Leech, Laurence. Outstanding among Isidore’s extraordinary literary production was his Etymologiae (Etymologies), which, in 20 sections, compiled for posterity much that he had extracted from works of previous encyclopaedists, specialists, and various Latin writers; the etymological part (Book X) became a great mine for later glossographers. [40], Book XIX covers ships including boats, sails, ropes and nets; forges and tools; building, including walls, decorations, ceilings, mosaics, statues, and building tools; and clothes, including types of dress, cloaks, bedding, tools, rings, belts and shoes. Saint Isidore of Seville (c.560-636) was Archbishop of Seville for more than three decades and has the reputation of being one of the great scholars of the early Middle Ages. 21 Jan 2021. Ernst Robert Curtius & Willard R. Trask & Peter Godman. The Etymologies are thus "complacently derivative". the Latin glosses in these manuscripts show a heavy debt to Isidore, but even the Old English ones can frequently be shown to originate not as translations of the text but, rather, as translations of original Latin glosses taken from the Etymologiae. [18], Book V covers law and chronology. [46], In the view of John T. Hamilton, writing in The Classical Tradition in 2010, "Our knowledge of ancient and early medieval thought owes an enormous amount to this encyclopedia, a reflective catalogue of received wisdom, which the authors of the only complete translation into English introduce as "arguably the most influential book, after the Bible, in the learned world of the Latin West for nearly a thousand years"[47] These days, of course, Isidore and his Etymologies are anything but household names...[d] but the Vatican has named Isidore the patron saint of the Internet, which is likely to make his work slightly better known. Authors such as Jerome, Aristotle, Cicero, Virgil, and the others cited by Isidore can be seen as lending auctoritas (meaning authority, but also prestige and credibility) to his encyclopedia. He derives the word medicine from the Latin for "moderation" (modus), and "sciatica" (sciasis) from the affected part of the body, the hip (Greek ἰσχία "ischia"). He discusses the purpose of law, legal cases, witnesses, offences and penalties. Lactantius is the author most extensively quoted in book XI, concerning man. He equates the Greek term syllogism with the Latin term argumentation (argumentatio), which he derives from the Latin for "clear mind" (arguta mens). Etymologies, often very far-fetched, form the subject of just one of the encyclopedia's twenty books (Book X), but perceived linguistic similarities permeate the work. The work contains whatever Isidore, an influential Christian bishop, thought worth keeping. The classical encyclopedists had already introduced alphabetic ordering of topics, and a literary rather than observational approach to knowledge: Isidore followed those traditions. [39], Book XVIII covers the terms of war, games and jurisprudence. [37], Book XVI covers metals and rocks, starting with dust and earth, and moving on to gemstones of different colours, glass and mines. Leander was a powerful priest, a friend of Pope Gregory, and eventually he became bishop of Seville. It discloses most of the imperfections peculiar to all ages of transition and particularly reveals a growing Visigothic influence. Leander became Bishop of Seville c. 580 CE and was a personal friend of Pope Gregory I, even before his papal coronation. Virgil (70-19 BCE) was considered the greatest poet in Roman literature and was, therefore, one of the highest authorities on the Latin language. Isidore's view of Roman law in book V is viewed through the lens of the Visigothic compendiary called the Breviary of Alaric, which was based on the Code of Theodosius, which Isidore never saw. Some pagan philosophers have thought that all trees and plants and fruits have their origins from these particles, and that from them fire and water and the universe were born and exist. Etymologiae (Latin for "The Etymologies"), also known as the Origines ("Origins") and usually abbreviated Orig., is an etymological encyclopedia compiled by Isidore of … Its subject matter is extremely diverse, ranging from grammar and rhetoric to the earth and the cosmos, buildings, metals, war, ships, humans, animals, medicine, law, religions and the hierarchies of angels and saints. Isidore, BishopofSeville,compiledtheEtymologies(also known as the Origins)inthelate teens and twenties of the seventh century, and left it nearly complete at his death in 636.Inthe form of an encyclopedia, it contains acompendium of much of … Isidore of Seville (/ ˈ ɪ z ɪ d ɔːr /; Latin: Isidorus Hispalensis; c. 560 – 4 April 636) was a scholar and, for over three