The Principate or early Roman Empire is the name sometimes given to the first period of the Roman Empire from the beginning of the reign of Augustus in 27 BC to the end of the Crisis of the Third Century in 284 AD, after which it evolved into the so-called Dominate. The Principate is characterised by the reign of a single emperor and an effort on the part of the early emperors, at least, to preserve the illusion of the formal continuance, in some aspects, of the Roman Republic, it is etymologically derived from the Latin word princeps, meaning chief or first, the political regime dominated by such a political leader, whether or not he is formally head of state and/or head of government. This reflects the principate emperors' assertion that they were "first among equals" among the citizens of Rome; the title, in full, of princeps senatus / princeps civitatis was first adopted by Octavian Caesar Augustus, the first Roman'emperor' who chose, like the assassinated dictator Julius Caesar, not to reintroduce a legal monarchy.
Augustus's purpose was to establish the political stability needed after the exhausting civil wars by a de facto dictatorial regime within the constitutional framework of the Roman Republic as a more acceptable alternative to, for example, the early Roman Kingdom. The title itself derived from the position of the princeps senatus, traditionally the oldest member of the Senate who had the right to be heard first on any debate. Although dynastic pretenses crept in from the start, formalizing this in a monarchic style remained politically unthinkable. In a more limited and precise chronological sense, the term is applied either to the Empire or the earlier of the two phases of'Imperial' government in the ancient Roman Empire, extending from when Augustus claimed auctoritas for himself as princeps until Rome's military collapse in the West in 476, leaving the Byzantine Empire sole heir, or, depending on the source, up to the rule of Commodus, of Maximinus Thrax or of Diocletian. Afterwards, Imperial rule in the Empire is designated as the dominate, subjectively more like an monarchy while the earlier Principate is still more'Republican'.
Under this'Principate stricto sensu', the political reality of autocratic rule by the Emperor was still scrupulously masked by forms and conventions of oligarchic self-rule inherited from the political period of the'uncrowned' Roman Republic under the motto Senatus Populusque Romanus or SPQR. The theory implied the'first citizen' had to earn his extraordinary position by merit in the style that Augustus himself had gained the position of auctoritas. Imperial propaganda developed a'paternalistic' ideology, presenting the princeps as the incarnation of all virtues attributed to the ideal ruler, such as clemency and justice, in turn placing the onus on the princeps to play this designated role within Roman society, as his political insurance as well as a moral duty. What was expected of the princeps seems to have varied according to the times. Speaking, it was expected of the Emperor to be generous but not frivolous, not just as a good ruler but with his personal fortune providing occasional public games, horse races and artistic shows.
Large distributions of food for the public and charitable institutions were means that served as popularity boosters while the construction of public works provided paid employment for the poor. With the fall of the Julio-Claudian dynasty in 68 CE, the principate was redefined in formal terms under the Emperor Vespasian in 69 CE; the position of princeps became a distinct entity within the broader – formally still republican – Roman constitution. While many of the cultural and political expectations remained, the princeps was no longer a position extended on the basis of merit, or auctoritas, but on a firmer basis, allowing Vespasian and future emperors to designate their own heir without those heirs having to earn the position through years of success and public favor. Under the Antonine dynasty, it was the norm for the Emperor to appoint a successful and politically promising individual as his successor. In modern historical analysis, this is treated by many authors as an "ideal" situation: the individual, most capable was promoted to the position of princeps.
Of the Antonine dynasty, Edward Gibbon famously wrote that this was the happiest and most productive period in human history, credited the system of succession as the key factor. This first phase was to be followed by, or rather evolved into, the so-called dominate. Starting with the Emperor Diocletian, oriental type of styles like dominus became current, though not legal, but there could by definition never be a clear, constitutional turning point, so this appreciation remains subjective; the reality is gradual development. This process is said to be established by the Emperor Septimius Severus. After the Crisis of the Third Century resulted in the Roman Empire's political collap
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine; the new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
History is the study of the past as it is described in written documents. Events occurring before written record are considered prehistory, it is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, collection, organization and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians. History can refer to the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them. Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present. Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources, are classified as cultural heritage or legends, because they do not show the "disinterested investigation" required of the discipline of history. Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is considered within the Western tradition to be the "father of history", along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history.
