May 29, 2022

Encyclopedia (in classical Greek: εγκυκλοπαιδεία; romaniz.: enkyklopaideía, formed from ἐγκυκλο "circular" + παιδεία "education") is a collection of quite numerous texts, whose main objective is to describe as best as possible the current state of human knowledge. It can be defined as a work that deals with all the sciences and arts of the knowledge of the current man. It can be either a reference book for virtually any subject in the human domain as well as a work on the internet. Encyclopedias can be divided into two groups: generic, which collect knowledge from all human knowledge (such as the Encyclopædia Britannica), or specialized, with topics related to a specific subject (such as an encyclopedia of medicine or math). The term encyclopedia began to be used in the mid-16th century, although similarly formatted works already existed in earlier times.


The word "encyclopedia" comes from the Classical Greek ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία" (transliterated: "enkyklios paideia"), literally "circular education", that is, "general knowledge". The term was first used in the title of a book published in 1541 by Joachimus Fortius Ringelbergius, Lucubrationes vel potius absolutissima kyklopaideia (Basel, 1541). The word "encyclopedia" was first used as a noun, in the title of the book by Croatian encyclopedist Skalić , Encyclopaedia seu orbis disciplinarum tam sacrarum quam prophanarum epistemon (Encyclopedia, or knowledge of the world of disciplines, Basel, 1559) One of the earliest uses in French was made by François Rabelais in his work Pantagruel, in 1532. include the suffix -pedia, such as Banglapedia, an encyclopedia on issues relevant to Bengal, or Wikipedia itself, an encyclopedia. media written with the wiki system.


The encyclopedia as we know it today was developed from the dictionary in the 18th century. A dictionary focuses primarily on words and their definitions and usually gives limited information, analysis of linguistic usage or context for each defined term. This linguistic definition may fail to inform the reader of the meaning, importance, or limitations of a term, or the term's relationships to a vast field of knowledge. To meet these needs, an encyclopedia article addresses, in addition to the word, the concept itself and also the theme or discipline, dealing with them in depth, in order to transmit the accumulated knowledge on this topic. An encyclopedia will often also include maps and illustrations, as well as bibliographies and statistics. Historically, both the encyclopedia and the dictionary have been researched and written to contribute to education and information, often with input from experts, or specialists. Some works entitled "dictionary" are, in fact, similar to an encyclopedia, especially those related to a particular area (such as the Dictionary of the Middle Ages, Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships and Black's Law Dictionary). The Macquarie Dictionary, recognized as Australia's official dictionary, became an encyclopedic dictionary after its first edition, in recognition of the use of proper names and words derived from such proper names, typical of an encyclopedic work.



Much of the writing that sought to encompass human knowledge in antiquity was of a specific or specialized style (usually related to nature or philosophy). Some of the great philosophers of antiquity had already tried to write about all fields.