Although Mesopotamian civilisations had assembled texts, the ancient Greeks brought the idea of the universal book collection to its near-legendary consummation in the Library of Alexandria, which edited and housed thousands of papyrus rolls on every subject and attracted brilliant scholars from all over the ancient world. But there were many other libraries, serving also as scientific laboratories, public record offices, restaurants, mausoleums and even baths.
This illustrated lecture investigates their history and the continuing influence on our modern world.
A lecture by Edith Hall
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/ancient-libraries
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 2,000 lectures free to access or download from the website.