Archives and Rare Books, University of Cincinnati

Printing and Knowledge: Architectural Symbols of the Carl Blegen Library.


Ex Oriente Lux. Ex Oriente Lux. Panel below fifth floor window.



Ex Occidente Lux. Ex Occidente Lux. Panel below fifth floor window.



In the stonework on the front of the library, modern civilization is portrayed as the product of Eastern and Western wisdom.  Below the fifth floor windows are two sculptured panels, the right one of which shows contributors to Eastern culture: Sargon the Great, Cheops, Hammurabi, Moses, Darius the Great, Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Justinian.  Below them are carved the words "Ex Oriente Lux" (Light from the East).  The opposite panel at the left side of the building holds the carved figures of Euclid, Homer, Phidias, Plato, Herodotus, Shakespeare, Goethe, Galileo and Dante. The inscription reads "Ex Occidente Lux" (Light from the West.)