Posts Tagged ‘dictionary’

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E-Books for Learning Greek

April 4, 2011

I have started looking more seriously at texts for elementary Greek that can be used on the Kindle (and/or other e-book readers), in advance of a possible trial in a class this summer.  Here’s a list of resources I have found useful – do you have any to add? The following include texts available in Kindle format, and texts available as .pdfs – most e-book readers can deal with simply-formatted .pdf files, although their treatment of footnotes or multi-column pages can be, frankly, terrible. I have NOT included online-only texts (as at Perseus, TLG, etc.)

Hathi Trust

  • A scholarly e-book repository, it includes most out-of-copyright works (pre-1923) digitized by Google Books, plus additional titles post-1923 where Hathi staff have worked with publishers and authors to make works available to the public.
  • Search interface is very much like a library online catalog, so it’s easier to find a known title than when searching Google Books.
  • Note one can create a free account and make lists (“public collections“) of texts.  It would be useful to have such a list for important classical works, no?  Maybe in my copious free time (or yours).

Google Books

  • An alphabetical list of works selected by Crane and Babeu – Google Books Ancient Greek and Latin Texts Available as downloadable .pdf files.
  • Ditto, but US-access only. Requires a Google account to log in, and you must be in the US.
  • You can also search Google Books for specific titles, but good luck getting what you want in the first page of results – I’d try Hathi Trust first, myself, as the search interface is more sophisticated.

TextKit

  • Requires creation of an account (free), after which one can download .pdf files.
  • Includes out-of-copyright texts – this site dates to 2001, so the texts were hand-scanned before the advent of Google Books.
  • Greek texts library. There’s also Latin.

Downloebables

  • Best website name ever? Links to downloadable .pdf versions of out-of-copyright editions from the Loeb Classical Libraries.

Project Gutenberg

For purchase at Amazon (prices listed – they are generally modest).

One problem I have run into is that the Kindle cannot convert any documents larger than 25MB, and many .pdf files are larger than this.  The solution is to use Adobe Acrobat and break up the .pdf files into smaller units, which requires a) possession of Adobe Acrobat (the production software, not just the reader) and b) more work on the user end – a lexicon that’s divided into several chunks alphabetically is not as easy to use.

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Resource Reviews: Ancient Philosophy

March 30, 2011

The UGA Classics department does not specialize in ancient philosophy; the philosophy department does have a 3000-level class on ancient philosophy. But philosophy comes up all the time in my work with classics students. For example, last semester I worked with an undergraduate who was looking at a relief sculpture and wanted to tie in Plato’s allegory of the cave, so we tried to get a sense of what contemporary attitudes towards and knowledge of Plato would have been (in the later Hellenistic period.)

We have relatively few works in the Reference department in the Main Library at UGA, but we do have the big ones:

  • Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy (1962-1981, 6 volumes), Main Reference B171 .G984h (with another copy on the 6th floor available for checkout.) Jenkins discusses this as no. 867, calling it “long established as the standard work in the field.” The six volumes cover the Presocratic philosophers through Aristotle, and focus on discussion of the philosophical works themselves. While Jenkins calls Guthrie “accessible to the lay reader” it is probably for more sophisticated undergraduates or graduate students, not entry-level students.
  • Armstrong,The Cambridge history of later Greek and early medieval philosophy (1967), Main Reference B171 .A79 (also with a circulating copy on the 6th floor.)  This edited volume covers the period from the 4th century BCE to the 12th century CE, giving  “a good general survey of later Greek philosophy and its influence.” (Jenkins no. 863)
  • Zeyl, et al., Encyclopedia of classical philosophy (Greenwood Press, 1997) Main Reference B163 .E53 1997. Jenkins (no. 883) calls this work “an excellent encyclopedia,” and it is where I would send most entry-level students.  It has signed articles with scholarly bibliographies, and covers philosophers and philosophic schools from the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE.

