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Sunday, 4 January 2015


A Greek named Speusippos compiled the first known encyclopedia about 370 years before Christ was born.

The oldest encyclopedia still in existence, Naturalis Historia, was written in AD 77 by Pliny the Elder.

A Christian statesman and monk named Cassiodorus wrote an encyclopedia in the sixth century, in which he favored Christian knowledge. It is considered one of the formative books of the Middle Ages.

Rhabanus Maurus was a scholar and monk in Charlemagne's empire, trained by the famous Alcuin himself. He wrote, without help, an encyclopedia twenty-two manuscript volumes long called On the Universe (De universo). Beginning with a study of the Trinity, it ended with an examination of garden tools.

A pictorial encyclopedia composed and illustrated by Herrad of Landsberg was completed in 1195.

The Great Canon of the Yongle Era an encyclopedia of the Chinese Ming dynasty, had 22,937 chapters in 10,000 volumes. More than 2,000 Chinese scholars worked on the book for five years before it was finished in 1410.

The Yongle Encyclopedia

The Great Canon of the Yongle Era held the record for the largest overall encyclopedia in the history of the world (written or not) until September 9, 2007 when Wikipedia surpassed it.

The first edition of Encyclopedia Britannica was published in three volumes in Edinburgh on December 6, 1768.  The second edition was 10 volumes, and by its fourth edition (1801–1810) it had expanded to 20 volumes.

The Britannica is the oldest English-language encyclopaedia still in production.

Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, went online on January 15, 2001. it developed from a complementary project for Nupedia, a free online English-language encyclopedia project whose articles were written by experts and reviewed under a formal process.

English-language Wikipedia reached its one millionth article, Jordanhill railway station (see below) in 2006.


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