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Greek Dictionaries: Etymological

August 9, 2010

I discussed the most fundamental Greek dictionaries in an earlier post. In this post I turn to etymological dictionaries of Greek, as well as mentioning a few lesser-used dictionaries that UGA continues to keep in its Reference area.

Jenkins compares two major etymological dictionaries: Chantraine and Frisk.  Hjalmar Frisk’s Griechisches Etymologisches Worterbuch (Jenkins 507), described as “the standard etymological dictionary for the Greek language,” is at Main Ref PA445 .G3 F9 1960.  (The catalog is probably still showing this as at the Repository (off-site storage) but I have pulled it and asked that it be sent back to Main Reference).

Chantraine’s Dictionnaire Etymologique de la Langue Grecque (Jenkins 503) is at Main Ref PA422 .C5.  We also have a 2-volume edition in the circulating collection (Main 3rd Floor PA422 .C5) which I am happy to see is currently checked out! Jenkins describes Chantraine as “more concerned with the histories of the word than with their origins and linguistic affiliations.”  It was also written late enough to take advantage of the decipherment of Linear B, unlike Frisk.

The standard Greek prose composition dictionary discussed by Jenkins (no. 522) is still kept in Main Reference – and there’s even a copy in the Science Library Reference area, leading me to imagine physicists and forestry students painstakingly composing papers in Attic Greek!  It is Woodhouse, English-Greek Dictionary, Main Reference PA445 .E5 W6 1932b

We also have a dictionary of early Greek (Homer, including the epics and the hymns, and Hesiod) in Main Reference.  The Lexicon des Fruhgriechischen Epos (Main Reference PA422 .S6) is not discussed by Jenkins.  It is a just-completed German project that began in 1944, based at Goettingen:  “The Lexikon lists all words and names appearing in the above-mentioned texts, together with all their instances (except some indeclinables). Articles usually contain sections on etymology, metrics, ancient explanations, and modern secondary literature, while analysis of meaning occupies the central position.”

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