By Anthony Grafton
whilst early Christians started to examine the Bible, and to jot down their very own historical past and that of the Jews whom they claimed to supersede, they used scholarly equipment invented by way of the librarians and literary critics of Hellenistic Alexandria. yet Origen and Eusebius, students of past due Roman Caesarea, did way more. either produced new forms of books, during which parallel columns made attainable severe comparisons formerly unenvisioned, even if among biblical texts or among nationwide histories. Eusebius went even farther, developing new study instruments, new varieties of historical past and polemic, and a brand new type of library to help either study and e-book construction.
Christianity and the Transformation of the e-book combines broad-gauged synthesis and shut textual research to reconstruct the types of books and the methods of organizing scholarly inquiry and collaboration one of the Christians of Caesarea, at the coast of Roman Palestine. The booklet explores the dialectical courting among highbrow heritage and the historical past of the e-book, at the same time it expands our realizing of early Christian scholarship. Christianity and the Transformation of the ebook attends to the social, non secular, highbrow, and institutional contexts during which Origen and Eusebius labored, in addition to the main points in their scholarly practices--practices that, the authors argue, endured to outline significant sectors of Christian studying for nearly millennia and are, in lots of methods, nonetheless with us this present day.
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Additional resources for Christianity and the Transformation of the Book: Origen, Eusebius, and the Library of Caesarea
Of necessity, Eusebius relied on a rich library of previous works, including Origen’s, as the basis for his literary production. His library exempliﬁes, on a particularly impressive scale, the linking of collection, production, and dissemination so typical of the book culture of the ancient Mediterranean—and of much later Christian scholars like Trithemius. Indeed, the close parallels between the activities of Eusebius and Trithemius support particularly well our claim that links like these became a deep structure of Christian scholarship, forged in late antiquity, then reproduced again and again in the Middle Ages and the early modern period.
Before the rise of the book trade as the primary means of book dissemination, any library had to include facilities for the making of books as well as for their preservation and use. There was no publishing industry, or indeed any other formal mechanism for the copying and distribution of literary texts, in the ancient Mediterranean world. Book dealers existed, and collectors could sell their books either to these tradespeople or to other readers, but the monetary economy seems to have played little role in determining how readers gained access to books.
In addition to the preface of Longinus’s discussed above, Porphyry quotes a personal letter he received from his former teacher, in which he complains that the copies of Plotinus’s treatises he has received from Porphyry are corrupt and incomprehensible. But as Porphyry goes on to explain, “He was mistaken in judging that the manuscripts he received from Amelius were faulty, because he did not understand the way that Plotinus usually expressed himself. ”29 As Plotinus’s editor, Porphyry was well aware of the oddities of his teacher’s style.
Christianity and the Transformation of the Book: Origen, Eusebius, and the Library of Caesarea by Anthony Grafton