Online Encyclopedia

MISCELLANY

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 577 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MISCELLANY, a term applied to a single book containing articles, treatises or other writings dealing with a variety of different subjects. It is a common title in the literature of the 17th and 18th centuries. The word is an adaptation of Lat. miscellanea (from miscellaneus, mixed, miscere, to mix), used in this sense by Tertullian, Miscellanea Ptolemaei (Tert. adv. Val. 12); the ordinary use of the word in Latin was for a dish of broken meats, applied by Juvenal (xi. 20) to the coarse food of gladiators. The Lat. miscellaneus has affected the form of a word which is now usually spelled " maslin," applied to a mixture of various kinds of grain, especially rye and wheat. This, however, is really from the O. Fr. mesteillon; Late Lat. mistilio, formed from mistus, past participle of miscere, to mix, mingle.
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