The first was Reales Staats Zeitungs- und Conversations-Lexicon, Leipzig, 1704, 8vo; second edition, 1706, 947 pages; at the end a register of arms, and indexes of Latin and French words; fifth edition, 1711; fifteenth edition 1735, 1119 pages. The thirty-first edition was edited and enlarged by F. A. Rüder, and published by Brockhaus, Leipzig, 1824–1828, 8vo, 4 vols., 3088 pages. It was translated into Hungarian by Fejer, Pesten, 1816, 8vo, 5 vols., 2958 pages. The second, published as a supplement, was Curieuses und reales Natur- Kunst- Berg- Gewerb- und Handlungs-Lexicon, Leipzig, 1712, 8vo, 788 pages, frequently reprinted to 1792. The first relates to the political state of the world, as religion, orders, states, rivers, towns, castles, mountains, genealogy, war, ships; the second to nature, science, art and commerce. They were the work of many authors, of whom Paul Jacob Marpurger, a celebrated and voluminous writer on trade and commerce, born at Nuremberg on the 27th of June 1656, was an extensive contributor, and is the only one named by Hübner.
Johann Theodor Jablonski, who was born at Danzig on the 15th of December 1654, appointed secretary to the newly founded Prussian Academy in 1700, when he went to Berlin, where he died on the 28th of April 1731, published Allgemeines Lexicon der Künste und Wissenschaften, Leipzig, 1721, 4to, a short but excellent encyclopaedia still valued in Germany. It does not include theology, history, geography, biography and genealogy. He not only names his authorities, but gives a list of their works. A new edition in 1748 was increased one-third to 1508 pages. An improved edition, Königsberg and Leipzig, 1767, 4to, 2 vols., 1852 pages, was edited by J. J. Schwabe, public teacher of philosophy at Leipzig.
Ephraim Chambers (q.v.) published his Cyclopaedia; or an Universal Dictionary of Art and Sciences, containing an Explication of the Terms and an Account of the Things Signified thereby in the several Arts, Liberal and Mechanical, and the several Sciences, Human and Divine, London, 1728, fol. 2 vols. The dedication to the king is dated October 15, 1727. Chambers endeavoured to connect the scattered articles relating to each subject by a system of references, and to consider “the several matters, not only in themselves, but relatively, or as they respect each other; both to treat them as so many wholes and as so many parts of some greater whole.” Under each article he refers to the subject to which it belongs, and also to its subordinate parts; thus Copyhold has a reference to Tenure, of which it is a particular kind, and other references to Rolls, Custom, Manor, Fine, Charterland and Freehold. In his preface he gives an “analysis of the divisions of knowledge,” 47 in number, with classed lists of the articles belonging to each, intended to serve as table of contents and also as a rubric or directory indicating the order in which the articles should be read. But it does so very imperfectly, as the lists are curtailed by many et caeteras; thus 19 occur in a list of 119 articles under Anatomy, which has nearly 2200 articles in Rees's index. He omits etymologies unless “they appeared of some significance”; he gives only one grammatical form of each word, unless peculiar ideas are arbitrarily attached to different forms, as precipitate, precipitant, precipitation, when each has an article; and he omits complex ideas generally known, and thus “gets free of a vast load of plebeian words.” His work, he says, is a collection, not the produce of one man's wit, for that would go but a little way, but of the whole commonwealth of learning. “Nobody that fell in my way has been spared, antient or modern, foreign nor domestic, Christian or Jew nor heathen.” To the subjects given by Harris he adds theology, metaphysics, ethics, politics, logic, grammar, rhetoric and poetry, but excludes history, biography, genealogy, geography and chronology, except their technical parts. A second edition appeared in 1738, fol. 2 vols., 2466 pages, “retouched and amended in a thousand places.” A few articles are added and some others enlarged, but he was prevented from doing more because “the booksellers were alarmed with a bill in parliament containing a clause to oblige the publishers of all improved editions of books to print their improvements separately.” The bill after passing