Speculum literature

medieval encyclopedic published genre

The medieval genre of speculum literature, popular from the twelfth through the sixteenth centuries, was inspired by the urge to encompass encyclopedic knowledge within a single work. However, some of these works have a restricted scope and function as instructional manuals. In this sense encyclopedias and speculum are similar but they are not the same genre. Some have suggested that the modern equivalent is a summary survey, in the sense of a survey article in a scholarly journal that summarizes a field of research.
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genre: Speculum literature

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