encyclopedia


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The Naturalis historia of the elder Pliny in a richly illustrated edition of the 13th century
Nouveau Larousse illustré , 1897–1904
Bertelsmann Lexikothek in 26 volumes, in the 1983 edition

An encyclopedia ( listen ? / I ), formerly also from French : Encyclopédie ( Greek ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία enkýklios paideía , "basic education, general education, general education"), is a particularly extensive reference work . The term encyclopediaAudio file / audio sample is intended to indicate detail or a wide range of topics, as is the case with a person who is said to have encyclopedic knowledge. A summary of all knowledge is presented. The encyclopedia is therefore an overview arrangement of the knowledge of a certain time and a certain space, which shows connections. In addition, such works are referred to as specialist encyclopedias that only deal with a single subject or subject.

The meaning of the term encyclopedia is fluent; Encyclopedias stood between textbooks on the one hand and dictionaries on the other. The Naturalis historia from the first century AD is considered to be the oldest completely preserved encyclopedia . Above all, the great French Encyclopédie (1751–1780) established the term “encyclopedia” for a non-fiction dictionary . Because of their alphabetical order, encyclopedias are often referred to as lexicons .

The current form of the reference work has mainly developed since the 18th century; it is a comprehensive non-fiction dictionary on all subjects for a broad readership. In the 19th century the typical neutral, factual style was added. The encyclopaedias were better structured and contained new texts, not just taking over older (foreign) works. One of the best-known examples in the German-speaking world was the Brockhaus Encyclopedia (from 1808), in English the Encyclopaedia Britannica (from 1768).

Since the 1980s, encyclopedias have also been offered in digital form, on CD-ROM and on the Internet. Partly it is continuation of older works, partly new projects. Microsoft Encarta, first published on CD-ROM in 1993, was a particular success . Wikipedia , founded in 2001, developed into the largest Internet encyclopedia.

term

Definitions

Frontispiece of the Cyclopaedia from 1728 with references to the content

The ancient historian Aude Doody called the encyclopedia a genre that is difficult to define. Encyclopedism is the pursuit of universal knowledge or the sum total of general knowledge (of a particular culture). Specifically, the encyclopedia is a book "that either collects and organizes the entire set of general knowledge or an exhaustive spectrum of material on a specialist subject." The encyclopedia claims to provide easy access to information about everything that the individual has about his world need to know.

For the self-image of encyclopedias the prefaces of the works are often evaluated. In the 18th and especially the 19th centuries, they emphasized that they summarize knowledge, and not for professionals, but for a wider audience. In the foreword of Brockhaus, for example, it said in 1809:

“The purpose of such a dictionary can in no way be to provide complete knowledge; Rather, it will be this work - which is supposed to be a kind of key to open the entrance into educated circles and into the minds of good writers - from the most important knowledge, geography, history, mythology, philosophy, natural science, the fine arts and other sciences, only contain those knowledge which every educated person must know if he wants to take part in a good conversation or read a book [...] "

- Preface. In: Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon , 1809

The library scientist and encyclopedia expert Robert Collison wrote around 1970 for the Encyclopaedia Britannica as an introduction to the corresponding Macropaedia article:

"Nowadays most people think of an encyclopedia as a multi-volume outline of all available knowledge, complete with maps and a detailed index, both with numerous attachments such as bibliographies, illustrations, lists of abbreviations and foreign expressions, indexes of places, etc."

- Robert L. Collison, Warren E. Preece : Article "Encyclopaedias and Dictionaries". In: Encyclopaedia Britannica , 1998

Development into a modern term

The modern term "encyclopedia" is made up of two Greek words: ἐγκύκλιος enkýklios , going around in a circle, also: comprehensive, general, as well as παιδεία paideía , education or teaching. The resulting ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία referred to the "choral education", so originally meant the musical training of young freeborn Greeks in the theater choir . The Greeks did not have a binding list of the subjects taught. Modern researchers prefer to translate the Greek term as general education, in the sense of basic education.

The Roman Quintilian (35 to approx. 96 AD) took up the Greek expression and translated it. Before boys are trained to be speakers, they should go through the educational path (den orbis seine doctrinae , literally: circle of teaching). Even Vitruvius labeled ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία an education for the desired specialization in him to become an architect. The subjects mentioned varied accordingly. Quintilian mentions geometry and music for speakers, for example.

It remains unclear what Pliny meant when he mentioned the τῆς ἐγκυκλίου παιδείας (tês enkýkliou paideías) in the foreword to his Naturalis historia (approx. 77 AD). This is not only due to the vagueness of the possible subjects, but also to the vagueness of the text passage. The ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία finally became a collective name for the (seven) liberal arts , the artes liberales, which developed in the Roman Empire .

Basel edition of Joachim Sterck van Ringelbergh's Lucubrationes, vel potius absolutissima κυκλοπαιδεια… , 1541
Title page of Paul Scalich's "Encyclopaedia ...", published in
Basel in 1559

The word encyclopedia goes back to an incorrect back-translation of the passage in Quintilian. This tas Encyclopaedias in Pliny editions since 1497 then established the expression. It was considered the Greek translation of orbis doctrinae . The expression appeared in national languages in the 1530s. In the middle of the 16th century the word could be used without further explanation in book titles for works "in which the entirety of the sciences is presented according to a certain order," says Ulrich Dierse. The emphasis was not on totality, but on order.

Guillaume Budé used the Latin creation in 1508 in the sense of an all-encompassing science or scholarship. Probably the first time in a book title, the word appeared in 1527. At that time published the Southern Netherlands educator Joachim Sterck van Ringelbergh : vel potius absolutissima Lucubrationes, κυκλοπαιδεια , nempe liber de ratione studii ( "night work, or rather complete κυκλοπαιδεια [kyklopaideia] , so a book about the method of learning ”). It first appeared as the main title of a book in 1559: Encyclopaediae, seu orbis disciplinarum ( Encyclopaedia , or the circle of fans) by the Croatian Pavao Skalić .

The English Cyclopaedia of 1728 was an alphabetical reference work, a dictionary of the arts and sciences . The breakthrough of the name Encyclopedia came with the great French Encyclopédie (1751 and subsequent years). Following the example of this work, the term established itself for a general non-fiction dictionary.

The word was also used for the knowledge of the unity of knowledge; In this sense, the philosopher Christian Appel described his "chair for general encyclopedia" established at the University of Mainz in 1784. Education is based on simple sensory impressions and experiences, then one arrives at coherent scientific wisdom through an abstraction process. But these are scattered, so a summary is needed. The encyclopedia should not be at the beginning of university studies, but at the end, as the crowning glory. In turn, the term encyclopedia has become established for research into encyclopedias .

Other names

Theatrum Vitae Humanae , “Scene of Human Life”, 1565

While the titles of reference and textbooks were mostly rather sober among the Romans, metaphors predominated from late antiquity to the early modern era :

  • Comparisons with nature, with gardens, flowers and food were particularly frequent. For example, the author was a flower picker or a hardworking bee who collects knowledge like pollen. The works were then called Florilegia (flower collection), Liber Floridus (blooming book) or Hortus Deliciarum (garden of treasures).
  • References to the light intended to illuminate the reader were also popular: Elucidarium , Lucidarius .
  • The books were treasures: Tresor (treasure), Gemma gemmarum (piece of jewelery), Treasury of mechanical arts ( Agostino Ramelli ), Margarita (pearl).
  • Theatrum , scene, as in Theatrum Anatomicum referred to the character of representation.
  • Bibliotheca was an indication that the work was compiled from older books.
  • The work was seen as a mirror of the world: Speculum , imago mundi .
  • The Livre de Sidrac, la fontaine de toutes sciences , referred to water sources and the Livre de la Cité des Dames to the allegory of urban construction .
  • Historia was common in natural history because of Pliny and originally meant ordered knowledge. Otherwise, Historia has usually been a chronological treatise in which geographical and biographical knowledge is woven.
  • Ars magna (great art) is Ramon Llull and Athanasius Kircher 's claim to present an excellent performance.

Alphabetically arranged encyclopedias were called or are called Dictionarium , dictionary or lexicon . Other names are: Encyclopedic Dictionary , property, dictionary , real dictionary , to Reallexikon and Realenzyklopädie , encyclopedia , Universallexikon etc.

In English and French, dictionary and dictionnaire were widespread, often in the abstract dictionary of the arts and sciences or dictionnaire des arts et des sciences . In German, this is reflected in the title of the General Encyclopedia of Sciences and Arts by Erf-Gruber (1818–1889). The arts are usually to be understood as mechanical and handicrafts, and the term science should not be understood too narrowly, as theology was still naturally included in science at that time. Real or Realia stands for things as opposed to terms or words, so a real dictionary is a subject dictionary and not a language dictionary.

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The literary genre and concept do not run parallel to one another in the history of the encyclopedia. It can therefore be argued whether there were any encyclopedias before modern times. At least the ancient and medieval authors were not aware of such a literary genre. There is broad agreement, for example, to view the Naturalis historia from Ancient Rome as an encyclopedia. However, there is a risk of an anachronistic perspective, namely seeing an ancient work with modern eyes and interpreting it inappropriately, warns Aude Doody.

Historians disagree on which work should be considered the first encyclopedia. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that many works have been lost and are only known from brief descriptions or fragments. On the other hand, there is no binding definition of an encyclopedia; some historians also consider an encyclopedic approach in the sense of striving for comprehensiveness.

antiquity

Roman reads a scroll, late antiquity

The Greek philosopher Plato is named as the spiritual father of the encyclopedia . He did not write an encyclopedia himself, but with his Academy in Athens he committed himself to making all education available to every intelligent young man. Only fragments have survived from an encyclopedic work by Plato's nephew Speusippus (died 338 BC). Aristotle has also been said to have an encyclopedic approach, in the sense of comprehensive .

The Greeks are known for their intellectual exploration and philosophical originality. However, they have not summarized their knowledge in a single work. The Romans are considered to be the real inventors of the encyclopedia. In the Roman Republic there was already the series of letters Praecepta ad filium (around 183 BC), with which Cato the Elder instructed his son.

Above all, the encyclopedia was created during the imperial era, because it needed the broad horizon of those people who ruled a world empire. The first of the actual encyclopedias was the Disciplinarum libri IX by Marcus Terentius Varro († 27 BC). The second encyclopedia was the artes of the doctor Aulus Cornelius Celsus (died about 50 AD). Varro was the first to summarize the general education subjects that later became the liberal arts. In addition to the subjects that became canon in the Middle Ages , he took up medicine and architecture. The Hebdomades vel de imaginibus are seven hundred short biographies of great Greeks and Romans; only a few fragments of it have survived, as well as of the Discliplinarum . Varro had a great influence on authors of the late antiquity.

Of paramount importance, however, was the naturalis historia of the politician and natural scientist Pliny . The administrator Pliny was used to seeing the world divided into units and sub-units. His work was written around the year 77 AD and is now considered the only ancient encyclopedia that has survived in its entirety. In the Middle Ages they were found in almost every sophisticated library. What was special about it was the universality that was claimed and discussed again and again. It also served Pliny as an explanation for the fact that he could only describe many things very briefly.

Another Roman encyclopedia of great influence was Martianus Capella from North Africa. He wrote an encyclopedia between 410 and 429 AD, which is often called Liber de nuptiis Mercurii et Philologiae ("The marriage of philology with Mercury ") and was partly written in verse. The seven bridesmaids corresponded to the chapters of the work and these in turn corresponded to the seven liberal arts .

Early Middle Ages

Konrad Miller's reconstruction of the world (1898) according to the information in Isidor's Etymologiae from the 7th century

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the politician Cassiodorus preserved parts of ancient knowledge in the early Middle Ages with his compilation Institutiones divinarum et saecularium litterarum (543–555 AD) . To do this, he had withdrawn to a monastery he had founded in southern Italy. While Cassiodorus still separated the worldly and the spiritual, two generations later, Bishop Isidore of Seville integrated Christian doctrine into ancient learning.

Isidor's Encyclopedia Etymologiae (around 620) wanted to interpret the world by explaining terms and their origins. By knowing the true meaning of a word, the reader was taught the faith. Isidore admitted, however, that some words were chosen arbitrarily. Research has identified many of Isidor's originals. His own achievement was to have chosen from it and delivered a clear, well-arranged representation in simple Latin. Breaks in the text suggest that Isidore did not complete his work.

Rabanus Maurus , who was ordained Archbishop of Mainz in 847, put together a work De universo , which largely adopted Isidore's text. Rabanus began each of his 22 chapters with a suitable passage from Isidore and left out much that seemed unnecessary to an understanding of the Holy Scriptures. For him, this included the liberal arts in particular. Many later works of the Middle Ages also followed his example of starting with God and the angels.

