Monday 28 September 2015

Lifestyles of Lexicographers: McDougall

Iain McDougall introduces his two volume Lexicon to Diodorus Siculus as follows:

'The decision to undertake the compilation of a lexicon to an ancient author needs little apology. When the author is Diodorus and the lexicon is the first, none whatsoever is needed and it is my modest hope that the present work will prove to be a useful instrument for both students of Diodorus' work as a whole, historians and linguists concerned with a particular facet of his sources, methods, and style, and those investigating Hellenistic prose style in general.'

He continues, 'Since this study was begun in 1964 and both method and matter have been revised on several occasions during the subsequent years, it has been difficult to maintain a uniform approach to each word. However, in that each word has its own individual character, some flexibility in treatment may appear, I hope, not only to be forgiven but even perversely to have some merit.'

Further, 'The work attempts, as far as is possible, to combine the advantages of both lexicon and index: each word is analyzed grammatically and semantically and each occurrence of almost every word is duly recorded.'

He concludes, 'Special and loving acknowledgement is due to my parents, who provided me with the opportunity to continue my studies, to my wife, Val, who gently encouraged me when spirits flagged and read out endless pages of references during the tedium of checking the typescript, and lastly to my children, who had a lexicographer for a father, whispered, and survived.'

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