Graecum Lexicon Manuale

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by Benjamin Hederich

During the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, there was a Renaissance explosion of ancient Greek dictionaries due to the plethora of available ancient Greek texts in printed editions. There were two major types of dictionaries: the humanistic (intended to assist students in reading and writing Greek literature) and the philological (meant to fully preserve and record Greek vocabulary in order to understand the culture). [1] Several centuries later, in 1722, Benjamin Hederich, a schoolmaster in Saxony, published the first edition of his Graecum Lexicon Manuale. This particular ancient Greek dictionary was intended for pedagogical use, and had multiple editions published. [2] In 1724 Hederich wrote another dictionary – this time in the German language on Ancient Greek Mythology: Griindliches mythologisches Lexikon. [3]

Bibliographic Information

Author: Benjamin Hederich

Title: Graecum Lexicon Manuale

Publication Info: Londini : H. Woodfall, 1766.


Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Hederici Lexicon. 4to. and given by Thomas Jefferson to his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The precise edition owned by Wythe is unknown. George Wythe's Library[4] on LibraryThing indicates this, noting "Several quarto editions were published." The Brown Bibliography[5] lists the 1766 edition published in London based on the copy Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress.[6] The Wolf Law Library followed Brown's suggestion and purchased the London edition edited by Samuel Patrick.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in later full vellum, five raised bands, brown morocco lettering piece. Title page in red and black. Purchased from Kaaterskill Books, ABAA/ILAB.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

External Links

Google Books


  1. John Considine, “Ancient Greek among the Eighteenthcentury [sic] Languages of Science: Linnaeus, Dillenius, and the Lexicographical Record,” International Journal of the Classical Tradition 16, no. 3/4 (Sep-Dec 2009): 335.
  2. Ibid, 336.
  3. John L. Heller, “Classical Mythology in the Systema Naturae of Linnaeus.” Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 76 (1945): 340.
  4. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 13, 2013,
  5. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  6. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 2nd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 5:35 [no.3736].