Vincent of Beauvais, French encylopedist

Vincent of Beauvais, French encylopedist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Vincent of Beauvais (c.1190-1264), French encylopedist, reading to King Louis IX of France. Beauvais held the post of "reader" at the monastery of Royaumont, near Paris, founded between 1228 and 1235. The King funded Beauvais in his acquisition of books. Beauvais is famous for his enormous encyclopedia, Speculum Maius, said to have compiled all the knowledge of Medieval Europe. The natural history part consisted of 32 books and 3718 chapters, drawing on Latin, Greek, Arabic and Hebrew authors. The general part had 17 books and 2374 chapters, while the history part had 1400 large pages. Engraving from the 1883 edition of Vies des Savants Illustres.

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