Ancient libraries grew, Casson writes, by many means: by peaceful trade, as when book-hungry Romans spent extravagant sums on Greek texts made in southern Italy; by conquest, as when the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal looted the libraries of his ancient rival Babylon, carting the contents to his capital of Nineveh; and by fiat, as when the Egyptian pharaohs appropriated private collections to round out their own. Those libraries nourished the great philosophers and writers of old, shaping world culture into our own time. But, as Casson ably shows, the enemies of books are many, among them floods, fires, insects, and intolerance. As it is today, so it was in the past, and contending empires and ideologies too often expressed themselves by sacking and burning the collections of their enemies--by reason of which we have only a few of the works that engaged readers in the distant past.
Casson's slender book enhances our understanding of the role of books and their collectors in the ancient world, and bibliophiles and historians alike will find much of value in its pages. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The book was written from the point of view of a librarian and historian. Very good information on a topic that is seldom discussed in any detail. Read morePublished 8 months ago by O. Allen
It's a very difficult thing to treat an academic subject in a congenial style without sacrificing information, but Casson does it here -- and does it well. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Larry N. Stout
In this delightful little book, Professor Lionel Casson traces the history of libraries from the archives of ancient Mesopotamia, through the extensive libraries of classical... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Kurt A. Johnson
The book details what is known from historical references. It is not made for light reading and flows more as the reference it is.Published 18 months ago by Dr_PhysBabe
No DJ, but shown with one in ad. no mention that book did not include DJ...but came with pieces that were cut up of the dust jacket..very tacky!Published 22 months ago by Pamela Fitzgerald
I'm a dilettante when it comes to study - I'll research one aspect of history deeply and them move on to skim through other entertaining bits, dropping that subject forever. Read morePublished on May 12, 2012 by A. Trotter
This book covers everything we know about ancient libraries, from ancient Assyria through the start of the Middle Ages. Read morePublished on August 3, 2011 by Amazon Customer
I got this book from my boyfriend and it was worth every penny he spent on it. Gives a wonderful clear history of ancient libraries and the importance of developing them during... Read morePublished on July 2, 2011 by Literati
Before Patience and Fortitude, those familiar lions, gazed from New York's Public Library, what was there? Read morePublished on November 14, 2010 by Alex C. Telander