The study of ancient libraries in Roman Asia Minor remains largely dependent upon the example of Ephesus. The Celsus Library, due to the exceptional preservation of its architecture, statuary programme and epigraphic apparatus, has acquired the value of a paradigm in the light of which allegedly similar buildings from Asia Minor were interpreted. This article intends to examine critically the value of this paradigm. First of all, the architectural, decorative and functional properties of the so-called "libraries" of Nysa, Sagalassos and the Asklepieion of Pergamon will be compared with those of the Celsus Library. Based on this material, the aim is to reflect on the weight of architectural typologies in this debate. Indeed, many uncertainties remain as to the inner layout and elevation, the façade and the functional spectrum covered by these libraries. It will be argued that the lack of flexibility inherent in the use of typologies tends to reduce the available material and to blur the functional and representative properties of buildings, always the product of a particular context.
|Title of host publication||Locum Armarium Libros|
|Subtitle of host publication||Livres et bibliothèques dans l’Antiquité|
|Editors||Nicolas Amoroso, Nicolas Meunier, Marco Cavalieri|
|Number of pages||34|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
Richard, J. (2017). Dans l’ombre de Celsus: le point sur les bibliothèques de l’Asie Mineure romaine. In N. Amoroso, N. Meunier, & M. Cavalieri (Eds.), Locum Armarium Libros: Livres et bibliothèques dans l’Antiquité (pp. 331-357). (FERVET OPVS; Vol. 2).