The Etymologies by Isidore of Seville (b. c. 560, d. 636) was a vast reference work that functioned as an encyclopaedia. Highly influential in the Middle Ages, the text explores topics such as the natural world, language, and grammar. Almost a thousand manuscript copies of this work survive, and it was among the first texts to be printed in Europe.
This manuscript is a French copy of the Etymologies produced in the early-11th century and was once part of the library of the abbey of Saint-Martial Limoges. The volume was later owned by the French statesman Jean-Baptiste Colbert (b. 1619, d. 1683), before joining the French royal library in 1732.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Hanna Vorholt
- Science and nature, History and learning
The idea of place in the early Middle Ages transcended space and time. Hanna Vorholt discusses the significance of maps in the medieval world.