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1420); the "Margarita philosophica" of Gregor Reisch, O. (Freiburg, 1503), and at a later date the encyclopedias of Ringelberg, "Lucubrationes vel potius absolutissima kyklopaideia " (Basle, 1541), Paul Scalich, "Encyclopædia seu Orbis Disciplinarum tum sacrarum tum profanarum" (Basle, 1559); Martini, "Idea methodicæ et brevis encyclopædiæ sive adumbratio universitatis" (Herborn, 1606); Alsted's "Scientiarum omnium encyclopædiæ tomi VII" (Herborn, 1620; 2nd ed., 1630).All the above-mentioned works are simply collections of facts showing no mastery of the material by the writer, much less any critical research or an organic system of compilation.Aristotle was the first in ancient times to attempt a summary of human knowledge in encyclopedic form. This group comprises also the medieval summæ and specula .Compared with Aristotle's work, which is built up on a philosophic basis, the compilations along this line by Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 B. The lack of a philosophic basis and the mechanical stringing together of facts without organic principle give to most of these works an unsatisfactory and tentative character.The way had been prepared, however, by two earlier works, which mark an important advance in the conception of what is proper to an encyclopedia.
While in these works the matter is arranged on an alphabetical system, a number of Sulzer's imitators essayed a systematic presentation of sciences on the old plan, e.g.
The most important work for the popularization of the results of scientific research was Bayle's "Dict. The ambitious "Biblioteca universale" of Coronelli (7 vols., Venice, 1701) remained incomplete; the immense "Grosses, vollständiges Universal-Lexikon aller Wissenschaften und Künste", edited by J. von Ludewig, Frankenstein, Longolius, and others and published by Zedler (64 vols. vols., Leipzig, 1731-54), was brought to completion.
About the same time there appeared in France the great encyclopedia of Diderot and d'Alembert who were assisted in their work by numerous champions of rationalism, e.g.
An abridgment of human knowledge in general or a considerable department thereof, treated from a uniform point of view or in a systematized summary.
Although the word, used technically, dates only from the sixteenth century, encyclopedic treatment of human science reaches back to antiquity, growing out of the needs of general culture, necessities arising from the extent of the great empires of antiquity. 23-79), in his "Historia naturals", and Martianus Capella (fifth century), in his "Satiricon", or "De Nuptiis Philologiæ et Mercurii", used during the Middle Ages as a textbook for the liberal arts, were merely collections of materials.