Greek-English Lexicon
A Greek–English Lexicon is a standard lexicographical
Lexicography is divided into two related disciplines:*Practical lexicography is the art or craft of compiling, writing and editing dictionaries....

 work of the Ancient Greek language.

Liddell and Scott's lexicon

The lexicon was begun in the nineteenth century and is now in its ninth (revised) edition. Based on the earlier Handwörterbuch der griechischen Sprache by the German lexicographer Franz Passow
Franz Passow
Franz Ludwig Carl Friedrich Passow was a German classical scholar and lexicographer.He was born at Ludwigslust in Mecklenburg-Schwerin...

 (first published in 1819, fourth edition 1831), which in turn was based on Johann Gottlob Schneider
Johann Gottlob Schneider
Johann Gottlob Theaenus Schneider was a German classicist and naturalist.-Biography:Schneider was born at Collm in Saxony...

's Kritisches griechisch-deutsches Handwörterbuch, it has served as the basis for all later lexicographical work on the ancient Greek language, such as the ongoing Greek–Spanish dictionary project Diccionario Griego–Español (DGE).

It was edited by Henry George Liddell
Henry Liddell
Henry George Liddell was Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, dean of Christ Church, Oxford, headmaster of Westminster School , author of A History of Rome , and co-author of the monumental work A Greek-English Lexicon, which is still used by students of Greek...

, Robert Scott
Robert Scott (philologist)
Robert Scott was an English academic philologist, clergyman, and a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford...

, Henry Stuart Jones
Henry Stuart Jones
Sir Henry Stuart Jones was a British academic and fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford, where he held an appointment from 1920 to 1927 as Camden Professor of Ancient History....

 and Roderick McKenzie
Roderick McKenzie
Roderick McKenzie was a New Zealand Member of Parliament for Buller and Motueka, in the South Island.-Member of Parliament:...

, and published by the Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

. It is now conventionally referred to as Liddell & Scott, Liddell–Scott–Jones, or LSJ, and its three sizes are sometimes referred to as "The Little Liddell", "The Middle Liddell" and "The Big Liddell" or "The Great Scott
Great Scott
Great Scott! is an exclamation of surprise, amazement, or dismay.- Possible origins :The origin of the expression is uncertain, with several plausible sources....


According to Stuart Jones's preface to the ninth (1925) edition, the creation of the Lexicon was originally proposed by David Alphonso Talboys, an Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 publisher. It was apparently published by the Clarendon Press at Oxford rather than by Talboys because he retired from the publishing business before the first edition (1843) was complete. The second through sixth editions appeared in 1845, 1849, 1855, 1861, and 1869.

The first editor of the LSJ, Henry George Liddell, was Dean of Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church or house of Christ, and thus sometimes known as The House), is one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England...

, and the father of Alice Liddell
Alice Liddell
Alice Pleasance Liddell , known for most of her adult life by her married name, Alice Hargreaves, inspired the children's classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, whose protagonist Alice is said to be named after her.-Biography:...

, the eponymous Alice
Alice (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
Alice is a fictional character in the literary classic, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There. She is a young girl from Victorian-era Britain.-Development:...

 of the writings of Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll , was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems "The Hunting of the...

. The eighth edition (1897) is the last edition published during Liddell's lifetime.

The LSJ is sometimes compared and contrasted with A Latin Dictionary
A Latin Dictionary
A Latin Dictionary is a popular English-language lexicographical work of the Latin language, completed in 1879, published by Oxford University Press, and still widely used by classical scholars and Latinists.-History:...

by Lewis and Short, which was also published by Oxford University Press (OUP). For comparisons between the two works, see the article on Lewis and Short's dictionary. It is also sometimes compared with the Bauer lexicon
Bauer lexicon
The Bauer-Danker Lexicon is among the most highly respected dictionaries of Biblical Greek. The author of the German original is Walter Bauer...

, which is a similar work focused on the Greek of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....


Condensed editions

Two condensed editions of LSJ were published by Oxford and remain in print.

In 1843, the same year as the full lexicon's publication, A Lexicon: Abridged from Liddell and Scott's Greek–English Lexicon, sometimes called "the Little Liddell" was published. Several revised editions followed. For example, a reprint, re-typeset in 2007, of the 1909 edition is available from Simon Wallenberg Press (ISBN 1-84356-026-7).

In 1889, an intermediate edition of the lexicon, An Intermediate Greek–English Lexicon, was prepared on the basis of the seventh edition (1882) of LSJ. In comparison to the smaller abridgment, this "Middle Liddell" contains more entries covering the essential vocabulary of most commonly read Ancient Greek literature, adds citations of the authors to illustrate the history of Greek usage, and provides more help with irregular forms.

