The Ancient Library

Seyffert, Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

Dictionary of Classical Antiquities by Oskar Seyffert (1894), edited by Henry Nettleship and J. E. Sandys, translated by various hands.

Seyffert's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities is a valuable and surprisingly fresh monument of 19th-century German scholarship. At 716 pages and 2,630 entries, Seyffert's work is smaller than Anthon's Classical Dictionary or the various editions of the OCD. This brevity stems from the avoidance of all historical and geogaphical entries. Neither Alexander the Great or Augustus rate articles, and Julius Caesar only makes the cut for his literary activities. In other fields, however, the Dictionary of Classical Antiquities is surprisingly rich, with full coverage of ancient authors (including the historians), mythology, religion, literature, art, society and physical culture. A modern reader may be surprised at finding so many topics under their Greek and Latin names (eg., Mantike, Demos, Hilarotragoedia). As might be expected, the text is sometimes dated (mostly on analysis, not facts). But it has illustrations to make up for it!

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.