2008-02-29

A Table Full of Old French Dictionnaries

Le Grand Bailly

by Dr Dan Waniek, MD
Copyright © 2008 danwaniek.org
Le Grand Bailly : Dictionnaire Grec-Français (Hardcover) by Anatole Bailly, Hachette 2000
Dictionnaries of Ancient Greek are exact science only for the novice. Take Bailly : Poetical definitions abund, as compared to the Big Liddell. They are at least as difficult to read, but thanks to the Pegasus Project, all Liddell editions except for the last few are now online together with four other heavy weights in Greek lexicology. Le Bailly is an institution in France, much like the dictionary of scrabble for heavy scrabblers, only with something real to stand ovation for that dreaded world "culture"...
The for ever shrinking world of Greek specialists look into this book with a loupe. My friend Ovidiu who teaches Ancient Greek in a prestigious French Institution prefers Bailly to Liddell. But then again, he teaches Greek. For the rest of us for whom Graeca sunt, non leguntur is still the rule, all dictionaries are welcome. It is to be noticed that the famous Chantraine contributed to this minute and honest lexicological work.

ISBN : 978-2011679390, BOBE-5298-REFS-0001, RANK : 57.747 chez Amazon France, 2230 pages, Dernière édition 2000. 42,70 €
Le Grand Gaffiot

by Dr Dan Waniek, MD
Copyright © 2008 danwaniek.org
Le Grand Gaffiot : Dictionnaire Latin-Français (Hardcover) by Félix Gaffiot, Hachette 2000.
First thing : a double, full length map openes flat with the book, and it's not ugly. Americans who learned Latin only with principles of Law (and not with the excellent Loewe booklets) are greatly served by these geographical principia. The 70,000 entries in the work are easy to read, much unlike those in the Oxford Latin Dictionary. Only the abbreviations are a bit clumsy, with variable text lengths and uninformative raccourcis. The book ends with a full Atlas, with tables on chronology, some mythology and a lot on metrology.
All this premium material at the end comes on glossy paper togather with many other glorious enhancements of the text. The avid cognoscenti remark how fully immersed in their subject matter those glorious authors lived. But that was then. Why isn't this great dictionary on a CD yet?

ISBN : 978-2011667656, BOBE-5299-REFS-0001, RANK : #12,925 in the French Amazon, 1766 pages, the last 2000 edition, 41,80 €

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