Monday, December 13, 2010

Alpha to Omega

Having had a very jolly (cup of) tea with the charming Ellee Seymour ( on Friday afternoon in Cambridge, I went on to a Feast where I saw a familiar classicist: Professor James Diggle. He is retiring next year but will continue to work on his monumentum aere perennius: a new Greek-English lexicon.

In my day, the standard reference book was Liddell & Scott, first published in 1843, and I asked Prof Diggle how he was improving on that. He said that he and his team are able to write a new lexicon from first principles because every single Ancient Greek text is now available online and so they have access to far more material than the Liddell & Scott team. "Which letter have you got up to?" I enquired. "We're not doing it alphabetically," he said. "We've done Omega, we're half-way through Alpha, I'm currently working on Pi and we haven't started the largest entry, Epsilon."

He thinks the lexicon will be finished in about three years' time and it will be published by Cambridge University Press, much to the chagrin of Oxford University Press, the publisher of Liddell & Scott. Hurrah for the light blues! (Shame about the Varsity match though.)


Blogger Angus said...

How wonderful to know that outside financial circles there is more to life than alpha, beta and gamma.

10:01 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Don't forget your delta!

8:29 am  

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