ENCYCLOPEDIA

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ENCYCLOPEDIA, or CYCLOPEDIA. This word, formed from the Greek, but not a native compound of that language (which Uses instead, iyKbtcXios naideia, naiSeia iv Kctchy, also iyKoxha (taOrifxaTa), originally denoted the whole circle of the various branches of knowledge which were comprehended by the ancients in a liberal education (the artes liberates of the Romans; see Arts). At a later period, the word was applied to every systematic view, either of the whole extent of human knowledge (universal encyclopaedia), or of particular departments of it (particular or partial encyclopaedia). The want of such general surveys was early felt; and, as knowledge increased, they became still more desirable, partly for the purpose of having a systematic arrangement of the sciences, in their mutual relations, partly for the readier finding of particular subjects; and, for these two reasons, such works were sometimes philosophically, sometimes alphabetically arranged. The spirit of compiling, which prevailed in the Alexandrian school, soon led to attempts remotely allied to this, and Varro and Pliny the elder, among the Romans, com nn<apr\ wnrlrs nfn similar kind fthft fhrmpr defatigable Dominie: vais (Bellovacensis), the 13th century, ( sum of the knowledg in a work of considi histortale, naturale, dt anonymous author later, a Speculum t form), in extracts fix writers of the time ; the inquirer into the middle ages, and n itself in many respec which it throws or The latest edition WJ ay, in 4 vols. fol. the works, by no rr of Matthius Martink tor in the gyrnnasiu methodicce. et brevis adumbratio Universih and of John Henry dia vii Tomis distina vols fol.) were foliov illustrious Bacon. ] indeed, very volumin and acute thinking (1 Scieniiarum, first publ fol.; and De Jlugmen lish, London, 1605, 1638, fol.), he laid 1 cyclopaedia full of inquiries, and the b which his own age understanding. Sine tude of encyclopsed but none of them ha tific design of Bacon, to the instruction qf formed (Chevigny, j sonnes de la CWr, de 5th ed. by H. P. de ] 1717, 4 vols.; J. E. ^ brorum juvenilium, A or are intended as b( tViA l*"nrnp#l. Ainnrn some particular brandies, as, for instance, in genealogy. Of the English works of this kind, which deserve notice, are 1. Chambers' (q. v.) Cyclopaedia, or a Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences a work which has passed through several editions. ' 2. Encyclopedia Bntannica. Of this there have been 6 editions, the last of which, completed in 3823, contains many improvements; another is now (1830) in the course of publication. The iirst edition came out in 1788, in 10 vol? 4to.; the 4th in 1810, and the 5th in 1815, as well as the 6th, are in 20 vols. To the 4th and 5th editions is added a Supplement in 6 vols., edited by Napier. 3. Kees' Cyclopaedia, 39 vols. 4to. in 79 parts, with' 6 supplementary parts, and numerous engravings, London, 1802-20, Philadelphia, 41 vols. 4to., 6 vols, of plates. In the technical department, particularly, this is the most complete work of the kind which we have. 4. Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, 1810 et seq., not yet complete; Philadelphia, vol. 17, part 1, appeared in 1829, and comes down to STE. This work, devoted particularly to natural science and technology, is conducted by Dr. Brewster, in Edinburgh. 5. Encyclopedia Londinensis, published by John Wilkes, begun 1796. 6. Encyclopedia Edinensis, begun in 1816, edited by J. Millar, 6 vols. 4to. 7. Encyclopedia Metropolitana, London, 4to., begun in 1815, to consist of 25 vols. 4to. 8. Methodical Cyclopaedia, by Mitchell, London, 1823, 12mo., yet unfinished. 