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The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville

ISBN 0521837499 / 9780521837491 / 0-521-83749-9

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Book summary

This work is a complete English translation of the Latin Etymologies of Isidore, Bishop of Seville (c.560-636). Isidore compiled the work between c.615 and the early 630s and it takes the form of an encyclopedia, arranged by subject matter. It contains much lore of the late classical world beginning with the Seven Liberal Arts, including Rhetoric, and touches on thousands of topics ranging from the names of God, the terminology of the Law, the technologies of fabrics, ships and agriculture to the names of cities and rivers, the theatrical arts, and cooking utensils. Isidore provides etymologies for most of the terms he explains, finding in the causes of words the underlying key to their meaning. This book offers a highly readable translation of the twenty books of the Etymologies, one of the most widely known texts for a thousand years from Isidore's time. [via]