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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Greek-Latin lexicon

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, probably written in the 16th century, contains a simple <i>Greek-Latin lexicon</i>, arranged in two columns with Greek on the left and Latin on the right. In general the Latin supplies only a single synonym or occasionally a few alternatives or brief explanation of meaning, without citations or substantial commentary. The main lexicon is followed by a series of lists of Greek words whose gender differs from that of the Latin word designated as their equivalent.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The Greek text has been written in full, but the Latin has been added only for the early part of the manuscript (to <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(118);return false;'>f. 57v</a>), probably at a later date. It appears not to match the intentions of the original copyist, since additional Greek words have been inserted into gaps left in the original Greek text, which at times appear somewhat out of alphabetical sequence, indicating that they were simply fitted in where space was available. It is not clear why these spaces had been left, but it could be that the Latin text corresponding to the words preceding them were expected to take up more space than the single half-line allowed for most entries.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Notes left by J.-B. Hautin, one of the manuscript's 17th-century owners, identify the text as the work of the 1st-century grammarian Philoxenos of Alexandria. However, while this author did write a work relating Greek and Latin, this was a text in Greek explaining Latin words rather than the reverse (Christos Theodoridis, <i>Die Fragmente des Grammatikers Philoxenos</i> (Berlin and New York 1976), pp. 12, 234-242). It survives only in fragments, whose form and content does not conform to that of this manuscript, so this attribution must be considered erroneous.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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