CLAS 1120Q / ARCH 1707 THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD MWF 12 – 12:50 p.m. Rhode Island Hall 108 Prof. John Cherry Class 3 September 14, 2015 LISTS 9th-century AD manuscript (codex) now in Heidelberg Philo of Byzantium (ca. 280-220 BC): engineer and writer, lived in Alexandria Seven Wonders probably written by a man of the same name in 4th-5th century AD Jorge Luis Borges and the wonder of lists In the Chinese encyclopedia known as the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor (b) embalmed (c) tame (d) suckling pigs (e) sirens (f) fabulous (g) stray dogs (h) included in the present classification (i) frenzied (j) innumerable (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush (l) et cetera (m) having just broken the water pitcher (n) that from a long way off look like flies Sumerian Lexical Lists Cuneiform writing (Latin: cuneus (wedge) BM 116625: proto-cuneiform lexical list from Jemdet Nasr Mycenaean (Greek) Palaces 14th-13th centuries BC List-making in Linear B script, an early form of the Greek language A Mycenaean Greek Linear B tablet listing sheep and goats Linear B “page” tablets — lists summarizing other shorter (disposable) lists Cities of the Delian League …which by the 430s BC were paying annual tribute to Athens — recorded on the “Tribute Lists” Athens Delos The Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens The Athenian Tribute Lists Mid-5th century B.C. Modern-day Alexandria-by-Egypt Alexander’s role in the growth of libraries and the circulation of texts Aristotle the polymath: political science ethics music medicine astrononomy optics magnets forms of rhetoric forms of poetry experimental zoology visitors at Delphi commentary on Homer …teaches Alexander, gives him a lasting interest in Greek literature (especially Homer) Alexander founds Alexandria in Egypt (by Raphael, 1511) …teaches pupils such as Theophrastus, interested in systematization of knowledge Masses of botanical, zoological, and geographical data brought back from the Eastern expedition The Great Library at Alexandria established under Ptolemy I RESULT: In the Hellenistic world… — possession of books and fine libraries became a matter of prestige — keen competition to get copies of books (e.g., by confiscation at Alexandria!) — knowledge began to be classified and catalogued (as in modern libraries) A rival library set up at Pergamum in western Asia Minor Ancient writing materials Classical-era bookroll or scroll — Papyrus, used for long works, such as literary texts or government records The codex — usually on parchment. Replaces the bookroll in late antiquity. Strongly associated with Christian writings. The Byzantine-era bookroll (4th-7th centuries AD) was written and read vertically The Library at Alexandria The old… …and the new (2001) How to find that darn scroll? Make a list of them! How to order such a list? • Location of the scroll within the library • Date of acquisition of the scroll • Language in which written • Author • Title • Genre (e.g., drama, poetry, history, oratory) Head Librarian Callimachus, author of the (now lost) A Collection of Wonders in Lands Throughout the World, developed what is usually regarded as the first library catalog Qualities of Lists • Is the list fixed in number (David Letterman’s Top 10), or indefinitely extendable? • What gives coherence to the list? • How is the list ordered? — by time (a king-list, a genealogy) — by order of alleged significance — by priority of importance (e.g. a to-do list) — by geography (e.g. places on a pilgrimage route, taxable towns) — what else?