High and late Middle Ages

Foreign peoples in Der naturen bloeme , 13th century

The works of the European High Middle Ages were based on the ancient and early medieval encyclopedias (around 1050 to 1250). The largest encyclopedic work from the middle of the 13th century was the Speculum maius by Vincent von Beauvais, with almost ten thousand chapters in eighty books. It covered almost all subjects: in the first part, Speculum naturale , God and creation, including natural history; in the Speculum doctrinale practical moral action and scholastic inheritance; in the Speculum historiale the history of mankind from creation to the thirteenth century. A fourth part, Speculum morale , was added after Vincent's death and was based primarily on the works of Thomas Aquinas .

The southern Dutchman Jacob van Maerlant divided his encyclopedic knowledge into several works: In Alexander's novel Alexander's Geesten (around 1260) he incorporated a thousand verses that make up a rhyming world atlas. In Der naturen bloeme (around 1270) he treats nature, and in Spiegel historiael (around 1285) world history. He was the first European encyclopedia to write in a (non-Romanesque) vernacular. His works are mainly adaptations of Latin models, such as De natura rerum by Thomas von Cantimpré and Speculum historiale by Vincent von Beauvais , but he leaves out many details, chooses and adds content from other authors and to a small extent also draws from his own Knowledge of the world. He moralized and believed, for example, in the magic power of precious stones. Nevertheless, Maerlant stands for a comparatively modern, critically researching conception of nature in the spirit of Albertus Magnus . The work De proprietatibus rerum by Bartholomaeus Anglicus , written in the 13th century, is one of the medieval forerunners of today's encyclopedias .

In the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance (approx. 1300–1600), a representation that appeared more scientific and was less based on Christianity was used. Thus the anonymous Compendium philosophicae (around 1300) freed itself from the legends that had wandered through the encyclopedias since Pliny; the Spanish humanist Juan Luis Vives , in De disciplinis, based his arguments on nature, not on religious authority. Vives didn't want to speculate about nature, but rather observe nature in order to learn something practical for himself and his fellow human beings. Despite these approaches, miracle animals and monsters populated the encyclopedias until the 18th century, where they were unproblematically attributed to nature.

Non-European cultures

The Chinese encyclopedias, even more than the western ones, were compilations of important literature. Over the centuries they were carried on rather than renewed. Often intended primarily for the training of civil servants, they usually followed a traditional arrangement. The first known Chinese encyclopedia was the "Emperor's Mirror" Huang-lan , which was created around 220 AD on the orders of the emperor. Nothing has come down to us from this work.

Page from the surviving copy of the Chinese Yongle Dadian , 15th century

The T'ung-tien , completed around 801, dealt with statecraft and economy and was continued with supplementary volumes into the 20th century. One of the most important encyclopedias, Yü-hai , was compiled around 1267 and appeared in 240 printed volumes in 1738. The Tz'u-yüan (1915) is considered to be the first modern Chinese encyclopedia ; it provided the direction for later works.

The Persian scholar and statesman Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Chwārizmi compiled an Arabic "key to the sciences", Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm , in 975–997 . He was undoubtedly acquainted with the main features of the Greek spiritual world and referred in part to the works of Philo, Nicomachus or Euclid. His encyclopedia is divided into a “native” Arabic section, including most of what is now considered to be the humanities, and a “foreign” section.

The Brothers of Purity in Basra (present-day Iraq), a group of Neoplatonic philosophers who were close to the Ismāʿīlīya , were mainly active in 980–999 and worked together on an encyclopedia. Their compilation is called Rasāʾil Iḫwān aṣ-Ṣafāʾ ("Epistles of the Brothers of Purity"). They too knew the Greek scholars and had distinct preferences. Conversely, there is little evidence that the Western encyclopedia authors knew the Arabic-Islamic sources. The Chinese encyclopedias, on the other hand, were separated from both Christian and Islamic cultures.

Early modern age

According to the title page, the Lexicon technicum (1704) describes not only the terms of the arts, meaning the handicrafts, but the arts themselves.

Margarita Philosophica by Gregor Reisch (1503) was a widely used general encyclopedia, a textbook for the seven liberal arts. It was the first encyclopedia that appeared immediately in print rather than in handwriting. Like the Encyclopaedia by Johannes Aventinus (1517) and the Encyclopaedia Cursus Philosophici by Johann Heinrich Alsted (1630), it followed a systematic order.

The Grand dictionaire historique (1674) by Louis Moréri was the first large, national-language, alphabetical reference work for the subjects of history, biography and geography. In his tradition stands the peculiar Dictionnaire historique et critique (1696/1697) by Pierre Bayle , which was originally intended to correct and supplement Moréri's work. Bayle provided an extremely detailed and critical apparatus of comments on rather brief articles. Since Bayle dealt primarily with those subjects that interested him personally, his work can be seen as an ego-document , an intellectual autobiography. It was rather next to, not to be used instead of a general encyclopedia.

If you think of encyclopedias nowadays mainly of biographical and historiographical knowledge and less of scientific knowledge, this was the other way around around 1700. It was then that the dictionnaires des arts et des sciences , dictionaries of the (mechanical, craft) arts and sciences, were created. Biographical and historiographical information was largely missing. As dictionaries, in contrast to most earlier works, they broke with the thematic arrangement. This new direction in the history of the encyclopedia began with Antoine Furetière's Dictionnaire universel des arts et sciences (1690). Comparable were the Lexicon technicum (1704) by John Harris and then the Cyclopaedia (1728) by Ephraim Chambers .

But a further step was taken as a direct successor to these successful works, the bridging of the contrast between scientific-philosophical and biographical-historical reference work. Last but not least, the Universal Lexicon (1732–1754) by Johann Heinrich Zedler , named in this sense, should be emphasized here. The major work, published in 64 volumes, was the first encyclopedia with biographies of people still alive.

the Age of Enlightenment

Illustration of a salt works from the Encyclopédie , 1768
Oval hall of the Teylers Museum , built in 1784; the upper gallery mainly houses encyclopedias

By far the most famous encyclopedia in history is the great French Encyclopédie (1751–1772, supplementary volumes up to 1780). Although it introduced hardly any actual innovations, it was praised for its scope, the thematic breadth, the systematic structure, the many illustrations, namely two thousand five hundred, while the competitors only had a few hundred illustrations. Nevertheless, it was less successful and influential than often assumed, because because of its sheer size alone, it reached relatively few readers, compared to the widespread and repeatedly reissued Cyclopaedia .

Above all, with its critical and secular attitude, it is considered a jewel of the Enlightenment , the pan-European educational offensive. Attacks from the Church and difficulties with censorship overshadowed its emergence, as did later disputes between the editors Denis Diderot and Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert . Diderot and many of his co-authors criticized certain ideas in the ruling society at various points in the encyclopedia. As such, the work was the result of the work of many encyclopedists and could only be finally completed thanks to the efforts of Louis de Jaucourt , the latter even hiring secretaries at his own expense. There are fewer polemical references in the last ten volumes, most of which he wrote himself, than in the first seven, which might make them less interesting for today's reader.

In the English-speaking world, the Encyclopaedia Britannica , first published in Scotland, flourished in the USA from the 20th century. The first edition (1768–1771) consisted of three volumes and was rather modest in quality and success. The quality improvement of the second edition contributed to the success of the third, which already comprised 18 volumes. If the Encyclopaedia Britannica outlasted the times while the great French Encyclopédie had its last, humble and reformed successor in 1832, it was because of the courage of the editors to allow innovations. Political developments in Great Britain were also quieter than in France, which suffered from the aftermath of the 1789 revolution .

19th century

Around 1800 a new, successful type of encyclopedia appeared. It arose from the conversation lexicon , which Renatus Gotthelf Löbel had initially helped to create. In 1808 his unfinished work, begun in 1796, was bought by Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus . It dealt with contemporary topics about politics and society in order to enable an educated conversation in a socially quite mixed group. With the editions of 1824 and 1827, the publisher F. A. Brockhaus switched to giving preference to more timeless topics from history, and later also from technology and science, as the constant renewal of the volumes with current topics was too expensive.

In Brockhaus , the topics were divided into many short articles, so that the lexicon could quickly provide information about a term. The Britannica , which initially consisted of long articles, did a similar thing . While Brockhaus came from the humanities and later integrated the natural sciences, it was the other way around with Britannica .

In that century the school system in European countries expanded considerably. Together with improvements in printing technology, this meant that more and more people could read. While there were 470 publishing bookstores in the German-speaking countries around 1800 , a hundred years later in the German Empire there were 9360. Accordingly, encyclopedias were no longer printed in editions of several thousand, but of tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands. From 1860 to 1900, the encyclopedias strove for more uniform treatment and standardization. There was great appreciation for statistical material.

In Germany, the Brockhaus , the Meyer , the Pierer and, for the Catholic public, the Herder shared the market. Brockhaus and Meyer each had a third of the market share. In addition, at the end of the 19th century there were about fifty other publishers who offered encyclopedias. Some encyclopedias deliberately followed a famous forerunner with their name, such as the Chambers' Encyclopaedia by the Chambers brothers, which was reminiscent of the Cyclopaedia by Ephraim Chambers only in name .

20th century

Wildlife of Australia in a typical plate, Russian encyclopedia from the beginning of the 20th century

By 1900, most western countries had at least one extensive and more recent encyclopedia. Some had a tradition of fifty or even a hundred years. Specialists covered many subjects in the language of the country concerned. The contributions were in alphabetical order and included biographies of living people, as well as illustrations, maps, cross-references, indexes and lists of literature at the end of longer articles. If an encyclopedia deviated from this concept, it did not last long. But the rest of them only got beyond one or two editions if they were backed by capable editors. Furthermore, revolutions and world wars could bring down good encyclopedias.

The First World War partially interrupted development, and inflation in Germany, among others, made it difficult to resume. At Meyer, for example, this led to the decision to reduce the Großer Meyer from 20 to 12 volumes, creating a new, medium-sized encyclopedia type. In the 1920s, the grand encyclopedias addressed a much wider audience than they did before the war and placed even more emphasis on factual presentation. The layout was more modern, there were more illustrations; at the Brockhaus (from 1928) colored pictures were glued in by hand. The advertising was expanded considerably, in customer magazines and information brochures Brockhaus presented not only the product, but also the idea and those involved; Market analyzes were introduced.

The totalitarian regimes were a challenge of their own. For example, in National Socialist Germany (1933–1945) the employees' area of ​​the Brockhaus publishing house was brought into line , and content had to be made concessions to the party official examination commission . The Kleine Brockhaus, reissued in 1933, included updated biographies on Hitler, Göring and other Nazi leaders, as well as new political terms. The party ideologues were not satisfied with this, but the publisher referred to the international reputation of the Brockhaus , which should not be jeopardized for economic reasons. The Bibliographical Institute was much less reluctant. Its board members quickly joined the NSDAP, in 1939 Meyer was advertised as the only large lexicon recommended by party officials.

Encyclopedias and their publishers boomed in the decades following World War II . In the German-speaking world, this meant that the two most important encyclopedia publishers, F. A. Brockhaus and Bibliographisches Institut (Meyer), experienced strong competition from other publishers. Large publishers in particular opened up a broader readership and a considerable market share in the small and medium-sized encyclopedias with popular reference works. Piper brought out a youth lexicon in 1972 , Bertelsmann came up with the ten-volume lexicotheque (1972, with additional thematic volumes), and Droemer-Knaur two years later also with a ten-volume work. The retail chains Kaufhof and Tchibo offered single-volume dictionaries. Brockhaus and Bibliographisches Institut merged in 1984; in 1988 Langenscheidt was added as the majority shareholder, with which a generous offer from Robert Maxwell was met.

Electronic encyclopedias

As early as the first half of the 20th century there were ideas for a new type of encyclopedia. The science fiction -author HG Wells dreamed about 1938, for example, from a World Encyclopaedia , should offer no hastily written articles, but carefully chosen statements that are resistant reviewed by experts. Wells believed in the then new microfilm as a cheap and universal medium.

“This world encyclopedia would be the spiritual background of every intelligent person in the world. It would be alive and growing and changing all the time through revision, expansion and replacement by the original thinkers all over the world. Every university and research institution should feed them. Every fresh mind should be brought into contact with their permanent editorial organization. And on the other hand, their content would be the usual source for teaching tasks in schools and universities, for verifying facts and checking statements - anywhere in the world. "

- Herbert George Wells, 1936

Thirty years later, the encyclopedia expert Robert Collison commented that the perfect encyclopedia would probably never be realized in the form presented by Wells. This perfect encyclopedia already exists in the imperfect form of the large libraries, with millions of books, indexed and cataloged . A bevy of librarians and bibliographers made all of this available to individuals or groups to the public. Authors and editors delivered new books and articles every day.

