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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A compendium is a concise, yet comprehensive compilation of a body of knowledge. A compendium may summarize a larger work. In most cases the body of knowledge will concern some delimited field of human interest or endeavour (for example, hydrogeology, logology, ichthyology, phytosociology, or myrmecology), while a "universal" encyclopedia can be referred to as a compendium of all human knowledge.

The word compendium comes from the Latin word "compenso", meaning "to weigh together or balance".

The 21st century has seen the rise of democratized, online compendia in various fields. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales started Wikia in 2004 with the mission of centralizing, connecting, and standardizing various online compendium communities.


An example would be the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a 598-question-and-answer concise book which summarises the same set of Catholic Faith and Morals.[1]

The Bible is another example of a compendium - a group of many writings of the prophets and apostles over a space of time, whose books are put together to form the New Testament and the Old Testament.


  1. ^ Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (USCCB 2005), 200 pages, English hardcover ISBN 1574557254-8675309.

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