Accordance has released The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek, also known as GE, GI (the Italian editions), BrillDAG, and MGS, the “official” shorthand designation recommended by SBL. It’s currently on sale for $74.40.
I’ve been using this lexicon in print since it was published, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m thrilled to see how it has been implemented in Accordance. In this post, I want to point out several features of the Accordance edition that I really appreciate.
Here an overview of the sections in this post:
- Jumping from a Greek text to MGS
- Entry format
- Gray box overviews
- Hyperlinks to Perseus Greek Classics module
- Using MGS alongside other lexicons
- MGS + the Accordance Web Browser
- Corrections and Additions
NB: The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek requires Accordance 13.3.0 on macOS/Windows and does not yet work on the mobile applications, but that will be coming soon.
Jumping from a Greek text to MGS
One of the most noteworthy features of the lexicon is its massive scope. Listen to Franco Montanari describe the literature it covers:
First of all it is important to underline that attention in GI / GE is not restricted to language material dating from the archaic, Classical and Hellenistic eras. Significant consideration is also given to later forms of Greek, in particular Greek of the imperial age and of the first centuries of Greek Judaic-Christian literature (Old and New Testament, Patristics, etc.), up to the VIth century and with sporadic later examples (this is a period for which the great LSJ is notoriously weak, especially after the IInd century AD). Furthermore, GI / GE makes substantial use of papyri and inscriptions, and includes a wealth of proper names, which have been systematically checked and revised for the new edition. (p. vii)
In light of the dictionary’s massive scope, MGS works great as your preferred Greek lexicon in Accordance. When reading the LXX, NT, or Apostolic Fathers, you can be confident your word will be found in MGS.
Even an LXX hapax like μυρμηκολέων (“ant-lion”), found in Job 4:11, shows up in MGS.
As you can see, MGS looks great in the Accordance Dark Mode, as well.
Instead of following the conventions of the print edition, Accordance has broken the entries into an easier to follow outline format. I really appreciate this.
Compare the ἄβατος entry in Accordance, the print version, and Logos:
Logos more closely follows the conventions of the print edition, but to my eyes the outline formatting in Accordance is easier to read.
Gray box overviews
Another benefit of the Accordance edition is the gray box entry overviews. Brill calls these “recapitulatory overviews.” For longer entries these are extremely helpful. By including these gray box overviews, the Accordance edition of MGS can function as both a concise lexicon and a more exhaustive one. In this way, Accordance has done a great job of preserving a very helpful feature of the print edition.
Compare the λαμβάνω entries in Accordance and Logos:
It is easier in Accordance to see right away that the first big chunk of the entry is a summary. Then, when you scroll down in Accordance, it is easy to see where the summary ends and the more exhaustive part of the entry begins:
Hyperlinks to Perseus Greek Classics module
There are a lot of different ways a digital lexicon can handle hyperlinks to classical Greek literature, but I appreciate how Accordance has linked many of the references to classical literature to their own Perseus Greek module.
I have my preferences set to open hyperlinks in a text browser, and this means that when I click the reference to Iliad 8:116, I can immediately see a Greek and English edition for quick reference.
As I keep reading in the entry and come across the LXX reference to Exodus 6:7, I can click the link and seamlessly be taken to the text in the LXX alongside the other ancient editions in my library.
For a quicker preview of the hyperlinks you can long hold on the hyperlinked reference to see the verse in a popup.
Or you can open instant details and simply hover your cursor over a hyperlink to see the reference at the bottom of the screen.
Using MGS alongside other lexicons
I’ve written about the Live Click feature in Accordance before, and this is the easiest way to use MGS alongside your other lexicons in Accordance. Clicking once on ἐπιφωσκούσῃ in Matthew 28:1 opens Lexicon Lookup and displays the ἐπιφώσκω entry in MGS, BDAG, LSJ, and all your other Greek lexicons.
MGS + the Accordance Web Browser for Greek Composition
If you are a Greek teacher and you write stories with your students, you often need to be able to move easily from Greek to English and English to Greek. It is really nice to have a digital Greek lexicon, like MGS, with such a massive scope (Homer to the 6th century CE). In Accordance, you can also easily access Woodhouse’s English-Greek dictionary via the Web Browser. I have this lexicon set as my homepage in the Web Browser, so I can access it with one click on the toolbar.
Here is Woodhouse’s English-Greek lexicon alongside MGS and other Greek lexicons:
Corrections and additions
When the print edition of MGS was first released, I put together a page to collect typos and pointed the editors to it. Many of these issues are corrected in the Accordance edition.
Furthermore, I’m told that in the Accordance edition there are nearly 700 entries that are not included in the current print editions. These entries are presumably included in Brill’s online edition. Here are a few examples:
The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek is my all around favorite lexicon right now because it is a go-to for just about any ancient Greek you pick up. The formatting is beautiful in the print edition, and the outline formatting in the Accordance digital edition only improves it. Accordance has preserved the best of the print formatting while making the entries easier to read and adapting the format to best suit the digital medium. It is so nice to have digital access to MGS on the same platform as all my tagged texts and other reference resources.
Accordance has MGS on sale right now for $74.40, which is the cheapest price I’ve ever seen for any digital or print edition.