Patristic Text Archive
An open access archive of ancient Christian texts
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Editorial Implementation

Transcription of manuscripts and (critical) editions

-> Look here: Encoding guidelines (only German at the moment)


Where available, each text is linked to the matching entries in the databases of Clavis Clavium and of Pinakes; IDs of the TLG© for authors and works are also shown (no linking is possible).

The data is available on Github or Zenodo.

Each edition of a text is accessible through a permalink (using the CTS-URN): for example; the versioned permalink reflects a specific state of publication, for example The respective permalink is to found in the reader under Reuse. Permalinks are also available for authors/textgroups:, as well as for works:

For all features look here.


At the moment, the database of manuscripts contains only rudimentary data on manuscripts which are edited in the PTA. That data is widely based on the data provided by Pinakes (= “draft” status) and amended with observations by the respective editor of the description.

The entry in the Pinakes database is linked as well as digitized versions and IIIF manifests (where available). For the texts transmitted in the manuscript, the edition in the PTA, the entry in the Clavis Clavium database or in the Database of Byzantine Book Epigrams is linked. If digitized images of the manuscripts are available (via IIIF), they are accessible in the inline viewer.

The data is available on Github.

Each manuscript description is accesible through a permalink (using the internal manuscript-ID): for example; the versioned permalink reflects a specific state of publication, for example


People mentioned in the editions are encoded and enriched by other sources as far as possible. This functionality is partially available.

For Biblical persons the TIPNR - Translators Individualised Proper Names with all References are used, all other persons are referenced via the project's person index, which references GND IDs and Wikidata IDs where available. For GND Ids the service lobid-gnd | ein LOD-Dienst des hbz — Hochschulbibliothekszentrum des Landes NRW is used.

An Index of all annotated persons is provided. The description given is based on the following sources: TIPNR = Translators Individualised Proper Names with all References (see above), AW_III_5 = Athanasius Werke III 5, Verzeichnis der Personen (Berlin/Boston 2020), AvS = Annette von Stockhausen. CAVEAT: Not all text are (fully) annotated.


As far as possible, places mentioned in the editions are encoded and enriched by data from the Pleiades-Gazetteer and the Translators Individualized Proper Names with all References list.

An Index of all annotated places is provided. All places as well as the place selected are shown on a map; for this we make use of the Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire (DARE). CAVEAT: Not all text are (fully) annotated.

Biblical quotes

Biblical quotes (and allusions) are also encoded as far as possible.

The references for the encoded quotes are (not for Eusebius' Commentary on the Psalms) shown in an apparatus, which also shows the respective quote from the Bible. For the Old Testament the digitized version of Rahlfs' edition of the Septuagint is used, for the New Testament the SBL Greek New Testament (Copyright © 2010 Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software, marked as SBLGNT), as provided at

For references to the Hexapla links to Frederick Field (ed.): Origenis hexaplorum quae supersunt: sive veterum interpretum Graecorum in totum vetus testamentum fragmenta. Post Flaminium nobilium, Drusium, et Montefalconium, adhibita etiam versione Syro-Hexaplari. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1875 (vol. 1: Genesis – Esther; vol. 2: Hiob – Maleachi and for references to the Vulgata links to the online version of Robert Weber/Roger Gryson (edd.), Biblia Sacra iuxta Vulgatam versionem. Editio quinta. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2007 are provided.

An Index of all annotated biblical references is provided. CAVEAT: Not all text are (fully) annotated.


The dictionary function is still in development. At the moment, it is also only provided for Greek texts (but not for transcriptions due to the high variability in spelling).

This function is based on an automatic (i.e. not free from errors) lemmatization done with the help of Clérice, T. (2021). Pie Extended, an extension for Pie with pre-processing and post-processing (Version 0.0.39) [Computer software].

For the lexical data the following dictionaries are used: Liddell-Scott-Jones, Greek-English Lexicon (9th ed., 1940), Pape, Griechisch-deutsches Handwörterbuch (3. Aufl., 1914), in the digital versions provided by Chaeréphon (André Charbonnet) (through biblissima/eulexis), Bailly 2020 Hugo Chávez: Gérard Gréco, André Charbonnet, Mark De Wilde, Bernard Maréchal & contributeurs / Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification — « CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 » (, and Translators Brief lexicon of Extended Strongs for Greek, which is based on Abbot-Smith, A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (1922) as provided by (licensed CC BY)

Analyse text with Voyant Tools

You can forward the XML of the current text to Voyant Tools and analyse it with the tools provided there. Please note that the texts are not lemmatised. We'll make lemmatized texts available for the feature in the future.

Cover picture

The cover picture of PTA is a detail of f. 78r der Handschrift Paris, BnF, Grec 510 (Source / BnF).

Technical Implementation

API (ediarum.Web)

Data can be accessed through a public API. The API is provided by ediarum.WEB. The endpoints are defined by a eXist-db application and a central manifest file compatible with ediarum.WEB. For further reference see the ediarum.WEB documentation.

There are several types of endpoints (more information on endpoints and parameters is to be found in the ediarum.WEB documentation):

  • via /api you get the manifest file (appconf.xml), which has the definition of endpoints.
  • The endpoints for object types (/api/<object-type>) and endpoints for objects (/api/<object-type>/<object-id>) provide access to the following object types:
    • cts provides a CTS compatible API (only GetPassage is currently implemented)
    • pta provides the editions
    • pta-textgroup provides metadata to the textgroups (authors)
    • pta-work provides metadata to the works
    • pta-version provides metadata to editions of the works (editions, translations)
    • msdesc provides manuscript transcriptions
    • msitem provides information on the works in the manuscripts transcriptions
    • persons provides an index of persons
    • places provides an index of places
    • bible-references provides biblical quotes
  • endpoints for relations between objects
  • endpoints for search; /api/search/<search-id> has the following searches:
    • fulltext search in full text without variants and notes
    • metadata search in the metadata of the texts
    • readings search in variants
    • notes search in notes

The search is based on the lucene search integrated into eXist-db. endpoints of the API are made available through ediarum.WEB (please refer to the documentation).

Backend (eXist-DB)

The data for the API and for the search used by the web application are stored in a eXist-db, which fetches the data with the eXistdb-App Tuttle from the data repositories befüllt wird; the database is administered by the ediarum module ediarum.DB. It is possible to access data through the public API (see above).


The PTA Web application ist a Vue.js Single Page Application on top of a Laravel PHP backend. The backend provides serveral internal restful APIs for including the versioned data in the repositories used (pta_data, pta_lexika, pta_manuscripts, pta_metadata, pta_frontend_documentation). The search functions use (amongst others) the public PTA API (see above).

Modules & plugins

The PTA webapp uses the following additional modules and plugins:

Languages of the interface

The interface is currently available in German and English, Italian is work in progress. The transaltions are in json format according to i18n standard. More languages are planned. We happily accept contributions!

Patristic Textarchive. An open access archive of ancient Christian texts

published by Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The Academy research project „The Late Antique Biblical Exegesis of Alexandria and Antioch“ is part of the Academies Programme, a research funding programme co-financed by the German federal government and individual federal states. Coordinated by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities, the Programme intends to retrieve and explore our cultural heritage, to make it accessible and highlight its relevance to the present, as well as to preserve it for future.