Their works continue to be read today, the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived. Ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today; the modern study of history is wide-ranging, includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematical elements of historical investigation. History is taught as part of primary and secondary education, the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies; the word history comes from the Ancient Greek ἱστορία, meaning'inquiry','knowledge from inquiry', or'judge'. It was in that sense; the ancestor word ἵστωρ is attested early on in Homeric Hymns, the Athenian ephebes' oath, in Boiotic inscriptions.
The Greek word was borrowed into Classical Latin as historia, meaning "investigation, research, description, written account of past events, writing of history, historical narrative, recorded knowledge of past events, narrative". History was borrowed from Latin into Old English as stær, but this word fell out of use in the late Old English period. Meanwhile, as Latin became Old French, historia developed into forms such as istorie and historie, with new developments in the meaning: "account of the events of a person's life, account of events as relevant to a group of people or people in general, dramatic or pictorial representation of historical events, body of knowledge relative to human evolution, narrative of real or imaginary events, story", it was from Anglo-Norman that history was borrowed into Middle English, this time the loan stuck. It appears in the 13th-century Ancrene Wisse, but seems to have become a common word in the late 14th century, with an early attestation appearing in John Gower's Confessio Amantis of the 1390s: "I finde in a bok compiled | To this matiere an old histoire, | The which comth nou to mi memoire".
In Middle English, the meaning of history was "story" in general. The restriction to the meaning "the branch of knowledge that deals with past events. With the Renaissance, older senses of the word were revived, it was in the Greek sense that Francis Bacon used the term in the late 16th century, when he wrote about "Natural History". For him, historia was "the knowledge of objects determined by space and time", that sort of knowledge provided by memory. In an expression of the linguistic synthetic vs. analytic/isolating dichotomy, English like Chinese now designates separate words for human history and storytelling in general. In modern German and most Germanic and Romance languages, which are solidly synthetic and inflected, the same word is still used to mean both'history' and'story'. Historian in the sense of a "researcher of history" is attested from 1531. In all European languages, the substantive history is still used to mean both "what happened with men", "the scholarly study of the happened", the latter sense sometimes distinguished with a capital letter, or the word historiography.
The adjective historical is attested from 1661, historic from 1669. Historians write in the context of their own time, with due regard to the current dominant ideas of how to interpret the past, sometimes write to provide lessons for their own society. In the words of Benedetto Croce, "All history is contemporary history". History is facilitated by the formation of a "true discourse of past" through the production of narrative and analysis of past events relating to the human race; the modern discipline of history is dedicated to the institutional production of this discourse. All events that are remembered and preserved in some authentic form constitute the historical record; the task of histori
The British Academy
The British Academy is the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and the social sciences. It received its Royal Charter in the same year, it is now a fellowship of more than 1,000 leading scholars spanning all disciplines across the humanities and social sciences and a funding body for research projects across the United Kingdom. The academy is a self-governing and independent registered charity, based at 10–11 Carlton House Terrace in London; the British Academy is funded with an annual grant from the Department for Business and Skills. In 2014/15 the British Academy's total income was £33,100,000, including £27,000,000 from BIS. £32,900,000 was distributed during the year in research grants and charitable activities. The academy states that it has five fundamental purposes: To speak up for the humanities and the social sciences To invest in the best researchers and research To inform and enrich debate around society’s greatest questions To ensure sustained international engagement and collaboration To make the most of the Academy’s assets to secure the Academy for the future.