decades, Archbishop of Seville. It was a direct influence on the voluminous encyclopedias and lexicons of the later Middle Ages, and Isidore was regarded as a high authority through this time. Leech, L. (2020, June 15). Very little is known with any certainty about Isidore himself. Barney further notes as "most striking"[7] that Isidore never mentions three out of his four principal sources (the one he does name being Pliny): Cassiodorus, Servius and Solinus. The Etymologies summarized and organized a wealth of knowledge from hundreds of classical sources; three of its books are derived largely from Pliny the Elder's Natural History. Athletic games include running and jumping, throwing and wrestling. Isidore compiled the work between c.615 and the early 630s and it takes the form of an encyclopedia, arranged by subject matter. Isidore describes standards, trumpets, weapons including swords, spears, arrows, slings, battering rams, and armour including shields, breastplates and helmets. Pope John Paul II (in office 1978-2005 CE) even nominated Isidore as the patron saint of the internet because he attempted to record everything worth knowing in his encyclopedia. His friend and colleague Braulio, who encouraged Isidore to write the Etymologiae, lists over a dozen major works published in his lifetime, as well as other minor works. Ancient History Encyclopedia. The Visigoths were originally converted to a version of Christianity called Arianism, which is a nontrinitarian doctrine, that is, they did not believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of the Trinity were coequal and coeternal. The sky is called caelum as it has stars stamped on to it, like a decorated pot (caelatus). License. It was copied in huge numbers across Europe and over a thousand manuscripts survive. Isidore's Latin style in the "Etymologiae" and elsewhere, though simple and lucid, cannot be said to be classical, affected as it was by local Visigothic traditions. The Etymologiae was copied so often by scribes and transmitted so widely that it was second only to the Bible in terms of popularity among scholars in medieval Europe. Through Isidore's condensed paraphrase a third-hand memory of Roman law passed to the Early Middle Ages. Etymology, the study of word origins, was a very important aspect of medieval learning. Despite its impressive fortune in Latin, the work of Isidore of Seville was only rarely translated in medieval French. The Etymologiae was an extremely influential book for over a thousand years. [22], Book IX covers languages, peoples, kingdoms, cities and titles. Reccared died in 601, not long after appointing Isidore as bishop of Seville. Circus games are described, with chariot racing, horse racing and vaulting. While these Latin words are indeed similar, this etymology is quite fanciful. [19], In Book VI, Isidore describes ecclesiastical books and offices starting with the Old and New Testaments, the authors and names of the holy books, libraries and translators, authors, writing materials including tablets, papyrus and parchment, books, scribes, and Christian festivals. Isidore mostly does not cite these sources, even when quoting from them at length. [30] Barney notes that orbis "refers to the 'circle' of lands around the Mediterranean, and hence to the total known extent of land. Etymologiae in English Etymologiae (Latin for " The Etymologies "), also known as the Origines (" Origins ") and usually abbreviated Orig., is an etymological encyclopedia compiled by Isidore of Seville (c. 560–636) towards the end of his life. Under the guidance of Leander, and Isidore after him, the Visigothic monarchy of Spain began its conversion to Catholicism. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. On dialectic, he discusses philosophy, syllogisms, and definitions. [17] Isidore distinguishes astronomy from astrology and covers the world, the sky and the celestial sphere, the zodiac, the sun, moon, stars, Milky Way, and planets, and the names of the stars. [32][33][c][34][35][36], Book XV covers cities and buildings including public buildings, houses, storehouses and workshops, parts of buildings, tents, fields and roads. Europe is separated from Africa by the Mediterranean, reaching in from the Ocean that flows all around the land. Derivations apart, it was lifted from sources almost entirely at second or third hand ..., none of it checked, and much of it unconditional eyewash – the internet, in other words, to a T. By the same token, Isidore's work was phenomenally influential throughout the West for 1,000 years, 'a basic book' of the Middle Ages, as one scholar put it, second only to the Bible. I. This use of pagan authors alongside Christian sources was not seen as blasphemous by the medieval Church, rather