Florilegium Reading Program

The word “Florilegium” is a composite word from the Latin “flos” meaning “flower” and “legere” meaning “to gather.” In the medieval period, the word florilegium was used primarily in two ways. The Florilegium was a book of botanical illustrations or a literary anthology.

In the medieval period, books were expensive and difficult to come by. A reader who had limited access to a text he did not own might copy fine extracts from the work to preserve them for himself after the book departed for another reader. In both cases, botanical and literary, the florilegium was a carefully curated collection of beautiful things.

At St. Francis Classical, we make use of the term for our reading program. Our students will collect, not illustrations of flowers or literary excerpts, but beautiful books and summaries of those books. This program is designed to draw students into the Great Conversation by encouraging them to develop the habit of perpetually reading beautiful books and communicating with others about them.

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