Monday, April 04, 2011

The Medieval Cram Text

Today is the feast day of St. Isidore of Seville, Doctor of the Church and widely regarded as the patron saint of the Internet. Why is he the patron saint of the Internet? (Besides the fact that John Paul II mentioned him in this connection once.) Because his most famous work, the Etymologies, is a collection of odds and ends on all sorts of different subjects. It is, in fact a set of quotations, paraphrases, and the like patched together and arranged under different headings; it was a quick resource for knowledge of grammar, science, legends, law, figures of speech, medicine, architecture, theology, and more. The full thing consists of 448 chapters, which is said at the time to have filled about 20 volumes; thus it is often called the first encyclopedia.

He is the most famous and influential of a family of saints; his brothers Leander and Fulgentius and his sister Florentina were all canonized; Leander became bishop of Seville, and Isidore took his place after Leander's death.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.