Inside Roman Libraries: Book Collections and Their Management in Antiquity
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.
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1 Assembling a Collection
2 Lists of Books Preserved on Papyrus
3 The Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum
4 The Book Collections of Oxyrhynchus
5 Spaces Storage Equipment and Art
6 Personnel and Their Activities
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Alcaeus ancient annotations armaria Atticus authors book collections book number book rolls Breccia Callimachus Capasso Cavallo century BC Chrysippus Cicero collection of book collector column commentary contained copies copyists Delattre documents Egypt emperor Epicurean Epicurus Epicurus’s evidence example exemplar fragments Galen genre Greek Grenfell and Hunt’s Hadrian Herculaneum Hesiod Homer Houston Hunt’s first find identified Iliad imperial libraries included initial title inventory Janko known Latin least letters library of Celsus lines literary manuscripts margins Mastro niches notes Number of Books opisthographs Otranto owner Oxyrhynchus P.Herc P.Oxy papyrologists papyrus papyrus rolls perhaps Philodemus Philodemus’s philosophical Pindar Plato possible probably professional prose Puglia recto Roman Rome scholars scribe scripts second century second hand seems shelves sillyba simply slave stichometric stichometric counts storage Strocka subscriptio suggested survive texts third century Thucydides Timgad tion treatises Tyrannio verso Villa collection volumes writing written Περὶ