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BOOKS AND BOOK-TRADE

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The Greeks were early familiar with the practice of multiplying copies of books by transcription, either to private order or for public sale. As far back as the 5th Century B.C. the Athenians had a special place in their market-place for selling books, and it is clearly established that a regular book-fair existed at Athens by about 300 B.C. In Rome, towards the end of the republican age, the business of copying books and the book-trade in general developed on a large scale, and it became a fashionable thing to possess a library. The book-trade, in the proper sense of the term, owes its existence to Atticus, the well-known friend of Cicero. He kept a number of slaves skilled in shorthand and calligraphy (librarii), whom he set to copy a number of Cicero's writings, Which he then disposed of at a considerable profit in Italy and Greece. His example was soon followed, especially as the interest in new literary productions, and the love of reading, greatly increased after the time of Augustus. To facilitate the appearance of a great number of copies at the same time, the scribes were often set to write from dictation. Much use was made of the abbreviations (notae) invented by Tiro, the freedman of Cicero. The binding was done, as well as the writing, by the librarii ; and as the brittle papyrus was the usual material, the book was generally made up in the form of a roll (see WRITING MATERIALS). The ends of the roll were strengthened with thin strips of bone or wood, which were either provided at top and bottom with a knob (umbilicus), or finished off in the shape of a horn. Previously to this, the upper and lower edges were carefully clipped, smoothed with pumice-stone, and tinted with black. To protect it from moths and worms, the roll was dipped in cedar oil, which gave it a yellowish tinge. The title of the work (titulus or index) was written in red on a strip of parchment attached to the end of the roll. Expensive copies, especially in the case of poems, had a gilt umbilicus, as well as a parchment cover of purple colour. The books were then exposed for sale in the bookseller's shops, and sold at what appear, considering the circumstances, reasonable prices. The booksellers were called librarii or bibliopoloe; their shops were situated in the most frequented parts of the city, and much used, both as reading-rooms and rendezvous for learned discussion. As a general rule there was a good sale for books, especially such as had won popularity before publication in the public recitations (see RECITATIONS). Books were also much bought in the provinces, whose inhabitants were anxious to keep abreast with the intellectual life of the capital. Even works which were little thought of in Rome sometimes found an easy sale in other parts of the empire. It does not appear that the author received any honorarium from the publisher.[1]
Query:
Type: Standard
SoundEx
Results:
  
gutter splint
gutter splint
PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
gutter splint