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Ιn the field of Greek publishing in classical studies, the year 2002 could be characterized as the year of the Suda, or, more properly, of the lexicon of Suidas.1 Two publishers, one in Athens, the other in Thessaloniki, have published this work. The former has reproduced it in facsimile; the latter has re-set Immanuel Bekker’s critical edition of the lexicon (1854).2 It is a common phenomenon both in Greece and abroad for the same work of the historical and literary past to be made accessible through various editions and multiple translations. What seems strange in this instance is that a work which has been judged dry and monotonous (based solely on the criterion of genre) is expected to appeal to a lay public, for which both editions are clearly intended. The lack of a critical apparatus,3 the absence of citations and other related references (necessary in lexicographical and other works requiring critical commentaries in order to reconstruct the history of the textual tradition and to understand the I
1 Within the context of this paper, I employ the name Suda; this should not be interpreted as acceptance of this name as opposed to Suidas. Rather, it represents the de facto acceptance of its common usage by literary critics and lexicographers of the Byzantine language in Greece and internationally. It should be noted that the two standard lexica of medieval Greek, that of Kriaras (1969-1997) and the Lexikon zur byzantinischen Gräzität, both use the form Suda. The method of reference I follow in the present study has been aptly formulated by Erbse (1960, 174): “ […] in der Suda […], d.h. in jenem lexikalischen Sammelwerke, das wir unter dem Namen ‘Suidas’ zu zitieren pflegen.” The question of the lexicon’s name is briefly summarized below.
2 (a) Λεξικόν Σοῦδα ἤ Σουΐδα. A Philological Reconstruction (Φιλολογική ἀποκατάστασις): Imm. Bekker, vols. I-II, CD Rom, Athens: Georgiadis (2002); (b) Λεξικό Σουΐδα, 10ος αιώνας μ.Χ. Introduction by V. Katsaros, Thessaloniki: Thyrathen (2002). The former publication is a facsimile and replaces an earlier six-volume edition by the same publisher. The Athenian publisher specifies which critical edition he is reproducing, the latter publisher does not note which version of the text he employs. It is implied in note 29 (page 20) of the Introduction that this too is based on Bekker’s edition, and this is borne out by a comparison to Bekker’s text.
3 Bekker’s edition (1854) likewise lacks a critical apparatus. Krumbacher’s criticism (1897, vol. II, 569): “Durch Weglassung des kritischen Apparates […] ist hier der ganze Suidas glücklich in einem Bande untergebracht, frielich so, dass für den Gelehrten (und wer benützt sonst den Suidas?) die Ausgabe unbrauchbar ist.” 1
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