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Bill Thayer

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A Selection of Articles from
the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica

The eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, published in 1911, is widely considered to be the best ever English-language work of its kind, setting a bar that subsequent editions, and other encyclopedias, have never again reached. Naturally though, after a century much of it is obsolete: and even in historical matters many refinements and in some cases altogether novel viewpoints have been brought about by advances in archaeology, anthropology, genetics, literary criticism, and many other branches of knowledge. That said, the historical entries, written by top experts in the relevant fields, and backed up by superlative editing, remain good points of departure for anyone starting an investigation, and are still relevant today.

So relevant that a number of websites have made an effort, or usually just a show for ulterior motives, to reproduce the entire Encyclopedia online. Unfortunately, all those sites, without a single exception, fall into one of two categories: mindless OCR copies garbled and riddled with errors, sometimes subjected to semi-automatic processes seeking to correct them but often introducing further mistakes — or reinterpretations and expansions in which the Britannica has been used merely as a template, or selectively and tacitly abridged to current tastes, sometimes becoming merely a canvas for various agendas. (A complete unaltered transcription is underway at WikiSource; a very laudable project, but as of this writing — 2017 — nowhere near finished.)

So in the course of building my own site, finding the 1911 Britannica cited so often, or otherwise so relevant, that I wanted to link to its articles, I found myself quickly disappointed by those very serious flaws: my solution has been to put up myself the few articles I needed, transcribed in full; rekeyed by hand without abridgment or editing — except for minor changes in punctuation and correcting the exceedingly rare typographical error; proofread; and including any illustrations. For citation purposes, the pagination of the original is indicated in the sourcecode as local links; other local anchors are provided as I found useful for my own purposes, and if in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

Having made these transcriptions, I've taken advantage of the Web to provide a bit of value-added: mostly by linking citations to the underlying texts to the extent that these can be found online, but sometimes by annotating the articles, or illustrating them with my own photographs, or linking to the occasional relevant website. These additions are sometimes quite extensive, but are clearly marked as such and separate from the original printed text: see for example my transcription of Mevania.

Entries
Abae

ancient Greek city

Achaean League

ancient Greek political confederation

Achilles Tatius

ancient Greek novelist

Aëtius

ancient Roman general

Agrippa

ancient Roman politician and general

Alaric

ancient Gothic general and leader

Gil Albornoz

late-medieval Spanish cardinal

Albulae Aquae

ancient springs in the Lazio

Alsietinus Lacus

a lake in the Lazio

Amalfi

Italian city in Campania

Anagnia

ancient Roman city in the Lazio

Ancona

Italian city in the Marche

Aquila (usu. L'Aquila)

Italian city in the Abruzzo

Aquileia

ancient Roman city in the Veneto

Arezzo

Italian city in Tuscany

Ariminum

ancient Roman city in Emilia-Romagna

Aristomenes

semi-legendary ancient Greek warrior

Arretium

ancient Roman city in Tuscany

Ascoli Piceno

Italian city in the Marche

Assisi

Italian city in Umbria

Attila

Hunnish king

Augustus

Roman emperor

Auximum

ancient Roman city in the Marche

Baiae

ancient Roman city in Campania

Barbary Pirates

Arab pirates of North Africa

Belisarius

ancient Roman general

Bologna

Italian city in Emilia-Romagna

Bolsena

Italian city in the Lazio

Bononia

ancient Roman city in Emilia-Romagna

Boadicea (usually now: Boudicca)

