Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides an account of what we know about libraries in the Byzantine Empire. When the Roman Empire was at its peak, the public library was a fixture of many towns, most of which were established by a private endowment. In 356, the emperor Constantius created a scriptorium in the new eastern capital that apparently serviced an imperial library, but it was destroyed by fire in 475. The Serapeum in Alexandria was also destroyed by fire in 391. Other libraries known from this period were associated with Christian churches and schools, one of which was founded at Jerusalem by the city's bishop, Alexander. By the end of Justinian's reign, the empire's library resources had probably dwindled. There is not sufficient information about private libraries as well as institutional ones in Byzantium.

Keywords: libraries, Byzantine Empire, Roman Empire, Constantius, scriptorium, imperial library, Serapeum, Alexandria, private libraries, Byzantium

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.