Information about HELLINOMNIMON


Digital Library of Greek Philosophical and Scientific Books and Manuscripts 1600-1821

Hellinomnimon is a digital library which consists of all the philosophical and scientific books and manuscripts written in Greek from 1600 to 1821. The totality of the philosophical and scientific corpus written in the Greek language from 1600 to 1821 consists of two large categories. The first category consists of books which have been mainly published in Vienna, Venice, Paris, Constantinople, and Leipzig. These comprise 204 volumes of 53,000 pages in total. The second category contains the manuscripts of published and unpublished works. These consist of over 500,000 pages. Among other places, these manuscripts are to be found in the various National and private libraries in Greece, England, France, Austria, Germany, the Balkan countries and Russia, in the Library of the Patriarchates in Istanbul, Jerusalem and Alexandria, in various libraries of Turkey, as well as in libraries of monasteries in Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Russia. The whole project of cataloguing, photographing and digitizing will also result in a unique collection of hitherto unknown Greek works. So far, only a limited number of Greek scientific and philosophical manuscripts have been digitized.

Hellinomnimon is being realized at the Laboratory for the Electronic Processing of Historical Archives of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the University of Athens. The aim of the Laboratory is to support research and teaching by the development and application of modern technologies in photography, cataloguing, archiving and digital image processing for historical archives and digital libraries. Such a collection of documents will be decisive in the study of the issues related to the introduction of the new sciences to the Greek speaking world during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The books in the digital library Hellinomnimon are divided into four main categories.

  1. The first category consists of books in history and geography. During the earlier part of the 18th century the content of these books was related to the events and the topography of ancient Greece; during the later period of the century their contents started to change and were adapted to the needs of the commercial activities of the Greek merchants.
  2. The second category includes mathematical books. Initially, most of them were geometries based on Euclid' s Elements; after the middle of the 18th century many books of algebra and trigonometry were written, while some of them contained extended chapters of analytical geometry and infinitesimal calculus. At the beginning of the 19th century a number of handbooks in practical arithmetic appeared and were extensively used by the merchants in their dealings.
  3. The third category includes the philosophical books which are mainly treatises in Metaphysics and Logic. These books have a special interest for the history of science in the Greek speaking regions of the Ottoman Empire because they reflect the attempts to form the philosophical context in which the new scientific ideas were to be elaborated. In these books one can witness the encounter of the traditional Aristotelian and patristic approaches with the new trends in philosophy emerging out of some of the Western European philosophical accounts.
  4. The fourth category consists of books in physics and natural philosophy. During the earlier period these books presented the new physical ideas within a theologically biased Aristotelian context. In the later period the new ideas started to be discussed in a manner which increasingly reflected the developments of European natural philosophy and aimed at the alignment of Greek philosophy with the scientific attainments of the Enlightenment.