El Diccionario Griego Español

An article by Elvira Gangutia explaining the origin and progress of the Diccionario Griego Español, the largest diccionary of Ancient Greek produced to date, appeared in 2007 in Arbor: Ciencia, Pensamiento y Cultura. You can download a PDF version of the article at http://dge.cchs.csic.es/bib/arbor.pdf. It’s written in Spanish, of course, but there’s a (very rough) translation of the abstract at the beginning of the article. If you can read Spanish, the article can be quite informative.

Here’s my own abstract and comments:

There was a significant revival of Classical studies in Spain in the 1960s. A part of that revival was the recognition of a need for a Greek lexicon directed at university students and faculty. Under the direction of professor Rodriguez Andrados a small group of researchers began work on the project. They quickly realized that the volume of Greek documents available had increased considerably since the most recent lexica were produced. The job was simply too massive for such a small team.

They broadened their objectives, embracing new fields of study and new methods. The research team was expanded, and the first few volumes of the dictionary began to appear. As computer resources began to emerge, these were incorporated, allowing both faster processing and greater reliability. The web has proved a vital tool in recent work on the lexicon.

The enormous scope of the work has not permitted a quick conclusion to the project, although it has received considerable acclaim. So far, seven volumes have appeared (one since the writing of Gangutia’s article).

The latest volume covers ἐκπελλεύω—ἔξαυος. There’s an enormous amount left to be done, but what’s available now is a significant advance over previous efforts. When will a similar project get underway in English? We can only hope.

What do you think? Other readers and I would love to hear from you.

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