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The first database

When do you think the first database was built? 15 years ago? 50?

One contender for building the first database is Saint Isidore of Seville, 1,400 years ago. His 20-volume book called Etymologiae aimed to be an encyclopedia of all knowledge covering subjects like grammar, geometry, law, military history, agriculture, public games and even furniture.

Etymologiae was structured in a way very similar to a modern database, hence his claim to be the creator of the first database. He drew his information from a vast number of sources, however accepted the 'facts' within, unquestioningly. Etymologiae was therefore very much like the web - he included both reliable and unreliable information for his readers to choose from, as a search engine might for you.