Isidore was following Church Fathers such as Jerome and Augustine, who felt that a liberal arts education which included pagan authors could be a benefit to theological studies. Etymologiae was printed in at least ten editions between 1472 and 1530, after which its importance faded in the Renaissance. [8], Isidore's Latin, replete with nonstandard Vulgar Latin, stands at the cusp of Latin and the local Romance language of Hispania. Urine (urina) gets its name either from the fact that it can burn (urere) the skin or, Isidore hedges, that it is from the kidneys (renes). Isidore, who had been appointed Bishop of Seville in 600, worked on the Etymologies from the second decade of the 7th century, and it was nearly complete by his death. It was so popular that it was read in place of many of the original classical texts that it summarized, so these ceased to be copied and were lost. This is not to be taken seriously: modern etymologists derive baculum from a proto-Indo-European root, making it cognate with English peg. [44], "An editor's enthusiasm is soon chilled by the discovery that Isidore's book is really a mosaic of pieces borrowed from previous writers, sacred and profane, often their 'ipsa verba' without alteration," Wallace Lindsay noted in 1911, having recently edited Isidore for the Clarendon Press,[45][8] with the further observation, however, that a portion of the texts quoted have otherwise been lost: the Prata of Suetonius, for instance, can only be reconstructed from Isidore's excerpts. DE AVCTORIBVS LEGVM. (Etymologiae XIII.ii.1). https://www.ancient.eu/Etymologiae/. Written by Laurence Leech, published on 15 June 2020 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. (Etymologiae I.xxix.2). [51], In 1472 at Augsburg, Etymologiae became one of the first books to be printed, quickly followed by ten more editions by 1500. Isidore of Sevilleby Luis García (CC BY-SA). The 20 books and their subjects are: Book III - Mathematics, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy, Book VI - Books and Ecclesiastical Offices, Book VIII - The Church and Heretical Sects, Book IX - Languages and Nations; Civic, Royal and Military Terminology; Family Relationships, Book XX - Provisions and Various Implements. He was canonized as a saint in 1598 CE, and his feast day is 4 April. Book X on vocabulary is the only book in the encyclopedia organized alphabetically and while etymologies are discussed nearly throughout the encyclopedia, Book X is dedicated to them. Isidore's Etymologiae has much to commend it to the intermediate Latinist. Encyclopédie fondée sur l'étymologie, divisée en 20 livres, rassemblant toutes les connaissances humaines, profanes et sacrées, antiques et chrétiennes, accessibles au VIIe s. Oeuvre posthume qui fut achevée et publiée par Braulion, disciple d'Isidore [1] for all living things first know the meaning conveyed to the man, do I call the name of a present to every one according to the condition of the institution of nature to which should serve. He derives the curved (curvus) vault of the heavens from the Latin word for "upside-down" (conversus). Isidore was encouraged to write the book by his friend Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa. [53] Wallace Lindsay edited the first modern critical edition in 1911. He preserved the close ties to the Visigothic monarchy his brother had fostered and was a friend to king Sisebut (c. 565-621 CE), with whom he shared many intellectual interests. [41], Book XX completes Isidore's encyclopaedia, describing food and drink and vessels for these, storage and cooking vessels; furnishings including beds and chairs; vehicles, farm and garden tools and equipment for horses. The encyclopedia was also one of the very early printed works of medieval literature, first being printed in 1472 CE. [24], Book XI covers human beings, portents and transformations. It is a testament to Isidore’s enduring popularity that all of these major works, bar one on heresies, are still extant. The first scholarly edition was printed in Madrid in 1599; the first modern critical edition was edited by Wallace Lindsay in 1911. The wind is called ventus in Latin as it is angry and violent (vehemens, violentus). The Etymologiae was an extremely important book for the transmission of knowledge from the ancient world in medieval Europe. Isidore of Seville's Etymologies, volume 2. The knowledge of a word’s etymology often has an indispensable usefulness for interpreting the word, for when you have seen whence a word has originated, you understand its force more quickly. [1] Isidore became well known in his lifetime as a scholar. Written in simple Latin, it was all a man needed in order to have access to everything he wanted to know about the world but never dared to ask, from the 28 types of common noun to the names of women's outer garments. