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To access the Latin dictionary, click this link:

Numen - The Latin Lexicon - An Online Latin Dictionary

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Small Server Glitch Stopped Numen for Morning

So there was a small glitch on the server this morning. It was super easy to fix but I didn't have a chance to fix it for a few hours. It should be good now!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Upgraded Server and Site Statistics

This is a post for the technical minded people in the audience.

This site is actually hosted on a cloud service called Amazon EC2. EC2 changes now and again. As they buy new and faster hardware (computers) they tend to decommission the older ones and makes the top tier the new middle tier, and in effect marking down the prices. In addition to this regular upgrade cycle, competitors like Google Compute Engine and Microsoft Azure lower prices to stay competitive and EC2 has to follow suit.

It's because of these upgrade and competition cycles that prices and server specs tend to fluctuate. Since this site has been using the same configuration for about a year now, I decided to check if there's newer, faster, cheaper hardware.

It turns out there is. I was basically able to double the power of the site's hardware. EC2 is great because all it takes is 3 clicks to make the change. The site was down for about 2 minutes all together. So if you noticed an outage, that's probably why.

The upshot of this upgrade is that the site should run noticeably faster and handle noticeably more users. As a matter of fact, usage tends to increase about 30% percent year-over-year. In fact, this has been a great year because the gain has been 34% overall. Check out the image below.

34% year-over-year usage increase
Notice the blip on May 13th and 14th. That's when I accidentally bombed the server. Ooops. Despite that, there was still a 34% gain in usage.

Overall, this is good news. The site is getting more and more popular and hopefully more and more useful. Also, it's getting faster. Thanks for reading and using it. If you have friends who are taking Latin or are interested in Latin, make sure to tell them about Numen. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Server Outage

Sorry about the server outage. It was a technical mistake on my part -- don't worry, Numen isn't going way. Thanks for all the compliments -- the number of people emailing me really did let me know that Numen is a useful and necessary tool. Please continue to report problems! It really helps me out!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

X-Rays Open Secrets Of Ancient Scrolls

NPR has a piece on new techniques for looking into scrolls that were charred and turned into (essentially) lignite in Pompeii during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E.

X-Rays Open Secrets of Ancient Scrolls

I remember when I was in graduate school, we were all very hopeful that someday such technology would exist and be viable. New original texts of Ancient Latin and Greek would be amazing.

One of the most amazing things about this technology is that the texts would indeed be untouched by the hands of monks and scribes during the middle ages. Why does that matter? The Latin and Greek texts we have today are copies of copies of copies. And like all copies, errors have been introduced. In addition to errors, semi-literate monks may have made corrections that were based on incorrect assumptions about Latin in the centuries prior to their births.

Why not simply unroll the scrolls? Because they are essentially ash. Since the discovery of the scrolls in Pompeii, experts have ruined countless scrolls trying to unroll them. At some point, they were essentially locked in a vault in the hopes that someday technology would advance. It would appear that such a day has nearly arrived. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

māccer - A tool for macronizing Latin text

Felipe Vogel, a graduate student at the University of Kentucky, recently shared his "macronizer" with me. One of our joint efforts will be to improve the results of his tool with a fully declined/conjugated word list from Numen.

Check it out here: Māccer - A Tool for Macronizing Latin Text.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Weird errors on Numen? This is how to fix them.

Today I modified the code that Google Analytics uses to keep track of traffic on this site.

That was a major change. Because of the way the internet works, some of Numen's old data might be cached in your browser -- causing weird errors like "AJAX could not be loaded" and other such nonsense.

Fear not -- the fix is easy.

Here are several steps you can take to fix the problem in your web browser:

  1. Log out of Numen and log back in. 
  2. Close your web browser and reopen it.
  3. Reload the Numen page you're on by holding the SHIFT key on your keyboard while clicking the refresh button on your browser's address bar.
  4. Reload the Numen page you're on by holding the CTRL key on your keyboard while clicking the refresh button on your browser's address bar.
  5. Reload the Numen page you're on by holding BOTH the SHIFT and CTRL keys on your keyboard (at the same time) while clicking the refresh button on your browser's address bar.
  6. Clear your web browser's cache and then restart it.
  7. Try another web browser (just to see if it's happening there, too).
  8. Contact me at
Hopefully this won't affect too many people but if does, I apologize in advance!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pronoun Paradigms

Many of you know that Numen provides a beta paradigm feature. The paradigms of most nouns, verbs, adjectives, and pronouns are available. Generally, they work very well with a couple of well known exceptions (Greek nouns, certain verbal forms, and some irregular forms).

Once upon a time, the pronouns were working fairly well but not so much recently. Over the past few months there has been an uptick in the number of reports of bad pronoun paradigms. After a thorough review, I must note that all pronoun paradigms were broken. Honestly, I'm not sure how that happened. Nonetheless, I took some corrective action this weekend and fixed most of the pronoun paradigms -- with the exception of the personal pronouns. Those will take a bit more work because as you probably know, personal pronouns are the only nominal forms in Latin that don't have explicit gender (i.e., tu does not code for masculine, feminine, or neuter).

So in the meantime, please feel free to spot-check the paradigms for your favorite pronouns and please feel free to report errors. PS, it's always helpful to cite your source if you believe that a paradigm has an incorrect form. Sources do vary!

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