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Oxford Latin Dictionary

af P. G. W. Glare

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3951364,524 (4.83)3
Fifty years in the making, the Oxford Latin Dictionary is the first Latin-English dictionary based on a fresh reading of original sources. The Dictionary was published in eight fascicles between 1968 and 1982 and is now available in a single bound volume. Features of the Oxford Latin Dictionary · First Latin-English dictionary composed directly from original sources · Comprehensive coverage of classical Latin with entries for approximately 40,000 words · Based on a collection of over one million quotations that illustrate the meaning and use of Latin words from the earliest known instance · Definitions are in modern English and based on modern lexicographical principles · Up-to-date with the inclusion of better texts as well as epigraphical material that was previously unavailable The Oxford Latin Dictionary is a comprehensive and authoritative reference work for students, teachers, professionals, and general readers interested in classical languages and literature, ancient history, medieval studies, languages, art history, ancient philosophy, religion, archaeology, law, medicine, and natural science.… (mere)
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Is this the loveliest book of all time? Conceived in the 1870s, the OLD was finally commissioned in 1924 and commenced work in 1933. The final fascicle was not published until 1982. The OLD is controversial among some because of the decision to limit texts to those written before the year 200 (i.e. the Classical Latin era) but I think the line had to be drawn somewhere. As a work that covers around 40,000 words, from the most common to the hapax legomenon (words that only appear once in the surviving texts of a language), it's all here. A bulky volume that costs a heckuva lot, but if you love that Classicist in your life, what better? ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
A first-class reference that every Latinist should have on the shelf. ( )
  wyclif | Sep 22, 2021 |
The go-to book for Latin. With this and the OED, my life is in good shape when it comes to finding out where words came from and what they're doing. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
The Oxford Latin Dictionary 2nd Edition
A comprehensive Latin dictionary will never vary greatly in format since
the purpose of such a work remains the same. Yet there are many
features of the second edition of the Oxford Latin Dictionary which set it
apart from the rest.
The first is the detail of the information given about each Latin word. The
guide to the dictionary sets out clearly the components which are cited,
making this not only a thorough work for a Classicist but also accessible
for a non-Classicist. The principal parts of verbs are given in full,
including the second principal part which many other dictionaries choose
to omit. Adjectives are given in their positive, comparative and
superlative forms, something which is not found in other dictionaries
such as that of Lewis and Short.
The components of compound words are stated clearly in brackets after
the headword, rather than merely hyphenated as in other dictionaries,
and this will allow for greater ease of use and cross-referencing by those
interested in the origin of the word. The etymology from Greek words is
also clear and simple.
The revision of thousands of the English translations has also brought
Classical Latin up to date with the modern world in a less verbose
fashion. For example, the noun ‘decoctor’ is cited as meaning ‘an
insolvent person’ or ‘a defaulting debtor’. Reference to a much less
modern edition of a Latin dictionary cites this less concisely as ‘one who
has squandered his own or another’s property’!
The layout of citations for each word is far more user friendly than other
dictionaries, with the different senses and subsenses carefully separated
into distinct paragraphs. This enables the user to find a citation easily,
without the need to work through all the possible options laid out in a
single list.
The binding of the new edition in two volumes allows for much greater
ease of use. The print is large and clear, making it easy to examine the
citations from classical sources. Gone are the days of the Classicist
squinting over a dictionary to find a rarely used example from classical
literature.
One note of reservation is that The Oxford Latin Dictionary has chosen
to follow the more current use of writing the letter ‘v’ in Latin words as a
‘u’. This is generally common practice in the modern day and will be
familiar to any Classicist. However, for a non-Classicist using the OLD
for quick reference, it may not be immediately clear when a ‘u’ should be
read as such or should be taken as a ‘v’, and this is not stated in the
‘Conventions Used in the Text’ (page xxxiii – xxxiv). Yet in the indication
of components of compound words in brackets, where capital letters are
used, the ‘u’ is always stated as ‘V’.
This point aside, the 2nd edition of the Oxford Latin Dictionary should
certainly be regarded as the essential tool for anyone interested in the
advanced study of Latin, whether language or literature, and would
undoubtedly be the clearest, most comprehensive and accessible Latin
dictionary for academic, research and reference libraries.
Judith Morton
Head of Classics
Moreton Hall School
1 stem ISGReferenceReviews | May 18, 2012 |
Follows the Oxford English Dictionary layout. Does not contain a compilation of Mottoes and Phrases.
  keylawk | Mar 18, 2007 |
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Fifty years in the making, the Oxford Latin Dictionary is the first Latin-English dictionary based on a fresh reading of original sources. The Dictionary was published in eight fascicles between 1968 and 1982 and is now available in a single bound volume. Features of the Oxford Latin Dictionary · First Latin-English dictionary composed directly from original sources · Comprehensive coverage of classical Latin with entries for approximately 40,000 words · Based on a collection of over one million quotations that illustrate the meaning and use of Latin words from the earliest known instance · Definitions are in modern English and based on modern lexicographical principles · Up-to-date with the inclusion of better texts as well as epigraphical material that was previously unavailable The Oxford Latin Dictionary is a comprehensive and authoritative reference work for students, teachers, professionals, and general readers interested in classical languages and literature, ancient history, medieval studies, languages, art history, ancient philosophy, religion, archaeology, law, medicine, and natural science.

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