Alexandria library speed dating

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.

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His campaigns resulted in a “considerable addition of empirical knowledge of geography,” as Eratosthenes remarked (as reported by Greek geographer Strabo).

The reports that Alexander had acquired survived after his death, and they motivated an unprecedented movement of scientific research and study of the Earth, its natural physical qualities, and its inhabitants.

The king, however, persuaded the governors of Athens to permit him to borrow them in order to have them copied.

The time was pregnant with a new spirit that engendered a renaissance of human culture.

It was in that atmosphere that the great library and Mouseion saw the light of day in Alexandria.

Those irregular methods of collection were supplemented by the purchase of books from different places, especially from Athens and Rhodes, which sustained the largest book markets of the time.

Occasionally, the library’s collectors bought different versions of the same work—for example, in the Homeric texts that came “from Chios,” “from Sinope,” and “from Massilia.” Of languages other than Greek, Egyptian had the largest section.

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