The remains of the oldest public library in Germany, a building erected almost two millennia ago that may have housed up to 20,000 scrolls, have been discovered in the middle of Cologne.
It is not clear how many scrolls the library would have held, but it would have been “quite huge – maybe 20,000”, said Schmitz.
The building would have been slightly smaller than the famed library at Ephesus, which was built in 117 AD.
“It dates from the middle of the second century and is at a minimum the earliest library in Germany, and perhaps in the north-west Roman provinces,” he said.
The building would have been used as a public library, Schmitz said.
“It is in the middle of Cologne, in the marketplace, or forum: the public space in the city centre.
It is built of very strong materials, and such buildings, because they are so huge, were public,” he said. »