The Supplement

After the publication of the ninth edition in 1940, shortly after the deaths of both Stuart Jones and McKenzie, the OUP maintained a list of addenda et corrigenda (additions and corrections), which was bound with subsequent printings. However, in 1968, these were replaced by a Supplement to the LSJ. Neither the addenda nor the Supplement has ever been merged into the main text, which still stands as originally composed by Liddell, Scott, Jones, and McKenzie. The Supplement was initially edited by M. L. West. Since 1981, it has been edited by P. G. W. Glare, editor of the Oxford Latin Dictionary
Oxford Latin Dictionary
The Oxford Latin Dictionary is the standard lexicon of Classical Latin, completed in 1982.The dictionary professes to be "independent alike of Lewis & Short on the one hand and of the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae on the other." It "is based on an entirely fresh reading of the Latin sources...

(not to be confused with Lewis and Short
A Latin Dictionary
A Latin Dictionary is a popular English-language lexicographical work of the Latin language, completed in 1879, published by Oxford University Press, and still widely used by classical scholars and Latinists.-History:...

). Since 1988, it has been edited by Glare and Anne A. Thompson. As the title page of the Lexicon makes clear (and the prefaces to the main text and to the Supplement attest), this editorial work has been performed "with the cooperation of many scholars".

The Supplement primarily takes the form of a list of additions and corrections to the main text, sorted by entry. The supplemental entries are marked with signs to show the nature of the changes they call for. Thus, a user of the Lexicon can consult the Supplement after consulting the main text to see whether scholarship after Jones and McKenzie has provided any new information about a particular word. As of 2005, the most recent revision of the Supplement, published in 1996, contains 320 pages of corrections to the main text, as well as other materials.

Here is a typical entry from the revised Supplement:
x to be changed into a cow
Dairy cattle
Dairy cattle are cattle cows bred for the ability to produce large quantities of milk, from which dairy products are made. Dairy cows generally are of the species Bos taurus....

, 269a.37 R.

The small "x" indicates that this word did not appear in the main text at all; "" refers to the collected fragmentary works of Sophocles
Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides...


One interesting new source of lexicographic material in the revised Supplement is the Mycenean inscriptions. The 1996 revised Supplement's Preface notes:
At the time of the publication of the first Supplement it was felt that the Ventris
Michael Ventris
Michael George Francis Ventris, OBE was an English architect and classical scholar who, along with John Chadwick, was responsible for the decipherment of Linear B.Ventris was educated in Switzerland and at Stowe School...

 decipherment of the Linear B
Linear B
Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, an early form of Greek. It pre-dated the Greek alphabet by several centuries and seems to have died out with the fall of Mycenaean civilization...

 tablets was still too uncertain to warrant the inclusion of these texts in a standard dictionary. Ventris's interpretation is now generally accepted and the tablets can no longer be ignored in a comprehensive Greek dictionary [...].

Electronic editions

The ninth edition of LSJ has been freely available in electronic form since 2007, having been released by the Perseus Project
Perseus Project
The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. It is hosted by the Department of Classics. It has suffered at times from computer hardware problems, and its resources are occasionally unavailable...

 under the Creative Commons Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 license
Creative Commons licenses
Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. The licenses differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. They were initially released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S...

. Diogenes, a free software package, incorporates the Perseus data and allows easy offline consultation of LSJ on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux platforms.

For mobile devices, both the Palm Handheld and the iPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

/iPod Touch
IPod Touch
The iPod Touch is a portable media player, personal digital assistant, handheld game console, and Wi-Fi mobile device designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The iPod Touch adds the multi-touch graphical user interface to the iPod line...

 feature data ported from Perseus. The Android Market
Android Market
Android Market is an online software store developed by Google for Android OS devices. Its gateway is an application program called "Market", preinstalled on most Android devices, allows users to browse and download mobile apps published by third-party developers...

 also currently offers the intermediate LSJ as an offline downloadable app for a small price. A CD-ROM
A CD-ROM is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains data accessible to, but not writable by, a computer for data storage and music playback. The 1985 “Yellow Book” standard developed by Sony and Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data....

 version published and sold by Logos Bible Software
Logos Bible Software
Logos Bible Software is a Bellingham, Washington software company and electronic publisher specializing in Bible study. Their flagship product is Logos Bible Software 4, a bible study software application for Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, iPhone/iPad and Android platforms...

 also incorporates the Supplement's additions to the ninth edition of LSJ. A new online version of LSJ was released in 2011 by the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae
Thesaurus Linguae Graecae
The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae is a research center at the University of California, Irvine. The TLG was founded in 1972 by Marianne McDonald with the goal to create a comprehensive digital collection of all surviving texts written in Greek from antiquity to...

 (TLG). The TLG version corrects "a large number of typographical errors" and includes links to the extensive TLG textual corpus.

External links

Electronic editions

Scanned copies
  • Seventh edition (1883) (
  • American edition (1853), ed. Henry Drisler
    Henry Drisler
    Henry Drisler was an American classical scholar, born on Staten Island, New York, USA.Drisler graduated at Columbia College in 1839, taught classics in the Columbia grammar school for four years, and was then appointed tutor in classics in the college...


Other links
  • Official home page of most recent print edition at the Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

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