A Greek-English Lexicon

infobox Book |
name = A Greek-English Lexicon
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = Cover to 1996 edition of the "Greek-English Lexicon"
author = Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Henry Stuart Jones, and Roderick McKenzie
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = UK
language = English
series =
genre =
publisher = Oxford University Press
release_date = 1996 (9th edition)
media_type = Print (Hardcover)
pages =
isbn = ISBN 0-19-864226-1
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"A Greek-English Lexicon" is a standard lexicographical work of the Ancient Greek language, begun in the nineteenth century and now in its ninth (revised) edition. Based on the earlier "Handwörterbuch der griechischen Sprache" by the German lexicographer Franz Passow (first published in 1819, fourth edition 1831), which in turn was based on Johann Gottlob Schneider's "Kritisches griechisch-deutsches Handwörterbuch", it has served as the basis for all later lexicographical work on the ancient Greek language, such as the ongoing Greek-Spanish dictionary project "Diccionario Griego-Español" (DGE).

It was edited by Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Henry Stuart Jones and Roderick McKenzie, and published by the Oxford University Press. It is now conventionally referred to as Liddell & Scott, Liddell-Scott-Jones, or LSJ, and its three sizes are sometimes humorously referred to as "The Little Liddell", "The Middle Liddell" and "The Big Liddell" (big little) or "The Great Scott", though it should be noted that Liddell pronounced his name with the stress on the second syllable.

According to Stuart Jones's preface to the ninth (1925) edition, the creation of the "Lexicon" was originally proposed by David Alphonso Talboys, an Oxford publisher. It was apparently published by the Clarendon Press at Oxford rather than by Talboys because he retired from the publishing business before the first edition (1843) was complete. The second through sixth editions appeared in 1845, 1849, 1855, 1861, and 1869.

The first editor of the LSJ, Henry George Liddell, was Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and the father of Alice Liddell, the eponymous Alice of the writings of Lewis Carroll. The eighth edition (1897) is the last edition published during Liddell's lifetime.

The LSJ is sometimes compared and contrasted with "A Latin Dictionary" by Lewis and Short, which was also published by Oxford University Press (OUP). For comparisons between the two works, see the article on Lewis and Short's dictionary. It is also sometimes compared with the Bauer lexicon, which is a similar work focussed on the Greek of the New Testament.

Condensed editions

The seventh edition (1882) of the LSJ was condensed into "An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon" (1889), containing the essential vocabulary of most commonly read Ancient Greek literature. This is the edition most commonly used in classroom settings; it is humorously referred to as "the Middle Liddell".

There is also the even shorter "A Lexicon: Abridged from Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon", which is sometimes called "the Little Liddell". This edition contains fewer entries than the Intermediate edition, with all of the textual citations removed and less full coverage of irregular forms.

The Supplement

After the publication of the ninth edition in 1940, shortly after the deaths of both Stuart Jones and McKenzie, the OUP maintained a list of "addenda et corrigenda" (additions and corrections), which was bound with subsequent printings. However, in 1968, these were replaced by a Supplement to the LSJ. Neither the "addenda" nor the Supplement has ever been merged into the main text, which still stands as originally composed by Liddell, Scott, Jones, and McKenzie. The Supplement was initially edited by M. L. West. Since 1981, it has been edited by P. G. W. Glare, editor of the "Oxford Latin Dictionary" (not to be confused with Lewis and Short). Since 1988, it has been edited by Glare and Anne A. Thompson. As the title page of the "Lexicon" makes clear (and the prefaces to the main text and to the Supplement attest), this editorial work has been performed "with the cooperation of many scholars".

The Supplement primarily takes the form of a list of additions and corrections to the main text, sorted by entry. The supplemental entries are marked with signs to show the nature of the changes they call for. Thus, a user of the "Lexicon" can consult the Supplement after consulting the main text to see whether scholarship after Jones and McKenzie has provided any new information about a particular word. As of 2005, the most recent revision of the Supplement, published in 1996, contains 320 pages of corrections to the main text, as well as other materials.

Here is a typical entry from the revised Supplement:

:x polytonic| ἐκβουτῠπόομαι "to be changed into a cow", S."fr". 269a.37 R.

The small "x" indicates that this word did not appear in the main text at all; "S."fr"." refers to the collected fragmentary works of Sophocles.

One interesting new source of lexicographic material in the revised Supplement is the Mycenean inscriptions. The 1996 revised Supplement's Preface notes:

:At the time of the publication of the first Supplement it was felt that the Ventris decipherment of the Linear B tablets was still too uncertain to warrant the inclusion of these texts in a standard dictionary. Ventris's interpretation is now generally accepted and the tablets can no longer be ignored in a comprehensive Greek dictionary [...] .

Electronic editions

The ninth edition of LSJ is freely available in electronic form, having been released by the Perseus Project in 2007 under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. [ [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/help/oldannounce.html Perseus Digital Library, Archived Announcements, November 9, 2007] ] Diogenes, a free software package, incorporates the Perseus data and allows easy offline consultation of LSJ on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux platforms. [ [http://www.dur.ac.uk/p.j.heslin/Software/Diogenes/ Diogenes] ] The Perseus data has also been ported to the Palm Handheld platform. [ [http://text.handheldclassics.com/ "Henry George Liddell; Robert Scott 1940, A Greek-English Lexicon," Palm Handheld Edition] ]

A CD-ROM version published and sold by Logos Bible Software also incorporates the Supplement's additions to the ninth edition of LSJ.


External links

*Browse text [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057 at Perseus] or [http://archimedes.fas.harvard.edu/pollux/ at Harvard's Archimedes Project]
* [http://www.archive.org/details/greekenglishlex00liddrich Seventh edition (PDF)]
* [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/resolveform?lang=greek Search text at Perseus]
* [http://www.oup.co.uk/isbn/0-19-864226-1 Official home page of most recent print edition] at the Oxford University Press

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