Hailed as "the greatest achievement of indological scholarship in 19th-century Europe" (Basham), the Sanskrit-Worterbuch by Otto Von Bohtlingk and Rudolf Von Roth remains unsurpassed even more than a Plundered years after its first publication, from 1852 to 1875, under the auspices of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences. Indeed, all the Sanskrit Dictionaries that were published subsequently drew heavily from this "splendid monument of German diligence" (Winternitz).
This is not just a long string of Sanskrit words and their meanings, as its unassuming name might suggest. Attempt was made here, for the first time in the History of Sanskrit lexicography, to extract the Meaning of a word from its actual usage in literature. Thus this dictionary explains the grammatical Formation of each word, and its various shades of meaning, enumerates the places of its occurrence, and provides copious citations from Original texts.
The work on this dictionary began at a time when very few Sanskrit Texts were available in print, and the compilers had to scan a vast number of unpublished manuscripts and prepare detailed word-indices which formed the basis for the dictionary. To name but a few illustrious collaborators in this enormous project: Rudolf Von Roth B, co-editor prepared indices from several Vedic texts, W.D. Whitney from the Atharvaveda, Albrecht Weber from the Satapatha-Brahmana and Katyayanasrautasutra, Stenzler from the Manusmrti and Kern from the works of Varahamihira.
Since 1852 when the first fascicule came out, the Petersburger, Worterbuch (or Larger Petrograd Dictionary, as it is more popularly known after its place of publication), has been an indispensable tool in Indological Research all over the world.