since the Renaissance, there has been no shortage of illustrations, but they differ widely in their interpretations of the text. Even when I restrict my choices to those authors in the public domain and more or less easily available to me from the university library to which I have access, I feel swamped. If I wind up selecting from several authors, I would also like to harmonize the look-and‑feel on the website. Many problems, therefore: yet Vitruvius cries out for illustration; I probably need advice.

My transcription is at a standstill because the edition I started with is very poor. I didn't realize it at first, but I certainly do now. Unfortunately there seems to be no other English edition, and Karl Müller's marvelous Latin edition presents 3 problems: it would require an English translation, it is incomplete because of Prof. Müller's early death, and his apparatus (on which so much of the value of the work depends) is an online typesetter's nightmare, involving Greek and Hebrew, but also occasionally Syriac, Aramaic, Egyptian, Coptic, and Sanskrit.

Also at a standstill. The maps currently online are inadequate from several standpoints. More generally, however, I've been unable to come up with a good method for presenting useful maps at various levels while not involving images that take up several hundred K. For technical reasons, cgi-based systems that might help solve the problem are not a possibility on this server.

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Page updated: 28 Jul 19