, author of a celebrated Greek Lexicon, is a personage of whom we are
, author of a celebrated Greek Lexicon, is a
personage of whom we are unable to give many particulars.
Who he was, or when he lived, are points of great uncertainty; no circumstances of his life having been recorded,
either by himself or any other writer. Politian and some
oihers have been of opinion that no such person ever existed; but thai Suidas was a real person, appears, not only
from his name being found in all the manuscripts of his
Lexicon, but from his being often mentioned by Eustathius in his Commentary upon Homer. The learned have
differed in the same manner concerning the age of Suidas;
some, as Grotins, supposing him to have lived under Conjstantinus, the son of Leo, emperor of the East, who began
to reign in the year 912; while others have brought him even
lower than Eustathins, who is known to have lived in 1180.
The learned Bentley thinks that as he has referred a point
of chronology to the death of the emperor Zimisces, that
is, to the year of Christ 975: we may infer that he wrote
his Lexicon between that time and the death of the succeeding emperor, which was in 1075. This Lexicon is a
compilation of matters from various authors, sometimes
made with judgment and diligence, but often from bad
copies; and he therefore sometimes gives his reader corrupt and spurious words, instead of those that are pure
and genuine. He also mixes things of a different kind,
and belonging to different authors, promiscuously; and
some of his examples to illustrate the signification of words
are very little to the purpose. His Lexicon, however, is a
very useful book, and a storehouse of all sorts of erudition.
Scholars by profession have all prized it highly; as exhibiting many excellent passages of ancient authors whose
works are lost. It is to be ranked with the Bbliotheca of
Photuis ard works of that kind. The “
Magnum” has been ascribed to Suidas, but without sufficient authority, though it may have been composed in the
same period with the Lexicon.
Suidas’s Lexicon was first published at Milan, 1499, in
Greek only: it has since been printed with a Latin version: but the best edition, indeed the only good one, is
that of Kuster, Gr. & Lat. Cambridge, 1705, 3 vols. folio.
To this should be added Toup’s valuable “
in Suidam,” Oxon.
Appendix notarum in Suidae
Lexicon, ad paginas edit. Cantab. 1705, adcommodatarum;
colligente, qui et suas etiani aliquammultas adjecit, Joanne
Taylor.” This, we believe, was never finished.