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Lexicons

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Lexicons

Postby Lex » Mon May 19, 2003 9:52 pm

What are good lexicons for a beginner? I have read that the abridged Liddell is the best of the Liddells for beginners, but it also seems to assume that the user knows some Latin, which I do not. Are there any other good ones?
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Re:Lexicons

Postby annis » Mon May 19, 2003 10:25 pm

[quote author=Lex link=board=2;threadid=119;start=0#547 date=1053381176]<br />What are good lexicons for a beginner? I have read that the abridged Liddell is the best of the Liddells for beginners, but it also seems to assume that the user knows some Latin, which I do not. Are there any other good ones?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />I've never thought of L&S requiring latin (except for naughty words, easy to figure out), but I suppose some of the denser grammatical summaries of usage do seem to use a lot of Latin.<br /><br />I live by the Middle Liddell. I've never owned the Little Liddell, because I think it doesn't give enough detail and context to really satisfy my love of etymology. And I cannot afford the Great Scott. For Homeric work I use the Cunliffe. Authenrieth is of little worth in my opinion.<br /><br />Last year Oxford published a new Classical Greek lexicon. I have not seen it, but BMCR recently reviewed it:<br /><br />http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2003/2003-05-03.html<br /><br />Sounds pretty good.<br /><br />--<br />wm
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Re:Lexicons

Postby adz000 » Mon May 19, 2003 10:37 pm

I can't speak from personal experience but a professor of mine strongly recommends the Little Liddell in preference to the Middle, particularly for the beginner because it tends to have more principal parts and variant spellings as alphabetical entries. Again this isn't from my own experience, since it sounds counterintuitive, but he claims to generally be able to find more with greater ease in the Little than the Middle. For etymology there really is no replacement for the Great Scott and it's not too expensive on Amazon.
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Re:Lexicons

Postby Lex » Mon May 19, 2003 10:58 pm

[quote author=William Annis link=board=2;threadid=119;start=0#548 date=1053383107]<br />I live by the Middle Liddell. I've never owned the Little Liddell, because I think it doesn't give enough detail and context to really satisfy my love of etymology. <br />[/quote]<br /><br />The reason I'm willing to sacrifice etymological joy, for now, is because the Little supposedly assumes less knowledge of the grammar. (I know, I should master the grammar, but I don't want to overly frustrate myself in the early stages.) For instance, some conjugations supposedly point you to the conjugation that you are supposed to be looking up, etc.<br /><br />[quote author=William Annis link=board=2;threadid=119;start=0#548 date=1053383107]<br />And I cannot afford the Great Scott. <br />[/quote]<br /><br />I've read on Amazon that the typesetting is so atrocious that parts are barely legible, so unless they come out with a CD version, it might be best to avoid it.<br /><br />[quote author=William Annis link=board=2;threadid=119;start=0#548 date=1053383107]<br />Last year Oxford published a new Classical Greek lexicon. I have not seen it, but BMCR recently reviewed it:<br /><br />http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2003/2003-05-03.html<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Thanks for the tip.
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Re:Lexicons

Postby annis » Tue May 20, 2003 12:25 am

Ahh. I should have mentioned this.<br /><br />For the tricky "what in the world is this verb form" sorts of questions I use the "Complete Handbook of Greek Verbs" by Marinone and Guala. Small, cheap, and quick to use. It was my constant companion when I first started tackling uncommented, non-student texts.<br /><br />--<br />wm<br />
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Re:Lexicons

Postby auctor » Tue May 20, 2003 10:38 am

Hi all,<br /><br />I bought the Pocket Oxford Classical Greek Dictionary (link to a review in previous messages) earlier this year. It seems like an ideal first dictionary and will be my reference for a few Greek-based crosswords [all will be revealed in due course!]<br /><br />There is also the Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek; both seem ideal books for the time being, used in conjunction with the more "traditional" grammars available on this web-site.<br /><br />Dictionary - ISBN 0-19-860512-9<br />Grammar - ISBN 0-19-860456-4<br /><br />cheers,<br />Paul
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Re:Lexicons

Postby vinobrien » Tue May 20, 2003 11:45 am

I use the middle Liddell too but I also have a plastic bound Langenscheidt for those "awkward monents" when the I'm reading on the sofa, the wife is watching ER and the blessed work of L&S would cause logistical problems in the manipulation of my gin and tonic.
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Re:Lexicons

