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Chrestomathy (/krɛsˈtɒməθi/ kres-TOM-ə-thee; from the Greek words χρήση, χρήστης, usage, user, and mathein, to learn) is a collection of choice literary passages, used especially as an aid in learning a subject.

In philology or in the study of literature, it is a type of reader which presents a sequence of example texts, selected to demonstrate the development of language or literary style. It is different from an anthology because of its didactic purpose.

In computer programming, a program chrestomathy is a collection of similar programs written in various programming languages, for the purpose of demonstrating differences in syntax, semantics and idioms for each language. This term is thought[according to whom?] to have been first used by Eric S. Raymond in the Retrocomputing Museum web site. It is used by analogy to a linguistic chrestomathy.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Merry, Bruce (2004). Encyclopedia of modern Greek literature (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-313-30813-0.