- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: I.B.Tauris (September 4, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1850435944
- ISBN-13: 978-1850435945
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #802,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Library of Alexandria: Centre of Learning in the Ancient World, Revised Edition
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My one nitpick of this book would be that many of the articles seem only tangentially related to the Library of Alexandria itself. In fact, of the ten articles in the book (counting the Intro), only two seem really focused on the actual Library per se: the editor's introduction and article #3 (Barnes' "Cloistered Bookworms"). The others, while interesting in their own right and not utterly irrelevant to the title, seem to veer off more and more, until by the final article we are way off (a fun, nitpicky analysis of Eco's novel " Name of the Rose" in the light of what medieval libraries were really like). It is as if the editor was straining to get enough material to put together a book. Surely there is more to say about the actual library itself?--There's a whole book out there just on the Library's bibliographer, after all ("Kallimachos: The Alexandrian Library and the Origins of Bibliography" by Rudolf Blum).
Still, this is a fine book that I'd recommend to anyone interested in the Library of Alexandria (both in and of itself and phenomena tangential to it); as an utter layperson in this field I enjoyed it a lot, but my guess is that even the Classical expert will find something here worthwhile.
In case you're wondering, here are the articles:
"Introduction: Alexandria in History and Myth" by Roy MacLeod
1. "Before Alexandria: Libraries in the Ancient Near East" by D.T. Potts
2. "Alexandria: The Umbilicus of the Ancient World" by Wendy Brazil
3. "Cloistered Bookworms in the Chicken-Coop of the Muses: The Ancient Library of Alexandria" by Robert Barnes
4. "Aristotle's Works: The Possible Origins of the Alexandria Collection" by R.G. Tanner
5. "Doctors in the Library: The Strange Tale of Apollonius the Bookworm and Other Stories" by John Vallance
6. "The Theatre of Paphos and the Theatre of Alexandria: Some First Thoughts" by J.R. Green
7. "Scholars and Students in the Roman East" by Samuel N.C. Lieu
8. "The Neoplatonists and the Mystery Schools of the Mediterranean" by Patricia Cannon Johnson
9. "Alexandria and its Medieval Legacy: The Book, the Monk and the Rose" by J.O. Ward
However the book should have emphasized more on the intellectual part of history and the library itself rather than generalizing it in such a poor way.
The book is more catered for young readers rather than adults,and that has given me the opportunity to give it only 2 stars.I took the book to a summer camp for children age 10 to 15.They were only impressed by how you made papyrus which is described in the book.I agreed with the children that the book was not that great.It could have been much more interesting.