BB-96-4 -- Religion; Religion and Society


Corpus Augustinianum Gissense [Augustine Text Database]. Ed. Cornelio Mayer. Basel: Schwabe, 1996. 1 CD-ROM , 2 installation diskettes and a user's guide. ISBN 3-7965-0989-4: SFr. 2950.00, DM 3450.00

The Corpus Augustinianum Gissense (CAG) enters a somewhat crowded market of electronic editions of St. Augustine. It is preceded by the "complete" versions contained in the Cetedoc Library of Christian Latin Texts (Brepols; Release 2, 1994) and the Patrologia Latina Database (Chadwyck-Healey, 2d ed., 1994). A comparison with the Cetedoc disk reveals a modest advance for the CAG, both in completeness (a number of additional texts) and textual scholarship (the use of newly-edited editions). The decision by Chadwyck-Healy to use the Migne edition of the texts for their product makes a direct comparison with that database less meaningful. The CAG has all the expected search functionalities of a full-text database: proximity searching and boolean operators, both right and left truncation, the ability to search specific works, to search proper names only, to search for quotations, etc. The downloading function (often a weak point of full-text CDs, including Cetedoc) is reasonable - the user can mark "documents" (i.e., paragraphs or chapters) and export them as ASCII text. Perhaps the most surprising feature (and what distinguishes it most clearly from the other two products) is the inclusion on the disk of a large (20,000 item) bibliographic database of Augustine studies. This database is an impressive achievement with powerful search capabilities. A final note on the format: the question of whether any or all of the contents of this CD will appear any time soon on the Internet is both interesting and completely open to speculation. [ar/bw]


Augustinus-Lexikon [Dictionary of Augustine]. Ed. Cornelius Mayer. Basel: Schwabe. 27 cm. ISBN 3-7965-0854-5

This ambitiously conceived encyclopedia is intended to encompass Augustine's life, work, and his world. This first volume began appearing in fascicles in 1986 and was finished in 1994. It contains 190 entries (out of a planned total of 1,200) in German, French, and English by roughly 70 outstanding scholars from many different countries. It includes articles on people, works of ancient literature, geographic names, and themes and concepts important to Augustine's work. The authors have used an electronic database of Augustine's entire corpus to help them work through such a large body of texts. This database has also been published as a separate CD-ROM product, the Corpus Augustinianum Gissense (CAG). Of course no project of this scope can succeed without explicit limits. In this case there was a decision to limit the work strictly to Augustine himself and exclude "Augustinism." Although many of the articles have great general historical-cultural interest, the encyclopedia-entry format, with its severe condensation, inevitably reduces the volume's readability somewhat. It is regrettable that no further fascicles have appeared since 1994, but the first fascicle of Volume 2 has been announced for early 1997. [ar/bw]

Next Section
Previous Section
Table of Contents

Comments, suggestions, or questions
Last update: July 31, 2000 [RD]
2005 Casalini libri - VAT no. IT03106600483