Bibliomania: the Egyptian Ptolemys loved their library

In Nuce: Literatuer and Language Geekland
From Egypt Past and Present by William Adams, Curiosities of Literature by Isaac D'Israeli, and Ancient History by Philip Myers:

After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B. C., the vast conquered territories of Greece were divided as spoils between his chief captains. Egypt was awarded to Ptolemy Lagus, also known as Soter, who went on to father a dynasty of Greek rulers, including infamous Cleopatra at the end of the line.

Several of the Ptolemys proved to be great lovers of learning, and during their reigns, Egypt became a repository for the science and learning that had begun to languish in a degenerating Greece.

The first Ptolemy founded the famous library at Alexandria, a seat of scholarship in the ancient world. On the front of the building was engraved, "The nourishment of the soul," or as  Greek historian Diodorus interpreted, "The medicine of the mind." Ptolemy drew artists, poets, and philosophers to Alexandria by promising them special privileges, gifts, and his patronage.

According to Isaac D'Israeli, British writer and scholar, the second Ptolemy, Philidelphus"infused a soul" into his father's legendary library by appointing  librarian Demetrius Phalereus,
whose skilful industry amassed from all nations their choicest productions. Without such a librarian, a national library would be little more than a literary chaos. 
Under the direction of Philidelphus, Hebrew scripture was translated into Greek. This translation, known as the Septuagint, derived it's name from the number of translators, seventy, or septuaginta in Latin.

Philidelphus' love of literature was so great, in fact, that he refused to send wheat to a starving Athens until Athens had sent him the original manuscripts of Æschylus, Sophocles, and EuripidesPhilidelphus, meaning to make copies of the originals for the library in Alexandria, instead ended up keeping the original manuscripts and returning the copies, allowing the Athenians to keep the security deposit he had put on the originals. We assume he also sent the wheat he had promised.

The third Ptolemy, whose surname Euergetes meant "Benefactor", continued to expand the Egyptian/Greek kingdom and increase the Alexandrian library. Aristophanes frequented his court. 

D'Israeli continues:
Even when tyrants, or usurpers, possessed sense as well as courage, they have proved the most ardent patrons of literature; they know it is their interest to turn aside the public mind from political speculations, and to afford their subjects the inexhaustible occupations of curiosity, and the consoling pleasures of the imagination. Thus Pisistratus is said to have been among the earliest of the Greeks, who projected an immense collection of the works of the learned, and is believed to have been the collector of the scattered works, which passed under the name of Homer.

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