A bishop soon destroyed the heritage of many generations of ancient minds in the name of a new faith. Current: None. What the Great Library Was. Aristarchus's student However, Demetrius of Phalerum, Theophrastus’ student, was likely the one who proposed the idea to Ptolemy. MMDE: Thousands. Immediately after the death of Hierax a group of Jews who had helped instigate his killing lured more Christians into the street at night by proclaiming that the Church was on fire. The earliest known collection of archived cont… Ptolemy VIII Physcon's expulsion of the scholars from Alexandria brought about a shift in the history of Hellenistic scholarship. The Royal Library of Alexandria or Ancient Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. The final individual to get blamed for the destruction is the Moslem Caliph Omar. Ancient Origins © 2013 - 2021Disclaimer - Terms of Publication - Privacy Policy & Cookies - Advertising Policy - Submissions - We Give Back - Contact us. The library was built in the heart of the ancient city of Alexandria, Egypt, and was founded in the 3rd century BC by Ptolemy II, one of Alexander the Great’s successors. The tragic burning of the great library of Alexandria destroyed over 500,000 scrolls amassing the collective thought of the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Macedonians, Babylonians, and unknown others, depriving these priceless items from future scholars. However, in 642 AD, when the city was captured by Muslims, they burned all the books not related to Islam that they found in public places. Therefore, the building contained several unique texts. If he was solely to blame for the disappearance of the Library it is very likely significant documentation on the affair would exist today. Such an omission proves little since he was not in the habit of including unflattering facts while writing his own history. Many writers seem to equate the Library of Alexandria with the Library of Serapis although technically they were in two different parts of the city. According to several authors, the Library of Alexandria was accidentally destroyed by Julius Caesar during the siege of Alexandria in 48 BC. Alexandria had long been known for its violent and volatile politics. The library had been heavily stocked by the aid of the perpetrator's non-Christian predecessor, Emperor Julian (the Apostate). Plutarch, for instance, provides this account: The loss of the ancient world's single greatest archive of knowledge, the Library of Alexandria, has been lamented for ages. In 2002, they constructed one more library close to the site of the initial Library of Alexandria. The Library of Alexandria burned in the first century AD and with it the vastest collection of irreplaceable and priceless objects that humanity has collected in History. The Library of Alexandria was completely destroyed nearly 2,000 years ago leaving no physical trace behind – but its formative scholarship and cultural resonance endure. A diaspora of Alexandrian scholarship occurred, in which scholars dispersed first throughout the eastern Mediterranean and later throughout the western Mediterranean as well. Some people believe that the library once held documents describing the achievements of Imhotep, The Grand Vizier who created the step pyramid of Djoser. The Museum was a shrine of the Muses modeled after the Lyceum of Aristotle in Athens. When Julius Caesar intervened in the civil war between Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII, Caesar set fire to the ships in the harbor. During his reign the Temple of Serapis was converted into a Christian Church (probably around 391 AD) and it is likely that many documents were destroyed then. Some regard the death of Hypatia as the final destruction of the Library. It also contained a lot of human history that is now lost forever. Partially because of the library, Alexandria became a seat of scholarship and learning. But these details, from the Caliph's quote to the incredulous six months it supposedly took to burn all the books, weren't written down until 300 years after the fact. Most of the earliest clay tablets that were created contained information saved for practical purposes. In 48 BC, Caesar was pursuing Pompey into Egypt when he was suddenly cut off by an Egyptian fleet at Alexandria. The story varies slightly depending upon who tells it but she was taken by the Christians, dragged through the streets and murdered. Their creators had no need to save or archive them and as such those first examples of writing are lost. In truth, ancient peoples generally had extremely limited knowledge of science and medicine—knowledge which modern peoples long ago surpassed. At Ancient Origins we believe that one of... Read More. The burning of the Library of Alexandria ranks among the worst crimes ever committed against humanity. While the Library of Alexandria survived several destructive forces throughout its existence, the most destructive was due to Julius Caesar. Answer to: What knowledge was lost in the Library of Alexandria? Roy MacLeod, The Library of Alexandria: centre of learning in the ancient world, 2000. Statue of Demetrius at the entrance of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. But the story is also a tad more complex. The scholars who had studied at the Library of Alexandria and their students continued to conduct research and write treatises, but most of them no longer did so in association with the Library. At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. Legendary Claddagh Rings: What are the True Origins of these Symbolic Irish Wedding Rings? The original library branch was located at the royal palace at Alexandria, near the harbor. This is the Ancient Origins team, and here is our mission: “To inspire open-minded learning about our past for the betterment of our future through the sharing of research, education, and knowledge”. 