Isidore of Seville

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The Bishop of Seville and generally recognised by his peers as the most learned person of his generation. Isidore was a prolific author, but is best known now for his ‘Etymologies’, an enormously influential encyclopaedia and the first compendium of its kind. In this work, Isidore synergised all of the knowledge that he believed a well-educated person should be aware of, including grammar, rhetoric, Christian thought, spices, and a range of other topics. It is famous for containing the first printed T-O map. The Etymologies were so popular that they were printed in numerous editions and in rapid succession, continuing to inform and influence scholars for generations to come.

Colourful portrait of Isidore of Seville, dressed in religious robes and holding a staff, and reading a large book.