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|se cohaerere; Encyclopaedia est institutio in illo circulo.”
(Isagoge, 1774, i. 40).
In a more restricted sense, encyclopaedia means a system or classification of the various branches of knowledge, a subject on which many books have been published, especially in Germany, as Schmid's Allgemeine Encyklopädie und Methodologie der Wissenschaften (Jena, 1810, 4to, 241 pages). In this sense the Novum Organum of Bacon has often been called an encyclopaedia. But it is “a grammar only of the sciences: a cyclopaedia is not a grammar, but a dictionary; and to confuse the meanings of grammar and dictionary is to lose the benefit of a distinction which it is fortunate that terms have been coined to convey” (Quarterly Review, cxiii. 354). Fortunius Licetus, an Italian physician, entitled several of his dissertations on Roman altars and other antiquities encyclopaedias (as, for instance, Encyclopaedia ad Aram mysticam Nonarii, Pataviae, 1631, 4to), because in composing them he borrowed the aid of all the sciences. The Encyclopaedia moralis of Marcellinus de Pise (Paris, 1646, fol., 4 vols.) is a series of sermons. Encyclopaedia is often used to mean a book which is, or professes to be, a complete or very full collection or treatise relating to some particular subject, as Blaine's work, The Encyclopaedia of Rural Sports (London, 1852); The Encyclopaedia of Wit (London, 1803); The Vocal Encyclopaedia (London, 1807, 16mo), a collection of songs, catches, &c. The word is frequently used for an alphabetical dictionary treating fully of some science or subject, as Murray, Encyclopaedia of Geography (London, 1834); Lefebvre Laboulaye, Encyclopédie technologique: Dictionnaire des arts et manufactures (Paris, 1845-1847). Whether under the name of “dictionary” or “encyclopaedia” large numbers of this class of reference-work have been published. These are essentially encyclopaedic, being subject books and not word-books. The important books of this character are referred to in the articles dealing with the respective subjects, but the following may be mentioned here: the Jewish Encyclopedia, in 12 vols. (1901), a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times; the Encyclopaedia of Sport, 2 vols. (1897-1898); Holtzendorff's Encyklopädie der Rechtswissenschaft (1870; an edition in 2 vols., 1904); the Dictionary of Political Economy, edited by R. H. Inglis Palgrave, 3 vols. (1894; reprinted 1901); the Encyclopaedia Biblica, edited by T. K. Cheyne and J. Sutherland Black, 4 vols. (1899-1903); the Dictionary of the Bible, edited by James Hastings, 4 vols., with a supplementary volume (1904); an interesting series is the Répertoire général du commerce, dealing with the foreign trade of France, of which one part, the Encyclopaedia of Trade between the United States of America and France, with a preface by M. Gabriel Hanotaux, appeared, in French and English, in 1904.
The great Chinese encyclopaedias are referred to in the article on Chinese Literature. It will be sufficient to mention here the Wên hien t'ung k'ao, compiled by Ma Twa-lin in the 14th century, the encyclopaedia ordered to be compiled by the Emperor Yung-loh in the 15th century, and the Ku Kin t'u shu thi ch'êng prepared for the Emperor K'ang-hi (d. 1721), in 5020 volumes. A copy of this enormous work, bound in some 700 volumes, is in the British Museum.
The most ancient encyclopaedia extant is Pliny's Natural History in 37 books (including the preface) and 2493 chapters, which may be thus described generally: — book i, preface; book 2, cosmography, astronomy and meteorology; books 3 to 6, geography; books 7 to 11, zoology, including man, and the invention of the arts; books 12 to 19, botany; books 20 to 32, medicines, vegetable and animal remedies, medical authors and magic; books 33 to 37, metals, fine arts, mineralogy and mineral remedies. Pliny, who died A.D. 79, was not a naturalist, a physician or an artist, and collected his work in his leisure intervals while engaged in public affairs. He says it contains 20,000 facts (too small a number by half, says Lemaire), collected from 2000 books by 100 authors. Hardouin has given a list of 464 authors quoted by him. His work was a very high authority in the middle ages, and 43 editions of it were printed before 1536.
