Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Latin dictionary is a lifetime career

FOR 32 years, Dr David Howlett has been scouring medieval Latin texts, picking out unusual words and compiling them in one of the world’s most extraordinary dictionaries.

But, if that sounds like a lifetime’s work, it’s just a fraction of the time spent by scholars on a monumental effort to record the definitions of every Latin word used in Britain for more than 1,000 years.

A century after the idea was first floated to the British Academy, experts are only now compiling definitions of words beginning with ‘T’ for the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources.

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