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pandect (PAN-dekt) noun

1. A comprehensive digest or complete treatise.

2. pandects. A complete body of laws; a legal code.

3. Pandects. A digest of Roman civil law, compiled for the emperor Justinian in the sixth century A.D. and part of the Corpus Juris Civilis. In this sense, also called Digest.

[Latin pandectes, encyclopedia, from Greek pandektes, all-receiving : pan-, + dektes, receiver (from dekhesthai, to receive, accept).]

"These phenomena were memorialized in the novels of Zola, themselves accumulations between covers of a vast aggregation of sedulously recorded trivia. Flaubert had his contemporaries' number, however. Looking askance at this pretence to pandects, the empirical mastering of all knowledge on a given topic and the boiling it down to easily swallowed doses, he reduced it to absurdity in his savant idiots Bouvard and Pecuchet." Laurence Senelick, Double Vision: Second Empire Theatre in Stereographs, Theatre Research International, Spring 1999.

This week's theme: words about books and writing.


The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind. -Charles Darwin, naturalist and author (1809-1882) [The Descent of Man]

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