Suda On Line: Byzantine Lexicography
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The Suda on Line

For Attic phrase in Plato let them seek,
I poach in Suidas for unlicens'd Greek.
― Alexander Pope, The Dunciad 4.227-8

Pope’s ‘Suidas’ is not a man but a work, The Suda (or Stronghold): a massive 10th century Byzantine Greek historical encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world, covering the whole of Greek and Roman antiquity and also including Biblical and Christian material.

Preserved in several medieval manuscripts, it has been edited and published several times since the end of the 14th century in traditional hard-copy scholarly editions, most recently that of Ada Adler (Teubner, 5 volumes: 1928-1938, reprinted 1971). The Suda On Line (SOL) project, begun in 1998 as part of the Stoa Consortium, opens up this stronghold of information by means of a freely accessible, keyword-searchable database, with English translations, notes, bibliography, and links to other electronic resources. With contributions (as Translators and/or Editors) from more than two hundred people worldwide, the SOL reached the landmark of all entries being translated and “vetted” (edited) to a usable standard on July 21, 2014. But more can, and will, be done.

A fuller history of the project may be found here .

Using this website

Users of our website have three options.

  1. Without registration you can gain immediate access to the entire list of entries. It may be sufficient if you already know which entry or entries (by Adler number) you want to consult. You may also undertake simple searching here:
    or find    in:    
  2. Registration as a Guest entitles you to use more advanced search features, including the Greek text (in a variety of formats). If you want temporary access to these but would rather not register, simply enter the login ID Guest and the password sol in the boxes above. (Both are case-sensitive). Otherwise, register as a guest .
  3. Registration as an ‘Editor’ enables those with appropriate qualifications, if approved by the Managing Editors, to participate in the ongoing work of the SOL. See the instructions for Editors. Here is where to register as an editor .

Citing the Suda On Line

Detailed instructions for citing SOL entries, whether in published work or in CVs, may be found here.

All our entries, including translations and annotations, are covered by a Creative Commons ‘Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike License’. For the general features of how we apply this license to the SOL see this site.

Source identifications in the Suda on Line

The Suda contains a vast number of quotations, some of them explicitly attributed but many not. Adler’s edition gave all identifications known or proposed at the time of writing. Further progress in this area, by traditional means, was made in subsequent decades and still continues; nevertheless, the exercise has latterly been transformed by the ease with which the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) database can be searched.

The SOL community has identified many of these quotations. There is a summary checklist of post-Adler identifications, flagged as possible, probable, or certain.


The SOL is dedicated to the memory of Ross Scaife (1960 – 2008) who welcomed the project into the Stoa Consortium and provided the visionary leadership that enabled the concepts of the project to become reality.

Copyright © 2000- Suda On Line and the Stoa Consortium. All rights reserved.