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date: 06 December 2023



  • Robert Browning


  • Greek Literature

The name of a lexicon, not an author: the word is a Latin loanword, and means Fortress or Stronghold: see F. Dölger, Der Titel der Suda (1936), who instances other fanciful names for reference works, e.g. Pamphilus' Λειμών‎‎ (Meadow). The lexicon, which is a historical encyclopaedia rather than a mere word-list, was compiled about the end of the 10th cent. ce. Texts (with scholia) of Homer, Sophocles (1), Aristophanes (1), the Anth. Pal. (See anthology), and the Bible were directly consulted; otherwise work is mainly based on abridgements or selections made by later scholars, e.g. the Synagōgē (see lexica segueriana), Harpocration, and Diogenianus (2). The historians are quoted from the Excerpts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus; biography comes mainly from Hesychius of Miletus. It is a compilation of compilations, and like most works of its kind has suffered from interpolation. Nevertheless, in spite of its contradictions and other ineptitudes, it is of the highest importance, since it preserves (however imperfectly) much that is ultimately derived from the earliest or best authorities in ancient scholarship, and includes material from many departments of Greek learning and civilization.


  • A. Adler, Suidae lexicon. Teubner's Lexicographi Graeci. 1, 5 vols., 1928–1938. 〈
  • A. Adler, Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft 7 A, 675 ff.

P. Lemerle, Le premier humanisme byzantin (1970), 287–291Find it in your libraryGoogle PreviewWorldCat (Eng. trans. Byzantine Humanism (1986), 343–345.Find it in your libraryGoogle PreviewWorldCat

  • A. Steiner, in E. Trapp and others, Studien zur byzantinischen Lexikographie (1988), 149–181.
  • N. G. Wilson, Scholars of Byzantium (1983), 145–147.
  • G. Zecchini (ed.), Il lessico Suda e la memoria del passato a Bisanzio (1999).
  • E. Dickey, Ancient Greek Scholarship (2007), esp. 90–91.