the Commons was unexpectedly thrown out by the Lords; but fearing that it might be revived, the booksellers thought it best to retreat though more than twenty sheets had been printed. Five other editions were published in London, 1739 to 1751–1752, besides one in Dublin, 1742, all in 2 vols. fol. An Italian translation, Venezia, 1748–1749, 4to, 9 vols., was the first complete Italian encyclopaedia. When Chambers was in France in 1739 he rejected very favourable proposals to publish an edition there dedicated to Louis XV. His work was judiciously, honestly and carefully done, and long maintained its popularity. But it had many defects and omissions, as he was well aware; and at his death, on the 15th of May 1740, he had collected and arranged materials for seven new volumes. John Lewis Scott was employed by the booksellers to select such articles as were fit for the press and to supply others. He is said to have done this very efficiently until appointed sub-preceptor to the prince of Wales and Prince Edward. His task was entrusted to Dr (afterwards called Sir John) Hill, who performed it very hastily, and with characteristic carelessness and self-sufficiency, copying freely from his own writings. The Supplement was published in London, 1753, fol. 2 vols., 3307 pages and 12 plates. As Hill was a botanist, the botanical part, which had been very defective in the Cyclopaedia, was the best.
Abraham Rees (1743–1825), a famous Nonconformist minister, published a revised and enlarged edition, “with the supplement and modern improvements incorporated in one alphabet,” London, 1778–1788, fol. 2 vols., 5010 pages (but not paginated), 159 plates. It was published in 418 numbers at 6d. each. Rees says that he has added more than 4400 new articles. At the end he gives an index of articles, classed under 100 heads, numbering about 57,000 and filling 80 pages. The heads, with 39 cross references, are arranged alphabetically. Subsequently there were reprints.
One of the largest and most comprehensive encyclopaedias was undertaken and in a great measure completed by Johann Heinrich Zedler, a bookseller of Leipzig, who was born at Breslau 7th January 1706, made a Prussian commerzienrath in 1731, and died at Leipzig in 1760,—Grosses vollständiges Universal Lexicon Aller Wissenschaften und Künste welche bishero durch menschlichen Verstand und Witz erfunden und verbessert worden, Halle and Leipzig, 1732–1750, fol. 64 Vols., 64,309 pages; and Nöthige Supplemente, ib. 1751–1754, vols. i. to iv., A to Caq, 3016 pages. The columns, two in a page, are numbered, varying from 1356 in vol. li. to 2588 in vol. xlix. Each volume has a dedication, with a portrait. The first nine are the emperor, the kings of Prussia and Poland, the empress of Russia, and the kings of England, France, Poland, Denmark and Sweden. The dedications, of which two are in verse, and all are signed by Zedler, amount to 459 pages. The supplement has no dedications or portraits. The preface to the first volume of the work is by Johann Peter von Ludewig, chancellor of the university of Halle (born 15th August 1690, died 6th September 1743). Nine editors were employed, whom Ludewig compares to the nine muses; and the whole of each subject was entrusted to the same person, that all its parts might be uniformly treated. Carl Günther Ludovici (born at Leipzig 7th August 1707, public teacher of philosophy there from 1734, died 3rd July 1778) edited the work from vol. xix., beginning the letter M, and published in 1739, to the end, and also the supplement. The work was published by subscription. Johann Heinrich Wolff, an eminent merchant and shopkeeper in Leipzig, born there on the 29th of April 1690, came to Zedler's assistance by advancing the funds for expenses and becoming answerable for the subscriptions, and spared no cost that the work might be complete. Zedler very truly says, in his preface to vol. xviii., that his Universal Lexicon was a work such as no time and no nation could show, and both in its plan and execution it is much more comprehensive and complete than any previous encyclopaedia. Colleges, says Ludewig, where all sciences are taught and studied, are on that account called universities, and their teaching is called studium universale; but the Universal Lexicon contains not only what they teach in theology, jurisprudence, medicine,