posted by Aunty Cindy aka Loucinda McGary
My maternal grandmother taught me to read when I was five years old, and ever since then, one of my favorite places in the world is the library.
We didn't have much money to buy books when I was growing up. But every other week in the summer or during other school holidays, my mother would take me, my sister and my brother to the local branch of the public library. My sister and brother liked to slide down the smooth concrete banister out front, but not me! I loved to roam among those shelves and shelves of books, looking for treasures.
The library was heaven on earth for me, and I'm definitely not the only one. Even in ancient times, libraries were special places. That was never more apparent to me than on my recent trip to Turkey when I got to visit the ruins of the Library of Celsius (or Celsus) which was in the Roman city of Ephesus. In its heyday, over 12,000 scrolls were stored in it.
For the history buffs (like ME) in the Lair, here's a bit of information from the Turkish Tourism site...
"According to inscriptions in Latin and Greek on the wings of the front steps, the Library was erected in ad 110 by the Consul Gaius Julius Aquila for his father, Julius Celsius Polemaeanus, formerly Roman Consul and governor of the Asian province. The library was completed in ad 135 by his heirs. Its façade was two-tiered; the interior consisted of a single large hall, measuring 10 × 16 m, comprising the Celsius library itself. The burial chamber under the floor contains the marble sarcophagus of Celsius in an excellent state of preservation.
The reading room destroyed in a fire in the second half of the 3rd century, but the façade did not suffer damage. For a time, the library was left filled with the resulting debris. About ad 400, the area in front of the building was converted into a pool. The façade served a decorative purpose, with its beautiful silhouette mirrored in the water." (Guess my siblings weren't the only ones who liked to play in front of the library!)
An article in Wikipedia states that Julius Celsus was a wealthy and popular citizen of Ephesus. It was unusual to be buried within a library or even within city limits, so this was a special honor.
Quite an honor from the looks of this place! I would have loved to be there in 135 AD...
What about you? Are you more a borrower or a buyer? Or maybe a bit of both? Do you have a favorite library story you can share?