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V4 2001 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 4, Number 13, March 25, 2001, Article 9

LIBRARIES IN THE ANCIENT WORLD 

   Asylum Editor E. Tomlinson Fort pointed out a book that 
   may be of interest to our subscribers.  "Libraries in the 
   Ancient World" by Lionel Casson "is the only one to cover 
   the vast range of the history of libraries in the Western 
   world from the time of the first civilizations in the near east 
   to the late Roman empire" (from a review by Thomas 
   Martin). 

   From the Publisher: "This delightful book tells the story of 
   ancient libraries from their very beginnings, when "books" 
   were clay tablets and writing was a new phenomenon. 
   Renowned classicist Lionel Casson takes us on a lively tour, 
   from the royal libraries of the most ancient Near East, through 
   the private and public libraries of Greece and Rome, down 
   to the first Christian monastic libraries. To the founders of the 
   first public libraries of the Greek world goes the credit for 
   creating the prototype of today's library buildings and the 
   science of organizing books in them. 

   Casson recounts the development of ancient library buildings, 
   systems, holdings, and patrons, addressing questions on a 
   wide variety of topics,  such as: 

     What was the connection between the rise in education and 
       literacy and the growth of libraries? 
     Who contributed to the early development of public libraries, 
        especially the great library at Alexandria? 
     What did ancient libraries include in their holdings? 
     How did ancient libraries acquire books? 
     What was the nature of publishing in the Greek and Roman 
        world? 
     How did different types of users (royalty, scholars, religious 
       figures) and different kinds of "books" (tablets, scrolls, 
       codices) affect library arrangements? 
     How did Christianity transform the nature of library holdings? 

   Just as a library yields unexpected treasures to a meandering 
   browser, this entertaining book offers to its perusers the 
   surprising history of the rise and development of ancient libraries 
    a fascinating story never told before." 

   The book is scheduled to be published on April 1, 2001 
   by Yale University Press; ISBN: 0300088094 
   Hardcover - 192 pages (April 1, 2001) 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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