In this installment of resource Wednesday, I thought I’d pull together some resources for the iPhone and iPad that are dedicated to the Classics. Below is a list of apps, broken down by language. Each app is accompanied by a short description, the price, and a link to the App Store. I’ve focused my list on apps that would be especially helpful for teaching Latin and Greek. Therefore, if there are any other favorite apps of yours, PLEASE share them with everyone in the comments section at the bottom of this post!
Developed by Paul Hudson, SPQR is the mother of all Latin apps for the iPad. It includes texts from many Latin authors (see below for a full list), both poetry and prose. More importantly, these texts come with line numbers! In addition to the Latin texts, SPQR comes with a fully-functional Dictionary based on Lewis and Short, English translations of all of its texts, a quick primer on Roman Numerals, Bennett’s New Latin Grammar, and an assortment of English scholarship on Roman history and culture. All told, this is an app that all Classicists should have on their Apple devices.
A list of the authors included in SPQR:
Cato the Elder
Virtual History ROMA ($9.99)
Virtual History ROMA is probably the ‘coolest’ of all of the apps I’ve seen. It is an interactive encyclopedia on all things Rome and Roman Empire. Users can read articles on culture, warfare and architecture, experience a 3D panoramic view of Imperial Rome, compare modern and ancient sites with interactive timelines and much more. The only drawback, of course, is the price. However, for a smaller class with iPads, it might be well worth the extra bucks.
Another creation of Paul Hudson, Sibyl is a fun Sortes Vergilianae app that presents different ‘oracular’ texts from Vergil. It’s a pretty fun app, and, if you’re in need of some oracular advice, well worth the low price.
Latin Hangman ($0.99)
A new twist on an old game, this Hangman app allows users to play the classic game with Latin words! The app also boasts a vocabulary of 15,000 words, so all Latinists from beginners to advanced should be able to get in on the fun. Works on both iPad and iPhone.
Fun word game with Latin. In the game, users are confronted with a list of English definitions along with a number of blocks with combinations of letters on them. Users are to try to create the Latin equivalents of the English definitions from the blocks of letters. It works on both iPad and iPhone, so you can take the fun with you wherever you go!
Latin Word Search ($0.99)
Another class game with a Latin twist. This app allows users to play traditional word search, only with Latin words. There are multiple levels, ranging from beginner to advanced; so, all learners of Latin should can be challenged.
Latin Certamen ($0.99)
This is the official certamen app of the NJCL and is a great tool for all Latin instructors who hope to field a certamen team for competition. The game can be played in either solo or multiplayer mode, allowing for individual practice and after-school group work. No longer does one need to print out long lists of questions from the NJCL website. Now, official certamen questions are available digitally!
This has been my Latin dictionary of choice since I got my iPhone some 3.5 years ago. Based on Lewis and Short, it provides comprehensive definitions from a vast number of Latin terms. I have never encountered a word that I could not find in this lexicon. However, if one purchases the aforementioned SPQR app with its built-in lexicon, there is no need to spend additional money on this app.
A pretty large collection of Latin poetry texts for the iPad. One of the cool features of this app is the ability to create annotations in the text itself and to save them for later reference. However, as great as that ability is, this app is rendered nearly useless because none of the texts come with line numbers OR breaks between poems (e.g., Ovid’s Tristia – yes, all of them – are simply one long poem)!
From the same makers of Latini, this app is limited to a bilingual text (Italian-Latin) of the Aeneid. Like the Latini app, this app also allows for in-text annotations, but lacks line numbers.
Attikos is an Ancient Greek reading app that includes the following texts: Lysias 1-3, 12; Plato’s Crito, Republic 1, Apology and Protagoras; Sophocles’ Antigone and Homer’s Iliad. This app also boasts a built-in Autenreith and Liddell & Scott. However, this app feels a bit clunky, and I personally don’t get much use out of it. Still, the price tag warrants giving it a shot.
This app is the Ancient Greek equivalent of the Lexidium app shown above. It combines entries from Autenreith and Lidell & Scott, and I have never found a term in a text that wasn’t included in the app. It’s built for the iPhone, so is made for portability and efficiency. Still, I’m not sure it quite warrants a $3.99 price tag.
Ancient Greek ($4.99)
Another Paul Hudson production, this app is by far the best Ancient Greek app for iOS. Like the SPQR app for Latin, the Ancient Greek app provides texts from a variety of ancient authors, a fully searchable Liddell & Scott, English translations of all the texts, and assorted English scholarship on Greek history and culture. A must have for all digital Hellenists!
Authors in Ancient Greek include:
There you have it! That’s my take on the best Classics apps currently available. What do y’all have to say? Anything left off the list? Experiences with any of these apps? Please let us know in the comments below!