The creation of a "British Academy for the Promotion of Historical and Philological Studies" was first proposed in 1899 in order that Britain could be represented at meetings of European and American academies. The organisation, which has since become "the British Academy", was initiated as an unincorporated society on 17 December 1901, received its Royal Charter from King Edward VII on 8 August 1902. Since many of Britain's most distinguished scholars in the humanities and social sciences have been involved in the life of the academy, including John Maynard Keynes, Isaiah Berlin, C. S. Lewis and Henry Moore; until 1927–28 the academy had no premises. It moved to some rooms in No. 6 Burlington Gardens. In 1968 it moved the short distance to Burlington House, it subsequently moved to headquarters near Regent's Park. In 1998 the Academy moved to its present headquarters in Carlton House Terrace. Overlooking St James's Park, the terrace was built in the 1820s and 1830s. Number 10 was the London residence of the Ridley family and number 11 was from 1856 to 1875 the home of Prime Minister William Gladstone.
In March 2010, the academy embarked on a £2.75m project to renovate and restore the public rooms in No. 11, following the departure of former tenant the Foreign Press Association, link the two buildings together. The work was completed in January 2011 and the new spaces include a new 150-seat Wolfson Auditorium are available for public hire; the history and achievements of the academy have been recorded in works by two of its secretaries. Sir Frederic Kenyon's volume of 37 pages covers the years up to 1951. Election as a Fellow of the British Academy recognises high scholarly distinction in the humanities or social sciences, evidenced by published work. Fellows may use the letters FBA after their names. Fellows are elected into one of the following disciplinary sections: HumanitiesClassical Antiquity Theology and Religious Studies African and Oriental Studies Linguistics and Philology Early Modern Languages and Literatures Modern Languages and other Media Archaeology Medieval Studies Early Modern History to c1800 Modern History from c1800 History of Art and Music Philosophy Culture and PerformanceSocial SciencesLaw Economics and Economic History Anthropology and Geography Sociology and Social Statistics Political Studies: Political Theory and International Relations Psychology Management and Business StudiesThere is an Education'ginger group'.
The British Academy channels substantial public funding into support for individuals and organisations pursuing humanities and social sciences research and scholarship in the UK and overseas. These funding schemes are designed to aid scholars at different stages of their academic career and include postdoctoral fellowships, Wolfson Research Professorships, Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowships, small research grants and British Academy Research Projects. In addition to its main public funds supported by the Department for Business and Skills, the academy draws on private funds arising from gifts, contributions made by fellows and grants from research foundations to support a further range of research activities. In 2014/15, the academy received around £30m to support research and researchers across the humanities and social sciences. Funds available to the academy were invested in the following main areas: research career development; the demand and quality of applications submitted for academy funding remains high.
This year the academy received around 3,600 applications and made 588 awards to scholars based in around 100 different universities across the UK – a success rate of 16%. In order to promote the interests of UK research and learning around the world, the Academy works to create frameworks to support international networking and collaboration and develop the role of humanities and social sciences research in tackling global challenges, it draws on expertise from a wide range of sources from within the fellowship and on specialist advice from its seven Area Panels for Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Latin America/Caribbean. The Academy funds and coordinates a network of overseas institutes which provide local expertise, logistical support and a working base for UK scholars; these include research institutes in Amman, Athens, Nairobi and Tehran, as well as UK-based specialist learned societies which run strategic research programmes in o
Late antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean world, the Near East. The popularization of this periodization in English has been accredited to historian Peter Brown, after the publication of his seminal work The World of Late Antiquity. Precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century to, in the East, the early Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century. In the West the end was earlier, with the start of the Early Middle Ages placed in the 6th century, or earlier on the edges of the Western Roman Empire; the Roman Empire underwent considerable social and organizational changes starting with the reign of Diocletian, who began the custom of splitting the Empire into Eastern and Western halves ruled by multiple emperors.
