Corrections to the Greek Passages in the Encyclopédie
Recently, we have completed a systematic corrections project of the more than 7,000 passages in Greek found in the Encyclopédie. Part of the issue with Greek in the Encyclopédie was an imperfect knowledge of Greek by some of the Encyclopedists. In addition, the French typesetters were no doubt at fault for a few of the problems with the Greek, so the blame for the poor shape of the Greek in the original Encyclopédie is both the fault of the Encyclopedists and, less so, of the original typesetters. We have endeavoured to correct the Greek passages in the following manner. The placement of accents in the original manuscripts of the Encyclopédie was often exasperatingly random, so we have corrected this to the greatest extent possible. One thing of note is that in the beginning volumes, authors seemed to me to prefer to change final acutes to graves before commas and sometimes other punctuation, which is opposite the practice of modern editions. We have preserved this practice for the most part on the assumption that it was the original intention of the Encyclopedists. For the most part, corrections of the Greek was enacted on three levels:
First, irregular orthography (misspelling) of Greek words, which was exceedingly common in the Encyclopédie for reasons stated above, was corrected to the greatest extent possible.
Next, nonsensical Greek words were corrected unless they were central to an erroneous etymology of a head word.
Finally, passages from ancient Greek literature were corrected to reflect modern editions, except when it was clear that the Encyclopedists had a variant reading that was sensible or demonstrated a point that was being made.
In all, the current corrected Greek text of the Encyclopédie online is an improvement not only on the previous versions of the database, but also on the original Encyclopédie itself, as hundreds of mistakes made in the Encyclopédie have been fixed.