The Book in the Ancient World
How the Wisdom of the Ages Was Preserved
Imprint: Pen and Sword History
336 Pages, 6.1 x 9.2 in, 32 mono
- January 2024
The author then takes us on a fascinating 900-year journey through the classical world, describing the recording, preservation and dissemination of knowledge and literature for the edification, delectation and systematic instruction for contemporary and future cultures and societies. He looks at the processes of textual transmission of notable books and explains how that portion of the great literary and scientific writings of Greece and Rome that survived (often a matter of pure chance and only a small portion) informed and influenced later cultures through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and right down to the present day.
Along the way Paul Chrystal explores a number of important but often neglected genres of ancient books, such as propaganda, paradoxography and the publishing of specialist military, scientific, technical and medical manuals, as well as catalogues of famous men and heroic women. The ways Greek and Roman authors described their work and the functioning of the great libraries and the Classical equivalent of the publishing and bookselling trades, in which public readings (recusatio) played a crucial part, are also examined.