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The Library of Alexandria [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Library of Alexandria was the largest library of its time and a major center for learning and scholarly research, particularly in the fields of astronomy, geography, mathematics, and medicine. Caesar and Cleopatra, Erastosthenes and Euclid, Archimedes and Alexander the Great are just a few of the famous people connected to its story. Today, historians still argue about how the library was destroyed, and no one knows exactly what it looked like, yet there is no question that the library continues to fascinate ...
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The Library of Alexandria

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Overview

The Library of Alexandria was the largest library of its time and a major center for learning and scholarly research, particularly in the fields of astronomy, geography, mathematics, and medicine. Caesar and Cleopatra, Erastosthenes and Euclid, Archimedes and Alexander the Great are just a few of the famous people connected to its story. Today, historians still argue about how the library was destroyed, and no one knows exactly what it looked like, yet there is no question that the library continues to fascinate and intrigue us. This extensively researched look at what we do know about the Library of Alexandria features Kelly Trumble’s short, accessible chapters, and richly detailed full-color paintings by Robina MacIntyre Marshall. Together, they tell the story of one of the wonders of the ancient world, and show how its influence as continued long after its destruction. Glossary, suggested reading, selected bibliography, index.

An introduction to the largest and most famous library in the ancient world, discussing its construction in Alexandria, Egypt, its vast collections, rivalry with the Pergamum Library, famous scholars, and destruction by fire.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Be they Alexander the Great's or Julius Caesar's, the political empires of the ancient world were practically transient compared to the enduring intellectual empire of the Library of Alexandria. Its rooms were the offices of the immortal ancient scientists, from Euclid to Ptolemy to Archimedes. The library was the baby of a blossoming culture of knowledge, but it was also a problem child: the accumulation of its collections was rife with scandal, and the scholars who used the library stirred up more trouble by daring to go against the grain of conventional thought. This book emphasizes the story of the library, treating it almost as a living thing. It documents the founding of the library, its changes over the years and its ultimate destruction; various chapters about astronomy, geography, mathematics and medicine highlight the huge advancements in human knowledge made possible through the library's holdings. This book dispenses with the flashy layout of tables, charts and text-bites characterizing so much children's nonfiction, a format which may discourage lukewarm readers, but which gives the main narrative more punch for those who actually sit down and read it. At any rate, although the book's reading level is not particularly difficult, the intertwining—and sometimes confusing—web of Greek, Egyptian and Roman cultures will probably make this a choice for a more enthusiastic audience. End-of-the-book features include maps, a family tree of Egyptian rulers, glossary, bibliography, further reading list and index. 2003, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 9 to 13.
—Diane Frook
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-In this well-organized and thorough resource, Trumble delves into the people, legends, and politics surrounding the creation and ruin of the largest library in the ancient world. The chapter on collecting books details its methods of acquisition, which ranged from payment to thievery. A section on Alexandria's competitor, Pergamum, located in Asia Minor, provides an opportunity to describe and contrast the use of parchment and papyrus. Much attention is paid to the scholars who utilized the library and their achievements. For example, Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the Earth. Herophilus practiced dissection and probably vivisection, adding much to contemporary understanding of the function of human organs and systems. Back matter includes maps, the Ptolemy family tree, and a description of sites in ancient Alexandria. The full-color, single-page illustrations, rendered in watercolor and gouache, are uneven. Marshall is more successful at depicting the flow of fabric, architectural ornamentation, and inanimate objects than in capturing the proportions and physicality of the human body. The modern-day Bibliotheca Alexandrina, an institution inspired by its ancient predecessor, is given only a brief mention. These flaws notwithstanding, this book is a unique and timely celebration of the age-old passion for and preservation of ideas.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A stirring account of the rise and fall of the ancient world's largest library, said to contain half-a-million items at its height. Founded, like most major libraries, by ruthless autocrats--including one member of the Ptolemy family who ordered all incoming ships searched for books, and permanently "borrowed" manuscripts from the Athenian government archives--it quickly became a renowned center for scholarship. Trumble profiles several still-famous scientists who lived or studied there, from Aristarchus and Ptolemy to Euclid and Archimedes; she also scans the whole history of the city and its famous lighthouse, then closes with maps, a family tree, a quick city tour, and a note on the recently opened Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Though she never mentions Hypatia or any other woman (aside from Cleopatra) associated with the library, and one of Marshall's stiff, bland tableaus shows Alexander the Great stabbing a Persian with the wrong end of a spear, this tribute performs a worthy task in bringing a fabled institution of learning up from the footnotes, while showing young readers that libraries have a surprisingly colorful history. (index, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 11-13)
From the Publisher
"a stirring account...performs a worthy task in bringing a fabled institution of learning up from the footnotes." KIRKUS REVIEWS Kirkus Reviews

"It's hard to find an untouched topic in children's nonfiction, but this comes close...a useful support for curriculum" BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA

"a dramatic tableau...antiquity hounds will find a bundle of information, acessibly packaged." THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"well-organized and thorough resource...a unique and timely celebration of age-old passion for and preservation of ideas." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547532899
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/17/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 542,718
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 8 MB

Meet the Author

Kelly Trumble grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in engineering physics. She recently gave up full-time technical writing in order to write nonfiction for children. Ms. Trumble lives in San Jose, California, with her husband, a dog, and four cats.
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Table of Contents

1 A City of Learning 1
2 Collecting Books 7
3 Pergamum 11
4 Astronomy 17
5 Geography 23
6 Mathematics 29
7 Medicine 35
8 Decline and Destruction 41
9 The Fate of the Library of Alexandria 47
Map: The Empire of Alexander the Great 52
Map: The Roman Empire at Its Largest 54
Ptolemy Family Tree (Partial) 57
Sites in Ancient Alexandria 58
Names and Terms 63
Selected Bibliography 68
Suggested Reading 69
Index 70
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Customer Reviews

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