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The Oxford Classical Dictionary

4.69  ·  Rating details ·  223 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
For almost half a century, the Oxford Classical Dictionary has been the unrivaled one-volume reference work on the Greco-Roman world. Whether one is interested in literature or art, philosophy or law, mythology or science, intimate details of daily life or broad cultural and historical trends, the OCD is the first place to turn for clear, authoritative information on ancie ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1949)
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Everyman
Indispensable for the serious reader of classical (Greek and Roman) literature. Is and will remain on my currently reading list since I refer to it at least weekly and often daily.
Lindsay
May 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
If I was stranded on a desert island, and I could only choose one reference book, it would be this one. That of course begs the question: what am I doing on an island that would require knowledge or trivia about the ancient world?

...but whatever, its a hypothetical.
AC
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient
The 2nd and 3rd editions are really quite different books; I'm always partial to the older, more traditional ones in all things. But both are valuable, handy reference books and well worth the effort of owning. The best shelf reference, of course, is the Kleine Pauly (5 paperback volumes in German).
Joe
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
01/26/2007

All things considered, a superb reference work

This edition (the third edition, 1996) has over 6200 entries on 1640 pages! And no, I haven't read them all... This is really wonderful for those times when you come across a new term (whether a person, place or thing) and need some idea as to who (what or where) is being discussed, indicated or alluded to. This Edition, published in 1996, was put together between 1991-1994 and contains matters (such as the Near East) that were barely touch
...more
Alexandra
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is an excellent book to browse; articles vary in length, but provide a good overview in most cases. They also provide further reading on each individual topic.

The price is hefty, but worth it - collecting a series a books covering the breadth of information covered here would be far more expensive. It is not limited to the 'Golden Age', but covers developments in late antiquity - most articles take a historical overview of their topic, not just a snapshot. As an example: the article on the
...more
AC
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ancient
The 2nd and 3rd editions are really quite different books; I'm always partial to the older, more traditional ones in all things. But both are valuable, handy reference books and well worth the effort of owning. The best shelf reference, of course, is the Kleine Pauly (5 paperback volumes in German).
Emily
Jul 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference, philology
It is a very helpful resource for basic information on classical studies but "dictionary" maybe conveys too great an authority and the entries shouldn't be blithely accepted as established fact. For instance, while consulting the entry on Theopompus I noticed a somewhat controversial stance assumed on Theopompus' attitude toward Philip II of Macedon.
Irene
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My bible!
Colin
The ultimate scholarly reference for all things Classical . . .
Malcolm
Nov 29, 2010 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I managed to find the Third edition new at a giveaway price so it will replace my much battered 2nd edition copy of 1970.
Adrian
Jul 27, 2009 added it
Shelves: classics
Have to turn to it from time to time...a professional and good sources for classics study
Theodros
Jun 21, 2013 marked it as to-read
This an amazing reference work, it has articles on everything in the ancient world, I will use this source for years
Jeff
Apr 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Went through a whole case of post-its marking up this one. Indispensable!!
David
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of, if not the, go to sources for primary source acquisition[s] regarding almost every social, political, military aspect of classical civilization. Helped me in college a time or two.
David Hollywood
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The absolute essential companion to anyone interested in the Classical World. Impossible to overstate!
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Simon Hornblower is Professor of Classics and Grote Professor of Ancient History at University College London.

Born in 1949, he was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, and Balliol College, Oxford, where he took a DPhil in 1978.

In 1971 he was elected to a Prize Fellowship of All Souls College, which he held until 1977. From 1978 until 1997, he was University Lecturer in Ancient History at the Univ
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