Twelfth-Century Byzantine Encyclopedia

Etymologikon mega.
Venice: Zacharias Callierges for Nicolaus Blastus and Anna Notaras, 1499.

Etymologikon Mega is a twelfth-century encyclopedia compiled by anonymous Byzantine Greek scholars. It was produced by the first printing house in Venice to be started by Greek immigrants. Zacharias Callierges (active 1499–1523), a native of Rhethymno, Crete, designed the typeface for this editio princeps. Marcus Musurus, who also came from Rhethymno, wrote the prefatory poem, an encomium praising the letterforms created by Callierges.

In contrast to the Suda, the Etymologikon mega is formatted to assist the reader in locating specific words. Each entry has a red initial letter and begins on a new line. The entire work is printed in two colors, black and red, and each major section is enhanced with a large decorative woodcut initial and ornamental headpiece.

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Scholarship and Learning
Twelfth-Century Byzantine Encyclopedia