The Thesaurus linguae Latinae is the first comprehensive dictionary of ancient Latin; it puts our knowledge of Latin antiquity on an entirely new footing:
it is compiled on the basis of all Latin texts surviving from antiquity (until AD 600), both literary and non-literary
for less common words it cites every attestation, for the rest (those marked with an asterisk) an instructive and representative sample
it records all meanings (including technical usages) and all constructions
it documents peculiarities of inflection, spelling, and prosody
it supplies information about the etymology of the Latin words and their survival in the Romance languages, contributed by recognised authorities in the fields of Indo-European and Romance studies
it collects the comments of ancient sources on the word in question
The Thesaurus therefore offers for every Latin word a comprehensive, richly documented picture of its possibilities and history – not only for Latin scholars, but also for scholars of the various branches of ancient studies and for related disciplines.
‘its treasury has the potential to enrich every branch of study in the Roman world, and engage the interest of anyone who seeks to understand in the smallest degree how the Romans expressed themselves and took possession of their environment.’
The Thesaurus is compiled at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich by an international team of approximately twenty contributors. More than two-thirds of the work has been completed and published.