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The study looks at eight cases of dissemination of encyclopedic knowledge in the European Middle Ages. As a major source of insight, the author draws on the prologues of the selected Latin (e.g. "Elucidarum," "Hortus delicarium"), German (Lucidarius, Hiltgart von HA1/4rnheim's "Encyclopedia"), French ("Livre de Sidrac," Brunetto Latini, Christine de Pizan), and Spanish works, examining them from the perspective of communication science. The results point up not only a number of constants but also some surprises in connection with the vehicles, forms, and audiences of encyclopedic knowledge dissemination.
Konrad von Megenberg, canon of Regensburg cathedral, wrote his ABook of NatureA between 1348 and 1350. It has come down to us in approx. 150 manuscripts, which makes it one of the most popular vernacular encyclopedias of the late Middle Ages. Konrad had a Latin version of Thomas of CantimprA(c)'s ALiber de natura rerumA at his disposal, which he translated into German, adapting and extending it and also re-accentuating certain aspects of the work. This is the first critical edition of version A. It replaces Franz Pfeiffer's valuable 1861 edition. At a later stage, it will be supplemented by an introduction (Vol. I), a commentary (Vol. III) and a dictionary (Vol. IV).
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