LIBRARY OF PERGAMUM
Strabon wrote that this library was built during the time of King Eumenes-II. It is known as the only Hellenistic Library found until today. Unfortunately, not many remains have survived from this 4-room library. Ancient sources state that the Library of Pergamum in the Roman Period had 12,000 – 13,000 books.
Many of these books were written on papyrus imported from Egypt. A small part of them were works written on parchment, which is known to have been used by the people of Pergamum for the first time in history, and allegedly named after Pergament, after the Egyptian kings stopped the export of papyrus by the Ptolemies, as written by the Roman historian Marcus Varro who lived in Bergama.
INVENTION OF PARCHMENT
As a result of the growing competition between the libraries of Alexandria and Pergamon, the Egyptian King banned the export of papyrus to Anatolia. Seeking an alternative to papyrus, Eumenes-II organized a competition and announced that he would give great prizes to its winner.
Parchment was invented by Krates, the library director of Pergamon at the time, by embroidering lambskin, and it was named Pergamana because it was first made in Pergamon. Parchment, which can be produced from the skin of animals such as sheep, goats, calves, pigs, antelopes, and goats, requires quite long processes.
It is started by cutting the meat pieces inside the skin with special scissors. Later, lime is applied on this part, the outer surface is rubbed dry with pumice stone and a thin layer of glue made of starch is applied and polished. Parchment is a highly durable material that can be used on both sides and is difficult to tear and burn. It has been used all over the world since the 2nd century.
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