Computer in 1988

In the 1980s, PCs came into private households. But the electronic or digital challenge was not recognized by the encyclopedia publishers for a long time. In the foreword to the 26-volume Dutch Winkler Prins from 1990, it is said that the editors have investigated the possible use of new, electronic media. But for the background knowledge, as this encyclopedia offers, the classic book form is and will remain the most handy medium.

In 1985, the software company Microsoft wanted to bring out an encyclopedia on CD-ROM . The desired partner, Encyclopaedia Britannica , however, turned down a collaboration. At that time only four to five percent of US households had a computer, and the Britannica publishing house feared for the intellectual image of its own encyclopedia. The major breakthrough in electronic encyclopedias came in the 1990s. However, the Brockhaus also saw a downward trend in 2005/2006: encyclopedias would be printed again. He referred to himself as well as to the French Encyclopædia Universalis (2002) and the Encyclopaedia Britannica (2002/2003). It is to be assumed that there will be permanent double-track development with electronic and print encyclopedias.

CD-ROM encyclopedias

Danish Lademanns leksikon printed and (center) as CD-ROM
Brockhaus on DVD, 2007

In 1985 a pure text encyclopedia appeared on CD-ROM , Academic American Encyclopedia by Grolier, based on the DOS operating system. Then in April 1989 the Britannica publishing house brought out a CD-ROM encyclopedia, but not the flagship under its own name. Instead, a multimedia version of the acquired Compton's Encyclopaedia was published .

For its part, Microsoft had bought the expiring Funk and Wagnalls Standard Reference Encyclopedia in 1989 , which had been offered cheaply in supermarkets. With a very small staff, the texts were refreshed and expanded, including images and audio files. In 1993 they came out as Microsoft Encarta . Customers received it together with the Windows computer operating system , otherwise it cost a hundred dollars. At that time, twenty percent of US households owned a computer.

Britannica followed a year later with a CD-ROM version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica . It was available as an addition to the print version or for an impressive 1200 dollars. By 1996 Britannica had lowered the price to two hundred dollars, but by then Microsoft Encarta had already dominated the digital encyclopedia market. Britannica had been so convinced of the reputation of its encyclopedia that it had not taken its novel competitor seriously. From 1990 to 1996, the revenue from the Encyclopaedia Britannica fell from $ 650 million to just $ 325 million annually. The owner sold it to a Swiss investor in 1996 for 135 million.

Internet encyclopedias

Main page of Nupedia , the immediate predecessor of Wikipedia , March 4, 2000

As early as 1983, the Academic American Encyclopedia was published, the first encyclopedia that was presented online and offered its content via commercial data networks such as CompuServe . When the Internet entered a real mass market, the first online encyclopedias were the Academic American Encyclopedia and the Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1995 .

Those encyclopedias were only available for a fee. Usually the customer paid an annual subscription to access. In addition, there were suggestions for online encyclopedias based on free knowledge : the content should be freely editable and redistributable under certain conditions, such as naming the origin. Although this idea did not appear explicitly in Rick Gates' appeal for an Internet Encyclopedia from 1993, it did appear in Richard Stallman's announcement (1999) of a Free Universal Encyclopedia as part of the GNU software project.

When the Internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and his employee Larry Sanger put Nupedia online in 2000 , the response was low. A “free” Internet encyclopedia only got a noticeable rush when Wales and Sanger introduced the wiki principle. With such a website, the reader can make changes himself. January 15, 2001 is considered the birthday of Wikipedia , which has since grown into by far the largest encyclopedia. It is mainly written by volunteer authors, the costs for the server operation are covered by donations to the operator foundation, the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation .

Initial doubts about the reliability of Wikipedia were met by several studies that the error rate was comparable to that in traditional encyclopedias. Comparisons with specialist encyclopedias and specialist literature are more critical. But quality is not only about factual correctness, as historian Roy Rosenzweig pointed out in 2006, but also with good style and conciseness . Here, Wikipedia often leaves something to be desired.

In addition to Wikipedia, there are other online encyclopedias, some based on other principles. Citizendium (since 2006), for example, requires authors to be registered by name, who should be recognized experts on their subject. Google Knol (2008–2011) transcends the boundaries of an encyclopedia and gives authors the greatest freedom in terms of content and ownership of their texts. Wissen.de (since 2000) has a wide range of not necessarily encyclopedic content, with quiz questions and a lot of multimedia.

As a result, the demand for print encyclopedias and fee-based electronic encyclopedias has fallen sharply. Microsoft gave up Encarta in 2009 , and Britannica Online is striving to survive with ads. It has partially adapted to Wikipedia , because it is accessible free of charge and calls on readers to make improvements, which are, however, controlled by employees. The Brockhaus was taken over in 2009 by the Bertelsmann subsidiary Wissen Media ; Despite Bertelsmann's dominant position, the Bundeskartellamt had approved the takeover because the lexicon market had shrunk to a minor market.

Specialized encyclopedias

Open volume of the Lexicon of Entire Technology by Otto Lueger , 1904

The word general in general reference work refers to both the general audience and the generality (universality) of the content. Specialized encyclopedias (also called special encyclopedias) are limited to a specific subject such as psychology or a subject area such as dinosaurs. Often, if not necessarily, they appeal to a specialist audience rather than a general audience, because professionals in particular are particularly interested in the subject. To distinguish it from the specialist encyclopedia, the general encyclopedia is sometimes also called universal encyclopedia. However, if an encyclopedia is defined as an interdisciplinary reference work, then the universal encyclopedia is a pleonasm and a specialist encyclopedia is an oxymoron .

Although most of the specialist encyclopedias, like the general encyclopedias, are arranged in alphabetical order, the thematic arrangement of specialist encyclopedias has remained a little stronger. However, subject-specific reference works in a thematic arrangement are usually referred to as manuals . The systematic arrangement is advisable if the subject itself already follows a system, such as biology with its binary nomenclature .

Perhaps the first specialist encyclopedia is the Summa de vitiis et virtutibus (12th century). In it Raoul Ardent dealt with theology, Christ and redemption, the practical and ascetic life, the four main virtues, human behavior.

Real Encyclopedia of Classical Antiquity , left

Apart from a few exceptions, specialist encyclopaedias were created mainly in the 18th century, specifically in the field of biography, such as the General Scholarly Lexicon (1750/1751). Specialized encyclopedias often followed the rise of the corresponding subject, so in the late 18th century the Dictionary of Chemistry (1795) and many other chemical dictionaries were introduced. The wealth of publications was only comparable in the field of music, beginning with the Musical Lexicon (1732) by the composer Johann Gottfried Walther . The Real Encyclopedia of Classical Classical Studies (1837–1864, 1890–1978) is unrivaled in its field .

One of the best-known popular specialist encyclopedias was Brehm's Thierleben , founded by the non-fiction author Alfred Brehm in 1864. It was published in the Bibliographisches Institut , which also published Meyer's Konversations-Lexikon . The large edition from the 1870s already had 1,800 illustrations with over 6,600 pages and additional picture plates, which were also available separately, partly colored. The third edition from 1890–1893 sold 220,000 copies. In 1911 animal painting and nature photography brought a new level of illustration with them. The work continued into the 21st century, finally also digitally.

Since the end of the 19th century encyclopedias appeared on certain countries or regions. The geographical encyclopedias must be distinguished from the national encyclopedias , which focus on their own country. Examples are the German Colonial Lexicon (1920), The Modern Encyclopaedia of Australia and New Zealand (1964) and the Magyar életrajzi lexikon (1967–1969). The last volume of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1st edition) dealt exclusively with the Soviet Union; it was published in 1950 as a two-volume encyclopedia of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the GDR. The Fischer Weltalmanach (since 1959) treats the countries of the world in alphabetical order, in up-to-date volumes per year.

The largest lexicon ever printed in German had 242 volumes. The work with the title Economic Encyclopedia was published for the most part by Johann Georg Krünitz between 1773 and 1858 . The University of Trier has completely digitized this work and made it available online.

Structure and order

Until the early modern period, encyclopedias had more of the character of non-fiction or textbooks. The distinction between encyclopedias and dictionaries seems to be even more difficult . There is no sharp separation between facts and words, because no linguistic dictionary can do without a technical explanation, no non-technical dictionary like an encyclopedia can do without linguistic references.

The individual contributions to an encyclopedia are arranged either alphabetically or according to another system. In the latter case one often speaks of a "systematic" arrangement, although the alphabet can also be viewed as a system and therefore the expression "non-alphabetical" would be more correct. The systematically arranged encyclopedias can also be differentiated according to whether the classification is more pragmatic or even arbitrary, or whether there is a philosophical system behind it. The term “thematic” is often used instead of “systematic”.

Systematic arrangement

Tree of Knowledge in the Encyclopédie , 18th century, based on Francis Bacon . Subject areas were assigned to human abilities: memory to history, reason to philosophy (including the natural sciences), to imagination to poetry.

For the true scholar, the systematic arrangement alone is satisfactory, wrote Robert Collison, because it juxtaposes closely related subjects. He assumed that the encyclopedia will be read as a whole or at least in large pieces. In nature, however, there are no compelling connections. Systems are arbitrary because they come about through a human reflection process. Nevertheless, a systematic presentation has a didactic value if it is logical and practicable.

Pliny, for example, used many different principles of order. In geography it starts with the familiar coastline of Europe and then progresses to more exotic parts of the world; He treats people before animals, since people are more important; in zoology it starts with the largest animals; in the case of sea creatures with those of the Indian Ocean, because these are the most numerous. The first Roman tree treated is the grapevine as it is most useful. The artists appear in chronological order, gemstones according to their price.

A systematic arrangement was traditionally the usual one until the 17th and 18th centuries. Century the alphabetical prevailed. Nevertheless, there were still some larger non-alphabetical works, such as the unfinished culture of the present (1905-1926), the French Bordas Encyclopédie from 1971 and the Eerste Nederlandse Systematically Ingerichte Encyclopaedie (ENSIE, 1946-1960). In the originally ten-volume ENSIE, individual large contributions signed by name are listed according to thematic order. In order to search for an individual object, one must use the register, which in turn is a kind of lexicon in itself.

After the encyclopedias were mostly arranged alphabetically, many authors added a knowledge system in the foreword or in the introduction. The Encyclopaedia Britannica (like Brockhaus 1958) had an introductory volume called Propaedia since 1974 . In it, the editor Mortimer Adler introduced the advantages of a thematic system. With it one could find an object even if one did not know the name. The volume broken down the knowledge: initially into ten major topics, within these into a large number of sections. At the end of the sections, reference was made to corresponding specific articles. Later the Encyclopaedia Britannica added two index volumes. The main purpose of Propaedia is to show which topics are covered, while the index shows where these are covered.

In 1985, a survey of American academic libraries found that 77 percent found the Britannica's new arrangement less useful than the old one. One reply commented that the Britannica came with a four-page guide. "Anything that needs so much explanation is too damn complicated."

Not an encyclopedia per se, but encyclopedic in nature are non-fiction books in which many different topics are treated according to a uniform concept. Internationally one of the best known is the French series Que sais-je? with over three thousand titles. In Germany, C. H. Beck publishes the C. H. Beck Wissen series .

Alphabetical order

The world's best known modern encyclopedia in print: Encyclopaedia Britannica , 1990s.
The first volume, with a green stripe, is the systematic Propaedia (“Outline of Knowledge”) with its references to Micropaedia and Macropaedia .
Then follows, with red stripes, the Micropaedia ("Ready Reference"), a classic short article encyclopedia with around 65,000 articles.
The Macropaedia ("Knowledge in Depth"), bottom board, covers major topics in around seven hundred articles. Finally,
behind the Macropaedia is the two-volume, alphabetical index with blue stripes with references to Micropaedia and Macropaedia .

For a long time there were only a few texts in alphabetical order. In the Middle Ages, it was mainly a question of glossaries , i.e. short collections of words, or lists such as medicines. Glossaries have been in existence since the 7th century, when readers jot down difficult words on individual pages (by first letter) and then make a list of them. The alphabetical order was mostly followed only after the first or, at most, third letter, although the approach was not very consistent. In addition, many words did not have a uniform spelling . Even in the 13th century, strict alphabetical order was still rare.

