LSJ Greek-English Lexicon Integrated with TLG & Free!

Written by jdarlack on February 25th, 2011

The folks responsible for TLG (The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae) have made a new digital version of the immensely important Liddell-Scott-Jones (LSJ) Greek-English Lexicon. Did you catch from the title of this post that it’s FREE ?! The beauty of this particular version of the LSJ is that all of cross references have been directly linked to pop-up snippets of the Greek text referenced (with enough lines of context to at least get the gist of what’s going on).

The LSJ has been available for a while in numerous digital iterations (including a free version online at Perseus and versions available in BibleWorks, Logos and soon to be in Accordance).

I’ve had a chance to check it out a little, and it looks great. I look forward to showing students how to use it for their lexical studies at GCTS! (I have noticed that there’s a little bit of difficulty with accessing the lexicon through a proxy server [for those institutions that subscribe to the full-version of TLG]).

I’m hoping that I can figure out a way of linking this version of the LSJ to the Electronic Links Manager in BibleWorks (in a way similar to the current Perseus links).

From the TLG web site:

The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) is proud to announce the release of a new online version of Liddell-Scott-Jones (LSJ), the premier lexicon for classical Greek. The TLG version represents five years of intensive work to produce a fully edited and searchable version of LSJ with links to the TLG corpus.

History of the printed volume:
Liddell-Scott-Jones (known as LSJ or Liddell-Scott) is the standard lexicographical resource for Classical Greek. LSJ was first published in 1843 by Oxford Clarendon Press edited by Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott and based on earlier lexicographical work by Schneider and Passow. It was subsequently revised 8 times. The 8th edition (1897) was the last edition published during Liddell’s lifetime. Two abridged editions (the “little Liddell” and intermediate LSJ (or “middle Liddell”) were also published by Oxford in 1843 and 1889 respectively). The modern reader can greatly benefit from reading the fascinating story of the creation of LSJ in the Preface of the volume.

The last edition of LSJ was published in ten parts between 1925 and 1940. A list of Addenda and Corrigenda to the 1940 edition was published in 1968 and bound with subsequent printings but the revisions were not merged into the main lexicon composed by Liddell and Scott. In 1996, Oxford University Press published the LSJ Supplement with 320 pages of corrections and additions but the main text of the lexicon was not revised. More recent bibliographical efforts, most notably the Diccionario Griego-Español (DGE), carried out in Madrid, Spain under the direction of Francisco R. Adrados and Juan Rodríguez Somolinos, have resumed the task of a new lexicon for ancient Greek based on modern lexicographical methods and updated data.

Digital versions:
LSJ was first made available in digital form in the mid-90s thanks to the Perseus Project with funding by the National Science Foundation. The Perseus digital version was subsequently licensed to a number of projects (Chicago Perseus, Pollux:Archimedes Project, etc.) and was ported to phone apps. All these sites provide some searching capabilities and links but not links to the TLG data. They are also based on the Perseus digital file which has not been extensively corrected. Digital scans of the lexicon can be downloaded from a variety of sources, including but not limited to the Internet Archive, Google Books, and Scribd. However, without markup and searching capabilities, the value of the scans is rather limited.

A CD ROM version published by Logos Software incorporated the 1996 Supplement and many improvements and corrections to the printed version.

The TLG version:
The TLG embarked into this project in 2006. Recognizing the fact that LSJ is the most central reference work for all scholars and students of ancient Greek, we decided that producing a fully corrected and reliably accessible online version with links to TLG texts was a worthwhile undertaking. The digital LSJ was a natural extension of our larger and ongoing lemmatization project. In the process of improving automatic recognition of all word forms in our texts, we have digitized and extracted information such as headwords, meanings, and grammatical use from a large number of dictionaries. Making LSJ available to the public was another step in this direction.

Digitization, markup and correction of LSJ proved to be far more time consuming and demanding from a scholarly point of view than we anticipated, hence the entire project took five years to complete. The effort began by extracting identifiable sections of the text, such as headwords and meanings, that we could proofread using TLG correction software or by collating multiple digital versions. This approach was helpful but not entirely effective. Ultimately, the bulk of editing required a human eye. The final project contains a number of enhancements compared to the printed version. A number of lower case or ambigious entries have been converted to upper case and a large number of typographical errors have ben corrected. A list of Corrigenda will be posted soon. Sub-entries in the printed edition marked with hyphens, have been expanded and treated as headwords. Greek words (both headwords and Greek inside entries), and English definitions can be searched and LSJ citations are linked to the TLG updated editions (when possible). Nishad Prakash worked tirelessly to create an attractive as well as user friendly interface.

We are very pleased to make this invaluable resource available free and open to the scholarly community.

Maria Pantelia
TLG Director

Search the LSJ


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