The few examples of Etruscan language that survive tell more about the dead than the everyday lives of the living, being mostly eulogies in tombs of the elite.
The 11-volume On the Mixtures and Powers of Simple Drugs by 2nd-century Greek physician Galen, with its ancient guidelines for pharmacology, was standard reading for centuries in the medical profession.
Only one library from the classical world is known to have survived along with its texts: the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. Ever since its discovery in 1754, archaeologists have attempted to crack open the villa’s carbonized texts with knives, chemicals, and unrolling machines, all with little success and often irreversibly destructive results.
The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford and the Vatican Library have some of the richest collections of ancient biblical texts, but most of them are inaccessible to the general public. Now, through a collaborative project, 1.5 million manuscript pages are being digitized for public access online.