Public libraries and public benefaction in the Roman Empire

Miller, Christopher M. (2023) Public libraries and public benefaction in the Roman Empire. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the use of Roman libraries as public benefactions during the principate. It argues that while euergetism typically involved an exchange of amenities from wealthy donors for approval from the non-elite citizens of a community, libraries were a form of munificence aimed entirely by elites at other elites. The non-elite citizens of the Roman Empire were almost entirely illiterate, and public libraries therefore offered them nothing of interest. Despite this, benefactors nonetheless saw value in donating libraries to their communities, because they offered the donors opportunities to display their apex status within elite society, and enabled forms of commemoration that no other type of euergetism could.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: libraries, public libraries, euergetism, public benefaction, Roman history, ancient history, Classics
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Chris Miller
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2023 09:34
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2023 09:34
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/2680

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