Beyond Translation: Decoding Ancient Greek Dictionary Entries, with Joel Christensen

Would you like to learn more about ancient Greek words? Have you tried to look up a word in an ancient Greek dictionary, only to find that you weren’t sure how to decode the information that was there? These entries may look intimidating at first, but with a little guidance everyone can make the most of tools like the “Great Scott” (LSJ)—even readers who don’t know ancient Greek.

Therefore, we are pleased to provide new readers with the following video introduction to using an ancient Greek dictionary. With humor and an appreciation for the beauty of the ancient Greek language, Professor Joel Christensen carefully explains the difference between the LSJ, the Middle Liddell, and the Homeric dictionary known as the Autenrieth. He then guides the reader through the wealth of condensed information they will find when looking at individual dictionary entries—either on Perseus or in print.

As noted in this tutorial video, the LSJ uses abbreviations when citing authors and works. You can find a guide to these abbreviations on Perseus (there are five pages). For a more in-depth discussion about using the powerful Perseus Word Study Tool and search features, see this video tutorial with Anna Krohn, a Teaching Fellow at Tufts University.

You can download a PDF transcript, which includes screenshots and close-ups of some of the features being discussed.

Decoding_Greek_Dictionary_Entries_with_Joel_Christensen (PDF)