Thesaurus Eruditionis

of the Projects

CAMENA - Corpus Automatum Multiplex Electorum Neolatinitatis Auctorum

TERMINI - Structured Vocabulary of Early Modern Knowledge

Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Contents - Use of this handy collection - Short titles in alphabetical order - Titles arranged by subject area


Initially, the THESAURUS ERUDITIONIS was designed as a reading environment to support use of the POEMATA collection; it therefore covered rhetoric and poetics, mythology and symbolism, examples and universal history.

We soon became aware that only a small part of the books of reference that were commonly used in early modern times had been reprinted and adequately put to use by modern scholarship. We therefore added a few desiderata of general interest, such as M. Adam's Vitae Germanorum, J. J. Hofmann's Lexicon universale and P. J. Spener's Opus heraldicum.

With regard to subsequent CAMENA collections we then envisaged a ready reference section encompassing all branches of academic knowledge. We therefore digitized special dictionaries and compendia of medicine, law, theology, geography, natural history and the mathematical disciplines. We also added two multi-volume Latin dictionaries: Estienne/ Gesner: Thesaurus linguae et eruditionis Romanae (1749) and DuCange: Glossarium ad scriptores mediae et infimae Latinitatis (1710). A systematic arrangement of the Latin vocabulary is offered by Iunius: Nomenclator (with multilingual equivalents) and Pexenfelder: Apparatus eruditionis.

Containing close to 100 books (more than 85,000 printed pages) this ready reference section needs a cumulative index. The present LEMMATA project is building a database of the keywords treated in selected dictionaries and encyclopedias of the THESAURUS ERUDITIONIS.

Use of this handy collection:

Concerning the use of very old reference books such as those of the THESAURUS ERUDITIONIS one might ask: Are they reliable? Are they intelligible? Do they offer anything not contained in the modern resources we are familiar with?

The information they offer must be used cautiously. The authors were often pressed to write fast. They were seldom able to control the process of printing. They naturally represent the state of knowledge and scholarly usage of their time. Their literary citations sometimes deviate in wording or referencing from our standard editions. Names of authors (e.g. 'Agellius' instead of A[ulus] Gellius), attributions and dates may be obsolete. Being trained to take notes and memorize what they learned, they often relied upon memory or manuscript excerpts when referring to well-known texts.

There are, however, compensations for these shortcomings: an intimate knowledge of a wide array of disciplines and a varied Latin diction of almost colloquial liveliness. Anyone able to read Latin will enjoy this and almost forget the distance of time and views. He will not be affected by blurs and distortions likely to be introduced by translation and modernization.

The early modern respublica litterarum was very busy collecting information and presenting it in effective ways. It produced a wealth of lexica, repertoria, compendia, loci communes, florilegia et cetera. The authors of these works were often renowned scholars, their public was thoroughly literate and the quality of presentation (layout, notes, summaries and indices) in no way inferior to the standards of today. Modern scholarship and editorial initiative have only partially superseded these resources.

Antiquity and the Middle Ages - not only of the Western World, but of the Orient as well - as mirrored by humanistic scholarship are also present in the THESAURUS ERUDITIONIS. We hope it will become a useful ready reference section covering the known world prior to 1750.

Short titles in alphabetical order

Titles arranged by subject areas

Vocabula & Nomina - Poetica - Fabulae; Symbola; Adagia; Exempla - Grammatica; Rhetorica - Historia; Geographia; Heraldica; Genealogia - Vitae - De Studiis; Historia litteraria - Philosophia - Mathematica; Physica; Mechanica; Magia - Artes; Opificium; Commercium - Historia naturalis; Agricultura - Medicina; Pharmacopoeia - Ius Canonicum; Ius Civile; Politica; Oeconomica - Theologia

Vocabula & Nomina:

Vocabula & Nomina:


Fabulae; Symbola; Adagia; Exempla:

Grammatica; Rhetorica:

Historia; Geographia; Heraldica; Genealogia:


De Studiis; Historia litteraria:


Mathematica; Physica; Mechanica; Magia:

Artes; Opificium; Commercium:

    Historia naturalis; Agricultura:

    Medicina; Pharmacopoeia:

    Ius Canonicum; Ius Civile; Politica; Oeconomica:


    Last modified March 5, 2013