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A chrestomathy (/krɛˈstɒməθi/ kreh-STOM-ə-thee; from the Ancient Greek χρηστομάθεια (khrēstomátheia, “desire of learning”) = χρηστός (khrēstós, “useful”) + μανθάνω (manthánō, “learn”)) is a collection of selected literary passages (usually from a single author); a selection of literary passages from a foreign language assembled for studying the language; or a text in various languages, 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.


  • Bernhard Dorn, A Chrestomathy of the Pushtu or Afghan language, St. Petersburg: 1847
  • Mencken, H. L., A Mencken Chrestomathy, His Own Selection of his Choicest Writing, New York: Alfred P. Knopf, 1949
  • Zamenhof, L. L., Fundamenta Krestomatio de la Lingvo Esperanto, Paris: Hachette, 1903[1]
  • Edward Ullendorff, A Tigrinya Chrestomathy, Stuttgart: Steiner Werlag Wiesbaden GmbH, 1985.
  • Bilingual Greek-Latin Grammar,[2] by Georgios Dimitriou, 1785, that contained personal observations, Epistles and Maxims, as well as biographies of notable men.[3]
  • Rosetta Code, "a programming chrestomathy site," which "present[s] solutions to the same task in as many different [computer] languages as possible."
  • The Ibis Chrestomathy, dealing "solely with words that have a claim to naturalization within the English language."[4]
  • Heather Christle, The Crying Book, Catapult: 2019. Explores the subject of crying and tears in a numbered series of extremely short essays.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zamenhof, L. L. (1 June 2005). "Fundamenta Krestomatio" – via Project Gutenberg.
  2. ^ "Anemi - Digital Library of Modern Greek Studies".
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Amitav Ghosh : Chrestomathy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-24. Retrieved 2016-10-14.