Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Form: Lat. Museum.
Originally a temple of the Muses, then a place dedicated to the works of the Muses. In this sense the most remarkable and most important museum of antiquity was that established at Alexandria by Ptolemy Philadelphus in the first half of the 3rd century B.C. This institution contributed very largely towards the preservation and extension of Greek literature and learning. It was a spacious and magnificent edifice, supplied with everything requisite for its purpose, such as an observatory, a library, etc.; it lay near the royal palace and communicated immediately with the temple of the Muses. Noted men of erudition were there supported at the cost of the State, to enable them to devote themselves to their learned studies without interruption. They were under the supervision of principals chosen from their own body, while the priest of the Muses was at their head. Under the Roman emperors, when Egypt had become a province of the empire, it still continued, as an imperial institute and the centre of all learning, especially in mathematics and astronomy [Strabo, p. 794). Caracalla confiscated the pensions of the learned men attached to it, and the institution itself was completely destroyed during the civil wars under Aurelian in the 3rd century.
Type: Standard
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