Postby Elucubrator » Tue May 20, 2003 10:06 pm

This is too great a topic not to throw in my two drachmas worth. Having read all the previous posts I'll just make a few brief statements on the books that have been mentioned with which I have some experience.<br /><br />(1) The Great Scott (LSJ): I am a graduate student of Classics and I maybe use this a couple of times a year, not more. Granted that I may be using it much more frequently if/when I get into research, but as far as reading texts goes, it has almost never been necessary for me to consult it except in very few instances and with uncommon authors. <br /><br />This isn't a dictionary for reading Greek as much as it is for learning all the details and uses of every word, and so, it can actually take you forever to find the definition you are looking for through the columns of text all packed together with no indentation or spaces to separate them, and with a strange system of numeration (capital Roman numerals, lowercase Roman numerals, arabic numbers, letters, and so forth), which I have still not figured out or bothered to. <br /><br />As for the bad condition of the text in the 9th edition: it is not nearly as bad as the comments on Amazon make it seem. The main thing is that the text is not very dark, but it is still quite legible. The ninth edition can be purchased with the supplement included and it contains all of the new words discovered since the earlier supplement had come out. It also contains all the Mycenaean words discovered in the Linear B tablets.<br /><br />(2) the Middle Liddel and the Little Liddel: the first of these was the first Greek dictionary I ever owned, and there is nothing wrong with it. It is good. You don't have to know any Latin to use it. It's advantage over the Little Liddel is that it includes, in addition to some of the conjugated forms of the verbs in the different tenses and moods, citations of passages where the words themselves are used. The Little Liddel does not, in order to save space.<br /><br />In spite of this difference which might be considered an advantage by some, once I had discovered the Little Liddel I never again used the Middle version of the dictionary. Why? Because the little one is so much handier, and faster to use when looking up words. I spent much of the last semester doing readings together with a friend. I used the Little Liddel, and he used the slightly larger one. Never did my dictionary come up short, and even once the Middle Liddel actually did not have a word that appeared in the smaller version. At times neither dictionary had the word and we had to go poring through the Great Scott, but this very seldom happened.<br /><br />(3) The flexible plastic covered Langenscheidt: Vincent, how well I understand what you are saying you cannot imagine. I finally got to the point in my studies where I could not bear having to open the dictionary another time. I began underlining the words that I wasn't sure of and just tried to read the text figuring out their meaning through context. This was actually a good thing to try to do, but it wasn't my original intention. I had just been killed by the dictionary. I didn't want to read sitting at a desk any more. If you ever had to read sitting with your neck inclined looking down at a book on your desk for 16 hours a day, months on end, you can imagine what I am talking about. So eventually I would only read while lying on my back on the couch or on the floor, and using any dictionary in such a position is practically impossible...UNLESS, you have the pocket sized plastic covered Langenscheidt, which happens to be great for this and for travelling too.<br /><br />A note on these pocket sized dictionaries: I have the Latin one as well, the print is very small, and one person who saw that I had it asked to see it and claimed that it was a complete waste of money, but the truth is that it is quite excellent and practical so long as you are sticking to the beginner's cannonical texts: Cicero, Caesar, Ovid, Vergil. I'm not sure who else, but the thing will come up short on more advanced authors. So, not bad at all. <br /><br />(4) Marinone Guala handbook of all the Greek verbs: It's just as William has described it. It is also something you will not need if you take care to learn all the principal parts of each verb you learn, because then you recognise the forms without such assistance. However, for those who jump into reading real Greek texts right away, without bothering to learn the alternative forms in the optative of contract verbs or whatever, the book is extremely useful. However, you will later come to a point where you never need it. In my first year of graduate school I only went to it once. Did I need to? Not really; I could have figured it out on my own, but when you have to read 60 pages of Greek and 50 more of Latin per week, if you take the time to figure everything out, you will not finish the readings. So, it could be a help there too, and come to think of it I did check it twice this year.<br /><br />Those are the only ones of which I know, and my recommendation to anyone, beginner, intermediate, or advanced, would be to have the Little Liddel. However, I do not know about this new dictionary which Oxford has apparently put out, and reading the BMCR (Bryn Mawr Classical Review) of the dictionary is probably a good idea.<br /><br />-S.
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Re:Lexicons

Postby annis » Wed May 21, 2003 4:25 am

[quote author=Elucubrator link=board=2;threadid=119;start=0#561 date=1053468369]<br />(4) Marinone Guala handbook of all the Greek verbs: It's just as William has described it. It is also something you will not need if you take care to learn all the principal parts of each verb you learn,<br />[/quote]<br /><br />This may be an important difference between professionals and people like myself. I can memorize all I want, but I'm simply not moving through Greek texts at the same speed as a classics graduate student. I haven't the time. I'll just forget the obscure parts until I see them in context a few times, and that may be months or longer after I thought I had a verb well in my brain. And most of us aren't going to see h)/|thn terribly often. :)<br /><br />So, M&G may be vital for those of us who are of necessity taking a more erratic approach to Greek, though eventually it will spend most of the time on the shelf.<br />
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Re:Lexicons

Postby Colin » Mon Jun 16, 2003 12:05 am

I recommend the word list generator at Perseus. You can download 100 % of the vocabulary of any section of any their huge section of Classical texts copy it onto a word document divided into three columns across a landscape and Voila! you have minimized your thumbing time drastically. I use the pocket Oxford (which I think is great) for words with inadaquate definitions. If the Oxford doesn't cut it I then go online and use the online Liddel and Scott at Perseus.
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Cunliffe's Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect

Postby swiftnicholas » Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:20 pm

This lexicon was mentioned briefly, but I thought I would emphasize just how helpful this book is for reading Homer on your own (and I would imagine for university students and scholars as well?). As the title indicates, it is concerned exclusively with the Homeric usage of words. It lists more forms than the Autenrieth, which facilitates swift reference, especially for the student (like myself) who wants to do some reading in between the memorization of paradigms. In addition, it provides a substantial concordance to Homer's poems, so very often you can find the exact passage you seek cited as an example of usage. It's worth the money several times over. Perhaps it even exists online?
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Re:Lexicons

Postby Kopio » Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:32 pm

Colin wrote:I recommend the word list generator at Perseus. You can download 100 % of the vocabulary of any section of any their huge section of Classical texts copy it onto a word document divided into three columns across a landscape and Voila! you have minimized your thumbing time drastically. I use the pocket Oxford (which I think is great) for words with inadaquate definitions. If the Oxford doesn't cut it I then go online and use the online Liddel and Scott at Perseus.


ooooooohhhhhh......wwwoooooowwwww.....I didn't know you could do that at Perseus :P :P :P ......that is ENTIRELY too handy!

I'm gonna have to run and tell all of my geeky Greek friends about this :P
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