Beginning with Constantine the Great, Christianity was made legal in the Empire, a new capital was founded at Constantinople. Migrations of Germanic tribes disrupted Roman rule from the late 4th century onwards, culminating in the eventual collapse of the Empire in the West in 476, replaced by the so-called barbarian kingdoms; the resultant cultural fusion of Greco-Roman and Christian traditions formed the foundations of the subsequent culture of Europe. The term Spätantike "late antiquity", has been used by German-speaking historians since its popularization by Alois Riegl in the early 20th century, it was given currency in English by the writings of Peter Brown, whose survey The World of Late Antiquity revised the post-Gibbon view of a stale and ossified Classical culture, in favour of a vibrant time of renewals and beginnings, whose The Making of Late Antiquity offered a new paradigm of understanding the changes in Western culture of the time in order to confront Sir Richard Southern's The Making of the Middle Ages.
The continuities between the Roman Empire, as it was reorganized by Diocletian, the Early Middle Ages are stressed by writers who wish to emphasize that the seeds of medieval culture were developing in the Christianized empire, that they continued to do so in the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire at least until the coming of Islam. Concurrently, some migrating Germanic tribes such as the Ostrogoths and Visigoths saw themselves as perpetuating the "Roman" tradition. While the usage "Late Antiquity" suggests that the social and cultural priorities of Classical Antiquity endured throughout Europe into the Middle Ages, the usage of "Early Middle Ages" or "Early Byzantine" emphasizes a break with the classical past, the term "Migration Period" tends to de-emphasize the disruptions in the former Western Roman Empire caused by the creation of Germanic kingdoms within her borders beginning with the foedus with the Goths in Aquitania in 418; the general decline of population, technological knowledge and standards of living in Europe during this period became the archetypal example of societal collapse for writers from the Renaissance.
As a result of this decline, the relative scarcity of historical records from Europe in particular, the period from the early fifth century until the Carolingian Renaissance was referred to as the "Dark Ages". This term has been abandoned as a name for a historiographical epoch, being replaced by "Late Antiquity" in the periodization of the late West Roman Empire, the early Byzantine empire and the Early Middle Ages. One of the most important transformations in Late Antiquity was the formation and evolution of the Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism and Islam. A milestone in the rise of Christianity was the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great in 312, as claimed by his Christian panegyrist Eusebius of Caesarea, although the sincerity of his conversion is debated. Constantine confirmed the legalization of the religion through the so-called Edict of Milan in 313, jointly issued with his rival in the East, Licinius. By the late 4th century, Emperor Theodosius the Great had made Christianity the State religion, thereby transforming the Classical Roman world, which Peter Brown characterized as "rustling with the presence of many divine spirits."Constantine I was a key figure in many important events in Christian history, as he convened and attended the first ecumenical council of bishops at Nicaea in 325, subsidized the building of churches and sanctuaries such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, involved himself in questions such as the timing of Christ's resurrection and its relation to the Passover.
The birth of Christian monasticism in the deserts of Egypt in the 3rd century, which operated outside the episcopal authority of the Church, would become so successful that by the 8th century it penetrated the Church and became the primary Christian practice. Monasticism was not the only new Christian movement to appear in late antiquity, although it had the greatest influence. Other movements notable for their unconventional practices include the Grazers, holy men who ate only grass and chained themselves up. Late Antiquity marks the decline of Roman state religion, circumscribed in degrees by edicts inspired by Christian advisors such as Eusebius to 4th century emperors, a period of dynamic religious experimentation and spirituality with many syncretic sects, some formed centuries earl
A dictionary, sometimes known as a wordbook, is a collection of words in one or more specific languages arranged alphabetically, which may include information on definitions, etymologies, translation, etc. or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, sometimes known as a lexicon. It is a lexicographical reference. A broad distinction is made between specialized dictionaries. Specialized dictionaries include words in specialist fields, rather than a complete range of words in the language. Lexical items that describe concepts in specific fields are called terms instead of words, although there is no consensus whether lexicology and terminology are two different fields of study. In theory, general dictionaries are supposed to be semasiological, mapping word to definition, while specialized dictionaries are supposed to be onomasiological, first identifying concepts and establishing the terms used to designate them. In practice, the two approaches are used for both types.
