When Europe passed into the Dark Ages , Byzantine scriptoriums laboriously preserved Greco-Roman classics. As a result, Byzantium revived Classical models of education and libraries.  The Imperial Library of Constantinople was an important depository of ancient knowledge. Constantine himself wanted such a library but his short rule denied him the ability to see his vision to fruition. His son Constantius II made this dream a reality and created an imperial library in a portico of the royal palace.  He ruled for 24 years and accelerated the development of the library and the intellectual culture that came with such a vast accumulation of books.