Some of the few early alphabetical encyclopedias mentioned include: De significatu verborum (2nd half of the 2nd century) by Marcus Verrius Flaccus ; Liber glossarum (8th century) by Ansileubus ; and especially the Suda (around 1000) from the Byzantine Empire. However, they are more like language dictionaries ; Significantly, the entries in the Suda are usually very short and often deal with linguistic topics such as idioms. After the alphabetical works of the 17th century, it was above all the great French Encyclopédie (1751–1772) that finally linked the term “encyclopedia” with the alphabetical arrangement.

Ulrich Johannes Schneider points out that encyclopedias previously followed the “university and academic culture of knowledge disposition through systematization and hierarchization”. The alphabetical order, however, has decoupled the encyclopedias from it. It is factual and weights the content neutrally. The alphabetical arrangement became popular because it made it easier to access it quickly. One of these encyclopedias, the Grote Oosthoek , said in the preface in 1977 that it was a question of usefulness, not of scientific principle. Quick information from foreign subject areas is obtained through a large wealth of keywords, which saves time and energy. According to a 1985 survey, ready reference is the most important purpose of an encyclopedia, while systematic self-study was mentioned much less often.

It was easier for the editor when a larger work was thematically divided. A thematically separated volume could easily be planned independently of others. With the alphabetical arrangement, however, it must be clear from the start (at least in theory) how the content is to be distributed among the volumes. You had to know all the lemmas (keywords) and agree on the cross-references.

Even those encyclopedists who advocated the systematic classification opted for alphabetical order for practical reasons. This included Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert from the great French encyclopédie . A later editor and editor of this work, Charles-Joseph Panckoucke , wanted to enforce a thematic arrangement again. But he just divided the articles into different subject areas, and within these subject areas the articles appeared in alphabetical order. This Encyclopédie méthodique par ordre des matières was thus a collection of 39 specialist dictionaries.

Article length

Even within the alphabetically arranged works, there are still a number of different options. Articles on individual topics can be long or short. The original Brockhaus conversation lexicon is the typical example of a short article encyclopedia with many short articles describing a single subject. Cross-references to other articles or individual summarizing contributions ensure the connection .

Lange Article Encyclopedias, on the other hand, contain large, textbook-like treatises on relatively broad topics. One example is the Macropaedia part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica from the 1970s to 1990s. Here it is not always clear to the reader in which large article he has to look for the object of interest. Such an encyclopedia can only be used as a reference work with an index , similar to a systematic arrangement.

Dennis de Coetlogon may have had the idea of ​​using long, comprehensive articles for the first time with his Universal history . It probably served as a model for the Encyclopaedia Britannica (which originally had long articles, treatises or dissertations ). Longer articles were also a countermovement to the dictionary, which was becoming more and more definitive and key word-like. However, long articles could not only come from a conscious departure from the rather short dictionnaire articles . Sometimes they were the result of a weak editorial policy, which did not restrict the authors' desire to write or simply copied texts.

Longest article in selected encyclopedias
plant Product Name Length in pages Remarks
Zedler (1732–1754) "Wolfic Philosophy" 175
Universal history (1745) "Geography" 113 The work deliberately consisted of longer treatises (essays).
Encyclopaedia Britannica (1768–1771) "Surgery" 238
Encyclopaedia Britannica (1776–1784) "Medicine" 309
Economic Encyclopedia (1773-1858) "Mill" 1291 The article covers the entire volume 95 as well as the majority of volume 96, both published in 1804.
Ersch-Gruber (1818-1889) "Greece" 3668 The article extends over eight volumes.
Encyclopaedia Britannica (1974) "United States" 310 Created by combining the articles on the individual states.
Wikipedia in German (August 2018) " Coup attempt in Turkey 2016 " 152 (PDF; 807,181 bytes)

Internal resources

Various aids have been developed over time for the practical use of an encyclopedia. It was already common in ancient times to divide a long text into chapters. Corresponding tables of contents, however, are a relatively late development. They arose from titles of the works. Before the 12th century they were still very rare and only became common in the 13th century.

The Naturalis historia has a summarium written by Pliny , an overview. In some manuscripts the summarium is found undivided at the beginning, sometimes broken down into the individual books, as was probably most practical in the age of scrolls. Sometimes the text appears both at the beginning and again later in front of the individual books. How Pliny himself handled it can no longer be determined today. While Pliny described the content of the work in prose, later some printed editions made a table out of it, similar to a modern table of contents. They dealt with the text freely and adapted it to the presumed needs of the readers.

Print from 1480 (Beroaldo) Budé edition from 1950

The twenty-sixth book contains
remaining cures for
kinds of diseases; both for new
diseases; as well as how it is with skin lichen;
as well as how skin lichen first came to Italy;
as well as leprosy
and colic [...]

BOOK 26 INCLUDES
The other remedies according to Art
I. The new diseases
II. What is skin lichen?
III. When did she first come to Italy?
IV. The same for leprosy
V. The same for colic [...]

Indexes , i.e. registers of key words, also appeared in the 13th century and spread rapidly. In an encyclopedia Antonio Zara first used a kind of index in his Anatomia ingeniorum et scientiarum (1614); Really useful indexes did not appear in encyclopedias until the 19th century.

One of the first cross-referenced works was the Fons memorabilium by Domenico Bandini (c. 1440). They became popular in the 18th century at the latest. In the 20th century, some encyclopedias based on the Brockhaus model began to use an arrow symbol to make the reference. In the digital age, hyperlinks are used .

Content balance

Some important European encyclopedias according to their position between more scientific and more humanistic content

A frequently recurring topic in research is the balance between the subject areas in an encyclopedia. This balance or equilibrium is missing, for example, when the story or biography is given a lot of space in a work, but the natural sciences and technology are much less. The inadequate balance is criticized in a specialist encyclopedia when, for example, an ancient scholarly work treats political history in much more detail than social history.

Sometimes the criticism relates to individual articles, measuring which lemma has received more space than another. For example, Harvey binder found the article on William Benton in the 1963 Encyclopaedia Britannica remarkable. According to the encyclopedia, this American politician has become "an advocate of freedom for the whole world" in the Senate. The article is longer than the one on former Vice President Richard Nixon ; as binder speculates, because Benton was also the editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica . Binders also criticized the fact that the article “Music” praised Béla Bartok and Heinrich Schütz, but these composers did not receive any articles of their own.

Even premodern encyclopedias generally had a universal claim. Nevertheless, the interests or the skills of the author often brought a limitation. The Naturalis historia included treatises on ethnology and art, but the focus was on areas of knowledge that are now classified as scientific. In the 18th century, universal encyclopedias began to remove the contrast between more humanistic and more scientific works. Sometimes you could still tell the origin of a work, or the editor made a conscious decision to sharpen the profile through a certain area or a certain approach: Theersch Gruber followed the historical approach because of its clarity, whereas the Meyer preferred that Natural science.

The question of balance is also important in the case of works that the reader has to pay for. He may be dissatisfied if, in his opinion, a universal encyclopedia leaves too much space for topics that are of little interest to him personally, but which he pays for. Robert Collison points to the irony that the readers wanted the abstracts to be as complete as possible and "paid unquestioningly for millions of words that they probably never read," while the encyclopedia-makers also sought completeness and wrote entries on small topics that hardly anyone reads.

The balance is still discussed even in freely accessible encyclopedias such as Wikipedia . For example, it is about the question of whether it does not say something about the seriousness of the entire work when topics of pop culture (supposedly or actually) are represented above average. At least, the historian Roy Rosenzweig emphasized , the balance is strongly dependent on which part of the world and which social class the authors come from.

Information in traditional encyclopedias can be assessed by measures relating to a quality dimension such as authority , completeness , format , objectivity , style , timeliness and uniqueness .

Content aspects

languages

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1970s) was translated into English, among other things.

In the West , Latin was the language of education and thus of encyclopedias for a long time. This had the advantage that the encyclopedias could also be read in countries other than the country of origin. However, this made them inaccessible to the large majority of the population. Knowledge reached the people in their languages ​​around the beginning of the 13th century. French comes first, and Middle High German has been second in Europe since around 1300 . Women in particular were more likely to impart knowledge in the vernacular. At the end of the 15th century, vernacular encyclopedias were no longer a risk, but routine.

Some encyclopedias have been translated, such as Imago mundi (c. 1122) by Honorius Augustodunensis, into French , Italian and Spanish . De natura rerum (approx. 1228–1244) was translated into Flemish and German, the Speculum maius (mid-13th century) into French, Spanish, German and Dutch. Later, when Latin became less important, successful encyclopedias were translated from one vernacular to another. From 1700 it was unthinkable to publish an encyclopedia in Latin.

In the 19th century, Brockhaus and Larousse , especially in the smaller editions, were models for encyclopedias in other languages ​​or were translated into them. However, this had its limits, as the content had to be adapted to the respective language or country. An example of this is the Encyclopedia Americana (1827-1829), another the Encyclopedia Dictionary by Brockhaus and Efron (1890-1906), a short article encyclopedia in Russian co-edited by Brockhaus Verlag. Despite the adjustments, reviewers criticized in both cases that American and Russian history and culture had not been adequately taken into account.

Classification in the context of knowledge

Specialized encyclopedias or specialist lexicons belong to science , general reference works such as non-fiction books to popularization

Scientific research relates primarily to the nature and actions of humans. Depending on the subject, the basis is, for example, natural phenomena, experiments, surveys or historical sources. Based on this, scientists write specialist literature or they reflect on other specialist literature in their work. Only after this actually scientific, namely research work, do aids such as introductory reading, atlases or dictionaries. This sequence of sources, specialist literature and resources is called primary , secondary and tertiary sources in English .

Encyclopedias are therefore aids that should give the reader an initial access to a topic. The same applies to textbooks and dictionaries that are historically and literary genre related to encyclopedias. This in turn gives rise to the character of encyclopedias and their use in the context of knowledge.

The fact that encyclopedias are closer to the end of knowledge production has the advantage that the statements usually represent knowledge that is already established and hardly controversial. However, this also has the disadvantage that new or unconventional ideas have been filtered out. In addition, errors or oversimplifications may have crept in from the basics and specialist literature to the aids. For these reasons, it has been discussed again and again whether general encyclopedias may be cited by pupils or students as an authority.

At the university, the opinion is widespread that general reference works should not be quoted in academic papers. Incorporated, some teachers and professors found that the Encyclopaedia Britannica was not a reliable source of information; they warned their students not to blindly incorporate this material into their own homework. On the other hand, Thomas Keiderling, in his history of the Brockhaus , thinks that in the 1920s, scientists considered this encyclopedia to be quotable.

style

The linguistic style of an encyclopedia depends on the purpose of the work and sometimes on the personal taste of the author. In the works of antiquity it is often recognizable that they were textbooks or non-fiction books and were originally compiled from such. For example, Pliny says in the section on insects:

“But among all of them the first place is due to the bees and rightly also an extraordinary admiration, since they were created solely from the animal species [insects] for the sake of man. They collect honey, the sweetest, finest and most healing juice, form honeycombs and wax for a thousand uses in life, are hardworking, finish their works, have a state, hold deliberations in their affairs, but are in droves among leaders and, most of all They deserve admiration, they even have customs, since they are neither tame nor wild. "

- Naturalis historia

In the European Middle Ages, vernacular works were written in rhyme, making it easier for readers to absorb and memorize the content. An example from Der naturen bloeme by Jacob van Maerlant , around 1270:

Ay, ghi edele ridders, ghi heren,
An desen voghel soudi keren!
Ghi levet bi of the proien mede:
Dats bi of the poor song lede.
En sijt niet onhovesch in the proie
En niet reads the langhe joye
Om dese warelt, which it cranc.

Oh you noble knights, you gentlemen,
you should take an example from this bird!
After all, you also live on booty:
probably from poor people's drudgery.
And don't be rude [don't make it too colorful] when you hunt and don't lose your
bliss
because of this morbid world.

