The Ancient Library

Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities

Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities edited William Smith (1870). This edition was scanned by the University of Michigan's project The Making of America. The text on this site underwent a separate OCR process.

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Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities is a 1,300-page compendium of information on the classical world. Intended to serve alongside Smith's other works, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology and Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (both online soon), this volume covers everything that isn't a person or place—architecture, social, military and political structures, military, laws, festivals, articles of clothing, furniture, art and much else. Although over a century old, it remains valuable. Although interpretations have often changed, Smith's evidence is largely the same as classical scholars employ today. In depth and particularly citation of ancient texts, Smith's work compares very favorably with its contemporary equivalent, the Oxford Classical Dictionary.

Smith's work has one major drawback for modern readers: article titles generally follow the Latin or Greek word, not the English. Thus the battering ram is under Aries, sewers under Cloaca, doctor under Medicus, and so forth. Latin-less readers should either use the full-text Google search, or consult the English Index. The Classified Index lists entries by "festivals," "architecture," "assemblages and councils," etc.

Note: The Google search box won't work until Google finishes indexing this book.

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