Segetes: a Digital Initiative in Discovering and Simplifying Access to Open Source Metadata for Vergil’s Works

Luke Hollis
Lead Software
Archimedes Digital

Reading on a screen should be as simple and beautiful of experience as reading a book.  Similarly, interacting with metadata should be as intuitive as interacting with the text itself, no matter what device a user accesses it with.  Segetes is a simple, developer-friendly framework for creating and curating networked texts in web applications that can share seamlessly between each other and have the potential to create decentralized networks.  The first application built with the Segetes framework is the poetry of Vergil and is available at

 Segetes’s project is twofold: first, to discover and extract metadata for source texts with its open-source modules–including grammatical structures, scansion, textual allusion, entity abstraction, related media, and a concordance of citations for line-specific related criticism–and second, to provide easy access to this data via a web interface, RESTful web service, or document exports as JSON-LD.  The Segetes framework is built to be as useful and streamlined as possible for developers at all skill levels, and allows researchers to customize the data model and define schemas as necessary.

Segetes seeks to simplify user interactions and strives for clarity within intricacy in complex metadata. It accomplishes this by using and extending current, TEI, and Dublin Core standards for annotating metadata and utilizing CITE architecture URNs where applicable.  The primary endpoint of the API is the paragraph or line–and most metadata (save some grammatical constructs) reference this unit as a whole; thus, the data model provides ease of search and ordering by this base unit to make developing new views, applications, and components as easy as possible.

As networked texts continue to change the way that users read and study, Segetes seeks to make sharing data an integral and creative force that drives the formation of archives.  Automated import and export modules remove obstacles between developers and their data and enable researchers to share it easily.  Similarly, each Segetes application offers robust webhooks for networking resources and updates between other Segetes applications that it is linked with.  Text search and reuse, disambiguating shared entities, publishing updates, and sharing media are all made easy with in-network texts.

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