Middle Latin dictionary

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The Medieval Latin Dictionary ( Central Latin dictionary to the late 13th century / MLW , often Mlat. Wb. For short) is a project for the publication of a dictionary that the development of the medieval Latin serves vocabulary as it is in the medieval Latin sources from the German-speaking territories . It is supervised by the commission for the publication of a Middle Latin dictionary of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences , chaired by Peter Stotz . The current scientific director of the project is Adelheid Wellhausen. The dictionary is published by CH Beck. Members of the commission for the publication of the dictionary, chaired by Peter Stotz, are Marc-Aeilko Aris , Helmut Gneuss , Ulrich Mölk , Fidel Rädle , Maria Selig and Kurt Smolak . Since 1980 the dictionary has been financed by the federal and state governments in the academy program.


The idea of ​​creating a temporally and spatially comprehensive Latin dictionary of the Middle Ages and thus to replace the glossary ad scriptores mediae et infimae latinitatis , the so-called Du Cange from the 17th century, was first tackled by the Union Académique Internationale (UAI) . In 1919 she set up a Comité du dictionnaire du Latin médiéval , which was supposed to develop a concept for this project. However, the plans, in which several European countries were involved, were abandoned in their original form. Instead, as a UAI project, the Novum glossarium mediae latinitatis from a. DCCC usque ad a. MCC , which evaluates Latin sources from Europe from the 9th to the end of the 12th century using contributions from various national editors. In addition, independent Middle Latin glossaries or dictionaries have been started or even completed in various European countries.

For the German-speaking area, the academies of Germany, Austria and Switzerland agreed in 1939 to establish a joint project. Under the leadership and significant funding of the Prussian Academy of Sciences and in association with the Academies of Sciences in Göttingen, Heidelberg, Leipzig, Mainz, Munich, Vienna and the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich ( for the purpose of using the resources of the Thesaurus linguae latinae ) opened a job for a Middle Latin dictionary. Otto Prinz , a former employee of the thesaurus, was appointed as the editing director . Already in 1939 a division of labor between the Association of German Academies and the Union Académique Internationale was planned. The Second World War and the difficulties of the post-war period made the work progress very slowly. Only with the return of Prinz from captivity in 1948 to Munich and the establishment of a second job for the dictionary in 1949 at the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin by Johannes Stroux could the work, which now mainly consisted of the excerpt of suitable evidence from the Middle Latin sources including the numerous document collections existed, are intensively promoted. After Johannes Stroux, who died in 1954, the management of the dictionary commission was passed to Paul Lehmann (Munich), who, in cooperation with the editor- general Otto Prinz and the Berlin editor Johannes Schneider, had a major impact on the future appearance of the dictionary. From 1959 until 1976, 17 deliveries were published annually in German-German scientific cooperation. In the 1970s, work came to a standstill (18th delivery 1985); they could only be brought back into flow after the reunification of Germany (conclusion of Volume II [C] 1999). The Berlin office, which had been working in isolation since 1982 on the lemmas beginning with G and H and had submitted a manuscript for G, ran into difficulties after the unification, which hindered the necessary material and personnel reorganization. It was closed in 1996 by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, which also withdrew from the association of the issuing academies. The first delivery of the III. The tape was completed in Munich. The Munich team, which was expanded in 1998, temporarily achieved a more rapid sequence in the appearance of the new deliveries.

Project status

From 1959 the first deliveries published by Otto Prinz appeared in Munich. By 2007, 35 deliveries of the work had appeared, three volumes (A - E) have now been completely processed. With the fourth volume (F -?), Completion is already within reach with 12 deliveries; more than half of the total work is now done. The other volumes appear in one to two deliveries per year, each with 160 columns. In 1996 an expanded new edition of the list of abbreviations and sources was published.


  • Teja Erb: History, concepts and perspectives of Middle Latin lexicography in the German-speaking area . In: The ancient world . Volume 47, 2002, pp. 13–35 (cf. review by Wolfgang Maaz. In: Mittellateinisches Jahrbuch . Volume 37, 2002, pp. 355–357).
  • Franz-J. Konstanciak: Middle Latin Dictionary . In: Thomas Städler (Ed.): Scientific lexicography in German-speaking countries . Heidelberg 2003, pp. 109-116.
  • Franz-J. Konstanciak: Lexicography. The Middle Latin Dictionary. Latin language and culture in German-speaking countries. The emergence of a large scientific company and its international integration . In: Akademie Aktuell . Issue 2, 2003, pp. 25-28.
  • Theresia Payr: Dictionnaire du latin médiéval. Remarques on the method . In: La lexicographie du latin médiéval et ses rapports avec les recherches actuelles sur la civilization du Moyen-Age. Paris, October 18-21, 1978 (Colloques internationaux du CNRS 589). Paris 1981. pp. 473-479.
  • Otto Prinz: Le Middle Latin Dictionary . In: Archivum Latinitatis Medii Aevi . Volume 28, 1958, pp. 183-191.
  • Otto Prinz: Middle Latin Dictionary. Origin and plant . In: Studi medievali . 3rd Series, Volume 1, 1960, pp. 296-303.
  • Johannes Schneider: Development and status of the Middle Latin lexicography . In: Researches and Advances . Volume 28, 1954, pp. 281-285.
  • Johannes Schneider: Middle Latin dictionary . In: The Institute for Greco-Roman Antiquity. Minutes of the opening conference (publications of the Classical Studies Section 8). Berlin 1957, pp. 148-158.
  • Johannes Schneider: Basics and methods of Middle Latin lexicography in Germany . In: Studia Žródłonawcze . Commentationes IV, Poznań 1959, pp. 149–152.
  • Peter Schmidt: On the information content of the Middle Latin dictionary, especially with regard to socio-economic issues . In: Philologus . Vol. 123, 1979, pp. 129-136.
  • Peter Stotz: Handbook on the Latin language of the Middle Ages . Volume 1, Munich 2002, pp. 171-298.
  • Peter Stotz: Obituary Otto Prinz (1905–2003). A pioneer of Middle Latin lexicography . In: Akademie Aktuell . Issue 2, 2003, p. 24.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Commission for the publication of a Middle Latin dictionary. on the website of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences .
  2. see page about the dictionary at the Academy Union, accessed May 21, 2020
  3. for 1980 see scientific policy statement of the Science Council on the Academies Program, 2018, table on page 87, accessed May 21, 2020
  4. Report on the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae in the financial year 1939/40. In: Bavarian Academy of Sciences: Yearbook of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences 1939 , Verlag der Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Munich 1940, pp. 62–64.

Web links