Such modes of representation place the object in a larger, also philosophical, context. Valuations can easily creep in that may have been wanted. In the great French Encyclopédie the article "Philosophe" (philosopher) was sometimes ironic, sometimes pathetic:

“Nothing is easier these days than to be called a philosopher; a life of obscurity, a few profound utterances, a little erudition are enough to outsmart those who give this name to people who do not deserve it […] The philosopher, however, untangles things as much as possible, & and foresees them & knowingly submits: he is, so to speak, a clock that sometimes winds itself [...] The philosopher does not act out of his passions, but after deliberation; he travels by night, but a flame precedes him. "

- Denis Diderot in the Encyclopédie , 1765

In the 19th century, the style later known as "encyclopedic" emerged. In terms of linguistics, it cannot be precisely distinguished from other genres such as scientific articles. The author is made invisible, one uses passive constructions, tends to generalize. Ulrike Spree writes that “the articles are generally expositional in nature”. General encyclopedias strive for whole sentences, usually only in the first sentence of an article the verb is missing. In addition to the lemma itself, numerous other words are abbreviated. An example from the Brockhaus Encyclopedia :

" Enzyklopädi e [French, from Middle Latin encyclopaedia" Basic theory of all knowledge. und Künste «, from Greek enkýklios paideía,“ circle of education ”] die , - /… 'di | en , the written and complex representation of the entire knowledge or the knowledge of a subject area. According to today's understanding, an E. is a comprehensive reference medium, the keywords in alphabet. Informing the order of all knowledge areas [...] "

- Brockhaus Encyclopedia , 2005/2006

The understanding of science is mostly empirical and positivistic, not deductive . Although there are references in alphabetical reference works, the articles are not in any context. The reader must first create this context. One and the same text can evoke different associations with different readers. Although a certain telegram style is recognizable, there is also the opposite tendency for didactic reasons. With increased redundancy, clarity and examples, articles approximate textbooks.

neutrality

Usually, encyclopedias purport to be objective and not speak on behalf of an interest group or party. In the 19th century, for example, it was believed possible to fathom and convey the absolute truth, even if individual errors were possible. Seldom have encyclopedists like Denis Diderot tried to raise doubts as a methodological principle.

Truth claim

A number of positions are conceivable within the claim to truth:

  • A compilation from older works points to a long tradition that stands for the correctness of the statements. This attitude was typical in the first half of the 18th century.
  • Works can dispense with ideological location determinations and claim that they are a compilation.
  • Conversation dictionaries in particular try to avoid attitudes that are perceived as extreme.
  • With a neutral stance, an attempt is made to weigh things up and to adopt an attitude that is above the parties.
  • A pluralistic approach allows different interest groups to have their say in different articles.

Or encyclopedias expressly take sides with a certain group, such as the educated classes, the working class or the Catholics. In doing so, interests should be taken into account and errors should be corrected. Even then, however, the general validity claim is not abandoned.

Encyclopedias are usually not directed against the existing basic ideas in their society. Pierre Bayle and Denis Diderot were exceptions. Later, for example, the anti-monarchical Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle by Larousse , the conservative state and society encyclopedia by Hermann Wagener , the liberal state encyclopedia (1834–1843) by Karl von Rotteck and Carl Theodor Welcker and the social democratic people had a decidedly political objective -Lexicon from 1894. Such trend writings were, however, rather rare.

Examples and allegations

When historians try to find out how people thought about something in a particular epoch, they often consult the encyclopedias of the time. However, a statement does not necessarily have to be actually representative of society, perhaps it only reflects the opinion of the author, the editor or a certain segment of the population.

Some examples:

  • William Smellie , a fair-skinned Scot, wrote in the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1768–1771) about Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia): "The inhabitants are black, or almost, but they are not as ugly as the negroes."
  • In 1910/1911 the Encyclopaedia Britannica stated that “negroes” were mentally inferior to whites. Negro children are intelligent and alert, but from puberty onwards, negroes are primarily interested in sex-related matters.
  • The great French Encyclopédie also allowed itself opinions of a discriminatory kind: “All ugly people are raw, superstitious and stupid”, wrote Denis Diderot in the article “Humaine, Espèce” (Species of Man). Furthermore, the Chinese are peaceable and submissive, the Swedes have almost no idea of ​​any religion, and the Lapps and Danes worship a fat black cat. The Europeans are "the most beautiful and well-proportioned" people on earth. Such national stereotypes are even very common in reference works of the 18th century.
  • In “Homosexuality” in 1955, the Volks-Brockhaus referred to the legislation of the time in the Federal Republic, according to which “fornication between men would be punished with prison, under aggravating circumstances with penitentiary”. In addition, homosexuality is "often curable through psychotherapy".
  • Two authors from the 1980s found that general educational encyclopedias provided less information about famous women than about famous men and therefore reproduced sexist role models in society.

Harvey binder lists a large number of articles in the Encyclopaedia Britannica whose neutrality or objectivity he doubts. Modern artists would be declared worthless without further ado, out of prudery, important plot elements would be left out in the play Lysistrata , for example, or sexual issues would be hidden behind technical terms. The murder of the Jews is incomprehensibly not associated with National Socialist ideology, and the moral aspect of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is hardly discussed. The latter is happening, according to his assumption, in order to spare the Americans an unpleasant subject.

The editors of encyclopedias sometimes had expressly sociopolitical goals. For example, especially the supplementary volume from 1801 to 1803 to the Encyclopaedia Britannica dealt militantly with the French Revolution. Dedications to the ruling monarch were not uncommon, but at the time it said:

“The French Encyclopédie has been accused, and rightly, of spreading the seeds of anarchy and atheism. If the Encyclopaedia Britannica combats the endeavors of this plague-carrying work in any way, then these two volumes will not be entirely unworthy of Your Majesty's favor . "

- George Gleig

Later in the 19th century, Meyer himself stated that he advocated intellectual equality between people, enabling readers to have a better life. Revolutionary thinking, however, should not be encouraged. In contrast to this rather liberal stance, Sparner's Illustrated Konversations-Lexikon (1870) wanted to have a socially disciplined effect on the lower class.

In general, encyclopedias are often accused of not being neutral. Some critics considered the Encyclopaedia Britannica to be procatholic, others to be hostile to the Church. Around 1970 some reviewers praised Brockhaus' allegedly conservative tone compared to the "left-wing" Meyer , others said it was exactly the other way around. Thomas Keiderling finds it problematic at all to make sweeping judgments of this kind.

Large ideological systems

De Katholieke Encyclopedie , 1st edition from 1933–1939, with crosses on the covers

In 1949 the Dutch Katholieke Encyclopedie deliberately did not follow the tradition of the Enlightenment, but of the Christian Middle Ages. Like her sister, the university, the encyclopedia was from a Catholic family. A prospectus from 1932 called impartiality dangerous, especially in an encyclopedia. After all, topics such as “Spiritism”, “Freudianism”, “Freemasonry”, “Protestantism” or “Liberalism” need critical treatment and absolute rejection. “It is clear that neutrality cannot take a position. But numerous topics cannot be assessed without a firm basis. ”In the so-called neutral encyclopedias, Buddha receives more attention than Jesus Christ.

The Enciclopedia Italiana (1929–1936) was created during the time of fascism and the dictator Benito Mussolini had more or less personally contributed to the subject of “fascism” (cf. La Dottrina Del Fascismo ). In general, however, the work was international and objective. In Germany, the Brockhaus had to adapt politically in the last parts of its large edition from 1928 to 1935. The so-called “brown Meyer” from 1936 to 1942 (unfinished) is considered to be markedly Nazi-colored.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia was not aimed at the masses of workers and peasants, but rather at the " main cadre who are engaged in the construction of the Soviet Union". She described her political orientation in the foreword from 1926 as follows:

“In the earlier lexicons, different - sometimes contradicting - worldviews existed side by side. In contrast to this, for the Soviet encyclopedia a clear worldview is absolutely essential, namely the strictly materialistic worldview. Our worldview is dialectical materialism . The field of social sciences, with regard to the illumination of the past as well as the present, has already been comprehensively worked on on the basis of the consistent application of the dialectical method of Marx-Lenin ; in the field of natural and exact sciences the editors will be careful to follow the standpoint of dialectical materialism [...] "

- Great Soviet Encyclopedia , 1926

Even after it was published, a Soviet encyclopedia had to be changed if a person suddenly became politically undesirable. When Lavrenti Beria was ousted in 1953 , the buyers of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia were sent a sheet of paper with information about the Bering Sea, among other things, to be pasted in place of the old page with Beria.

Furnishing

scope

Naturalis historia in the Jan / Mayhoff edition
Espasa , left and right upper part
If Wikipedia were to be printed
in German , around 675 volumes would be created in the format of the Brockhaus encyclopedia , which comprised thirty volumes in 2005/2006 (as of July 2011).

Traditionally, encyclopedias have been of rather limited scope. Modern book editions of ancient or medieval encyclopedias are usually limited to one or a few volumes. The Naturalis historia , which is monumental for antiquity , for example, had five volumes in an edition around 1900. According to our own count, the work consisted of 37 libri (books), whereby a “book” is to be understood here as a chapter. The Etymologiae of Isidore make a book more or less thick, depending on the edition.

Multi-volume encyclopedias only appeared in the 18th century, but there were always reference works in just one or a few volumes. In the 19th and 20th centuries, when encyclopedias became widespread, they found significantly more buyers than the large editions. For the 20th century, Thomas Keiderling used a classification of small editions with one to four volumes, medium editions of five to twelve volumes and large ones above. For a more precise comparison of the scope, however, one also has to consult book formats, number of pages, font size, etc.

The Chinese work Yongle Dadian (also: Yung-lo ta-tien ) is sometimes listed as the largest encyclopedia in history . It dates back to the 15th century and contained 22,937 books on more than five hundred thousand pages. However, it was more a textbook collection compiled from older texts.

For a long time the most extensive reference work was the Zedler with its 64 volumes. This mammoth work was therefore unaffordable for many buyers who could only come from a small, rich upper class anyway. Even many reading societies have not bought the Zedler .

In the 19th century, the " ersch "Gruber was the largest general encyclopedia. The work begun in 1818 was not completed, after 167 volumes the new editor (Brockhaus) gave up in 1889. The largest complete printed encyclopedia in the 20th century then became the Spanish-language Espasa with a total of ninety volumes. The major works of the 18th and 19th centuries thus appear to be more extensive than those of the 20th century with their 20–30 volumes, but the much thinner paper of the later works must be taken into account.

Editions

A popular encyclopedia like the Etymologiae of Isidore produced over a thousand manuscripts in the Middle Ages. The Elucidiarium of Honorius Augustodunensis existed in more than 380 manuscripts.

According to Jeff Loveland, about two hundred to three hundred copies of an encyclopedia were sold in the 18th century; According to Ulrike Spree, however, the print run was 2000–4000 copies. From the Zedler (1737) only the 1500 subscription copies were probably purchased, i.e. those that well-to-do customers had previously ordered. The first edition of the (then three-volume) Encyclopaedia Britannica (1768–1771) sold a total of three thousand copies, of the 18-volume third edition (1787–1797) thirteen thousand.

The 19th century saw much higher editions. The Encyclopaedia Britannica in the 7th edition (1828) came to thirty thousand copies, Meyer's Conversations-Lexikon had seventy thousand subscribers in 1848/1849. However, since the release was slow and the number of bands was high, this decreased to under forty thousand. The 2nd edition of the Chambers Encyclopaedia sold over 465,000 sets from 1874–1888 in Great Britain alone .

Brockhaus sold 91,000 copies of its 13th edition (1882–1887), and from the 14th edition to 1913 more than 300,000. The 17th edition of the large Brockhaus from 1966 had a totalprint runof 240,000 copies (complete sets). In the field of smaller lexicons, however, Brockhaus experienced strong competition. Sales of the one-volume Volks-Brockhaus from 1955 were sluggish: It cost 19.80 DM, while Bertelsmann brought its Volkslexikon on the market for 11.80 DM andsold a million copiesthrough its Lesering .

In the GDR , the eight-volume Meyers Neues Lexikon (1961–1964) had a total print run of 150,000 copies, the two-volume edition came in three editions from 1956–1958 to 300,000 copies. The GDR was significantly smaller than the Federal Republic, but the VEB Bibliographisches Institut had no competition.

A lack of competition also led to high editions relative to the population in other small countries, including Western ones. The six-volume Uj Magyar Lexicon was published in communist Hungary 1959–1962 in 250,000 copies. In Norway, the fifteen- volume store Norske sold 250,000 copies from 1977 to 2011 with a population of just four million Norwegians.

From the 21st edition of the Brockhaus Encyclopedia from the years 2005/2006 only "a few thousand copies" were sold, as the FOCUS reported. The FAZ According to the break came in at 20,000 units sold, half of which had been achieved. This last printed edition of the Brockhaus Encyclopedia consisted of thirty linen-bound volumes with gilt edging, which contained almost 25,000 pages. It cost 2670 euros.

Illustrations

Medieval map of the world in Liber Floridus , around 1120. On the left, northern half of the globe the pictura with Europe, Asia and Africa. Since the appearance of the southern half was unknown, the explanatory scriptura appeared there .
Plate on astronomical subjects in the Cyclopaedia , 1728

Almost no illustrations have survived from the ancient works, only the text. Later they received illustrations in some medieval manuscripts. These illustrations mostly differed from handwriting to handwriting; Then the printing press brought the possibility of reproducing images exactly. The Middle Ages already knew pictures of people, animals or plants, as well as schematic representations and world maps. They were rare, however.

