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Art and Religion |

Advanced Search Links. Product Close-up. A notable feature at the time of the early printing press was the sudden growth in the popularity of some of the older encyclopaedias as a result of the tendency to ensure a ready market by printing works of which many manuscript copies were in circulation.

During the first 16 centuries of their publication the majority of encyclopaedias comprised great anthologies of the most significant writings on as many subjects as possible. Although the compiler exercised considerable latitude in choosing items to include in the encyclopaedia, comment was often restricted to a minimum, so that the reader was free to form an opinion of what was offered.

Art and Religion

In addition, because the compiler selected material from what had already been written, the reader was referred to the past, and, although he or she could enjoy the heritage of the preceding cultures , the reader was not being put in touch with as much of the contemporary world as might have been desired. About the 10th or 11th century a new type of encyclopaedia began to emerge, probably stimulated by the growing number of language dictionaries that, starting well before printing was used, grew ever more numerous once they could be produced.

Many early dictionaries were little more than enlarged glossaries, but from the time of Suidas onward there began to appear a type of dictionary—now called encyclopaedic —that added to the definition and etymology of a word a description of the functions of the thing or idea it named. In some dictionaries, such as those of the Estiennes, a French family of book dealers and printers, this description might in some cases be of considerable length.

Thus, the compilers of the new form of encyclopaedia that emerged in the 16th and 17th centuries inevitably thought in terms of arranging their entries in alphabetical order because the dictionaries had already familiarized the reading public with this system. The last half of the 18th century, by way of the Enlightenment , brought such an upheaval in the human concept of the world that the time was ripe for further experiments in the form of the encyclopaedia. It is no coincidence that both the German Brockhaus and the Scottish Britannica appeared with policies so different from all that had gone before that no publisher of any new encyclopaedia could afford to ignore their new patterns.

Their formulas were so good that the modern encyclopaedia is simply a vastly improved elaboration of their method of arrangement and organization.

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The compilers of both encyclopaedias had taken the best ideas from the anthologies and miscellanies of the early period of encyclopaedia making and from the later stage of encyclopaedic dictionaries. Realizing that the reading public would not tolerate the omission of some subjects and the unequal treatment of others, they prepared works in which at least a few lines were devoted to almost every conceivable topic, and for more important subjects a full account was provided, written by an expert, if possible.

The three periods of the history of encyclopaedias— 1 to , 2 —, and 3 onward—are very unequal. They are, moreover, to a certain extent misleading, for the different forms of the encyclopaedia overlapped at each turning point for some years, and even today there are still some important survivals from the two earlier periods. This is exactly what the encyclopaedias of the earliest period offered; and in both the old and the contemporary encyclopaedia the reader is left free to form an opinion after reading what the experts have to say.

The encyclopaedias of the period before apparently were designed for a small group of people who had much the same educational background as well as similar interests and opportunities to pursue them. In general, these readers had a common outlook on both religious and secular matters. Moreover, although they were citizens of many different countries, they were united by their knowledge and use of Latin , the international language.

The Eastern Roman emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus tried to plant firmly in the hearts of the most worthy of his contemporaries both knowledge and experience of the past.

His were troubled times, and he felt justified in using much of his enforced leisure he came to the throne at age two in but was not allowed to rule until to provide for the administrators and emissaries of his court the most useful extracts from the writings of a very catholic selection of authors, including the patriarch of Constantinople John of Antioch John Scholasticus , the Roman historian Appian , the Greek historian Polybius , the Greek philosopher Socrates , the 5th-century Byzantine historian Zosimus, and many others.

One of the unexpected by-products of this industry was the preservation of a large number of writings, a service that some of the other medieval encyclopaedias also performed. An advantage of the encyclopaedists of the first period i. The anonymous compiler of the Compendium philosophiae c. Within the early period of the history of encyclopaedias, a number of stages can be distinguished that make each group of works significant in any study of the development of scholarship throughout the West.

Not one of the encyclopaedias of Pliny or his predecessors paid much attention to religion; if it was discussed, the approach was antiquarian, the gods of the different nations ruled by Rome being named and described in a dispassionate spirit that reflected both the tolerance and the noninvolvement of the Romans in these matters.

