Using Perseus Timelines
- How do I generate a timeline?
- What can I find out from a timeline?
- How do I move around a timeline?
The two main uses of Perseus timelines are to look at the
distribution of dates in individual documents and in collections of
When you are reading a text that has references to dates, for
Historical Library, there will be a link to timelines
dates in this
When you are browsing collections of materials in the Perseus Table of
Contents, click on the "Plot Dates" button at the top of
each collection to generate a chart for all dates in that collection.
Refer to the figure below or view this
timeline with your browser.
- The "From" and "to" boxes indicate that you're viewing dates from
800 B.C. to 83 B.C.
- The red and green bar graph across the top summarizes the
distribution of dates by centuries and decades. This text concentrates
on the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. and particularly on the 330s and
- The left-hand column (the Y axis) labels the parts of the
document: in this case, the traditional "books", or scrolls,
of Diodorus' history. As the text progresses, there is a fairly steady
movement from earlier to later dates, as one would expect in a
chronological work. Many documents, of course, are not chronological,
such as the alphabetically arranged Perseus
- Red points indicate single dates; yellow lines indicate date
You can navigate the timeline with the controls below:
Other navigation features:
- Type the beginning and ending years you want into the text boxes
and click the Change button.
- Click the left or right arrows to shift the coverage forward or
backward in time. If there are no later or earlier dates in the
current document(s), there will be no arrow.
- If you are particularly interested in a small range of dates,
select the zoom option and then click on the chart to get more
detailed information on the point where you clicked.
- Select the "find date in document" option, then click a point on
the chart to jump directly to the mention of the date in the document.
- If you are viewing a timeline for several documents, clicking on
the left-hand column will generate a timeline for just one document.
- If you are viewing a timeline for one document, clicking on the
left-hand column will bring up the indicated part of the document.
- Click on the bar graph at the top of the chart for a textual list
of all dates mentioned in that decade or year. You can also get a list
by selecting "list mode" and clicking on the chart. For some documents
or collections, the complete list will be very long.