British warrior

Bracciano

Italian city in the Lazio

John Bagnell Bury

19c English historian of Late Antiquity

Cagli

Italian city in the Marche

Caiatia

ancient Roman city in Campania

Caietae Portus

ancient Roman city in the Lazio

Calatia

Italian city in the Lazio

Camerino

Italian city in the Marche

Cancelli

a type of railing

Capua

Italian city in Campania

Casilinum

ancient Roman city in Campania

Chioggia

Italian city in the Veneto

Cithara

Graeco-Roman musical instrument

Città della Pieve

Italian city in Umbria

Città di Castello

Italian city in Umbria

Civita Castellana

Italian city in the Lazio

Vittoria Colonna

16c Italian poet

Cori

Italian city in the Lazio

Jean-Gustave Courcelle-Seneuil

19c French economist

Couvade

primitive custom connected with childbirth

Cures

an ancient Italian people

Dicuil

medieval Irish scholar

Diophantus

ancient Greek mathematician

Dodona

ancient Greek religious shrine

Jean Dugazon

18c French stage actor

Exarchate of Ravenna

political entity of high-medieval Italy

Raphael Fabretti

17c Italian antiquary

Faenza

Italian city in Emilia-Romagna

Falerii

ancient Roman city in the Lazio

Fano

Italian city in the Marche

Fanum Fortunae

ancient Roman city in the Marche

Ferentino

ancient Roman town in the Lazio

Ferentum

ancient Etruscan and Roman town in the Lazio

Foligno

Italian city in Umbria

Formia

Italian city in the Lazio

Fossombrone

Italian city in the Marche

Edward Freeman

19c English historian

Fulginiae

ancient Roman city in Umbria

Gaeta

Italian city in Campania

Gaiseric

Vandal king

Percy Gardner

19c English archaeologist

Goths

an ancient Eurasian people

Johann Friedrich Gronovius

17c German classical scholar

Hugo Grotius

17c Dutch legal scholar and statesman

Gubbio

Italian city in Umbria

Joseph Gwilt

19c English architect

Hernici

an ancient people of Italy

Hispellum

ancient Roman city in Umbria

Thomas Hodgkin

19c English historian of Late Antiquity

Philemon Holland

16c/17c English scholar and translator

Iconium

ancient Roman city in Turkey

Idrisi

medieval Arab geographer

Iguvium

ancient Roman city in Umbria

Itius Portus

ancient Roman city in Gaul

Jesi

Italian city in the Marche

Isaac Jogues

17c French missionary and explorer

Chrysostom (usu. John Chrysostom)

early Christian divine

John of Damascus

early Christian divine

Justin I

Roman emperor

Justin II

Roman emperor

Justinian

Roman emperor

John Lascaris

15c‑16c Greek scholar

Loreto

Italian city in the Marche

Lupercalia

ancient Roman religious festival

Macerata

Italian city in the Marche

Maecenas

ancient Roman politician

Maimonides

medieval Jewish philosopher

Mevania

ancient Roman city in Umbria

Minucius Felix

early Christian apologist

Theodor Mommsen

19c German historian of Antiquity

Narses

ancient Roman general

Nepi

ancient Roman city in the Lazio

Nocera Inferiore

Italian city in Campania

Nocera Umbra

Italian city in Umbria

Norba

ancient Roman city in the Lazio

Norcia

Italian city in Umbria

Nuceria Alfaterna

ancient Roman city in Campania

Odoacer

a ruler of Italy in Late Antiquity

Oppian

two ancient Greek authors on zoology

Orvieto

Italian city in Umbria

Osimo

Italian city in the Marche

Palermo

Italian city in Sicily

Papyrus

a reed used in Antiquity as a substrate for writing

Mark Pattison

19c English scholar and educator

Perugia

Italian city in Umbria

Pesaro

Italian city in the Marche

Piacenza

Italian city in Emilia-Romagna

Pisaurum

ancient Roman city in the Marche

Giovanni Pontano

15c Italian humanist and poet

Procurator

in ancient Rome, an attorney; in the Middle Ages and later, various other officials

Protogenes

ancient Greek painter

William Ramsay

19c British archaeologist

Ravenna

Italian city in Emilia-Romagna

Recanati

Italian city in the Marche

Ricimer

ancient Roman political figure

Rieti

Italian city in the Lazio

Rimini

Italian city in Emilia-Romagna

Roman Britain

Take a wild guess!

Roman Capua

ancient Roman city in Campania

Rovigo

Italian city in the Veneto

Rutilius Namatianus

Late Antique Roman poet

Jacopo Sannazaro

Italian Renaissance poet

Scylax of Caryanda

two or three people in Antiquity, one of whom lent his name to a geographical work

Senigallia

Italian city in the Marche

Setia

ancient Roman city in the Lazio

John Sevier

19c American politician

Sir William Smith

19c English lexicographer

Spello

Italian city in Umbria

Spoleto

Italian city in Umbria

Stilicho

ancient Roman general

Sutri

Italian city in the Lazio

Terni

Italian city in Umbria

Terracina

Italian city in the Lazio

Theoderic

Ostrogothic king

Tiberius

Roman emperor

Ticinum

ancient Roman city in Lombardy

Todi

Italian city in Umbria

Tolentino

Italian city in the Marche

Totila

Ostrogothic king

Tristan da Cunha

British island in the South Atlantic

Umbria

region of central Italy

Urbino

Italian city in the Marche

Valentine

several early Christian saints, often conflated

Vandals

ancient Eurasian people

Velleius Paterculus

ancient Roman historian

Velletri

Italian city in the Lazio

Vestini

an ancient Italian people

Vestris family

18c and 19c stage actors

Via Aemilia

ancient Roman road

Via Appia

ancient Roman road

Via Flaminia

ancient Roman road

Pasquale Villari

19c Italian historian and statesman

Viterbo

Italian city in the Lazio

Volsci

an ancient Italian people

Volsinii

ancient Roman city in Umbria

Volterra

Italian city in Tuscany


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