Read Collections of Miscellany!

Battista Guarino, de ordine docendi et studendi XXX: 

“When they first start to study on their own, they should make an effort to read those books which are composed of miscellaneous things, such as Gellius, the Saturnalia of Macrobius, the Natural History of Pliny, which is no less various than history itself; I would add to these Augustine’s City of God, which is a book crammed full of history, as well as matters on ancient ritual and religion. They should always hold to that practice of trying to make excerpts from everything which they read; they should also persuade themselves of the truth of Pliny’s maxim, that ‘no book is so bad that it is not good in some part.’”

Ubi primum per se studere incipient, operam dabunt ut eos videant qui variis ex rebus compositi sunt, quo in genere est Gellius, Macrobius Saturnalium, Plinii Naturalis Historia, quae non minus est varia quam ipsa natura; his addimus Augustinus De civitate Dei, qui liber historiis et tam ritu veterum quam religione refertus est. Sed omnino illud teneant, ut semper ex iis quae legunt conentur excerpere, sibique persuadeant, quod Plinius dictitare solebat, ‘nullum esse librum tam malum ut non in aliqua parte prosit.’

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