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Chrestomathy is a selection of examples in a foreign language that are used to teach the language. In the computer world, chrestomathy refers to a set of instructions in a programming language along with their counterparts in another programming language. In this case, chrestomathy is a teaching tool for learning the new language by comparing the new commands with those in a language familiar to the programmer. Chrestomathy is Greek for "useful in learning."
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a volume of systematically selected materials in a given branch of knowledge. It may consist of selected literary, scientific, scholarly, or publicist works, of selected memoirs, or of excerpts from such works; it may also consist of selected documents. The materials in a chrestomathy are generally selected in accordance with the instructional goals for a specific subject in a given type of educational institution or in a program of self-education. The first chrestomathy was a collection of selected passages from the works of Greek writers compiled by the Greek grammarian Helladios (fourth century A.D).

Prerevolutionary Russian schools used many chrestomathies, in which the selection and arrangement of the materials were oriented toward the study of literary theory. There were also chrestomathies dealing with the history of literature and chrestomathies whose contents were linked according to theme, genre, or topical similarity.

Soviet secondary and higher educational institutions use chrestomathies whose content focuses on sociopolitical disciplines, mathematics and the natural sciences, literature, linguistics, and art. Chrestomathies dealing with methodology, the history of education, extracurricular activities, and preschool upbringing are published for students at pedagogical higher educational institutions and pedagogical schools and for teachers in public schools. The most common types of chrestomathies are the literary chrestomathies used in secondary and higher educational institutions.

Texts in chrestomathies are often accompanied by brief information about the author and by brief commentaries. The scholarly apparatus in chrestomathies for higher educational institutions is similar to that in scholarly editions. In the upper grades of secondary general-education schools, specialized secondary educational institutions, and some departments of higher educational institutions, chrestomathies are used together with textbooks and teaching aids. In the middle (fourth to seventh) grades, literary chrestomathies are used independently as textbooks.

Another type of chrestomathy is the reader used in the primary grades, entitled Our Native Language (Rodnaia rech’). These readers include articles on history, geography, and the natural sciences, in addition to literary works or excerpts from them. The traditional models for such chrestomathies are K. D. Ushinskii’s primers Our Native Language (1864) and The Children’s World (1861).

Other works considered to be chrestomathies include collections of selected documents and materials for reference use, readers with adapted or original texts in foreign languages, readers intended for self-education in a given branch of knowledge, and anthologies containing selected works from a given literature or in a given literary genre.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines chrestomathy as "A collection of choice passages from an author or authors, esp.
Irresponsible Freaks, Highball Guzzlers, and Unabashed Grafters: A Bob Edwards Chrestomathy edited by James Martin.
A syllabary (practice blending consonants and vowels) and a chrestomathy) practice reading sample passages) have been added in this expanded edition.
An Introduction to the Maithili Language of North Bihar, Part II, Chrestomathy and Vocabulary, Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal.
Justice Holmes, in A MENCKEN CHRESTOMATHY 258, 259 (1949).
A plump six-hundred-page chrestomathy of literary, philosophical, scientific, and religious writings, it ranges from Nathaniel Hawthorne's story "The Birth-Mark" to selections from Rend Descartes's Discourse on Method and Kant's ethical philosophy, from writings by contemporary scientists such as E.
Teachout, who has built a solid reputation for himself as a correspondent for Time, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, and other venues, had previously been the editor of A Second Mencken Chrestomathy. This was an anthology of writings that Mencken put together just before his disabling stroke in 1948 and thus never got around to publishing.
From 1942-48, he absorbed himself almost entirely in writing Thirty-Five Years of Newspaper Work, My Life as Author and Editor, supplemental volumes to his The American Language, and A Mencken Chrestomathy. His presence in the press had all but vanished, and he had begun to feel the effects of the cardiovascular problems that would eventually kill him.
(168.) Philip Jenner, A Chrestomathy of Pre-Angkorian Khmer, Vol.
Not surprisingly, Menken's Chrestomathy was his chosen book.
"Professor Veblen." A Mencken Chrestomathy. New York: Vintage, 1982.
Justice Holmes, in A MENCKEN CHRESTOMATHY 258, 259 (1982) ("I find it hard to reconcile such notions [as are found in some Holmes opinions] with any plausible concept of Liberalism.