Libraries in the Ancient World

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2001 - History - 177 pages
4 Reviews
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 organising 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 eduction 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 differnt types of users (royalty, scholars, religious figures) and different kinds of 'books' (tablets, scrolls, co

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - phoenixcomet - LibraryThing

A delightful little book on the development of libraries throughout the ages. Intelligent conjecture in many instances based on the remains of ruins (often Roman) and information noted in writings that still exist. Worth a read if you are a librarian or love history. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - drmaf - LibraryThing

I used this book heavily in writing my PhD thesis and its has the virtue of being the most recent comprehensive text on ancient libraries available. As an academic text it leaves a lot to be desired ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Lionel Casson, professor emeritus of classics at New York University has written many books on ancient maritime history and ancient travel.

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