Proliferation in Greece

Little information concerning books in Ancient Greece survives. Several vases (6th century BC and 5th century BC) bear images of volumina. There was undoubtedly no extensive trade in books, but there existed several sites devoted to the sale of books. The spread of books, and attention to their cataloging and conservation, as well as literary criticism developed during the Hellenistic period with the creation of large libraries in response to the desire for knowledge exemplified by Aristotle. These libraries were undoubtedly also built as demonstrations of political prestige: The Library of Alexandria, a library created by Ptolemy Soter and set up by Demetrius Phalereus (Demetrius of Phaleron). It contained 500,900 volumes (in the Museion section) and 40,000 at the Serapis temple (Serapeion). All books in the luggage of visitors to Egypt were inspected, and could be held for copying. The Museion was partially destroyed in 47 BC. The Library at Pergamon, founded by Attalus I; it contained 200,000 volumes which were moved to the Serapeion by Mark Antony and Cleopatra, after the destruction of the Museion. The Serapeion was partially destroyed in 391, and the last books disappeared in 641 CE following the Arab conquest. The Library at Athens, the Ptolemaion, which gained importance following the destruction of the Library at Alexandria ; the Library of Pantainos, around 100 CE; the library of Hadrian, in 132 CE. The Library at Rhodes, a library that rivaled the Library of Alexandria. The Libr ry at Antioch, a public library of which Euphorion of Chalcis was the director near the end of the 3rd century. The libraries had copyist workshops, and the general organisation of books allowed for the following: Conservation of an example of each text Translation (the Septuagint Bible, for example) Literary criticisms in order to establish reference texts for the copy (example : The Iliad and The Odyssey) A catalog of books The copy itself, which allowed books to be disseminated. The Royal Library of Alexandria, or Ancient Library of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt, was the largest and most significant library of the ancient world.[1] It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. The library was conceived and opened either during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter (323Ц283 BC) or during the reign of his son Ptolemy II (283Ц246 BC).[2] Plutarch (AD 46Ц120) wrote that during his visit to Alexandria in 48 BC Julius Caesar accidentally burned the library down when he set fire to his own ships to frustrate Achillas' attempt to limit his ability to communicate by sea.[3] After its destruction, scholars used a "daughter library" in a temple known as the Serapeum, located in another part of the city. Intended both as a commemoration and an emulation of the original, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated in 2002 near the site of the old library.