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Bartholomeus de Glanvilla

Bartholomeus de Glanvilla also known as Bartholomew of England was an early 13th century scholastic scholar of Paris, a member of the Franciscan order. He was the author of On the Properties of Things (De proprietatibus rerum), an early forerunner of the encyclopedia. The work was written for the use of students and the general public, in latin in 19 books. A number of copies exist both in manuscript and in printed form. Bartholomew carefully notes the sources for the material included, although, at present, it is sometimes impossible to identify or locate some of them. His annotations give a good idea of the wide variety of works available to a medieval scholar.

The subjects of the books, in order, are God, angels (including demons), the human mind or soul, physiology, of ages (family and domestic life), medicine, the universe and celestial bodies, time, form and matter (elements), air and its forms, water and its forms, earth and its forms including geography, gems, minerals and metals, animals, and color, odor, taste and liquids.

Further Reading

  • On the Properties of Things: John Trevisa's Translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus, de Proprietatibus Rerum: A Critical Text, John De Trevisa, Oxford University Press, 1988, hardcover, 338 pages, ISBN 0198185308
  • pp. 401-435 A History of Magic and Experimental Science: During the First Thirteen Centuries of Our Era, Volume II, Lynn Thorndike, Columbia University Press, 1923, New York and London, Hardcover, 1036 pages ISBN 0231087950



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