|Martianus Minneus Felix Capella, an African, wrote (early in
the 5th cent.), in verse and prose, a sort of encyclopaedia, which is important from having been regarded in the middle ages as a model storehouse of learning, and used in the schools, where the scholars had to learn the verses by heart, as a text-book of high-class education in the arts. It is sometimes entitled Satyra, or Satyricon, but is usually known as De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, though this title is sometimes confined to the first two books, a rather confused allegory ending with the apotheosis of Philologia and the celebration of her marriage in the milky way, where Apollo presents to her the seven liberal arts, who, in the succeeding seven books, describe their respective branches of knowledge, namely, grammar, dialectics (divided into metaphysics and logic), rhetoric, geometry (geography, with some single geometrical propositions), arithmetic (chiefly the properties of numbers), astronomy and music (including poetry). The style is that of an African of the 5th century, full of grandiloquence, metaphors and strange words. He seldom mentions his authorities, and sometimes quotes authors whom he does not even seem to have read. His work was frequently copied in the middle ages by ignorant transcribers, and was eight times printed from 1499 to 1599. The best annotated edition is by Kopp (Frankfort, 1836, 4to), and the most convenient and the best text is that of Eysserhardt (Lipsiae, 1866, 8vo).
Isidore, bishop of Seville from 600 to 630, wrote Etymologiarum libri XX. (often also entitled his Origines) at the request of his friend Braulio, bishop of Saragossa, who after Isidore's death divided the work into books, as it was left unfinished, and divided only into titles.
The tenth book is an alphabet of 625 Latin words, not belonging to his other subjects, with their explanations as known to him, and often with their etymologies, frequently very absurd. The other books contain 448 chapters, and are: — 1, grammar (Latin); 2, rhetoric and dialectics; 3, the four mathematical disciplines arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy; 4, medicine; 5, laws and times (chronology), with a short chronicle ending in 627; 6, ecclesiastical books and offices; 7, God, angels and the orders of the faithful; 8, the church and sects; 9, languages, society and relationships; 11, man and portents; 12, animals, in eight classes, namely, pecora et jumenta, beasts, small animals (including spiders, crickets and ants), serpents, worms, fishes, birds and small winged creatures, chiefly insects; 13, the world and its parts; 14, the earth and its parts, containing chapters on Asia, Europe and Libya, that is, Africa; 15, buildings, fields and their measures; 16, stones (of which one is echo) and metals; 17, de rebus rusticis; 18, war and games; 19, ships, buildings and garments; 20, provisions, domestic and rustic instruments.
Isidore appears to have known Hebrew and Greek, and to have been familiar with the Latin classical poets, but he is a mere collector, and his derivations given all through the work are not unfrequently absurd, and, unless when very obvious, will not bear criticism. He seldom mentions his authorities except when he quotes the poets or historians. Yet his work was a great one for the time, and for many centuries was a much valued authority and a rich source of material for other works, and he had a high reputation for learning both in his own time and in subsequent ages. His Etymologies were often imitated, quoted and copied. MSS. are very numerous: Antonio (whose editor, Bayer, saw nearly 40) says, “plures passimque reperiuntur in bibliothecarum angulis.” This work was printed nine times before 1529.
Hrabanus Maurus, whose family name was Magnentius, was educated in the abbey of Fulda, ordained deacon in 802 (“Annales Francorum” in Bouquet, Historiens de la France, v. 66), sent to the school of St Martin of Tours, then directed by Alcuin, where he seems to have learned Greek, and is said by Trithemius to have been taught Hebrew, Syriac and Chaldee by Theophilus an Ephesian. In his Commentaries on Joshua (lib. ii. c. 5) he speaks of having resided at Sidon. He returned to Fulda and taught the school there. He became abbot of Fulda in 822, resigned in April 842, was ordained archbishop of Mainz on the 26th of July 847, and died on the 4th of February 856. He compiled an encyclopaedia De universo (also called in some MSS. De universali natura, De natura rerum, and De origine rerum) in 22 books and 325 chapters. It is chiefly a rearrangement of