8) The ancient library of Alexandria was destroyed on two different occasions. In any case, losing the data included in the library is sufficient in order to still the soul of many academics these days. After his death, his nephew Cyril became Patriarch. I would not agree that the Moslems destroyed the library of Alexandria in 642 ce. In 387 AD, the Roman writer Ammianus Marcellinus wrote about the site. There is no evidence of the existence of the library after that date, but it seems that the people of Alexandria, the legendary philosophers, scientists, and their supporters saved some of the books. ( Public Domain ). Egypt was a country of free thinkers. This is the untold story of the Library of Alexandria. A notion of 'lost' implies that the Library of Alexandria held the last (and only remaining) copy of a work, and with its destruction (whether we mean the plundering of Aurelian in c. 274 AD, mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus, or the plundering of Christians connected with the destruction of Serapeum in 391 AD, or then the Muslim conquest of Alexandria in 642) whether this last copy was indeed lost. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 ). There had lived Aristarchus, that illustrious grammarian; and Herodianus, that accurate inquirer into the fine arts; and Saccas Ammonius, the master of Plotinus, and many other writers in various useful branches of literature, among whom Didymus, surnamed Chalcenterus, a man celebrated for his writings on many subjects of science, deserves especial mention; who, in the six books in which he, sometimes incorrectly, attacks Cicero, imitating those malignant farce writers, is justly blamed by the learned as a puppy barking from a distance with puny voice against the mighty roar of the lion. The Library dwindled during the Roman Period, due to lack of funding and support. So what treasures were lost in its devastating fire? The library continued to operate afterward, and while the extent to which it was destroyed is uncertain, there were undoubtedly countless irreplaceable texts lost. Perhaps one of the most interesting accounts of its destruction comes from the accounts of the Roman writers. The Real History of the Romani People and the Misnomer of Gypsies, 30 Years of Plastic Age Relics Overshadow Iron Age Heritage Site, Ancient Anomalous Human Skeletons: Humanity Could be Much Older Than We Think, Antichrist: The Deceiver, Betrayer and Herald of the End of Times, The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts, Britannia, Druids and the Surprisingly Modern Origins of Myths, Edgar Cayce, Six-fingered Giants and the Supernatural Creation Gods of Atlantis: Part 2, Petroglyphic Features of Portable Rock Art, The Northern Mysteries Current: Futhark and Mystery Schools of the Viking Age, Floki and the Viking Discovery of Iceland. Interesting article, but a minor correction: nobody translates texts from "Jewish." It is also quite likely that even if the Museum was destroyed with the main library the outlying "daughter" library at the Temple of Serapis continued on. The city he described did not exist for much longer. Greatly outnumbered and in enemy territory, Caesar ordered the ships in the harbor to be set on fire. It was a noble goal - to house a copy of every book in the world in one place. He said: ''Besides this there are many lofty temples, and especially one to Serapis, which, although no words can adequately describe it, we may yet say, from its splendid halls supported by pillars, and its beautiful statues and other embellishments, is so superbly decorated, that next to the Capitol, of which the ever-venerable Rome boasts, the whole world has nothing worthier of admiration. Library of Alexandria has been one of the largest libraries of the ancient world.People believed that it was destroyed in a huge fire some 2000 years back and the vast collection of scrolls and manuscripts were destroyed with it. But after having been long torn by violent seditions, at last, when Aurelian was emperor, and when the intestine quarrels of its citizens had proceeded to deadly strife, its walls were destroyed, and it lost the largest half of its territory, which was called Bruchion, and had long been the abode of eminent men. Over 100 scholars lived at the Museum full time to perform research, write, lecture or translate and copy documents. There is no evidence of the existence of the library after that date, but it seems that the people of Alexandria, the legendary philosophers, scientists, and their supporters saved some of the books. Student of history and Antiquity enjoy the work you do. In 391 AD, the beautiful temple of wisdom was ruined. Scholars from all over the Hellenistic world were allowed to browse the library. Messiah on Temple Mount: Are We Nearing the End of Time? The Musaeum was home to 1,000 scholars at one point in time. Unfortunately, it also burned down part of the city - the area where the great Library stood. Orestes was said to be under the influence of Hypatia, a female philosopher and daughter of the "last member of the Library of Alexandria". The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe. But Caesar was not without public detractors. Many famous philosophers, zoologists, biologists, and other researchers worked in the Musaeum. Dive in and test your knowledge! But scientists in Egypt could voice even the most rebellious theories and explore any field of science. Although it should be noted that some count Hypatia herself as