Classical dictionaries, History of scholarship
When once pressed at a party about what he really did for a living, D.R. Shackleton Bailey is said to have acerbically replied, “I just look things up all day.” This remark, however ironic, carries more than a grain of truth: classicists do in fact devote vast portions of their lives to looking things up, especially in dictionaries of Greek and Latin. It is thus salutary to reflect on the nature of the tools we all spend so much time using. Classical Dictionaries, an edited collection of papers delivered at an Oxford conference in June 2009, does just that, considering the stories of both familiar and lesser known lexica. The book is subtitled “Past, present and future,” but it is mostly devoted to the history of scholarship, and in that field it scores an unqualified success: it is excellent both in treating dictionaries past and in evaluating the present lexical offerings as products of that past. When it comes to discussing the future of dictionaries, the book is occasionally on less sure footing, but nevertheless opens up important fields for discussion and debate.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
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Direct link to published article: http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2011/2011-07-51.html
Keeline, Tom, "Christopher Stray (ed.), Classical Dictionaries: Past, Present and Future - Book Review" (2011). Modern & Classical Languages. 52.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Classical philology--History; Greek language--Lexicography--History; Latin language--Lexicography--History