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An Encyclopedist Of The Dark Ages: Isidore Of Seville

by Ernest Brehaut

Studies in History, Economics and Public Law
Columbia University, New York, 1912

Isidore of Seville (latter half of the sixth century to circa 636 CE) was a Hispanic-Roman churchman and writer in the city of Seville. He became bishop of Seville around 600 CE, succeeding his brother Leander in that post. He is best known for for two of his works: De natura rerum and the Etymologiae. The Etymologies was the book that was most used by the compilers of later bestiaries; most of the twelfth century and later manuscripts quote from Chapter 12 (De animalibus) of that work. Isidore was a compiler of existing knowledge rather than an original thinker, but his writing was influential for centuries after his death. Brehaut's An Encyclopedist Of The Dark Ages: Isidore Of Seville gives an overview of Isidore's life, culture and works, and provides a translation of extracts from the Etymologies.

Ernest Brehaut (1873-1953), at the time this book was written, was a professor at Columbia University.

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