An iconography, also a twentieth part, is an artistic work consisting of twenty interrelated parts. In the case of iconography, this can be a cinematic, literary or even musical piece, although there are only a few examples. It is essential for multi-parters of this kind that they do belong together, but generally function independently. This means that the action of the individual parts is mostly self-contained and is not interrupted abruptly by strong cliffhangers.
The term is derived from the Greek term εἴκοσι [eíkosi] for the cardinal number 20 and the noun logos for word or speech. Consequently, the iconos is literally a twenty-word or a twentieth, and in the meant sense a content consisting of twenty parts.
According to the “rule”, the technical terms for all other multi-part works, such as Dilogie for a second-hand, trilogy for a three-part or tetralogy for the four-parter, are also formed. The term is always composed of the Greek prefix for the corresponding numerical word (di-, tri-, tetra, penta- …) and the unit logie – derived from the noun logos for word
For the first time there were such divisions in Greek antiquity. For example, in the 5th century BC, The Great Dionysia took place to honor the god Dionysus. To this feast a poetry contest was organized, which was annually performed by three tragedy poets. Each poet, who was allowed to participate in this annual spectacle, presented three works, which were related together and were therefore called a trilogy. Later, this three-part was extended by a relaxing satyr play and thus to the tetralogy, whereby these terms were sustainably coined.
Nowadays these terms are, of course, no longer reserved for drama, and it is customary to describe other products of art, which consist of several parts and relate to one another in terms of content. In everyday life we encounter especially the Secondary, the trilogy or the tetralogy, while Pentalogy, Hexalogy, Heptalogy and Ikosalogie are rather unusual.
The Rougon-Macquart by Émile Zola (Literature)
The fortune of the Rougon family (La fortune des Rougon 1871)
The booty (La curée 1871)
The belly of Paris (Le ventre de Paris 1873)
The Conquest of Plassans (La conquête de Plassans, 1874)
The Sin of the Abbé Mouret (La faute de l’Abbé Mouret, 1875)
His Excellency Eugène Rougon (Son excellence Eugène Rougon 1876)
The assassin (L’Assommoir 1877)
A leaf of love (Une page d’amour 1878)
Nana (Nana 1880)
A fine house (Pot-Bouille 1882)
The paradise of the ladies (Au bonheur des dames 1883)
The joy of life (La joie de vivre 1884)
Germinal (Germinal 1885)
The work (L’œuvre 1886)
The Earth (La terre 1887)
The dream (Le rêve 1888)
The Beast in Man / The Beast in Man (La bête humaine 1890)
The money (L’argent 1891)
The collapse (La débâcle 1892)
Doctor Pascal (Le docteur Pascal 1893)