- For the ancient landmark in the Roman Forum, see Lacus Curtius.
LacusCurtius is a website specializing in ancient Rome, currently hosted on a server at the University of Chicago. It went online on August 26, 1997; in February 2013 it had "3447 webpages, 753 photos, 737 drawings & engravings, 119 plans, 81 maps." The site is the creation of William P. Thayer (Bill).
The main resources to be found on it include:
- a number of Latin texts, usually in the original Latin and in English translation,
- Greek texts in English translation,
- Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities,
- Platner's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
- several secondary works, mostly on Rome and Roman Britain,
- a photogazetteer of the Roman remains of central Italy,
- an often-cited online copy of Richard Hinckley Allen's Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning,
- the Antiquary's Shoebox, a selection of articles from classical studies journals that are now in public domain.
The parent site also includes a large American history section and a Gazetteer of Italy; the latter is somewhat of a misnomer, being almost entirely about central Italy, especially Umbria, for which it is a useful source.
In the early days of the site, LacusCurtius was often the only English source online for a number of the primary texts presented by Thayer. The English translations, and usually the Greek or Latin originals, were not scanned, but transcribed manually from Loeb Classical Library editions that had entered public domain, and less often from other sources. Though many of these primary texts could after a decade be found elsewhere on the web, Thayer's versions feature enhanced functionalities. They provide direct word-links to terms in Smith's Dictionary and other secondary sources on LacusCurtius and elsewhere, and often link quoted or cited passages to the full text of other ancient sources. Thayer corrects typographical errors in the Loeb editions, with a note on the original error, and on occasion provides his own commentary to update his source material, most of which is near or more than a century old.
In similar fashion, Thayer's edition of Smith's Dictionary is keyed in article by article, and is linked to other entries and to the primary sources cited. Each entry appears on an individual page, except for very short entries, which are collected on alphabetical index pages that link to the major articles. Thayer also provides topical indices for subjects such as the Roman military, law, and daily life. Thayer has stated that his interest in subject matter pertaining to ancient Greece is slim, and his selection from Smith's is predominately Roman, with Greek topics included as they illuminate Roman texts.