9. Nicholson's British Encyclopaedia, in 12 vols. 1809 et seq. 10. Gregory's Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, 3 vols. 4to., first American, from secqnd English edition, Philadelphia and Charleston, 1815. Besides these larger works, a multitude of smaller cyclopaedias have been published by Watson, Willich, Enfield, Kendal and others.The Italians have G. P. Pivati's Dizionario scientijlco e curioso, sacroprofano, Venice, 1746-51,10 vols. foL Of the French cyclopaedias, the most famous is the great Dictionnaire Encyclopedique, by Diderot and D'Alembert, (see next article), frequency called, par excellence, Tilt Encyclopedia. This was followed by the more extensive one of Felice. Still more comprehensive is the EncyclopidU nUthodique, ou par Ordre de Matifres, which has been publishing at Paris since 1782, and is now extended to 148 4to. vols, text, and 52 vols, copperplates. Several works of this kind liave also oeen published in Germany. Krunits's Encyclopaedia is the most celebra ted, of which 146 vols, had been published in 1827, as far as the article Schiffahrt. There is an abridgment, also, of this work, in many vols. The Deutsche Encyclopadie oder allgem. Worterbuch aller Kiinste und Wissenschaften, begun by Koster, in 1778, and continued by J. F Roos, to the 23d volume, 1804, remains unfinished (A to KY, with a volume of engravings, folio). At present, there is a new great German encyclopaedia publishing by Richter, a bookseller in Leipsic, which has been edited by Ersch (q. v., lately deceased) and Gruber, professors at Halle, oT which 15 vols. 4to. have already appeared. Among the latest encyclopaedian journals are Jullien's Revue Encyelope" dique, and Ferussac's Bidletin universel des Sciences et de VInduslrie, the latter of which is published monthly, arranged in 8 sections. (For an account of the German ConversationsLexicon, see our Preface.) The rapid advancement of the sciences and arts, and the proportionally rapid communication between all civilized na tions, have made a general acquaintance with many different branches of knowledge more desirable, and often more necessary, than ever before. This is one of the chief causes which have produced in our time so many encyclopaedias of various kinds, some veiy learned, and other? more adapted for the general reader; some embracing all the sciences and arts, osiers only single branches; of the latter sort are Loudon's Encyclopaedias of Gardening, of Agriculture, &c. To the same class belong the numerous dictionaries intended to impart information in certain branches of knowledge, useful or entertaining, from the learned Physikalisches Worterbuch of Gehler, to the lively Dictionnaire des Girouettes, or Dictionnaire des Bonsmots. Among the encyclopaedian works particularly intended for general readers, are the Libraiy of Useful Knowledge, published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledgea society well deserving its name, and whose activity has been called forth chiefly by the exertions of Mr. Brougham ; the Library of Entertaining Knowledge, published also by the same society (of which, according to tho report of the society, in 1830, not less than 19,000 copies had been sold); an Almanac (of which, in 1830, 41,000 copies were sold), and the useful Companion to the British Almanac (of which, in J830, 17,000 copies were sold); doctor Lardner's Cabinet Cycle psedia, the Family Library, &c. A sim lar work to the Li brary of Useful Knowledge was advertised, in the beginnihg of 1830, as about to be published in Paris, under the name of Encyclopedic Union, to consist of 300 volumes, at 2 francs per volume, and to embrace all the arts and sciences. Most of the distinguished savants of the liberal party were to write for it. We have, however, heard nothing of its progress. In tlie Antologia of December, 1829, it is stated that doctor Gerard, who has traversed the Himalaya mountains and Thibet, for the purpose of introducing vaccination into that countiy, found, at Kinnaour, in Thibet, a man named Cosmas, a Transylvanian, an ardent philologist, who had discovered an encyclopaedia in 44 volumes, in the language of that country. As every thing can be abused, so encyclopaedias, which may contribute to propagate widely useful knowledge, may also tend to produce a disposition to be satisfied with superficial information, as in the case of the lady who spoke very learnedly, a whole evening, on a variety of subjects, the names of which all began with ca. It afterwards appeared, that she had just received the second volume of a new encyclopaedia.