the last Head Librarian. Since there are no archaeological remains left, we only have ancient texts to try and rebuild its history. Caesar wrote of starting the fire in the harbor but neglected to mention the burning of the Library. Photo Source: ( peripluscd.wordpress.com). Is St Catherine of Alexandria a Fictional Person Based on Hypatia of Alexandria? Probably everyone mentioned above had some hand in destroying some part of the Library's holdings. In 640 AD the Moslems took the city of Alexandria. In the Hellenistic world, many sciences (like anatomy) were forbidden. The Ptolemy kings became patrons of scholarship and learnings, which eventually led to the formation of the Great Library of Alexandria. His successor as Pharaoh, Ptolemy I Soter, founded the Museum (also called Museum of Alexandria, Greek Mouseion, “Seat of the Muses”) or Royal Library of Alexandria in 283 BC. In 48 BC, Caesar was pursuing Pompey into Egypt when he was suddenly cut off by an Egyptian fleet at Alexandria. Theophilus was Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412 AD. The Caliph has been quoted as saying of the Library's holdings, "they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous." Those who wished to discredit Islam attributed the destruction to Muslim conquerors of Egypt during the Arab Conquest; more recently, it has been used to discredit Christians and to portray them as destroyers of ancient knowledge. It is known that many works by Callimachus, Eratosthenes, Herophilus, Hipparchus, Pappus, Theon and his daughter Hypatia (her early work) were once part of the library too. The library was so large it actually had another branch or "daughter" library at the Temple of Serapis. 150,000-Year-Old Pipes Baffle Scientists in China: Out of Place in Time? How many books were lost when it was destroyed? The loss of scientific understandings in that of physics and medicine, as well as the loss of cultural and historical documentation and knowledge, and much more, is unlike any other event in recorded history. After this there was mass havoc as Christians retaliated against both the Jews and the Pagans - one of which was Hypatia. More than a thousand years before the first European explorer reached Korea’s shores, the Persian Empire was writing love stories about Korean princesses. There are many reported human skeletal finds which are in discordance with current evolutionary beliefs dating back to anomalously ancient geological periods in the distant past, way before it is accepted that human beings ever existed. In it were libraries of inestimable value; and the concurrent testimony of ancient records affirm that 70,000 volumes, which had been collected by the anxious care of the Ptolemies, were burnt in the Alexandrian war when the city was sacked in the time of Cæsar the Dictator. However, in 642 AD, when the city was captured by Muslims, they burned all the books not related to Islam that they found in public places. Alexandria was founded in Egypt by Alexander the Great. The fire spread and destroyed the Egyptian fleet. The consequences of religious pomposity and arrogance. As such, it has not been reviewed for accuracy by the University and does not necessarily adhere to the University's scholarly standards. Ancient Wonder of the World: Egypt Approves Plan to Rebuild Pharos of Alexandria. It’s a little-known story that could change the way we see our history. To best-preserved library building of the ancient world. For instance, Mark Antony was supposed to have given Cleopatra over 200,000 scrolls for the Library long after Julius Caesar is accused of burning it. During the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, one of China’s most important libraries suffered the loss of centuries’ worth of materials. So, allegedly, all the texts were destroyed by using them as tinder for the bathhouses of the city. Luciano Canfora, The Vanished Library, 1990. We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives. Beyond the Pyramid Ramp: Unravelling Egypt’s Most Elusive Enigma, Cover Up: Very Early Human Presence in Malta Has Been Intentionally Hidden, Enigmatic Carvings on Underwater Ruins in China Mystify Investigators, Alba Fucens, a City Not Even the Roman Gods Could Protect, From the Vikings to WWII, the Danevirke Wall Has Seen it All, The Wolves of Dacia Take On the Roman Empire, Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire Served the Sultan in More Ways Than One, Lockdown Looting: Massive Hoard of Stolen Serbian Artifacts Seized. The mystery exists not for lack of suspects but from an excess of them. As such, when their relevance expired, the tablets were either erased and used again or re-used as building materials. 3 Problems to Remember When Trying to Find Atlantis, Egyptian Alexandria - Ancient underwater finds revealed the Pharaonic roots of the Ptolemaic City, The destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria, The Canopus Way of Ancient Alexandria and the Birthday of Alexander the Great. So who did burn the Library of Alexandria? Learn about current events in   historical perspective on our Origins site. Unfortunately, no matter how long they work, nothing will ever recover the burned scrolls which are lost forever. That was the vision of the rulers of Alexandria 2,300 years ago. And if there was no record of something, then they’d simply invent what they thought was missing. Much of the contents of the Hanlin Yuan, one of the key centers of learning in Peking (now known as Beijing), was destroyed when the building was set on fire during the conflict. As an accidental casualty of war, the Library suffered extensive damage during the Ptolemaic siege in 48 BCE. '', Artistic Rendering