We also have:

  • Preus, Historical Dictionary of Ancient Greek Philosophy (Scarecrow Press, 2007), Main Reference B111 .P74 2007.  This came out too late to be reviewed by Jenkins.  It is a dictionary, with short entries of a paragraph or two. It is definitely aimed at undergraduates, and might be most useful for those looking for definitions of common philosophical terms and concepts, though it does have thumbnail sketches of specific philosophers and movements.
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Resource Reviews: Roman Religion

January 28, 2011

Following up on the Mediterranean and Greek Religion post of last week, this week we treat reference resources in Roman Religion (an area, I confess, fairly mysterious to me, even before we get to the fad for mystery cults).  Note previous posts in the “Mythology and Religion series” are:

Roman Religion:

Adkins & Adkins, Dictionary of Roman Religion (Main Library Sixth Floor, BL798 .A35 1996) This volume is in the Facts on File series, which librarians will recognize as providing entry-level reference works on subjects, with fairly short entries and a relatively limited scholarly bibliography.  Jenkins discusses this as no. 892, and notes that it “includes numerous illustrations and plans” and covers “Judaism and early Christianity as well as the pagan religions and ancient Rome.”

Beard, North, and Price, Religions of Rome: A history (Main Library Sixth Floor, BL802 .B43 1998) For the serious scholar, including a serious undergraduate, this serves as an excellent introduction.  Jenkins discusses this two volume set in two parts (nos. 325 and 896), composed as it is of a one-volume narrative covering major topics on Roman religion, with “extensive references to both primary sources and the secondary literature,” and a second volume comprising many of those primary sources, including both texts and material objects such as inscriptions and coins.

North, Roman Religion (Main Library Third Floor, PA25 .G7 no. 30).  This book is shelved with the PAs (and not BL for religion) because it’s part of the Greece and Rome, New Surveys in the Classics series (like the Greek Religion volume by Bremmer discussed last week), a series of bibliographic works on various subjects.  Jenkins (no. 916) notes that this volume goes beyond bibliography and serves as a “readable and reliable” “compact survey of Roman religion itself.”  The bibliography itself is “excellent and selective” and Jenkins also notes the very useful tables and charts.
There are several quite recent “Introductions” to Roman Religion available, too new to be included in Jenkins.  They include:

Warrior, Roman Religion (Main Library Sixth Floor, BL803 .W37 2006).  Celia Schultz in BMCR provides a nice overview of several newer works on roman religion, noting its popularity,  but that this work is, while comprehensive and valuable for students, “not the definitive, comprehensive introduction to Roman religion that the scholars in the field and publishers are seeking.”

Rives, Religion in the Roman Empire (Main Library Sixth Floor, BL803 .R58 2007)  This is checked out, so I haven’t looked at it – though being checked out is a sign of someone’s endorsement, right?  It’s from a series on Ancient Religions by Blackwell.  Benedetta Bessi at BMCR calls it “an agile and stimulating overview,” designed for the entry level.

Rupke, Religion of the Romans (Main Library Sixth Floor, BL803 .R8513 2007) Jan Nelis at BMCR calls it a “solid treatment” suitable for scholars and students, and emphasizes the reliance on primary sources.  We also have the Rukpe-edited volume for Blackwell, A Companion to Roman Religion (Main Library Sixth Floor, BL803 .C66 2007).  This is a collection of essays, meant to add up to a comprehensive overview.

Augustus Caesar as pontifexHere’s a link to all 306 works in the UGA Libraries’ catalog under the subject heading Rome – Religion.

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Print Mythology Dictionaries

December 10, 2010

I have discussed LIMC and classical mythology websites in earlier posts, so will continue the topic of mythology with a discussion of  print resources we have at UGA for classical myth.