In the early modern period there was a wide range of different illustrations. On title pages and frontispieces, people reflected on the foundations of the knowledge gathered in the encyclopedia by depicting the seven liberal arts allegorically . Tree diagrams illustrated the relationship between the individual compartments, function diagrams showed, for example, how a pulley system works. Dedications presented a rich patron or patron, copperplate engravings ushered in a new volume. Tables, for example on planetary motions, were also popular.

Pictures were either inserted in the text at the appropriate place or supplied on separate picture boards; the Brockhaus-Verlag published a picture atlas for the Conversation Lexicon from 1844–1849 and later , and named it in the subtitle Iconographic Encyclopedia of Sciences and Arts . Photo tables or even illustrated books were often printed separately from the rest of the paper for reasons of quality, as photos sometimes required a special print or special paper. As printing technology improved, more and more images came into the encyclopedias. After all, in the 20th century, richly illustrated works were no longer explicitly advertised as "illustrated", so the illustrations had become so natural. Since around the late 1960s, the illustrations of some encyclopedias had been entirely in color.

The 19th edition of Brockhaus (1986–1994) had 24 volumes with a total of 17,000 pages. It contained 35,000 figures, maps and tables. A corresponding world atlas contained 243 map pages.

Attachments and equipment

Since the 18th century were larger encyclopedias, if not a new edition came about Ergänzungsbände, supplements . The Brockhaus published yearbooks in the middle of the 19th century as a supplement or continuation of the actual lexicon. From 1907 Larousse published the monthly Larousse mensuel illustré . The magazine Der Brockhaus-Greif , which the publisher ran from 1954 to 1975, served more for customer loyalty . A special volume could serve to deal with special historical events such as the Franco-German War in 1870/1871 or the First World War.

Attachments in separate volumes could also be illustrated books, atlases or dictionaries, which made the encyclopedia an even more complete compendium. Finally, CD-ROMs, Internet access and USB sticks were initially offered as an addition to the printed version. The artist editions of the Brockhaus represent an attempt to increase the value of the entire work, such as the edition limited to 1,800 copies designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser since 1986 . The retail price was 14,000 DM (compared to around 4,000 DM for the normal edition). The covers, standing next to each other on the shelf, showed a new picture together.

delivery

"A list of the subscribers" in the Cyclopaedia , 1728

Usually books were purchased and paid for after they were completed. For larger projects, however, it was customary in the 18th century to first attract subscribers and only then to print the work; possibly it was delivered piece by piece in installments. Once the buyer had all the deliveries, he could take them to a bookbinder. A subscriber (literally: someone who signs) paid in advance. The publisher already had capital with which to cope with initial issues. Depending on the subscription model, the subscriber might pay a deposit and then pay for each part shipped. The publisher also hoped that other customers would buy the work. The publication of known subscribers at the front of the plant should have a sales-promoting effect, similar to the dedication of the work to a high-ranking personality.

In the case of the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica , a prospectus announced the project to the public in July 1767. In February 1768 the publishers announced that the work would come in one hundred weekly deliveries, 48 ​​pages each. In the end it should be, bound, six volumes in octave format . A delivery cost six pence on plain paper and eight on better. Soon after, the editors changed the format to quarto , resulting in three volumes. The reason for this was the higher prestige of Quarto and perhaps also the indirect influence of a competing product. The first part came out in December 1768, and after the last 1771 was delivered, the foreword and title page for each of the three volumes, as well as instructions for the bookbinder, were received. In August 1771 the entire set could be bought for two pounds and ten shillings (three pounds, seven shillings on better paper).

In the 19th century, for example, Meyers Konversations-Lexikon offered a choice between several delivery models. The third edition from 1874 to 1878 consisted of fifteen volumes. The buyer received a weekly delivery of 64 pages that cost fifty pfennigs; or you paid 9.50 marks per volume. The Brockhaus in the anniversary edition of 1898, seventeen splendid volumes of ten marks each, was paid in monthly installments of three to five marks or in quarterly installments of nine to fifteen marks. There was no down payment, the first installment only had to be paid after three months. Subscription models were ultimately known well into the 21st century. However, it had been common practice since the 20th century to receive bound volumes.

Nelson's perpetual loose-leaf encyclopaedia from 1920 was a loose-leaf collection in twelve volumes. Twice a year, the buyer would receive a few new pages to replace pages with outdated content. The Encyclopédie française (1937–1957) took up the idea, but it could not prevail.

Meyer's Encyclopedic Lexicon in 25 volumes took a total of eight years from 1971 to 1979 for production and delivery. In volumes 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19 and 22 supplements were added which contained the updates to the previous volumes. In 1985 a supplement was finally published (Volume 26).

Authors and readers

The author of an encyclopedia is called an encyclopaedist or encyclopedist , whereby this term is also used for a scientist of the encyclopedia who does not write an encyclopedia but researches encyclopedias and their creation. Editors and collaborators of the Encyclopédie (France 1782 to 1832) were called encyclopedists .

Copyright and plagiarism

Jacob van Maerlant's Der naturen bloeme (13th century) with disclosure of its sources. The top circle contains the name of Aristotle .

A copyright in the modern sense did not exist before the 19th century. Nevertheless, the term plagiarism has existed since antiquity , as the unmarked adoption of foreign texts. Up until the 18th century it was common to see encyclopedias primarily as a compilation of older texts. The authors were sometimes named, but often not. In antiquity and in the Middle Ages, the focus was on using the ancient sages and learning from their pure, unadulterated knowledge. With the Renaissance, the idea of ​​an original author became more important.

In the 18th century, for example, plagiarism was sometimes considered disreputable, but it was not prohibited. If necessary , the publisher was able to prohibit reprints based on the printing privilege . This was an official permission to print a certain book at all. However, reprints could only be prevented in their own country and were often printed abroad and then partly distributed via smuggling.

Dennis de Coetlogon, for example, admitted to copying but claimed he was the author of his Universal history . If you take this literally, he apparently wrote it by hand himself, without a helper. When a “List of Authors” appeared in the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica , it did not mean that those people had deliberately written for this encyclopedia. Rather, the editor William Smellie had made use of her works.

In the article "Plagiaire", the great French encylopédie described the phenomenon of plagiarism . One hastened to note that lexicographers do not have to adhere to the usual laws of mine and yours , at least not those who wrote a dictionnaire des arts et des sciences . After all, they don't pretend to be writing originals. The text was very similar to the article "Plagiary" in Chambers' Cyclopaedia a little less than a generation earlier, and this in turn was based on the Dictionnaire by Antoine Furetière (1690).

Chambers' Cyclopaedia, 1728 Encyclopédie , 1751-1772
PLAGIARY [...] PLAGIAIRE [...]
Among the Romans, Plagiarius was properly a Person who bought, sold, or retain'd, a free Man for a Slave; so call'd, because the Flavian Law condemned such a Person to be whipp'd, ad plagas . See SLAVE. Chez les Romains on appelloit plagiaire une personne qui achetoit, vendoit ou retenoit comme esclave une autre personne libre, parce que par la loi Flavia , quiconque étoit convaincu de ce crime, étoit condamné au fouet, ad plagas . Voyez esclave.
Thomasius has an express Treatise de plagio litterario ; wherein he lays down the Laws and Measures of the Right which Authors have to one other commodities. Thomasius a fait un livre de plagio litterario , où il traite de l'étendue du droit que les auteurs ont sur les écrits des uns des autres, & des regles qu'on doit observer à cet égard.
Dictionary-Writers, at least such as meddle with Arts and Sciences, seem exempted from the common Laws of Meum and Tuum ; they don't pretend to set up on their own bottom, nor to treat you at their own cost [...] Les Lexicographes, au moins ceux qui traitent des arts & des sciences, paroissent devoir être exemts des lois communes du mien & du tien . Ils ne prétendent ni bâtir sur leur propre fonds, ni en tirer les matériaux nécessaires à la construction de leur ouvrage [...]
The book maker , caricature in flares , Munich magazine from 1848–1850.
"Look, my dear, it is a sour job, but the work praises the master."
"Allow me, what are you doing?"
"A real encyclopedia for educated Germany."

The Zedler writes under the lemma " Reprint of their books":

“The reprint of their books is actually not much better than a clandestine, if not public, theft, and generally only happens by those affter booksellers, or rather, by mere botchers of the otherwise noble but useful bookseller-nefft who in fact mostly dare to print only out of great arrogance, or rather highly punishable lust for money, and [...] to the publisher of such books to which they have neither the right nor permission [...] "

- Article “Reprint of their books”. In: Zedlers Universal Lexicon , 1732–1754

This text itself was taken from a contemporary book. In the 19th century it was no longer possible to write an encyclopedia with scissors, as William Smellie is said to have joked about himself. At least in the general encyclopedias this no longer existed after 1860. Nevertheless, the mutual influence of the competing publishers was great, also because facts themselves (like the height of a mountain) are not protected by copyright.

Authors

Cassiodorus , an early medieval encyclopedia

Individual authors and small groups

If in ancient works one person is usually considered to be the author, in the Middle Ages the author is not always easy to grasp. With the ancient argument of modestia ( modesty ), the authors of the Middle Ages often describe themselves as too unworthy to mention their name. They saw themselves as mere conveyors of godly knowledge. Laypeople in particular, however, such as King Alfonso the Wise or the notary Brunetto Latini , on the contrary, tended towards self-styling. Some works were created in working groups, whereby the leading personality was named on behalf of the employees.

The authors saw themselves as compilers (compilers), as translators who opened proven Latin works to a larger audience. A new generation around 1300 brought in their own thoughts. These were also often lay people, often from Italy, where the clergy played a less important role than elsewhere. The authors were mostly men; Women were only active encyclopedically within monasteries .

Editorial offices

In the 19th century there was not only the modern concept of the author , but also a considerable specialization. The first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was largely written (or copied) by the editors. But Archibald Constable, who bought it in 1810, relied on scientific authorities who were also named. In Germany, the development at Brockhaus was comparable. The editors were responsible for unmarked articles. In general, the authors had to submit to the complete work. Especially after 1830, the publishers sought experts. If the authors were not named (as is the case with most encyclopedias), it could have something to do with the fact that these works were copied too much from older works. The trick of specifying a “society of scholars” as the editor was popular.

William Smellie , who became editor of the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica at the age of 28 .

Ulrike Spree: "The universally educated lexicon author who worked on articles on a whole range of subject areas was increasingly a thing of the past." That only existed in one- or two-volume works. Despite some big names, most of the authors mentioned were unknown people. Many have written for several encyclopedias. One of the rare encyclopedias with authors named was theersch Gruber and in the 20th century, for example, Collier's Encyclopedia .

According to Thomas Keiderling , the authors remained anonymous in the Brockhaus because the articles should be objective and should not reflect the opinions of individuals. Some authors refused to be named because they were discussing controversial issues. In addition, editors have revised the articles and have thus become co-authors. The naming of names was only considered useful for well-known authors, but it was neither possible nor desirable to hire the most outstanding scientists for each article. With such a claim, editorial interventions would again have been questionable.

In 1879, a weekly newspaper described how Meyer created the conversation lexicon . In the main line in Leipzig, the 70,000 articles from the previous issue were cut out and glued to paper. Note collectors evaluated around fifty newspapers and requested data from authorities and institutions. There were special editorial offices in various university towns, and authors who had been recruited for a particular subject reworked the articles. There were still hardly any female authors. The British Chambers Encyclopaedia , which had emerged from a translation, made an exception : translations were often women's work.

Editors of Meyer's Konversations-Lexikon in their office in Leipzig, 1913

Since the universities were overcrowded, encyclopedic work was attractive to many graduates. Typically, an encyclopedia editor saw himself as a generalist who did not appear in public. Meyer's directory of employees in 1877 listed 32 authors by name in the subject of history. All had doctorates, 14 of them professors. 57 people were involved in the conception of the 15th edition of the Großer Brockhaus (twenty volumes, 1928–1935): 22 editors, ten office workers, five employees in the image department, 15 secretaries, three clerks. Over a thousand authors wrote 200,000 articles with 42,000 illustrations, of which four hundred were occasional and six hundred were regular authors. The publisher standardized cover letters, informed the authors with circulars and leaflets on questions of spelling, literature references, abbreviations and special characters. One received a sheet fee or lump sums according to size. Furthermore, anonymity was stipulated in the contract.

