- New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2021 280x215 mm. lv, 506 pp. Ill. Hardcover. Language
The Mouseion and the Library of the Ptolemies in Alexandria
Alexander the Great’s Vision of a Universal Intellectual Centre
Konstantinos Sp. Staikos
The Mouseion and the Library of the Ptolemies in Alexandria, which comprises 14 chapters in all, begins by taking a look at the relations between the Greeks and the peoples of the East, mainly the Egyptians and the Persians, until the end of the classical period. Next, Alexander the Great’s campaign of conquest to the East is summarized and his personality is brought to the fore. Alexander and his deeds became the subject of an enduring narrative, retold across languages and traditions for centuries.
However, main subject of the volume is the organization and function of the Mouseion and the Library of Alexandria during the Hellenistic period. Examined are the achievements of the city’s major intellectuals, from all branches of arts, letters and science (poetry, criticism, mathematics, geography, mechanics and so on). Subsequently, the latter history of the institution in Roman and Byzantine times is outlined, down to the Arab conquest of Alexandria.
The last chapter of the book is dedicated to the architecture of that major intellectual foundation of Alexandria, and the principles behind its creation and construction according to the models of Greek philosophical and rhetorical schools.