Certain fundamental sources for the study of the ancient world are currently accessible only to a few specially trained researchers because they have never been provided with a sufficiently convenient interpretive apparatus or, in some cases, even translated into modern languages. The Suda On Line project attacks that inaccessibility by engaging the efforts of scholars world-wide in the translation and annotation of a substantial text that is being made available exclusively through the internet. We have chosen to begin with the Byzantine encyclopedia known as the Suda, a 10th century CE compilation of material on ancient literature, history, and biography. A massive work of about 30,000 entries, and written in sometimes dense Byzantine Greek prose, the Suda is an invaluable source for many details that would otherwise be unknown to us about Greek and Roman antiquity, as well as an important text for the study of Byzantine intellectual history.The project has recently been completed, in the sense that all the entries have been translated, but the work will continue to be revised and developed. From the The History of the Suda On Line page:
At present (July 2014), the family of active and emerita/us SOL contributors comprises over 200 individuals from five continents and more than 20 countries, but geography is not the only aspect that makes this group diverse and eclectic. In addition to research-active university faculty, our roster has included retired professors, scholars in countries where the internet provides an invaluable supplement to meager local resources, and talented classicists who for one reason or another have ended up in careers other than higher education. One of the great benefits of SOL is the opportunity the project gives to such scholars to make a valuable contribution to the field. SOL has also been used to good effect in the classroom. Instructors at several colleges and universities have assigned entries to graduate and advanced undergraduate students for supervised translating and annotating, and hundreds of their contributions are now a permanent part of the database and can be listed as published scholarly works on the students’ CV's. One of our most prolific contributors, Jennifer Benedict (over 4500 translations), did most of her work on the SOL as an undergraduate at William & Mary. Several scholars, including Peter Green, Malcolm Heath and John Melville-Jones, donated translations of entries that they had done previously for other purposes.This is a Byzantine-era work, but many of the entries are potentially of interest to ancient Judaism and its reception. For example, see the many results when you run the search term "Hebrew" through the translation search engine.
A translation of the last of the Suda’s 31000+ entries was submitted to the database on July 21, 2014 and vetted the next day. This milestone is very gratifying, but the work of the project is far from over. As mentioned above, one of the founding principles of the project is that the process of improving and annotating our translations will go on indefinitely. Much important work remains to be done. We are also constantly thinking of ways to improve SOL's infrastructure and to add new tools and features. If you are interested in helping us with the continuing betterment of SOL, please read about how you can register as an editor and/or contact the managing editors.