Where does the word “Syllabus” come from and What does Syllabus mean in Greek?

The word syllabus is a word created by a printer’s error, but which is now firmly fixed in the language.

Cicero had written, in his Epistles to the Atticans, “indices . . . quos vos Graeci . . . sittubas appellatis” (indexes, which were called sittubas by the Greeks).

The key word was misprinted syllabos in a fifteenth-century edition of Cicero, and the misprint was adopted as a learned synonym for “index” (with our present spelling).

where does the word syllabus come from and what does syllabus mean in greek

From its use as “index” or “table of contents,” the meaning has spread to its modern sense , “the subjects of a series of lectures.”

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Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.