Jenkins recommends two top print reference works in Classical Mythology.  Neither of these are currently in Reference at UGA:

  • Pierre Grimal’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology (Main Library 6th floor, BL715 .G713 1986; Jenkins no. 906) is described as “the best of the many general dictionaries of Greek and Roman mythology in English,” and is of special value for its “scholarly apparatus.”  UGA also has the French edition, of which the above is a translation: Dictionnaire de la mythologie grecque et romaine.  The concise edition in English (Jenkins no. 907) was recently sent to the Repository.
  • Jenkins (no. 931) favors Tripp, Crowell’s Handbook of Classical Mythology (Main Library 6th floor, BL303 .T75 1970, also, under a different title, the 1974 edition) for its “very full and accurate account of the myths,” although it is more targeted to the scholar encountering references to classical myths in western literature than to the classical scholar.

In the Reference Department are a few general works:

  • Dixon-Kennedy, Encyclopedia of Greco-Roman Mythology (Main Reference, 1st Floor, BL715 .D56 1998).  Jenkins (no. 902) describes this as ” a suitable ready-reference for students,” noting that it has entries for places and ancient authors, not just mythological personages.
  • Oxford Dictionary of Classical Myth and Religion (Main Reference, First Floor, BL715 .O845 2003; Jenkins, no. 920) consists of edited entries relevant to classical mythology taken from the Oxford Classical Dictionary.  Jenkins calls it “useful” but notes that the entries do not include bibliographies of secondary literature, so for most students researching for papers the OCD would be more useful.

Recently exiled to the Repository, in my opinion by mistake, and I am trying to wrest it back to Reference, is:

  • March, Cassell Dictionary of Classical Mythology (Main Reference, 1st Floor, BL715 .M37 1998, temporarily shelved at the Repository; Jenkins no. 914).  This in my opinion is the modern Reference standard – I suspect this is the volume most often kept on “ready reference” shelves (in libraries that still have those!).  Jenkins notes that the 1998 edition (which is the one we have) has “excellent black-and-white illustrations.”  He compares it “favorably” with Grimal, above.

A subject heading search in the UGA catalog for Mythology – Dictionaries (which will include some non-classical works; for the most recent works the heading is Mythology, Classical – Dictionaries) will pull up the rest.  I’ll discuss a few more specialized mythology dictionaries, and reference resources for ancient religion as distinct from myth, in future posts.

Mighty Aphrodite -- Lely's Venus

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Reference Resources: Mythology

November 5, 2010

There are a lot of reference works on classical mythology published, with new ones out every single year, it seems.  Mythology is probably the classics topic with the most widespread appeal, from 2nd graders to 300-seat college lectures to Learning in Retirement programs, so many of the available mythological dictionaries and encyclopedias are targeted very broadly, and marketed to public and school libraries as well as (or instead of) universities.  What I would like in a classical mythology encyclopedia for college students is:

  • clear summary of the various myths associated with a figure
  • accurate and full citations to the primary sources for those myths (it is shocking how often these are not included)
  • examples and discussions of depictions of those myths in classical art
  • discussion of places, temples, rituals associated with the myths

So, obviously my favorite reference resource on mythology is Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC).  I first used it as an undergraduate, and when I was in graduate school the final volumes were not yet published, so we’d all scramble to choose mythological figures whose names began with the letters A-H.  Woe bedtide you if you got Zeus – no LIMC to do your legwork for you!  Now all the volumes are available (8 sets of 1 print and 1 plates volumes, for a total of 16 books).  At UGA our copy is at Main Reference (1st floor) NX650 .M9 L40Jenkins (no. 913) describes it as “by far the best source for locating and studying myths as they appear in ancient art” but does not seem as overwhelmingly fond of it for general purposes as I am.

Unfortunately, LIMC is a challenge for many undergraduates, especially those at the entry level – the level most likely to be studying classical mythology.  They are intimidated by foreign languages which they mostly do not read, and the terse (i.e. professional-level) citation style for primary sources in LIMC can be confusing.  I do show LIMC to many classes; many honors undergraduates and upper-level majors are happy to tackle it, and my goal is to make every grad student love and cherish it as I do.  But for the average 1000-level mythology student, it’s too much.  I will tackle some of the alternatives they turn to in forthcoming posts.

