Damn It Feels Good to be an Encyclopedist


Pliny, Natural History (Preface)

“Moreover, the path is not a road trod down by authors nor one on which the mind would seek to wander. There is no one among us who has attempted the same ting, no one among the Greeks who managed all of these studies alone. Most of us seek the pleasant parts of our studies: but those things, handled by others, are said to be of immense subtlety, and are pressed down by the dark shadows of the material. Before all, one must deal with what the Greeks call encyclopedic education, and yet they are either unknown or made uncertain by the great minds; other subjects have been published by so many that they have been led to the point of scorn.

It is a hard thing to give novelty to ancient things, authority to new things, splendor to the obsolete, light to the obscure, charm…

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