Dromenon” was and is the rubric governing the fourth and final floor of Aby Warburg's Library. The word means “the thing done,” “the action,” and in the context of the Greek Mysteries referred to rites, as opposed to words and images. In the Warburg Library in London, dromenon covers law, social institutions, folklore, and customs, among which Warburg located politics. This essay is in large part a reflection on what Warburg understood by politics and its inherent conflict with libraries. For Warburg, both politics and libraries were ways of managing time; and the basic irony underscored in this article is that academic politics in the UK is now threatening the Warburg Library's continued existence.

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