Aeneid Vocabulary List Credits

The DCC Aeneid Vocabulary List is based on Henry S. Frieze, Vergil’s Aeneid Books I-XII, with an Introduction, Notes, and Vocabulary, revised by Walter Dennison (New York: American Book Co., 1902). The frequency data derives from a human inspection and analysis of every word in the Aeneid (Perret's text) carried out by teams at the Laboratoire d'Analyse Statistique des Langues Anciennes (LASLA) at the Université de Liège. The Frieze-Dennison lexicon was revised and combined with the LASLA frequency data in 2014 at Dickinson College. Derek Frymark edited the OCR of Frieze-Dennison using ABBYY Finereader, and created a spreadsheet in Excel. Tyler Denton created a preliminary match between Frieze's headwords and those of LASLA. The interface was built in Drupal by Ryan Burke. Christopher Francese edited the whole, is responsible for remaining errors, and would appreciate being notified of such at Support for the revision and digitization was provided by the Roberts Fund for Classical Studies at Dickinson, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through a grant for digital humanities at Dickinson College. The content is available for download and reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (CC-BY-SA 4.0).portrait of Henry Frieze

Several changes were made in Frieze's headwords and definitions:

  • In many cases definitions in Frieze-Dennison had to be disaggregated to conform to the headwords used by LASLA, as recorded in Joseph Denooz, Nouveau lexique fréquentiel de latin. Alpha-Omega. Reihe A Bd 258. Hildesheim/Zürich/New York: Georg Olms Verlag, 2010 (BMCR review). (The 1981 version, the Dictionnaire fréquentiel, is available online and has the same lemmatizations.) The LASLA headwords are almost invariably more specific that Frieze’s. For example, Frieze's single entry under laevus -a -um embraces five separate LASLA headwords: laeva (adv.); laeva, -ae, f. (sc. manus); laeva, -ōrum, n.; laevum (adv.); and laevus, -a, -um. Each of these was counted separately by LASLA, and we have five separate headwords with Frize's (disaggregated) definitions and LASLA's figures.
  • We removed some of Frieze’s headwords that do not actually occur in the Aeneid (trānsabeō, superimpōnō, niteō, nonne, hedera, quidam, impendeō). The issue here was sometimes textual, sometimes to do with lemmatization. niteō, for example, is used in the Aeneid only as the participial adjective nitēns, which is lemmatized separately by LASLA.
  • We removed some overly literal first definitions given by Frieze for the sake of etymology, but which do not actually occur in the Aeneid (for example, agnoscō, “to know a second time or again”; exōrdior, “to stretch the warp for weaving”; Lyaeus, “one who sets free.”)
  • We changed the punctuation in references from commas to the more modern period: 5, 345 became 5.345. All citations refer to Books and lines of the Aeneid.
  • The English was occasionally modernized, for example, “am, art, is, are vexed,” became “I am, you are vexed.”
  • Occasionally the language of the definitions was clarified, based on consultation of the passages in question. For example, “to season (others, harden in the smoke), 11.553,” became “to temper (a spear) in fire, 11.553.”
  • Grammatical terminology was put into parentheses to distinguish it clearly from translations. For example, “In perf. and cognate tenses, know, knew, etc., 4.423, et al.,” became “(in perf. and cognate tenses), know, knew, etc., 4.423, et al.”
  • Etymological information was put at the end of entries instead of the beginning.

The resulting data was used by Bret Mulligan and collaborators at Haverford College in The Bridge, an application that allows users to create custom vocabulary lists, for example, for a range of lines in the Aeneid, including or excluding core vocabulary, or vocabulary previously learned from various introductory Latin textbooks. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to LASLA, Derek Frymark, Bret Mulligan, and all those who helped with this project. It would not have been possible without the great dedication and scholarly acumen of Henry Simmons Frieze (1817-1889), whose work I have found on close inspection to be worthy of the highest respect. The obituary written by M.L. D'Ooge and published in The Classical Review 4.3 (Mar., 1890), pp. 131-132, is a fitting tribute.

--Chris Francese, Sept. 16, 2014.


Image: Henry Simmons Frieze (University of Michigan Faculty History Project)

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