Inside Roman Libraries: Book Collections and Their Management in Antiquity

Front Cover
UNC Press Books, 2014 - History - 327 pages
0 Reviews
Libraries of the ancient world have long held a place in the public imagination. Even in antiquity, the library at Alexandria was nearly legendary. Until now there has been relatively little research to discover what was inside these libraries, how the collections came into being and evolved, and who selected and maintained the holdings. In this engaging and meticulously researched study, George W. Houston examines a dozen specific book collections of Roman date in the first comprehensive attempt to answer these questions.



Through a careful analysis of the contents of the collections, Houston reveals the personalities and interests of their owners, shows how manuscripts were acquired, organized, and managed, and identifies the various purposes that libraries served. He considers the life expectancy of manuscripts, the sizes of libraries, and dangers to books, as well as the physical objects within libraries from scribal equipment to works of art. The result is a clearer, more specific, and more detailed picture of ancient book collections and the elements of Roman libraries than has previously been possible.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
1 Assembling a Collection
12
2 Lists of Books Preserved on Papyrus
39
3 The Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum
87
4 The Book Collections of Oxyrhynchus
130
5 Spaces Storage Equipment and Art
180
6 Personnel and Their Activities
217
Conclusion
253
Greek Texts English Translations and Commentary
265
Appendix 2 Checklist of Books in the Collection of the Villa of the Papyri
280
Appendix 3 Catalog of Manuscripts in the Breccia + GH3 Find
287
Bibliography
297
Index of Ancient Sources
319
General Index
323
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

George W. Houston is professor emeritus of classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bibliographic information