De compositione et nomine lexici Sudae
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Suda’s core are Hesychius’ Ὀνοματολόγος, the revised Συναγωγή and the Lexicon Ambrosianum, rearranged in alphabetic order adapted to contemporary pronunciation. Material was added to this mass from more than forty sources, whose selection lacks of definite guidelines besides a minor interest in religious matters. It was quite probably a collective work of a school circle. No hint at any patron. File cards were needed to carry out the job, as many as the entries, with a fitting receptacle. At a certain stage the accumulated cards were transcribed on quires; this happened before A.D. 970. Afterwards further items were added in the margins (printed by Adler in smaller type): among these later additions is the note (absent in the main manuscript) which transformed the twelve ancient lexicographers listed before the title ἡ Σοῦδα into the authors of this lexicon. Σοῦδα (“ditch”) is both an acrostic, Συναγωγὴ ὀ(νομάτων) ὑ(πὸ) δ(ιαφόρων) ἁ(ρμοσθεῖα), and a memory of the card container.
keywordsHesychius Milesius, Synagoge, Lexicon Ambrosianum, Patriarch Polyeuctos, acrostic.
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