The Map of Knowledge
I'm reading this book about how knowledge was transmitted from the time of the Ancient Greeks, through the Middle East, into Spain with Muslim translations. then translated into Latin.
For example, I learned that Toledo in the twelfth century was on 'the frontier between Muslim and Christian worlds,' and was 'a portal through which knowledge flowed.' It was in Toledo that Gerard of Cremona found, copied and translated Ancient Greek and Medieval Muslim texts into Latin.
Many works were lost, over the centuries but those works that had been saved in Greek, Arabic and Latin informed the Rennaisance in fourteenth and fifteenth century Italy.
These books included Euclid's The Elements, written in Alexandria around 300 BCE.
Compare this to twenty-first century transmission of knowledge via the internet.