The great library of Alexandria, Egypt, was said to be dedicated to the muses. Imagine a single institution built for the purpose of increasing mankind's learning in all areas, and you have an idea of what the Alexandria library was like.
Approximately 300 years B.C., the library flourished, and is pointed to as being the first place where scientists accurately understood the size of the earth. People were dedicated to discovering as much as possible about the world we live in.
Even though they were able to understand the concept of creating a steam engine, they didn't make enough advances in printing. All books had to be created by hand on scrolls.
Their muses were just as fleeting as ours are today.