There are other types of dictionaries that do not fit neatly into the above distinction, for instance bilingual dictionaries, dictionaries of synonyms, rhyming dictionaries. The word dictionary is understood to refer to a general purpose monolingual dictionary. There is a contrast between prescriptive or descriptive dictionaries. Stylistic indications in many modern dictionaries are considered by some to be less than objectively descriptive. Although the first recorded dictionaries date back to Sumerian times, the systematic study of dictionaries as objects of scientific interest themselves is a 20th-century enterprise, called lexicography, initiated by Ladislav Zgusta; the birth of the new discipline was not without controversy, the practical dictionary-makers being sometimes accused by others of "astonishing" lack of method and critical-self reflection. The oldest known dictionaries were Akkadian Empire cuneiform tablets with bilingual Sumerian–Akkadian wordlists, discovered in Ebla and dated 2300 BCE.
The early 2nd millennium BCE Urra=hubullu glossary is the canonical Babylonian version of such bilingual Sumerian wordlists. A Chinese dictionary, the c. 3rd century BCE Erya, was the earliest surviving monolingual dictionary. Philitas of Cos wrote a pioneering vocabulary Disorderly Words which explained the meanings of rare Homeric and other literary words, words from local dialects, technical terms. Apollonius the Sophist wrote the oldest surviving Homeric lexicon; the first Sanskrit dictionary, the Amarakośa, was written by Amara Sinha c. 4th century CE. Written in verse, it listed around 10,000 words. According to the Nihon Shoki, the first Japanese dictionary was the long-lost 682 CE Niina glossary of Chinese characters; the oldest existing Japanese dictionary, the c. 835 CE Tenrei Banshō Meigi, was a glossary of written Chinese. In Frahang-i Pahlavig, Aramaic heterograms are listed together with their translation in Middle Persian language and phonetic transcription in Pazand alphabet. A 9th-century CE Irish dictionary, Sanas Cormaic, contained etymologies and explanations of over 1,400 Irish words.
In India around 1320, Amir Khusro compiled the Khaliq-e-bari which dealt with Hindustani and Persian words. Arabic dictionaries were compiled between the 8th and 14th centuries CE, organizing words in rhyme order, by alphabetical order of the radicals, or according to the alphabetical order of the first letter; the modern system was used in specialist dictionaries, such as those of terms from the Qur'an and hadith, while most general use dictionaries, such as the Lisan al-`Arab and al-Qamus al-Muhit listed words in the alphabetical order of the radicals. The Qamus al-Muhit is the first handy dictionary in Arabic, which includes only words and their definitions, eliminating the supporting examples used in such dictionaries as the Lisan and the Oxford English Dictionary. In medieval Europe, glossaries with equivalents for Latin words in vernacular or simpler Latin were in use; the Catholicon by Johannes Balbus, a large grammatical work with an alphabetical lexicon, was adopted. It served as the basis for several bilingual dictionaries and was one of the earliest books to be printed.
In 1502 Ambrogio Calepino's Dictionarium was published a monolingual Latin dictionary, which over the course of the 16th century was enlarged to become a multilingual glossary. In 1532 Robert Estienne published the Thesaurus linguae latinae and in 1572 his son Henri Estienne published the Thesaurus linguae graecae, which served up to the 19th century as the basis of Greek lexicography; the first monolingual dictionary written in Europe was the Spanish, written by Sebastián Covarrubias' Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española, published in 1611 in Madrid, Spain. In 1612 the first edition of the Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca, for Italian, was published, it served as the model for similar works in English. In 1690 in Rotterdam was published, the Dictionnaire Universel by