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Greek Dictionaries: New Testament and Later

August 23, 2010

Jenkins discusses several dictionaries of later Greek, some of which we have in Reference and some in the stacks.  I am considering a consultation with my colleague who works with the Religion department to make sure the most useful works are in our limited Reference space.

Jenkins highlights (no. 501) Bauer’s (rev. Aland) Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (2000), Main Reference PA881 .B38 2000,  as the “standard lexicon for New Testament Greek,” and a “useful tool for all who deal with Hellenistic and later Greek.”  It covers early Christian writers but also the Septuagint, Philo and Josephus, papyri, and some Byzantine authors.  At UGA, we also have older editions in the library stacks (i.e. Main 3rd Floor PA881 .B3 1957) that can be checked out.

Jenkins recommends Lust’s Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (no. 514), Main 3rd Floor PA781 .L8 1992, as the “best choice” for the “many peculiarities” of this text, and a modern lexicon.

We do not own a copy of G. Lampe’s Patristic Greek Lexicon (Oxford 1961), though I suspect maybe we should, and perhaps we once did and our copy was lost.  (Worldcat reveals that many libraries in the state system do have it, so GIL Express can come to the rescue of any of our faculty or students in need.)  Jenkins (no.  509) describes it as a supplement to LSJ 9th ed. (discussed here), covering “Clement of Rome (1st century A. D.) to Theodore of Studium (d. 826 A. D.)” and highlighting “theological and ecclestiastical vocabulary.”

Not discussed by Jenkins, but in Main Reference are:

For post-classical Greek, there are:

Sophocles, Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (from B.C. 146 to A.D. 1100) Main Reference PA1123 .S712.  Jenkins (no. 517) describes this “as the only Greek-English lexicon for the Byzantine period,” although it is essentially unaltered since its initial publication in 1870.  For the Roman period, Liddell and Scott (discussed here) is usually as good.

Jenkins does not discuss Du Cange, Glossarium et Scriptores Media et Infimae Graecitatis Main Reference PA1125 .D8 1943, which we keep in Reference.  Its origins are in the 17th century, and as the title indicates, is a Greek-Latin rather than Greek-English dictionary for the later periods.   It is available in digital format for free download through the Anemi Digital Library of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Crete.

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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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Resource Reviews: Greek Dictionaries

July 12, 2010

Greek language dictionaries are less numerous and diverse than the Latin.  According to Jenkins, there is really only once choice for a basic Greek dictionary: Liddell, Scott, Jones (LSJ), available in three sizes, discussed by Jenkins as no. 511. 512, 513 (are undergraduates still taught to call them the Little Liddell, Middle Liddell, and Great Scott?).  It covers Greek from Homer to ca. 600 AD.  The UGA Libraries have multiple copies and multiple editions, and keep the 1996 reprint of the Greek-English Lexicon (Jenkins’ no. 511) in the Reference collection (Main Reference PA445 .E5 L6 1996).  The 1940 printing – the same basic edition, the 9th, as the 1996, but lacking the revised supplement – is available online through Perseus.  Most undergraduates and many graduate students will use the Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon (Jenkins no. 513) for their day-to-day needs; it is widely available new in the $45 price range.  LSJ is not available digitally as part of the Premium Collection of Oxford Reference Online or  Oxford Language Dictionaries Online.

"middle Liddell" - by marmaduk at flickr, under a creative commons license

The only other general Greek-English dictionary discussed by Jenkins is the old print Thesaurus  Graecae Linguae (no. 505), which he describes as, “based on obsolete texts and methods” (with origins in the Renaissance) and of use now only to specialists; UGA’s copy remains in Main Reference at PA442 .E8 1954.

For examples of use, scholars are directed to the digital Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG, no. 519), a much-heralded and appreciated resource which is one of the pioneering works of digital humanities (begun in 1972!).  The TLG includes the digitized, searchable text of “virtually all Greek texts surviving from the period between Homer (8 c. B.C.) and the fall of Byzantium in A.D. 1453,” and includes “more than 105 million words from over 10,000 works associated with 4,000 authors” (source: their history pages). The UGA Libraries do not subscribe to the TLG, but the Classics Department does, and several of the computers in the Gantz Computer Lab in Park Hall have registered IP addresses.  Many of the most commonly used texts in TLG are part of the freely available Abridged Online version.

