Royal Library and the Mouseion as a research center. But libraries and schools of different characters had previously existed in both Greece and the ancient Orient. Yet they were largely of a local or regional formation and scope, concerned mainly with the preservation of the national tradition and heritage. Ptolemaic Alexandria on the other hand, responded to the intellectual needs of the new worldview by the establishment of the twin institutes of a research center (Mouseion) and the Universal Library.
Fig. 50. Demetrius of Phaleron
This short summary indicates that the Alexandrian Library and Museum was the new Hellenistic, universal version of several past institutions that existed in the Greek and Eastern worlds. In this respect, the Alexandrian Library was similar in purpose but much grander in scope. The main objective was to collect, catalogue and study the knowledge of Oikoumene, concentrated in a single repository43. Indeed, documents from the major centers of the Greek world such as Athens and Rhodes as well as Persian, Egyptian and Jewish texts were concentrated in Alexandria.
Orientation and Objectives 43
The first bibliography seems to appear after Callimachus. Ballet, 2002, 137-138.