1. About Book
Book titleBibliophiles, bookstalls and Literacy in Antiquity
AuthorGeorge Heliopoulos
PublisherEnastron Publications
Date of Publication02/01/2019
Total pages110
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  • Europe
Book Types(Genres & Topics)-
Humanities/Society/Science(Economy, History, Religion, Politics, Woman’s studies, Media, Philosophy)
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The legends of libraries in the ancient world and particularly at Alexandria, led to the emergence of a popular myth about literacy in antiquity which alluded to its confinement in some educated and limited circles of individuals and a few libraries scattered around the Mediterranean, while the rest of the population remained somehow alienated from books and knowledge, being simply idle or worse, illiterate and indifferent. Moreover, the destruction of enormous collections of manuscripts not only at Alexandria but in almost every ancient library intensified this myth, blending it with sorrow and remorse. As usual and contrary to this rather naive belief, reality is much simpler but unfortunately more perplexed. Were there booksellers and organized bookmarkets? What about bibliophiles and collectors? Were there fashionable literary genres? What about the costs of purchasing paper and publishing books? Were there royalties paid to the authors? What about first editions, presentations and publicity? Were there networks responsible for the circulation of books even to the remotest spots of the antique world? These and other interesting topics are the focal points covered in the chapters of this book.