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7-08-2015, 20:13

Encyclopaedias and lexicons

Constantine VII’s significance in commissioning digests of useful knowledge from ancient texts is generally acknowledged, but he was tapping into and trying to direct an intellectual trend under way long before his time, which Paul Lemerle has termed ‘encyclopedism’.55 A collection of late antique texts on the care and medical treatment of horses that Constantine had revised has been expounded in detail, although not yet translated into English.56 A major compilation made shortly after Constantine’s time was a lexicon, the Suidae lexicon, containing entries on a variety of words, names and subjects, mostly classical and scriptural, in alphabetical order. This is being translated online.