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.
I have only read the first few chapters because I was only interested in the very very early times. Well written and easy to read.Published 1 month ago by Liz
A very enjoyable little book. Casson is scholarly but not pedantic, and his grasp of the scope of the references to libraries and books (or scrolls) in antiquity is impressive. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joe Cicero
it is a very well researched book dealing with a subject about which it is difficult to find source material in view of the destruction of so many records from that period.Published 5 months ago by william callan
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 15 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 19 months ago by Larry N. Stout
The book details what is known from historical references.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 on June 9, 2013 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 on February 21, 2013 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