Consummatum est

101 years after it began with a letter to The Times calling for volunteer helpers, a truly definitive Latin dictionary project has ended – with a beer. A project to record the medieval British Latin lexicon closes in Oxford this month after 101 years. What began with a letter in The Times calling for volunteer helpers ended with a beer – specifically zythum, ‘an Egyptian beer’.

That was the final word added to the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources (DMLBS). Now only two people remain in the office: the editor, Dr Richard Ashdowne of Oxford University’s Faculty of Classics, and 89-year-old volunteer Peter Glare. ‘This is the third major dictionary Peter has seen through to completion, having previously worked on the monumental Oxford Latin Dictionary and the revised supplement to Liddell/Scott/Jones’s Greek Lexicon.

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