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Books of ancient Rome

Before it appeared in Ancient Rome, papyrus, local residents like the Greeks used for writing palm leaves, but more often – lime bast. Actually, one of the values of the Latin word “liber” (book) just means “lub”.

In General it should be noted that in the era of the Roman Republic and the early Roman Empire, the Latin writing system has been rapidly developing. Came into use new writing materials, mainly papyrus. Along with direct, quadrangular capital font, suitable for cutting down on stone or other solid object, Rome (as well as, by the way, and Greece), a new font is rounded, more flexible and elegant, the so-called “uncial”and italics – “cursive”.

Roman ancient book was in the form of a scroll, screw on a stick with thickened ends; on the upper end was attached to the tab with the designation of the title, which peeped out from a leather case (an analogue of modern binding). To carry these scrolls were placed in a round basket. In libraries such books in the scrolls were not put, and laid on the shelf so that the labels were in view. He wrote on one side, or a single vertical column, the length of which was equal to the length of the scroll or next of many parallel columns.

Roman bookstores, a seller of ancient books, served as the meeting place of writers, scholars and lovers of literature. When these stores were available rooms for reading and even reading rooms, where for a small fee you can view the new or compare your copy of the famous works so that was fixed grammatical kept for this purpose in the store and copy the hall. Roman books were relatively cheap, as the production of own papyrus, replacing imports from Egypt, to that possessed. In addition to ordinary cheap instances, met ancient books – the wonders of calligraphy, sumptuously illustrated instances and even miniature book (Cicero allegedly met instance of “Iliad” by Homer, who could fit in the walnut shells). Continue reading

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