The emphasis instead was on government, geography, zoology, medicine, history, and practical matters. The theories of the various philosophers were outlined impartially, no indication being given of any personal preference. This objective approach adopted by the Romans in their encyclopaedias was not achieved again until the 19th century.

By the time of the Roman philosopher Boethius and the statesman Cassiodorus c. Like Pliny and the Roman statesman Cato, Cassiodorus had been an administrator, and, while his predecessors had been engaged in interpreting and epitomizing the knowledge of the ancient world for the benefit of their own people, Cassiodorus realized the necessity for providing a new interpretation of this knowledge for the Goths, the new masters of Italy.

In the next years the impact of Christianity brought a new phase in Western encyclopaedia making, just as the impact of Islam is clearly visible in the Arabic encyclopaedias of the same period. Although religion is not always given pride of place in the encyclopaedias of those times, it pervades the whole of their contents. Moreover, the inclusion of such topics as astrology and magic was surprisingly prevalent and only began to disappear after the publication of Liber floridus c.

In this era there was an increasing number of lay encyclopaedists—e. At the same time, theology no longer dominated the classification schemes. Although compositors and printers were not immune from mistakes, the printing press eliminated one of the most vexatious problems: the introduction or perpetuation of textual errors by the manuscript copyists.

At the same time, the wider circulation of encyclopaedias through the unrestricted sales of printed copies brought about a situation in which the compilers could no longer envisage their reading public and accordingly adjusted their approach to their largely unknown audience. The period spanning the 17th and 18th centuries is characterized by the flourishing of the encyclopaedic dictionaries that were pioneered by the Estienne family in France in the 16th century. During these two centuries this form of encyclopaedia reflected two different policies. There was the encyclopaedia, such as those of the Germans Johann Theodor Jablonski and Johann Heinrich Zedler, that paid particular attention to the fields of history and biography.

There was also a new form of encyclopaedia—if the exception of the 12th-century De diversis artibus be set aside—that devoted itself to the arts and sciences. The first type can therefore be said to be retrospective in approach, while the arts and sciences encyclopaedia was clearly identifiable with contemporary matters. None of these divisions is actually clear-cut, for many traditional encyclopaedias continued to be compiled throughout the period, and not all the historical-biographical encyclopaedias ignored the arts and sciences or contemporary people and events.

The Englishman Ephraim Chambers went even further in describing his internationally influential Cyclopaedia as. No century has seen more public discussion of the nature of the encyclopaedia than the 18th; at the same time, there was much uncertainty concerning its ideal contents. The introduction of the arts-and-sciences type of encyclopaedia inevitably hastened the use of specialist contributors, for it widened the total subject field considerably. The period of the encyclopaedic dictionary was brilliant, but it gradually became apparent that, in abandoning the systematic encyclopaedia of the earlier period in favour of the quick reference dictionary form, quite as much had been lost as had been gained.

The comparatively brief entries in the encyclopaedic dictionary had, by accident of the alphabet, fragmented knowledge to such an extent that users received only a disjointed knowledge of the things in which they were interested.

Early life and influences

Their encyclopaedia was to include about 45 principal subjects distinguished by titles printed across the whole page , supported by another 30 lengthy articles, the whole being contained within one alphabetical sequence interspersed with numerous brief entries enhanced by references, where appropriate, to the principal subjects. Some of the principal articles, notably those on medical subjects, extended to more than pages each. The three collaborators had thus incorporated the comprehensive treatment of important subjects accorded by the earliest form of encyclopaedias and had supplemented this with the attraction of the brief informative notices of minor topics that had been the chief feature of the encyclopaedic dictionary.

The key to their success was, however, their retention of the single alphabetical sequence. Copies of Notebooking Pages see below. Steps to set up notebooks:. Set up four binders for each child. Insert dividers in each binder. Glue the following pages to the front of the dividers, labeling the divider tabs with the appropriate names.

Social Studies. Daily Activities:. Each day, select which of the following notebooking pages you want your children to complete. As they complete the pages, have them 3-hole-punch the pages and insert them into the correct binder behind the appropriate divider. Social Relationships. Social Problems.

Encyclopedia of Bible Truths-Fine Arts/Health

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