Alexandria library speed dating

The Greeks were impressed by the achievements of their neighbours, and many Greek intellectuals sought to explore the resources of “Oriental” knowledge.There is literary evidence of Greek individuals visiting Egypt especially to acquire knowledge: e.g., Herodotus, Plato (particularly in .According to Athenaeus, Philadelphus purchased that collection for a large sum of money, whereas Strabo reported that Aristotle’s books passed on in succession through different hands, until they were later confiscated in 86 by Sulla, who carried them away to Rome.The two accounts perhaps deal with two different things.

The idea of a universal library, like that of Alexandria, arose only after the Greek mind had begun to envisage and encompass a larger worldview.The founding of the library and the Mouseion is unquestionably connected with the name of Demetrius of Phaleron, a member of the Peripatetic school and a former Athenian politician.After his fall from power in Athens, Demetrius sought refuge at the court of King Ptolemy I Soter (The same claim was reiterated more than once: Irenaeus spoke of Ptolemy’s desire to equip “his library with the writings of all men as far as they were worth serious attention.” Undoubtedly, however, the largest amount of material was written in Greek.If a book was found, it was taken to the library for a decision as to whether to return it or to confiscate it and replace it with a copy made on the spot (with an adequate compensation to the owner).Books acquired in that manner were designated “from the ships.” Another story (reported by Galen in the writings on Hippocrates) reveals how Ptolemy III managed to obtain the original texts of the great dramatic poets Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.

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