Oxford Classical Dictionary

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The Oxford Classical Dictionary (OCD) is a one-volume encyclopaedia in English of topics relating to the Ancient World and its civilizations. It was first published in 1949 (OCD1), edited by Max Cary with the assistance of H. J. Rose, H. P. Harvey, and A. Souter. A second edition followed in 1970 (OCD2), edited by Nicholas G. L. Hammond and H. H. Scullard, and a third edition in 1996 (OCD3), edited by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth. A revised third edition was released in 2003, which is nearly identical to the previous third edition. Finally, a fourth edition was published in 2012 (OCD4), edited by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth with the assistance of Esther Eidinow, which remains the current edition. This most recent edition is marked principally by three features: first, revision to the text of approximately half the entries; second, 90 new or replaced entries (19 replaced); and, third, thoroughly updated bibliographies for each entry.

The OCD's over 6,700 articles cover everything from the daily life of the ancient Greeks and Romans to their geography, religion, and their historical figures.

Digital and on-line availability[edit]

The fourth edition and the third revised edition of OCD are available online for members of subscribed institutions either via Oxford Digital Reference Shelf, or via Oxford Reference Online Premium. The third edition (1996) was also available on CD-ROM, but it is partially incompatible with more recent versions of Windows and has not been revised or re-released.[1]


A copy of the OCD has traditionally been offered by the National Latin Examination as a prize for students who obtain four consecutive ascending gold medals on the exam.[1]

See also[edit]

  • Pauly–Wissowa, the comprehensive multivolume classical encyclopedia, published in German and English


External links[edit]