Stealing books and cats
- From: Eric Eldred <eldred@[redacted]>
- Subject: Stealing books and cats
- Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 14:07:12 -0400
On Thu, Apr 06, 2000 at 11:16:21PM -0400, Eric Eldred wrote:
> _The Economist_ magazine, Apr 8-14, 2000, has
> an excellent article on the new "space-ship"
> library opening this year in Alexandria, Egypt.
I forgot to mention that the article states
that the Greco-Egyptian Ptolemies were such
avid book collectors that they sent police
around the harbor to seize any new books
brought in by ships.
On the other side of the picture, I remember
that there is evidence that the cat was first
domesticated in Egypt, where it became
venerated as a god. The economy was based
on grain (beer, bread, onions) and cats were
invaluable to control rodents who ate grain.
So valuable, in fact, that Phoenician sailors
trading grain with the Egyptians made it a
point to steal as many cats as they could when
visiting Egyptian harbors. So the Egyptians
commonly called the Phoenicians "cat thieves"
and I suppose we might call the Egyptians
"book thieves" the same way.
(I'm not sure why they didn't just trade books
for cats, instead of stealing them from each other--
anybody have any ideas about that?)
"Eric" Eric Eldred Eldritch Press