Selections from the Lexicon of Sextus Pompeius Festus, On the Meaning of Words: Translated with Introduction and Notes
MetadataShow full item record
The Lexicon of Festus has never been published in English translation. Although several modern editions were prepared in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Festus is accessible only to those who can read him in the Latin original or who can read a nineteenth-century French translation based upon a now-obsolete Latin edition. While this state of affairs may have sufficed in the past, the general decline of Latin reading ability and the delaying of Latin language study to the university undergraduate level has rendered this untranslated text inaccessible to a large swathe of students and enthusiasts in the English-speaking world. This is unfortunate not only because the Lexicon of Festus is a fascinating text in its own right, being an early example of a dictionary and encyclopedia, but also because it contains much information which will be of use to those interested in the institutions and religion of Rome, the peoples of ancient Italy, and Latin linguistics, among other topics. My edition of translated selections includes scholarly notes and a full introduction setting the Lexicon in its historical context. It makes parts of this text accessible for the first time to those without Latin reading ability.