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Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception

Volume 16
Editor(s): Christine Helmer, Steven L. McKenzie, Thomas Römer, Jens Schröter, Barry Dov Walfish, Eric J. Ziolkowski
De Gruyter (Berlin, Boston) 2018

Monastic, Medieval, and Early Modern Times

Christine Helmer; Greti Dinkova-Bruun

The modern understanding of “library” as a specific room or building housing collections of books and Bibles is the result of a lengthy historical development that began in the monastic period. The 6th-century Vivarium monastery, founded by Cassiodorus in ca. 544 CE near Squillace in Calabria, Italy, is a prime example of a monastery functioning as a center of learning known for its library that preserved texts from both classical inheritance and early Christianity. However, a “library” in the …

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