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Library of Alexandria (Original)

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Author Topic: Library of Alexandria (Original)  (Read 6295 times)
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« Reply #75 on: April 02, 2008, 01:16:46 pm »

Other libraries of the ancient world

The libraries of Ugarit (in modern Syria), ca 1200 BC, include diplomatic archives, literary works and the earliest privately-owned libraries yet recovered.
The library of King Ashurbanipal, in Nineveh (near modern Mosul, Iraq) Considered to be "the first systematically collected library", it was rediscovered in the 19th century. While the library had been destroyed, many fragments of the ancient cuneiform tables survived, and have been reconstructed. Large portions of the Epic of Gilgamesh were among the many finds.
The Villa of the Papyri, in Herculaneum, Italy
The only library known to have survived from classical antiquity, this villa's large private collection may have once belonged to Julius Caesar's father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso. Buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed the town in 79 AD. Rediscovered in 1752, around 1800 carbonized scrolls were found in the villa's top storey. Using modern techniques such as multi-spectral imaging, previously illegible or invisible sections on scrolls that have been unrolled are now being deciphered. It is possible that more scrolls remain to be found in the lower, unexcavated levels of the villa.
At Pergamum (in what is now Turkey), the Attalid kings formed the second best Hellenistic library after Alexandria, founded in emulation of the Ptolemies. When the Ptolemies stopped exporting papyrus, partly because of competitors and partly because of shortages, the Pergamenes invented a new substance to use in codices, called pergamum or parchment after the city. This was made of fine calfskin, a predecessor of vellum and paper.
Caesarea Palaestina, located in present-day Israel, had a great early Christian library. Through Origen and the scholarly priest Pamphilus, the theological school of Caesarea won a reputation for having the most extensive ecclesiastical library of the time, containing more than 30,000 manuscripts: Gregory, Basil the Great, Jerome and others came to study there.
The great seats of learning in ancient India, namely Takshasila, Nalanda, Vikramashila, Kanchi and other universities also maintained vast libraries of palm leaf manuscripts of various subjects, ranging from theology to astronomy.

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