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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter considers works of late Latin literature that offer an array of facts or data; works resulting from the author’s attempts to provide a coherent, comprehensive and organized exposition of human knowledge, and therefore conceived from an encyclopedic standpoint. These works display one or the other of two approaches to knowledge. One is a complete approach to the knowledge of nature, such as Lucretius’ poem On the nature of things, or Pliny’s Natural History: these works attempt to provide a description of the physical world. The other approach provides an articulated educational project by means of the exposition of the liberal arts: the triuium (grammar, rhetoric, dialectic) and the quadriuium (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music).

Keywords: Ampelius, Augustine, Boethius, Cassiodorus, pseudo-Censorinus, Epitoma disciplinarum, Iulius Solinus, Martianus Capella, quadriuium, triuium

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