Etymology

Description

Etymologiae (Etymology) is the best known work by Saint Isidore of Seville (circa 560–636), a scholar and theologian considered the last of the great Latin Church Fathers. It takes its name from a method of teaching that proceeds by explaining the origins and meaning of each word related to a topic. Saint Isidore drew on many different sources in his attempt to summarize all ancient knowledge and save it for posterity. The fame of the work led to it being widely copied and disseminated, and its popularity lasted even into the Renaissance. To medieval scholars, Etymologiae was an unequaled compendium of information. This important manuscript in Gothic minuscule writing in the style of the Toledo–Seville school came originally from the cathedral of Toledo. It includes notes and Arabic equivalents for some Latin words. Several sheets are made from parchment cuts, crudely drawn. The manuscript also contains a world map with Arabic writing (at 116v), and geometric figures in color, with titles, captions, initials, and capitals in red and green.

Last updated: September 22, 2014