For the ancient scholarly specialist lexicon Der Neue Pauly , an experience report in 1998 found that the number of employees was very high - due to the great pressure to specialize: “There are numerous' composite articles' written by several authors, as they cover overarching topics or 'umbrella articles 'can hardly be found' generalists'. The uniformity of the conception of an article - to say nothing of the work as a whole - is jeopardized by this. ”Nineteen specialist editors worked out a general list and coordinated communication with the more than seven hundred authors.

The Wikipedia is written by volunteers and edited. You participate out of interest in a topic or out of idealism. They also join a community in which they are valued. The Wikipedia volunteers are more educated and about half of them are under thirty years of age.

Prominent authors

In the 19th and 20th centuries it happened that encyclopedias gained well-known scientists or other celebrities. Famous authors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica included the writer Walter Scott , the population scientist Robert Malthus and the economist David Ricardo . In the German-speaking countries of the 1970s, for example, Meyers Konversations-Lexikon integrated longer contributions from celebrities. In the introduction, the scientific theorist Jürgen Mittelstrass wrote “On the benefits of the encyclopedia”. The former SPD Federal Minister Carlo Schmid wrote the article “Democracy - the chance to humanize the state”, and the former FDP Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hans Friedrichs wrote about the “World Economy”.

This becomes a problem when the celebrities are part of the public discourse on their subject. They may find it difficult to take a neutral, oversight point of view. Leon Trotsky wrote the article on Lenin in an extension of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1926) . Former War Commissioner Trotsky had been Lenin's close associate, and the reference to the late Lenin was an important instrument in the political dispute between Trotsky, Stalin and other Soviet politicians.

pay

In general, encyclopedia staff were paid poorly. William Smellie received the sum of two hundred pounds for working on the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica . It was neither generous nor pathetic for four years of part-time work, according to Jeff Loveland, but comparatively less than what Diderot got for the larger and longer work on the Encyclopédie . At Chambers in the 19th century, the annual salary of the editors was at the lower limit of the middle class.

In the twentieth century, reports binder of the Encyclopaedia Britannica , many scholars would have liked to participate but could not afford to write for so little money (two cents per word). This is especially true for the humanities. Cooperation is very popular for reasons of prestige, but many only wanted to contribute one article. In general , binder complained about the predominantly commercial character of the Encyclopaedia Britannica , in which the publisher's high earners were the door-to-door sellers and not the authors.

reader

Until the 18th century

World Book Encyclopedia from 1959 in a Braille version, 145 volumes

A text can only find readers if people are able to read, if they have time to read and if they can afford the reading material. Historically, this has severely restricted the circle of possible readers, regardless of whether people were even interested in the content. Nevertheless, there were ways of overcoming the barriers: Texts used to be read aloud so that those with no reading knowledge could overhear, wealthy people made their libraries available to a larger group, or groups of people bought books together. It was not until the 19th century that the circle in Europe expanded significantly, thanks to state-sponsored schools and cheaper books: around 1900, ninety percent of Germans, French, English and Americans could read. Other continents remained behind, in Russia only a third of men were able to do so.

Pliny wrote the Naturalis historia for the masses, such as peasants and craftsmen, as he claimed in the dedication to the emperor. In any case, anyone who has the time can read it. His statement should be interpreted in such a way that he thought of those who lead a simple life in nature, in accordance with the Roman virtues he valued. Overall, however, he wanted to address all citizens of the empire, as his work universally described the empire.

Even the authors of medieval encyclopedias were mostly aimed at an open readership, at least according to the preface. All readers should be addressed, not filtered according to their social status or their level of education. In practice, however, the Elucidarium , for example, appears to have been read almost exclusively by clergy. The Livre de Sidrac, on the other hand, was only received by aristocrats; at any rate, the book was never in monastery libraries (according to the ownership notes). The Hortus Deliciarum had a very small target group : in the 12th century, the abbess Herrad von Landsberg only had it written for her nuns. It was only 350 years later that the richly illustrated work became known outside the monastery walls.

Dennis de Coetlogon probably envisioned an upscale readership for his Universal history (1745), with topics such as falconry intended for nobles. De Coetlogon wrote repeatedly disrespectfully about craftsmen, servants and the lower classes. Nevertheless, among the subscribers were not only merchants, officials and clergy, but also some craftsmen who must have been unusually wealthy.

The great French Encyclopédie was read more in urban than rural France, in old towns with ecclesiastical and state educational institutions rather than in the new towns that were already industrialized. The readers belonged to the upper class, to the representatives of the ecclesiastical and aristocratic classes . They were civil servants, officers and only rarely entrepreneurs. Later, cheaper editions were also owned, in part, by lawyers and administrators in the middle class. Paradoxically, this work of progress mainly reached the classes that had to suffer from the revolution of 1789 . In addition to France, the Encyclopédie (especially in the later editions) also sold in the neighboring French-speaking areas, Italy, the Netherlands and West Germany, less in London or Copenhagen, although some sets even came to Africa and America.

Since the 19th century

Grand encyclopedias such as those by Brockhaus and Meyer in the 19th century were aimed at the educated and property classes; These layers were the preferred target groups for door-to-door sellers not least because of their creditworthiness. In the 17-volume Meyers Konversations-Lexikon from 1893 to 1897, out of every hundred buyers were: 20 traffic officials, 17 merchants, 15 military personnel, 13 teachers, nine construction officials / technicians, six administrative officials, five landowners, three judicial officials, three artists, three privateers, two innkeepers, 1.5 doctors, 1.5 students and a lawyer.

As late as 1913, Albert Brockhaus was of the opinion that if one assumed a hundred million German-speaking people in Europe as possible buyers, one would already have to withdraw fifty million women and twenty-five million children. At that time Brockhaus and Meyer sold just thirty to forty thousand copies together. But already in the years after the First World War, Brockhaus-Verlag was increasingly targeting women and the poorer population and tried to make terms easier to understand. Denominationally separate representations of religious keywords were well received by Catholics. Popular editions were also conceived in the 1920s. The edition of the Großer Brockhaus from 1928 to 1935 was primarily bought by university professors, with pharmacists, lawyers, university councilors, doctors, elementary school teachers, dentists, clergy and architects in tenth place, with engineers in tenth place.

For the Große Brockhaus in the 1950s, almost a third of its buyers were teachers or came from commercial professions. In 1955, Federal President Theodor Heuss reported that he had the large Brockhaus behind him in his study, and the small one on the desk next to him.

Special target groups

A particular target group could be women, as with the females encyclopedias , like the ladies Conversations lexicon of 1834, who continued a tradition of the 18th century. You shouldn't list facts in a tiring manner, but rather be vivid and romantic, in detail where the topics touched the feminine sphere. State and politics were completely absent from them. From the early 19th century onwards, so-called house encyclopedias were also created , specifically devoted to topics related to practical areas of life.

There were also reference works of their own for children, although they were rare for a long time (do not include actual textbooks). Before the 19th century, the Pera librorum juvenilium (Collection of Books for Young People, 1695) by Johann Christoph Wagenseil was the only work of this kind. Then Larousse published the Petite Encyclopédie du jeune âge in 1853 , but the next was only published by the publisher 1957. Arthur Mee (1875–1943) brought out a modern children 's encyclopedia in English in 1910/1912, called The Children's Encyclopaedia in Great Britain and The Book of Knowledge in the USA . The richly illustrated articles were vividly written. The World Book Encyclopedia (since 1917/1918) was also a great success . The First World War interrupted the planning for a Britannica Junior , it did not appear until 1934. The Britannica publishing house then came out with several children's encyclopedias. My first Brockhaus was a great success with the public in the 1950s, despite the relatively high price.

criticism

Superficial knowledge

“Meyer's Lexicon knows everything”, advertisement around 1925

When encyclopedias were no longer understood as textbooks but as reference works, there were fears that readers would become lazy. In the preface to the German Encyclopedia (1788), for example, the idea was dealt with that some encyclopedias promise teaching without effort, without basic knowledge. In the comedy Die Vögel, Goethe had someone say: "Here are the big lexica, the big junk stalls of literature, where each individual can pick up his or her needs in alphabetical order by the penny."

Those in favor of a systematic arrangement in particular believed that an alphabetical arrangement would allow the reader to be satisfied with scarce, superficial knowledge. The answer from the lexicon makers was that their readers were already educated.

In 1896, the journalist Alfred Dove made fun of the superficiality that the conversation lexicons would have brought into conversation. It is irrelevant whether you confide in the Brockhaus or the Meyer , they are equal to each other in character and value.

A play that was staged in 1905 as part of the 100th anniversary of Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon (Konversations-Lexikon) addressed the belief in printed authority. A city councilor reads information about the gas works and impresses his audience with it. Then he confesses to the mayor: "Children, what a wonderful book the big Brockhaus is, even if you copy it wrongly from it, it still sounds right."

Lack of timeliness

Volumes of the Dutch-language Winkler Prins are disposed of, Amsterdam 2010

Even in the case of products that are generally regarded as being of high quality, the criticism was loud that the content was out of date. With scientific progress, especially since the 17th century, this in and of itself was hardly avoidable. When the last volume of a major work appeared, the first was often several years, if not decades, old. Outdated representations, however, were also a negligence of the author or editor who had not looked at the latest specialist literature.

In his Universal history of 1745 , Dennis de Coetlogon falsely claimed that the astronomical tables he used were up to date. This had in part to do with the fact that he copied from the Cyclopaedia of 1728. By “Agriculture and Botany” de Coetlogon meant that the sap circulates in plants, like the blood in animals. Stephen Hales ' experiments in the previous decade had already contradicted this view .

According to their own advertisement, the Encyclopaedia Britannica was always very topical. In the 1960s, however, Harvey Einbinder listed numerous articles that had not or hardly been changed for six decades or more. For example, the articles on Hesiod and Mirabeau are from the years 1875–1889. In the 1958 edition it was said that 35,831 people live in the Polish city of Tarnopol , forty percent of them Jews. To hide the age of the articles, the Encyclopaedia Britannica removed the initials of authors who had already passed away. Age was not recognizable in part due to the outdated references, as when in 1963 the article "Punic War" ( Punic War ) allegedly reported the latest research, but this was referring to publications from 1901 and the 1902nd

Binders explained the obsolete articles by saying that Britannica-Verlag spent significantly more money on advertising than on improving the content. Even with a generous estimate, the cost to contributors in 1960 was less than $ 1 million, but the US advertising budget was $ 4 million.

Paul Nemenyi wrote of the 1950 edition that the average science articles were fifteen to thirty years old. When Diana Hobby of the Houston Post reproduced the criticism of binders in 1960, she subsequently received a letter from Britannica publishing house that she could only take such malicious criticism seriously because of her age, gender and innocence.

The editors of encyclopedias tried to keep them current with the help of supplementary volumes. In 1753, for example, two supplementary volumes were published for the 7th edition of the Cyclopaedia . The Brockhaus came for its circulation from 1851 to 1855 with a yearbook (1857-1864), which was published in monthly parts. When printed encyclopedias became rarer around the year 2000, the yearbooks often continued to appear even after the actual work had already come to an end.

According to a 1985 survey, staff at academic libraries in the US found the timeliness of an encyclopedia to be just as important as its structure and accessibility, and only reliability more important. The general unwritten rule was that you had to get a new encyclopedia every five years. Many libraries bought about once a year a new encyclopedia, so that they in turn a relatively current record (set) of the major encyclopedias could offer. One exception was the Britannica in the controversial arrangement of the early 1970s; a quarter of the respondents was their set at least nine years old. The librarians did not complain about the timeliness, and there were indications that they recommended other works or the newspaper for more recent information.

The awareness of the temporal dependency of knowledge also leads to criticism of the visual design of knowledge transfer. In literary and artistic references to the format of the encyclopedia in the 20th century, this criticism is expressed, according to the literary scholar Monika Schmitz-Emans , in a partial emancipation from the usual purpose of imparting knowledge through images and texts.

Target groups and status symbol

Encyclopedias normally claim to be generally understandable for laypeople too, but they cannot always adhere to it, especially with scientific topics. Specialists tend to go into too much detail in their articles rather than go into the general aspects. Robert Collison, for example, reported in the 1960s about a technician who was talked into a grand encyclopedia based on well-chosen sample texts. It turned out to be too difficult for his intellectual level, so he soon sold it again at a loss.

The advertisement for the Encyclopaedia Britannica used the selling point to parents that this encyclopedia could increase the educational level of children and give them better opportunities compared to other children. However, the encyclopedia was written for adults, not children. Collison's assumption that most children (and adults) do not use their money-bought encyclopedia was confirmed by research by Britannica. The average buyer has looked at their Encyclopaedia Britannica less than once a year .

