polyhistor


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polyhistor

(pŏl″ē-hĭs′tŭr) [″ + histor, learned]
A scholar or physician who has great and varied abilities and knowledge (e.g., Hippocrates, Galen, Paracelsus, Leonardo da Vinci, Boerhaave, Sir William Osler, Richard Mead, and Thomas Jefferson).
References in periodicals archive ?
Jacobson claims that Eusebius introduces only Alexander Polyhistor as a pagan and is unconcerned with the origin of the writers cited by the latter.
Alsted (1588-1638) was a Calvinist polyhistor, encyclopedist, philosopher, and theologian who spent most of his life at the academy of Herborn, in the small county of Nassau-Dillenburg, "in the half-century after its foundation in 1584 one of the most innovative and influential Calvinist academies in Europe" (6), first as a student and later as a respected professor of philosophy and theology.
Today's students, brought up on the triumphalist story of modern--that is, correct and sanctioned--science may gain a richer understanding of what "science" has actually been by considering the heroic (if, as now apparent, misdirected) efforts of polyhistors like Athanasius Kircher and Johannes Alsted, who were hardly less prominent in the early modern Republic of Letters than those scorners of history and erudition, Galileo and Descartes.