The most famous library of Classical antiquity. It formed part of the research institute at Alexandria in Egypt that is known as the Alexandrian Museum (Mouseion, “shrine of the Muses”). Libraries and archives were known to many ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece, but the earliest such institutions were of a local and regional nature, primarily concerned with the conservation of their own particular traditions and heritage. The idea of a universal library, like that of Alexandria, arose only after the Greek mind had begun to envisage and encompass a larger worldview. The Greeks were impressed by the achievements of their neighbors, and many Greek intellectuals sought to explore the resources of “Oriental” knowledge.