Accordingly, critics have repeatedly asked whether grand encyclopedias are not an “expensive luxury” (Anja zum Hingst), more a status symbol for wealthy classes than an instrument for personal education. If one only looks at the real (bound) large encyclopedias with at least ten volumes and not more than twenty years old, in the 1980s these were only available in five to eight percent of households. The suspicion of the status symbol was fueled not least by the luxury, anniversary and artist editions, which were again significantly more expensive than the normal ones, which were already bound with high quality and printed on good paper.

literature

  • Robert Collison: Encyclopaedias. Their history throughout the ages. A bibliographical guide with extensive historical notes to the general encyclopaedias issued throughout the world from 350 B. C. to the present day . 2nd edition, Hafner, New York 1966.
  • Hans-Albrecht Koch (Hrsg.): Older conversation encyclopedias and specialist encyclopedias: Contributions to the history of knowledge transmission and mentality formation. (= Contributions to the history of text, tradition and education, Volume 1). Peter Lang GmbH, Frankfurt am Main et al. 2013, ISBN 978-3-631-62341-1 .
  • Werner Lenz: Small history of large encyclopedias . Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 1980, ISBN 3-570-03158-6 .
  • Ulrich Johannes Schneider (Ed.): Knowing one's world. Encyclopedias in the Early Modern Period . Primus, Darmstadt 2006, ISBN 3-89678-560-5 .
  • Ulrich Johannes Schneider: The invention of general knowledge. Encyclopedic Writing in the Age of Enlightenment . Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-05-005780-4 .
  • Ulrike Spree: The pursuit of knowledge. A comparative genre history of the popular encyclopedia in Germany and Great Britain in the 19th century . Niemeyer, Tübingen 2000, ISBN 3-484-63024-8 .
  • Theo Stammen, Wolfgang EJ Weber (Ed.): Knowledge assurance, knowledge organization and knowledge processing. The European model of encyclopedias . Academy, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-05-003776-8 .
  • Carsten Cell (Ed.): Encyclopedias, Lexica and Dictionaries in the 18th Century (= The 18th Century. 22nd year, Book 1). Wallstein, Göttingen 1998, ISBN 3-89244-286-X .
  • Hans Dieter Hellige: World Library, Universal Encyclopedia, Worldbrain: To the secular debate about the organization of world knowledge . In: Technikgeschichte, Vol. 67 (2000), H. 4, pp. 303-329.
  • Bernhardt Wendt: Idea and history of development of encyclopedic literature. A literary-bibliographical study. Würzburg-Aumühle 1941 (= The book in the cultural life of the peoples. Volume 2).

Web links

Wiktionary: Encyclopedia  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Encyclopedias  - collection of images, videos and audio files

supporting documents

  1. Aude Doody: Pliny's Encyclopedia. The Reception of the Natural History. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge u. a. 2010, p. 12 f.
  2. Ulrike Spree: The pursuit of knowledge. A comparative genre history of the popular encyclopedia in Germany and Great Britain in the 19th century . Niemeyer, Tübingen 2000, pp. 23/24.
  3. Ulrike Spree: The pursuit of knowledge. A comparative genre history of the popular encyclopedia in Germany and Great Britain in the 19th century . Niemeyer, Tübingen 2000, pp. 25-31.
  4. Preface in: Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon . Volume 1, Amsterdam 1809, pp. 5–14, here pp. 8/9 (emphasis in the original). See Zeno.org , accessed June 21, 2011.
  5. ^ Robert L. Collison, Warren E. Preece: Encyclopaedias and Dictionaries. In: Encyclopaedia Britannica . Volume 18. 15th edition, 1998, pp. 257-280, here p. 258. Original: “Today most people think of an encyclopaedia as a multivolume compendium of all available knowledge, complete with maps and a detailed index, as well as numeorus adjuncts such as bibliografies, illustrations, lists of abbreviations and foreign expressions, gazetteers, and so on. "
  6. Ulrich Dierse: Encyclopedia. On the history of a philosophical and scientific concept . Diss. Bochum 1977. Bouvier Verlag Herbert Grundmann, Bonn 1977, p. 5/6.
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  8. Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 1,10,1.
  9. Aude Doody: Pliny's Encyclopedia. The Reception of the Natural History. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge u. a. 2010, pp. 46-48.
  10. Aude Doody: Pliny's Encyclopedia. The Reception of the Natural History. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge u. a. 2010, pp. 50/51.
  11. Ulrich Dierse: Encyclopedia. On the history of a philosophical and scientific concept. Dissertation Bochum 1977. Bouvier Verlag Herbert Grundmann, Bonn 1977, p. 6.
  12. Ulrich Dierse: Encyclopedia. On the history of a philosophical and scientific concept . Diss. Bochum 1977. Bouvier Verlag Herbert Grundmann, Bonn 1977, p. 7/8.
  13. Encyclopedia. In: Grote Winkler Prins . Volume 8. Elsevier. Amsterdam / Antwerpen 1991, pp. 326–329, here p. 326.
  14. Ulrich Dierse: Encyclopedia. On the history of a philosophical and scientific concept . Diss. Bochum 1977. Bouvier Verlag Herbert Grundmann, Bonn 1977, p. 45.
  15. ^ A b c Ulrich Johannes Schneider: Books as knowledge machines. In: ders. (Ed.): Knowing one's world. Encyclopedias in the Early Modern Period . WBG, Darmstadt 2006, pp. 9-20, here p. 12.
  16. a b c d e See Robert Luff: Knowledge transfer in the European Middle Ages. “Imago mundi” works and their prologues. Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen 1999, p. 421.
  17. ^ A b c Ulrich Johannes Schneider: Books as knowledge machines. In: ders. (Ed.): Knowing one's world. Encyclopedias in the Early Modern Period . WBG, Darmstadt 2006, pp. 9–20, here p. 15.
  18. ^ Athanasius Kircher : Ars magna lucis et umbrae from 1646.
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  20. ^ A b Trevor Murphy: Pliny the Elder's Natural History. Oxford University Press, New York 2004, pp. 11-13, 194/195.
  21. ^ Robert Collison: Encyclopaedias. Their history throughout the ages. A bibliographical guide with extensive historical notes to the general encyclopaedias issued throughout the world from 350 B. C. to the present day . 2nd edition, Hafner, New York 1966, pp. 21/22.
  22. ^ Sorcha Cary: Pliny's Catalog of Culture. Art and Empire in the Natural History. Oxford University Press, New York 2003, p. 18.
  23. ^ A b Robert L. Collison, Warren E. Preece: Encyclopaedias and Dictionaries. In: Encyclopaedia Britannica . Volume 18. 15th edition, 1998, pp. 257-280, here p. 271.
  24. ^ Trevor Murphy: Pliny the Elder's Natural History. Oxford University Press, New York 2004, p. 195.
  25. ^ Trevor Murphy: Pliny the Elder's Natural History. Oxford University Press, New York 2004, p. 196.
  26. ^ Burkhart Cardauns: Marcus Terentius Varro. Introduction to his work . University Press C. Winter, Heidelberg 2001, pp. 77-80.
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  28. ^ Sorcha Cary: Pliny's Catalog of Culture. Art and Empire in the Natural History. Oxford University Press, New York 2003, pp. 18-21.
  29. ^ Robert Collison: Encyclopaedias. Their history throughout the ages. A bibliographical guide with extensive historical notes to the general encyclopaedias issued throughout the world from 350 B. C. to the present day . 2nd edition, Hafner, New York 1966, pp. 27-28.
  30. ^ Robert Collison: Encyclopaedias. Their history throughout the ages. A bibliographical guide with extensive historical notes to the general encyclopaedias issued throughout the world from 350 B. C. to the present day . 2nd edition, Hafner, New York 1966, p. 28.
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  35. ^ A b Robert L. Collison, Warren E. Preece: Encyclopaedias and Dictionaries. In: Encyclopaedia Britannica . Volume 18. 15th edition, 1998, pp. 257-280, here p. 272.
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  39. Cf. also Volker Zimmermann: The medicine in late medieval manuscript encyclopaedias. In: Sudhoff's archive. Volume 67, 1983, pp. 39-49.
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  44. ^ Robert Collison: Encyclopaedias. Their history throughout the ages. A bibliographical guide with extensive historical notes to the general encyclopaedias issued throughout the world from 350 B. C. to the present day . 2nd edition, Hafner, New York 1966, p. 41 f.
  45. Helena Henrica Maria van Lieshout: Van boek tot bibliotheek. De wordingsgeschiedenis van de Dictionaire Historique et Critique van Pierre Bayle (1689–1706). Diss. Nimwegen, Grave 1992. pp. 228/229.
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  53. Thomas Keiderling : F. A. Brockhaus 1905-2005 . Brockhaus in the knowledge media. Leipzig / Mannheim 2005, p. 23.
  54. ^ Robert Collison: Encyclopaedias. Their history throughout the ages. A bibliographical guide with extensive historical notes to the general encyclopaedias issued throughout the world from 350 B. C. to the present day . 2nd edition, Hafner, New York 1966, pp. 199/200.
  55. Thomas Keiderling : The Lexikonverlag. In: History of the German book trade in the 19th and 20th centuries . Volume 2: The Weimar Republic 1918–1933. Part 1. Saur, Frankfurt am Main 2007, pp. 441–462, here p. 447.
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  63. ^ Dan O'Sullivan: Wikipedia. A New Community of Practice? Ashgate. Farnham, Burlington 2009, p. 77.
  64. ^ Herbert George Wells: Lecture delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, November 20th . 1936, pp. 3–35, here p. 14. “This World Encyclopaedia would be the mental background of every intelligent man in the world. It would be alive and growing and changing continually under revision, extension and replacement from the original thinkers in the world everywhere. Every university and research institution should be feeding it. Every fresh mind should be brought into contact with its standing editorial organization. And on the other hand, its contents would be the standard source of material for the instructional side of school and college work, for the verification of facts and the testing of statements - everywhere in the world. "Quoted from: Wikiquote , accessed on 20 June 2011.
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  106. Not included are some list-like articles.
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  108. Aude Doody: Pliny's Encyclopedia. The Reception of the Natural History. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge u. a. 2010, pp. 98/99.
  109. Aude Doody: Pliny's Encyclopedia. The Reception of the Natural History. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge u. a. 2010, p. 126. Translation based on the English example.
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  120. See for example Robert Luff: Knowledge transfer in the European Middle Ages. “Imago mundi” works and their prologues. Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen 1999, p. 415, 417. Reprint 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-092074-1 , pdf .
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  125. Thomas Keiderling : F. A. Brockhaus 1905-2005 . Brockhaus in the knowledge media. Leipzig / Mannheim 2005, p. 107.
  126. C. Pliny Secundus the Elder. Ä .: Natural history. Latin-German . Book XI. Edited and translated by Roderich König in collaboration with Gerhard Winkler. Heimeran Verlag, o. O. 1990, p. 25.
  127. ^ Frits van Oostrom: Maerlants wereld . 2nd edition, Prometheus, Amsterdam 1998 (1996), p. 233.
  128. Quoted from: Philipp Blom: Enlightening the World. Encyclopédie, The Book That Changed the Course of History . Palgrave Macmillan. New York, Houndsmille 2004, p. 43. See L'Encyclopédie Volume 12 “Il n'y a rien qui coute moins à acquérir aujourd'hui que le nom de philosophe; une vie obscure & retirée, quelques dehors de sagesse, avec un peu de lecture, suffisent pour attirer ce nom à des personnes qui s'en honorent sans le mériter […] Le philosophe au contraire deméle les causes autant qu'il est en lui , & souvent même les prévient, & se livre à elles avec connoissance: c'est une horloge qui se monte, pour ainsi dire, quelquefois elle-même […] le philosophe dans ses passions mêmes, n'agit qu'après la réflexion ; il marche la nuit, mais il est précedé d'un flambeau. "
  129. Ulrike Spree: The pursuit of knowledge. A comparative genre history of the popular encyclopedia in Germany and Great Britain in the 19th century . Niemeyer, Tübingen 2000, p. 191.
  130. Encyclopedia , in: Brockhaus Enzyklopädie . Volume 8. 21st edition, F. A. Brockhaus, Leipzig / Mannheim 2006, pp. 174–180, here p. 174.
  131. Ulrike Spree: The pursuit of knowledge. A comparative genre history of the popular encyclopedia in Germany and Great Britain in the 19th century . Niemeyer, Tübingen 2000, pp. 192/193.
  132. Ulrike Spree: The pursuit of knowledge. A comparative genre history of the popular encyclopedia in Germany and Great Britain in the 19th century. Niemeyer, Tübingen 2000, p. 316.
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