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 15 Jun 2020. Isidore of Seville's Etymologies: Complete English Translation, Volume... Isidore de Séville. The earliest is held at the St. Gall Abbey library, Switzerland,[44] in the Codex Sangallensis: it is a 9th-century copy of books XI to XX. Spain at this time was largely under the control of the Visigoths, a Germanic tribe who had settled there after generations of moving around Europe in search of a new homeland. Definition. [20], Book VII describes the basic scheme concerning God, angels and saints, in other words the hierarchies of heaven and earth, from patriarchs, prophets and apostles down the scale through people named in the gospels to martyrs, clergymen, monks and ordinary Christians. But his translator Stephen Barney notes as remarkable that he never actually names the compilers of the encyclopedias that he used "at second or third hand",[7] Aulus Gellius, Nonius Marcellus, Lactantius, Macrobius, and Martianus Capella. The book is a type of medieval encyclopedia and is a survey of important knowledge and … It was one of the most popular compendia in medieval libraries. The electric ray (torpedo) is called that because it numbs (torpescere, like "torpid") anyone who touches it. Books XII, XIII and XIV are largely based on Pliny the Elder's Natural History and Solinus, whereas the lost Prata of Suetonius, which can be partly pieced together from what is quoted in Etymologiae, seems to have inspired the general plan of the work, as well as many of its details. Its influence spread first from Spain to Gaul and Ireland and then to the rest of the continent. Isidore died in 636 CE, leaving his Etymologiae unfinished. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Etymologiae/. [53], The accounts of logic in Book II and of arithmetic in Book III are transferred almost word for word from. [25], Book XII covers animals, including small animals, snakes, worms, fish, birds and other beasts that fly. The earth is divided into three parts, Asia occupying half the globe, and Europe and Africa each occupying a quarter. This book contains St. Isidore's work translated from the Latin by Priscilla Throop with an index. [52] Juan de Grial produced the first scholarly edition in Madrid in 1599. Isidore of Seville or their common origin of the Etymologies OF THE BISHOP OF BOOK OF 12 OF THE ANIMALIBVS I, AND OF THE PECORIBVS IVMENTIS. An idea of the quality of Isidore's etymological knowledge is given by Peter Jones: "Now we know most of his derivations are total nonsense (eg, he derives baculus, 'walking-stick', from Bacchus, god of drink, because you need one to walk straight after sinking a few)". He condemns the Roman naming of the planets after their gods: Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. translation from the Latin of Isidore’s Etymologies. This broad overview of topics provides useful background information for the aspiring Latinist. [4], Isidore's vast encyclopedia of ancient learning includes subjects from theology to furniture, and provided a rich source of classical lore and learning for medieval writers. I am interested in all aspects of the ancient Mediterranean and the influence and reception of Classical literature in the Middle Ages and beyond. No ‘Leiden’ chapter-title names the Etymologies, and only the rather short miscellaneous ch. Atoms...are said to fly through the void of the entire world in unceasing motion and to be carried here and there like the finest dust motes that may be seen pouring in through the window in the sun’s rays. Due to his fame and reverence, Dante (c. 1265-1321 CE) afforded Isidore a place within the circle of the sun in Paradise in his Divine Comedy, a realm reserved for those who had lit up the world with their intellect. Metals include gold, silver, copper, iron, lead and electrum. [6], An analysis by Jacques André of Book XII shows it contains 58 quotations from named authors and 293 borrowed but uncited usages: 79 from Solinus; 61 from Servius; 45 from Pliny the Elder. Prénom [modifier le wikicode] Etymologies, often very far-fetched, form the subject of just one of the encyclopedia's twenty books (Book X), but perceived linguistic similarities permeate the work. [27], Book XIV covers geography, describing the Earth, islands, promontories, mountains and caves. The brothers Dardanus and Jasius emigrated from Greece, and Jasius came to Thrace, Dardanus to Phrygia, where he was the first ruler. Ms Vercelli... Education personified. xlvii, to be discussed later, has headwords drawn from it. Solinus, Servius, and Cassiodorus are not named once in the Etymologiae, and Pliny is named