You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
"Public Libraries" in Ancient Rome: Ideology and Reality
T. Keith Dix
Libraries & Culture
Vol. 29, No. 3 (Summer, 1994), pp. 282-296
Published by: University of Texas Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25542662
Page Count: 15
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Libraries, Public libraries, Literature, Poetry, Apostolic letters, Recitations, Ancient Rome, Emperors, Classical literature, Atriums
Were these topics helpful?See something inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Preview not available
The late first century B.C. saw the first state libraries in Rome, projected by Julius Caesar and carried out by Asinius Pollio and Augustus. Ancient authors who recorded the establishment of these libraries sounded the theme that works of literature had become "public property" and that libraries lay "open" to all readers. This paper considers in what sense the libraries of Rome were "public" and whether the ideology of public access put forward by Roman authors corresponded to a reality of general access. Several anecdotes offer direct evidence for consultation of the libraries, but they involve authors close to imperial circles who might naturally be expected to have won access to libraries under imperial control. Other evidence includes the use of state libraries as the setting for authors' recitations, the presence of libraries in the great bath-buildings of Rome, and the use of libraries as vehicles for official recognition and for censorship of literature.
Libraries & Culture © 1994 University of Texas Press