The great libraries : from antiquity to the Renaissance (3000 B.C. to A.D. 1600) /
|Published:||New Castle, Del. : Oak Knoll Press ; London : British Library, 2000.|
|Edition:||1st English ed.|
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|Main Author:||Staikos, K.|
|Uniform Title:||Vivliothēkes. English|
This beautiful and vast volume is a fitting tribute to the libraries of the Mediterranean and Western Europe from 3000 BC to AD 1600. Divided into two books, the first presents the motives that prompted people to collect and then establish and maintain buildings specifically designed to house texts. Staikos also traces the influence of intellectual trends and historical events on the development of libraries and the factors that affected the architecture and internal fittings of libraries. The chapters include discussions of Aristotle, Ptolemy, Cicero, Hadrian, Cosimo de'Medici, Johannes Cuno amongst many others and encompasses Mesopotamia, Egypt, Hellenistic Greece, the Roman Empire, Early Christian libraries, Byzantium and the Renaissance. The huge range of themes and comparisons includes: popular reading, the arrangement of libraries, catalogues, scribes, public and private collections, the book trade, education, Byzantine humanism, Carolingian and Anglo-Saxon scholarshp, the first universities and the impact of the printing press. The Great Library of Alexandria, Pergamon and the collections of the Roman emperors are amongst the ancient libraries discussed. The second book presents fourteen specific monastic and humanist libraries and their creators, including the Library of the Monastery of St John of Patmos, the Vatican Library, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The first book is richly illustrated with black and white illustrations of texts, writers, readers and building reconstructions. The second book contains beautiful large colour photographs of the fourteen libraries along with their most stunning manuscripts.
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|Physical Description:||xvi, 563 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 34 cm.|
|Bibliography:||Includes bibliographical references (p. 507-539) and index.|