) is an encyclopedia
written by Isidore of Seville
, devoted to transmitting much of the learning of antiquity. The book not only was one of the most popular compendia in medieval libraries but was printed in at least 10 editions between 1470
, showing Isidore's continued popularity in the Renaissance
. However, much of the information offered in Etymologiae
was disproved in following centuries.
A stylized map based on Etymologiae was printed in 1472 in Augsburg, featuring the world as a wheel. The continent Asia is peopled by descendants of Sem or Shem, Africa by descendants of Ham and Europe by descendants of Japheth. All three were the sons of Noah. This map reflects Isidore's 6th century view; we now know that, although undoubtedly a brilliant scholar, Isidore was not always correct in his suppositions.