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The Library of Alexandria

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 12 March 2009

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Library at Alexandria. Founded by King Ptolemy in the 3rd century BC the library was the first attempt to collect all the knowledge of the ancient world in one place. Scholars including Archimedes and Euclid came to study its grand array of papyri. the legacy of the library is with us today, not just in the ideas it stored and the ideas it seeded but also in the way it organised knowledge and the tools developed for dealing with it. It still influences the things we know and the way we know them to this day.

With Simon Goldhill, Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge; Matthew Nicholls, Lecturer in Classics at the University of Reading; Serafina Cuomo, Reader in Roman History at Birkbeck College, University of London.

  • Further Reading

    Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature chapter 1 by Leig D. Reynolds and Nigel G. Wilson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974) (2nd ed.)

    Libraries in the Ancient World by Lionel Casson (Yale: Yale University Press, 2001) esp. Chapter 3

    The Vanished Library: A Wonder of the Ancient World by Luciano Canfora and M. Ryle (California: University of California Press, 1990)

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