In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Greek Lexicon and Etymology

  • Introduction
  • Bibliographies
  • Journals and Research Summaries
  • Lexicographic Online Resources
  • Etymological Dictionaries
  • Toponyms and Ethnics
  • Onomastics
  • Modern Lexicographic Studies

Classics Greek Lexicon and Etymology
Daniel Kölligan, Éric Dieu
  • LAST REVIEWED: 24 April 2023
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 April 2023
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0398


Ancient Greek was one of the most important languages of European and Near Eastern antiquity, influencing all aspects of later societies in Europe and beyond. Ever since the beginnings of the European philological and grammatical tradition in Hellenistic Greece and again from the Renaissance onwards its lexicon has been studied. The present bibliography tries to capture important, but by no means all, resources relevant for this field including both synchronic and diachronic treatments of the various layers of the Greek lexicon and its history. It focuses on semasiological works (i.e., studies looking from the signifier to the signified—the perspective adopted in traditional lexicons, listing the lemmas of a language and explaining their various meanings) under the assumption that most readers will be interested in lexicographic treatments of specific areas, epochs, dialects, authors, text types, etc., apart from Classical Greek in general. The bibliography is structured as follows: it first gives an overview of relevant bibliographies, journals, and research summaries. Next follows a list of lexicographic online resources, etymological dictionaries, and various types of synchronic dictionaries. These include general works aiming to encompass all of Classical Greek (including English-Greek dictionaries); reverse dictionaries sorting the lemmas from the end of the word; and those dedicated to specific genres, types of texts, epochs, authors, and to parts of the lexicon beyond common nouns (i.e., proper nouns referring to places or persons). The subsequent sections list works dealing with the various prehistoric and historic layers of the Greek lexicon. These layers comprise words inherited from the Indo-European protolanguage, loanwords that entered the Greek language in prehistoric or historical times, and words borrowed from Greek into other languages such as Latin or borrowed within Greek itself from one variety, the language of epic poetry, into other varieties or registers of Greek. The final section lists works on the history of Greek lexicography and exemplary lexicographic studies from antiquity and the modern era. Due to lack of space this bibliography does not include studies on word formation; for this topic see the references given in the bibliography Greek and Indo-European.


Although there is no dedicated official bibliography on the linguistics of Greek and its prehistory, both the bibliographies covering Classical philology such as L’Année Philologique and Gnomon online and those dealing with Linguistics such as the Bibliographie Linguistique/Linguistic Bibliography usually include citations of such works. From 1967 until 1990 there was a regular report on linguistic publications also concerning Greek in the Indogermanische Chronik published in Die Sprache (Vienna). Meier-Brügger 1992 contains a detailed list of references as does Boned Colera 1998. Heidermanns 2005 attempts to be a comprehensive bibliography of studies of words and lexical fields and includes chapters on all phases of Greek.

  • L’Année Philologique.

    Bibliography for academic publications on ancient Greek and Roman civilization including linguistic publications, published in print and online. Published by the Société Internationale de Bibliographie Classique.

  • Bibliographie Linguistique/Linguistic Bibliography.

    The online version includes the bibliographical references of the printed yearbooks from 1993 onward. Edited by Anne Aarssen, René Genis, and Eline van der Veken.

  • Boned Colera, Pilar. 1998. Repertorio bibliográfico de la lexicografía griega. Revised, corrected, and augmented by J. Rodríguez Somolinos, E. Vallines, J. Martínez de Tejada Garaizábal, and E. Luján. Madrid: CSIC.

    Contains a bibliography of indices, dictionaries, and concordances of ancient Greek authors, of monographs on ancient Greek lexical fields, of single Greek words, and a thematic index.

  • Die Sprache—Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft. 1949–.

    Published in Vienna and dedicated to Indo-European linguistics and philology. ISSN 0376-401X.

  • Gnomon Bibliographische Datenbank.

    Online database addition (including Thesaurus) to the printed review journal Gnomon: Kritische Zeitschrift für die gesamte klassische Altertumswissenschaft, published in Munich (Beck), with more than 750,000 entries on all areas of classical and ancient studies. Edited by Jürgen Malitz and Gregor Weber.

  • Heidermanns, Frank. 2005. Bibliographie zur indogermanischen Wortforschung. 3 vols. Tübingen, Germany: Niemeyer.

    DOI: 10.1515/9783110929270

    Lists studies on the lexicon and word formation of all major branches of the Indo-European language family (Greek is treated in vol. 2, pp. 911–989).

  • Meier-Brügger, Michael. 1992. Griechische Sprachwissenschaft. 2 vols. Berlin: De Gruyter.

    DOI: 10.1515/9783110847192

    Not a bibliography per se, but very rich and useful for its numerous bibliographic references.

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