The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names is a project to collect and publish all ancient Greek personal names from the 8th Century BC to the late Roman Empire. Ancient Greek names provide crucial evidence to the historian. They reveal where people came from; they show what gods were popular at a given time; they may express political ideals. The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names project traces every bearer of every name, drawing on a huge variety of evidence, from personal tombstones, dedications, works of art, to civic decrees, treaties, citizen-lists etc., artefacts, graffiti etc.: in other words, from all Greek literary sources, documentary sources (inscriptions and papyri), coins, and artefacts. Because it records not just every name but every bearer of each name, it can be seen as the telephone directory (facebook?) of all parts of the ancient world where Greek was the main language. The result: almost 400,000 ancient Greeks listed regionally in eight large and elegant volumes (Oxford, 1987-2018), which cover the whole Greek world from Italy and Sicily to Anatolia; a ninth volume on Syria, Arabia and regions further East is in preparation, two more on Egypt are planned to complete the series. The project was a pioneer in the field of Digital Humanities, and the website permits sophisticated searches of the database as well as hosting features such as ‘Greek Names in English’; a searchable ‘linguistic extension’ (LGPN-Ling) is being prepared in collaboration with Professor Sophie Minon of Paris which analyses the formation and meaning of every name.
Director: Professor Robert Parker