Etymological dictionaries and those that cover New Testament or Byzantine Greek will be discussed in future posts.

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Resource Review: More Latin Dictionaries

May 26, 2010

This post is a bit of a catch-all, following the more detailed discussions of TLL and the standard latin dictionaries, dealing with what Jenkins recommends and what we own at UGA, especially in Main Reference.

Egidio Forcellini wins the prize for Best Name of the Day! (Egidio is derived from the Greek and the etymologically minded will see the connection to the word “goat”; it’s also the name Giles, in English.)  Forcellini’s 18th century Totius Latinitatis Lexicon is in Main Reference at UGA (in the 1965 reprint).  Jenkins (no. 506) describes it as “long the fullest and most complete latin dictionary,” but now superseded by the TLL.  It should be consulted for words not yet reached in the TLL, as it has more examples than the Oxford Latin Dictionary.

Jenkins includes two etymological dictionaries of latin: Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine, histoire des mots by Ernout and Meillet (no. 504; at the Repository, our offsite storage facility, which seems unfortunate to me) and Lateinisches etymologisches worterbuch by Walde and Hoffman (no. 521, also at the Repository.)  Both of these are described as commendable works, with the former stronger on the latin and the latter covering Indo-European roots in greater detail, and having longer entries in general.

English-latin dictionaries are not heavily used since the decline of  latin prose composition as a part of the curriculum, so it is not a surprise to find UGA’s copy of the standard work discussed by Jenkins (no. 515), Copious and Critical English-Latin Dictionary, at the Repository. (I must say I love the specificity of the title – it’s not just any old English-Latin Dictionary; it’s both Copious AND Critical!)

The only remaining latin dictionary discussed by Jenkins covers the late period (200-600CE), and I will discuss it in a future post with medieval latin dictionaries, of which we have several on the Reference shelves.

A fun work we have in Main Reference and the stacks is Orbis Pictus Latinus, an illustrated dictionary of latin, that seems like it would be both a lot of fun and a good teaching tool for beginners, at both the secondary and undergraduate levels.  The entire book (even the introduction) is in latin, requiring the student to use her existing latin skills to decipher the definitions of new words.  It’s a charming book, and still in print in Germany and available used in this country.

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Resource Review: Basic Latin Dictionaries

May 5, 2010

I spent some time discussing the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae the other week; now I want to cover the most commonly used latin dictionaries, the ones that undergraduate students are likely to own personally or consult online.

The standard latin dictionary for 100 years was Lewis and Short, A Latin Dictionary (Oxford 1879).  (My mother has a copy that was her grandfather’s when he was in graduate school; he had a PhD in philosophy from Chicago and taught at St. John’s College in Annapolis.  My family history is littered with Classics scholars.  But I digress.)  Jenkins (no. 510) says it “is based on antiquated principles and obsolete editions; it also contains many errors.”  It is, as Jenkins notes, still widely used, and its availability online at Perseus must make its use extra tempting for many students!  The UGA Library owns it in print and there are several copies of various printings in the Alexander Room in Classics.

The completion of the Oxford Latin Dictionary in 1982 (discussed in Jenkins as no. 508) meant there was a new standard dictionary of Latin.  As Jenkins notes, this dictionary was modeled in form on the Oxford English Dictionary and like the OED contains numerous examples illustrating usage.  It covers down to the 2nd century CE, with some coverage to the 3rd century but “Christian Latin is out of scope.”  There are print copies in Main Reference and the stacks, and three in the Alexander Room.  There is a pocket edition available, which I imagine is what undergraduates are recommended to purchase.  The pocket edition is available digitally as one of the titles in the Premium Collection of Oxford Reference Online but is not a part of  Oxford Language Dictionaries Online.  (UGA does not subscribe to either.)

As usual with my posts, I welcome any comments, especially those that correct any errors I may make!