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When Isidore a Window?

St. Isidore of Seville, the last of the Western Fathers, is often touted as the patron of the Internet, because of his great interest in building what we might call a “database” of information. Perhaps it was this surge in Isidore’s visibility that led to the publication of his massive work, The Etymologies. It’s out in two volumes, and it’s reviewed in the London Telegraph. The reviewer notes Isidore’s profound influence on subsequent scholarship in several different fields — and she never even gets around to mentioning his most recent technological patronage.

There seems to be a different edition of the Etymologies out in the States, also published in 2006, and available on Amazon here and here.

Hat tip on the Telegraph review: Bread and Circuses.

6 thoughts on “When Isidore a Window?

  1. Unbelievable. I’m going to hire you to write titles for my posts.

  2. There seem to be two different translations involved? One by Barney, Lewis, Beach, Berhof, published by Cambridge (reviewed in the London Times) and one by Priscilla Throop published in Charlotte, Vermont? Can you clarify what’s going on here?

  3. Thanks for pointing it out. It does seem to be two different editions, but both published this year. My guess is that the edition reviewed in the Telegraph is not yet available in the States. I’ll move the Amazon links.

  4. My translation of Isidore of Seville’s Etymologies came out in December 2005. It is available through Pictures of the covers (it’s a two volume paperback) appear there…I don’t know what happened to the pics on Amazon.

  5. I just received the two volumes of Priscilla Throop’s translation of Isidore’s Etymologies. From a brief once-over, it looks like a very impressive piece of scholarship. I’ll still probably have to quote from the recent Cambridge translation, since that will probably take on the status of definitive edition, but for a reading copy, this is great. And I actually think only copies affordable to grad students should be the standard works to quote from–provided, of course, the editing and translation are up to snuff.

    Here’s a question for the blogosphere: who is Priscilla Throop? Who would engage in a labor of love like this, with no hope of profit, and without the usual academic incentives for such thankless tasks? And who is the handsome man in the small picture on the back cover of the Isidore translations? It’s definitely not Isidore! (Could it be Patrick Stewart??)

    Ryan McDermott
    University of Virginia

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