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Title Hellenistic and Roman Library Buildings in Asia Minor.
Author email
About author Izmailkina, Ekaterina Sergeevna — researcher. The State Hermitage Museum, Dvortsovaia nab., 34, 199000 St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
In the section Art of the Ancient World DOI10.18688/aa166-1-6
Year 2016 Volume 6 Pages 63865
Type of article RAR Index UDK 7.033.2(5-011) Index BBK 85.11

Buildings specially meant to hold libraries start to appear in Asia Minor during Hellenistic and Roman times. Depending on the period, the buildings differ in forms. Hellenistic libraries remind of Greek constructions with clear order structure and the usage of pediments, while those of Roman time demonstrate combination of infuences — the one inspired by the city of Rome and the other one originating from Oriental tradition.

Hellenistic libraries were usually both museums and scholarly institutions. This is the reason why it is diffcult to consider separate buildings of the Hellenistic period to be just libraries. Of much greater interest is the possibility to consider groups of various buildings as holistic ensembles associated by their purpose. Libraries as separate buildings characterized by certain constructive and decorative features do not seem to appear in Asia Minor before Roman time.

During the Republican period libraries were only in private possession. The most renowned example is the Villa Papyri at Herculaneum with about two thousand scrolls of manuscripts. The first public library was built at the Early Imperial time. Gradually, many public libraries appeared in Rome and across the Empire. They existed at various fanes or temples (like Pantheon or the Temple of Apollo Palatinus), at thermae (Baths of Trajan and Baths of Caracalla) or at forums. Several cities possessed their own libraries. The largest among private libraries were those belonging to emperors housed in their palaces and villas (Nero’s Domus Aurea, Domus Flavia in Rome, and Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli).

The author of the report is going to discuss the Library of Celsus at Ephesus. This building is a fascinating example of the type of ancient constructions that gives the idea of the speci city in the development of architectural order of Roman Asia Minor.

It is worth mentioning that architects of the Renaissance turned to the tradition of classical antiquity not only by rejecting Gothic forms and reviving the order system, but also by returning to classical proportional harmony. One example of Renaissance architecture recalling models of classical antiquity is the building of Biblioteca Marciana in Venice.

Reference Ekaterina Izmailkina. Hellenistic and Roman Library Buildings in Asia Minor.. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 6. Eds: Anna V. Zakharova, Svetlana V. Maltseva, Ekaterina Yu. Stanyukovich-Denisova. St. Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2016, pp. 63–865. ISSN 2312-2129.
Publication Article language russian
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