Ancient Digitized Greek Dictionaries

Links for downloading a variety of ancient Greek dictionaries.

Thanks to the internet there is a vast array of ancient Greek dictionaries available for the translator. This was unheard of even ten years ago. This speeds up the process of translating by a factor of at least ten times.

These dictionaries are all old, and there are no copyright restrictions. Some are not English-Greek dictionaries, the majority are non-text searchable, large pdf files.

Sure, Perseus’ online Lidell and Scott Dictionary is the best for speed and easy access, no question. None of the other solutions come close to its speed and ability to enter a verb in whatever form, identify it, and find the root meaning.

There are some weaknesses of Lidell and Scott’s Dictionary. The first one is that it hardly delves into the realm of Ecclesiastical usage. Secondly, it is not exhaustive. Not every word can be found here.

One should always start at Perseus and if the word does not exist in this database, or the definition seems too narrow or some other problem, then it is time to go to the other dictionaries.

There are many websites that house these ancient Greek dictionaries, but many of them are not easy to navigate through, nor does any one site have all the dictionaries together. It requires some effort to locate and download the files. For your convenience, they are all found here below.

Many of the links will connect you to a personal DropBox file. With these ones, a click on a link will immediately start a download for browser viewing. Once that is complete, find the “Save Page As” in your browser menu and save the document to your hard drive.

A few are direct links from Google Books. Follow the instructions from Google to download. It isn’t always necessary to download the books to use them. One can do search queries within the book using Greek text online. This cannot be done if the file is downloaded. This online search query isn’t always consistent but does sometimes provide quick results.

There are many more ancient Greek dictionaries available on the internet, but the ones listed here are used more frequently.


There is a rich history behind the Stephanus name and their contribution to Bible history. Θησαυρος της Ελληνικης Γλωσσης was spearheaded by Henri Estienne (also known as Henri Stephanus). This family’s history of publishing, collating manuscripts, and translating has had a major impact on the modern Bible, but hardly recognized.

Some may ask, “what about Lampe’s Patristic Lexicon?” This one is a recent publication and does not qualify to be in any open source digital book library. Oxford University Press has not ported the printed version into any digital format yet either. Amazon.com has new ones listed from $304-578.00 US. The publisher has alienated a sizeable audience by its pricing and lack of digital availability. It is an OK dictionary, not as good as Stephanus’, and not worth the price. This pricing and availability may also put the book into a deep public slumber – a forgotten work that will sit quietly on a few dusty library bookshelves.

There is also E.J. Sleeman and Gilbert Pollet’s Plotinus Philosophical Lexicon, published by E.J. Brill in 1980. This could also be of great assistance. Thank-you to Ryan Clevenger for pointing this one out.

For more complete information on how to utilize the Perseus digital library, and a more comprehensive listing of other resources, the following article may be of assistance: Translation Tips on the Greek Church Fathers.

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2 Responses to Ancient Digitized Greek Dictionaries

  1. Thanks for the links! As for Lampe, it  is available on Scribd (though probably not legal): http://www.scribd.com/doc/112033222/Lampe-A-Patristic-Greek-Lexicon.

  2. Procrustes says:

    Thanks for this! I found it very helpful. You might now look at the site of the BSB München, which has facsimiles of the 1572(?) ed. of Stephanus available. 

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