Kendal, Westmorland, England
|Died||May 15, 1740 (aged 59–60)|
Ephraim Chambers (c.1680 – 15 May 1740) was an English writer and encyclopaedist, who is primarily known for producing the Cyclopaedia, or a Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences .
Chambers was born in Milton near Kendal, Westmorland, England. Little is known of his early life but he attended Heversham Grammar School,then was apprenticed to a globe maker, John Senex, in London from 1714 to 1721. It was here that he developed the plan of the Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences . After beginning the Cyclopaedia, he left Senex's service and devoted himself entirely to the encyclopedia project. He also took lodging in Gray's Inn, where he remained for the rest of his life. Chambers died in Islington and was buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey.
The first edition of the Cyclopaedia appeared by subscription in 1728 and was dedicated to George II, King of Great Britain. When he died in 1740, he left materials for a Supplement; edited by George Lewis Scott, this was published in 1753.
He also wrote for, and possibly edited, the Literary Magazine (1735–1736), which mainly published book reviews. Chambers worked on translating other works in French on perspective and chemistry from 1726 to 1727, including the Practice of Perspective from the French of Jean Dubreuil. He also worked with John Martyn to translate the History and Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris (1742).
Chambers' epitaph was published in both the original Latin and in English in the Gentleman's Magazine , volume 10, as follows (translation is the original):
Qui vitam inter lucem et umbram
Nec eruditus nec idiota
Literis deditus transegit, sed ut homo
Qui humani nihil a se alienum putat
Vita simul et laboribus functus
Hic requiescere voluit
In English thus:
Heard of by many,
Known to few,
Who led a Life between Fame and Obscurity
Neither abounding nor deficient in Learning
Devoted to Study, but as a Man
Who thinks himself bound to all Offices of Humanity,
Having finished his Life and Labours together,
Here desires to rest
The Encyclopédie of Diderot and d'Alembert owed its inception to a French translation of Chambers's work.
An encyclopedia or encyclopaedia is a reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either from all branches or from a particular field or discipline. Encyclopedias are divided into articles or entries that are often arranged alphabetically by article name and sometimes by thematic categories. Encyclopedia entries are longer and more detailed than those in most dictionaries. Generally speaking, unlike dictionary entries—which focus on linguistic information about words, such as their etymology, meaning, pronunciation, use, and grammatical forms—encyclopedia articles focus on factual information concerning the subject named in the article's title.
Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, better known as Encyclopédie, was a general encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1772, with later supplements, revised editions, and translations. It had many writers, known as the Encyclopédistes. It was edited by Denis Diderot and, until 1759, co-edited by Jean le Rond d'Alembert.
Ambarvalia was a Roman agricultural fertility rite held on 29 May in honor of Ceres.
John Martyn or Joannes Martyn was an English botanist.
Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery KT PC FRS was an English nobleman, statesman and patron of the sciences.
Cyclopædia: or, An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences was an encyclopedia published by Ephraim Chambers in London in 1728, and reprinted in numerous editions in the eighteenth century. The Cyclopaedia was one of the first general encyclopedias to be produced in English. The 1728 subtitle gives a summary of the aims of the author:
Cyclopædia, or, an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences: Containing the Definitions of the Terms, and Accounts of the Things Signify'd Thereby, in the Several Arts, both Liberal and Mechanical, and the Several Sciences, Human and Divine: the Figures, Kinds, Properties, Productions, Preparations, and Uses, of Things Natural and Artificial; the Rise, Progress, and State of Things Ecclesiastical, Civil, Military, and Commercial: with the Several Systems, Sects, Opinions, etc; among Philosophers, Divines, Mathematicians, Physicians, Antiquaries, Criticks, etc.: The Whole Intended as a Course of Ancient and Modern Learning.
Lexicon Technicum: or, An Universal English Dictionary of Arts and Sciences: Explaining not only the Terms of Art, but the Arts Themselves was in many respects the first alphabetical encyclopedia written in English. Although the emphasis of the Lexicon Technicum was on mathematical subjects, its contents go beyond what would be called science or technology today, in conformity with the broad eighteenthcentury understanding of the terms "arts" and "science," and it includes entries on the humanities and fine arts, notably on law, commerce, music, and heraldry. However, the Lexicon Technicum neglects theology, antiquity, biography, and poetry.
John Mills was an English writer on agriculture, translator and editor. Mills and Gottfried Sellius are known for being the first to prepare a French edition of Ephraim Chambers's Cyclopaedia for publication in 1745, which eventually resulted in the Encyclopédie published in France between 1751 and 1772.
William Cave was an English divine and patristic scholar.
Jean Le Clerc, also Johannes Clericus, was a Genevan theologian and biblical scholar. He was famous for promoting exegesis, or critical interpretation of the Bible, and was a radical of his age. He parted with Calvinism over his interpretations and left Geneva for that reason.
Henry Airay, was an Anglican priest, theologian, and academic.
Azones in mythology, was a term anciently applied to gods and goddesses that were not the private divinities of any particular country or people. They were acknowledged as deities in every country, and worshipped in every nation. The word is etymologically derived from Greek for "without" and "country". The azones were to a degree above the visible and sensible deities, which were called zonei, who inhabited some particular part of the world, and never stirred out of the district or zone that was assigned them.
In heraldry, cabossed, or caboched, is a term used where the head of a beast is cut off behind the ears, by a section parallel to the face; or by a perpendicular section: in contrast to couping, which is done by a horizontal line, and farther from the ears than cabossing.
The Encyclopædia Britannica First Edition (1768–1771) is a 3-volume reference work, an edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It was developed during the encyclopaedia's earliest period as a two-man operation founded by Colin Macfarquhar and Andrew Bell, in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was sold unbound in subscription format over a period of 3 years. Most of the articles were written by William Smellie and edited by Macfarquhar, who printed the pages. All copperplates were created by Bell.
Gottfried Sellius (1704?–1767) was a German academic and translator. He is known for his work on Teredo navalis. and to be one of the three original initiators of an encyclopedia project, which subsequently turned into the Encyclopédie.
Thomas Shaw (1694–1751) was an English cleric and traveller.