A polygraph (from Ancient Greek: πολύς, poly = "many" and γράφειν, graphein = "to write") is an author who writes in a variety of fields.
- Classical Antiquity
- Middle Ages
- Early modern period 1500 1800
- Modern era 1800 onwards
- Other usage
In literature, the term polygraph is often applied to certain writers of antiquity such as Aristotle, Plutarch, Varro, Cicero and Pliny the Elder. Polygraphs still existed in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but, other than writers of books for children, they have become rarer in modern times due to the specialisation of knowledge. Voltaire and Diderot are examples of modern polygraphs.
Early modern period (1500-1800)
Modern era (1800 onwards)
The term can be used in a pejorative sense to mean a journalist who writes on many subjects but without expertise in any particular one.