GLP Archive

St Benedict

Greek Lexicon Project

A new Ancient Greek-English lexicon at Cambridge

The Faculty of Classics is hosting a project for an Ancient Greek-English Lexicon of intermediate size, suitable for students, but also taking account of the most recent textual and philological scholarship. We are not only replacing traditional archaic terminology with up-to-date English and omitting obsolete readings and interpretations, but also re-examining the source material used in other dictionaries and examining the new material which has been discovered since the end of the nineteenth century.

We have adopted a semantic method of organising the articles, closer in style to the Oxford Latin Dictionary than to other Greek dictionaries. As far as the limitations of space allow, we give a description of each word rather than just single-word translations. Contextual information is also included, in order to give a picture of the ways in which meanings can vary, and help students develop a sensitivity to the subtleties of Greek word meaning.

For this we need to consult the ancient texts, in order to re-evaluate the meanings and connotations in their original contexts. This process requires the establishment of a comprehensive archive of the textual sources. Until recently, this would have been very labour-intensive, but now lexicographic "slips" can be created electronically, and stored in digital form, for use as required. We have developed a database of slips in partnership with Professor Rydberg-Cox of the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

So as to reach the widest possible readership, the lexicon will also be published online, as part of the Perseus Digital Library, in addition to the print edition from Cambridge University Press. In order to create an integrated writing and publishing environment from the start, we are composing the lexicon using XML technology.