as a source only a handful of times. [26], Book XIII describes the physical world, atoms, classical elements, the sky, clouds, thunder and lightning, rainbows, winds, and waters including the sea, the Mediterranean, bays, tides, lakes, rivers and floods. The famous scholar Bede (c. 673-735 CE) was very familiar with the work. In the theatre, comedy, tragedy, mime and dance are covered. Etymologiae was the most used textbook throughout the Middle Ages. These disciplines formed the backbone of any serious medieval education, hence their prime position at the opening of the Etymologiae. In this respect, Isidore employs etymologizing as a means of understanding the world around him, thereby encouraging his readers to do the same. In the 9th century the situation changed abruptly: the Andalusians, who traveled east in order to comply with the injunction to conduct a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetimes, took advantage of… Philosophy sits in the center surrounded... Life of Isidore of Seville, author of the. Etymologiae (Latin for "The Etymologies"), also known as the Origines ("Origins") and usually abbreviated Orig., is an etymological encyclopedia compiled by Isidore of Seville (c. 560–636) towards the end of his life. [49], Ralph Hexter, also writing in The Classical Tradition, comments on "Isidore's largest and massively influential work... on which he was still at work at the time of his death... his own architecture for the whole is relatively clear (if somewhat arbitrary)... At the deepest level Isidore's encyclopedia is rooted in the dream that language can capture the universe and that if we but parse it correctly, it can lead us to the proper understanding of God's creation. [14], Book III covers the mediaeval Quadrivium, the four subjects that supplemented the Trivium being mathematics, geometry, music, and astronomy. Isidore of Seville was born around 560 in Spain, under the unstable rule of the Visigoths after the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West. The book is a type of medieval encyclopedia and is a survey of important knowledge and … He mentions as prolific authors the pagan Varro and the Christians Origen and Augustine. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Today, one internet connection serves precisely the same purpose...[4], Almost 1000 manuscript copies of Etymologiae have survived. As the name suggests, etymologies play a pivotal role in Isidore’s encyclopedia; there are thousands of entries on a whole range of subjects, with etymologies provided for most of them. The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville This work is the first complete English translation of the Latin Etymologies of Isidore, bishop of Seville (c. 560–636). The Latin for buttocks is clunis as they are near the large intestine or colon (colum). I obtained my BA & MA in Classics from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Isidore is almost certainly correct here. Related Content It was, indeed, a tempting choice. Isidore compiled the work between c.615 and the early 630s and it takes the form of an encyclopedia, arranged by subject matter. [50] The 13th-century Codex Gigas, the largest extant medieval manuscript, now held in the National Library of Sweden, contains a copy of the Etymologiae. Etymologiae presents in abbreviated form much of that part of the learning of antiquity that Christians thought worth preserving. Isidore was encouraged to write the book by his friend Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa. This work is a complete English translation of the Latin Etymologies of Isidore, Bishop of Seville (c.560–636). He drew upon both Antique and Christian authors to bring together much of the essential learning of … A typical entry from Isidore’s Etymologiae on the origin of the Trojans: The Trojan nation was formerly named the Dardanian, from Dardanus. [a] According to the prefatory letters, the work was composed at the urging of his friend Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa, to whom Isidore, at the end of his life, sent his codex inemendatus ("unedited book"), which seems to have begun circulating before Braulio was able to revise and issue it with a dedication to the late Visigothic King Sisebut.[2]. Last modified June 15, 2020. Leech, Laurence. The book is a type of medieval encyclopedia and is a survey of important knowledge and learning from the ancient world. Isidore takes care to name classical and Christian scholars whose material he uses, especially, in descending order of frequency, Aristotle (15 references), Jerome (10 times), Cato (9 times), Plato (8 times), Pliny, Donatus, Eusebius, Augustine, Suetonius, and Josephus.

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