Information on an ancient encyclopedia

Pliny the Elder

Encyclopedias have been on this earth for 2,000 years. The oldest is Naturalis Historia written by Pliny the Elder in Roman times. It is distributed in 37 sections that cover art and structural design, natural history, medicine, geography, geology and any other facet that was present near it. The facts were compiled from 2,000 different papers by 200 authors, but he was unable to review the entries. It was published in AD 77-79. Previously, the works of Marcus Terentius Varro were already there, but lost to time.

middle ages

The Etymologiae (circa 630) is known as the first encyclopedia of the Middle Ages compiled by Saint Isidore of Seville, a great scholar of the Middle Ages. This encyclopedia is distributed in 448 chapters in 20 volumes with quotes and extracts from the work of other authors.

The Early Middle Ages saw references mainly to Bartholomeus Anglicus’s De proprietatibus rerum (1240).

Vincent de Beauvais’ Speculum Majus (1260) was quite progressive with over 3 million words in the late medieval period.

The Suda is a huge Byzantine-era encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world. It is written in the Greek lexical style and contains 30,000 entries.

17th-19th centuries

The modern idea of ​​a printed encyclopedia, which could be widely circulated for general use, came with Chambers’ Cyclopædia (1728) and Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopedia (1751 onwards), as well as the Encyclopedia and Lexikon-Conversations. . . These included comprehensive topics that were wide in scope and deep and organized. The Chamber dictionary perhaps followed the lead of John Harris’s Lexicon Technicum.

Sir Thomas Browne, a renowned English scholar and physician used the word encyclopedia in 1646 in his vulgar errors, where the common errors of his time are refuted. This encyclopedia was structured on the proven scheme of the Renaissance or ‘scale of creation’. It ascends the hierarchical tree from the mineral, vegetable, animal, human and planetary worlds to the cosmological worlds.

John Harris is now given credit for the alphabetic format he introduced in 1704 with his Lexicon Technicum: A Universal English Dictionary of Arts and Sciences: Explaining not only the Terms of Art, but the Arts Miselves.” He emphasized science as In the understanding of the 18th century, its subjects extended beyond science to include the humanities and fine arts such as law, commerce, music, and heraldry.

20th century

In the early 1920s, Harmsworth’s Encyclopedia of Universal and Children’s Encyclopedia became popular and affordable resources. In the US, several large editions were introduced in the 1950s and 1960s and gained popularity. They were sold through facilities. WorldBook and Funk and Wagnalls fared better.

In the second half several encyclopedias were published. His work was notable in that they synthesized important issues in particular fields, obtained through new research. The Elsevier Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Manuals of Economics were two such books. Most academic disciplines are covered in a dedicated volume that includes even limited topics like bioethics and African American history.