of the Library of Alexandria, based on some archaeological evidence. Library of Alexandria, the most famous library of Classical antiquity. The oldest known example of the exquisite pigment is said to be about... Owing to fluctuations in the earth’s temperatures, the sea levels all over the world rose and fell in more or less regular intervals during the Pleistocene between 400,000 to 12,000 years ago. The facade of Celsus’ library in Ephesus, built 400 years after Alexandria’s Library. Great Library of Alexandria- Pool of knowledge including the facts about alien sightings. The great library of Cordoba and through out Iberia are testament to this sympatico and tolerance then in vogue with Islamists. The Museum was a place of study which included lecture areas, gardens, a zoo, and shrines for each of the nine muses as well as the Library itself. It housed anywhere between 650,000 to one million scrolls, which was basically everything ever written up until that point. This item was created by a contributor to eHistory prior to its affiliation with The Ohio State University. It has been estimated that at one time the Library of Alexandria held over half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India and many other nations. Ships arriving in Alexandria were reportedly ransacked for any texts the Library … Greatly outnumbered and in enemy territory, Caesar ordered the … If not for Islams Cordoba there would have been no Euro enlightenment and the heathen hords might have remained in the dark ages flinging dung at one another for fun. It was as much a part of power politics as the king’s mercenary army, and it could be as ruthless in its operations. Even then it was said to have taken six months to burn all the documents. Alexander and Ptolemy were both students of the famous philosopher Aristotle - and his teachings influenced the Musaeum’s creation. These facts condemning Omar were written by Bishop Gregory Bar Hebræus, a Christian who spent a great deal of time writing about Moslem atrocities without much historical documentation. After his death, his friend (or perhaps step brother) Ptolemy I became the pharaoh of Egypt. Plutarch and Cassius's bio also wrote that Caesar destroyed the library. Ammianus Marcellinus, Roman History, available at: http://lexundria.com/amm/22.16/y. Top image: Illustration of what might have been the Musaeum. Situated in Alexandria, Egypt, the Library of Alexandria was the de facto National Archives of Antiquity. (…) Alexandria itself was not, like other cities, gradually embellished, but at its very outset it was adorned with spacious roads. The Library of Alexandria was not created as a benevolent or altruistic center of knowledge. Moreover, the Ptolemies bought many ancient scrolls, including texts by Homer, Sapho, and other ancient writers. One ancient writer claimed that there was no people who loved a fight more than those of Alexandria. It is extremely difficult to find out exactly what was located on the shelves of the library, but generations of passionate researchers have created some possible lists of the lost scrolls’ authors. It is likely that no one else followed as director of the Musaeum after Aristatchus of Samothrace stopped holding the role in 145 BC. Unfortunately, the tablets along with the rest of the library have been lost to fire or time, meaning we have little record of the library’s exact contents. The first person blamed for the destruction of the Library is none other than Julius Caesar himself. But how and why it was lost is still a mystery. The so-called destruction of the Library of Alexandria is largely myth, and of modern origin. The imperial harem of the Ottoman era was the collection of wives, servants and concubines of the Sultan, who sometimes numbered in the hundreds. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. More research and less bias. The most famous library of classical antiquity, the Ancient Library of Alexandria formed part of the research institute known as the Alexandrian Museum, also known as the Mouseion, meaning “Shrine of the Muses”. Unfortunately most of the writers from Plutarch (who apparently blamed Caesar) to Edward Gibbons (a staunch atheist or deist who liked very much to blame Christians and blamed Theophilus) to Bishop Gregory (who was particularly anti-Moslem, blamed Omar) all had an axe to grind and consequently must be seen as biased. But the books were only the part of the collection. The library was under siege and ravaged by fire several times over the years. Most of these works were never copied and did not survive in other collections. The tragic story of the building’s destruction continues to be a painful one for people who love ancient history and literature. The monumental Musaeum of Alexandria was famous for its legendary library. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained. Selected sources:"The Vanished Library" by Luciano Canfora"Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbons. The nature of the Library of Alexandria was meant to compile all of the world's knowledge. Some were mere playthings or used for the production of heirs, while others rose to great power and influence. The collection may have ebbed and flowed as some documents were destroyed and others were added. The second story of the Library's destruction is more popular, thanks primarily to Edward Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". Islam was coming into its golden age in 642 and was preserving and transcibing ancient text not destroying such knowledge. Many Renaissance scholars devoted themselves to remembering what was lost. But unfortunately, those were also lost. When Strabo visited the Musaeum he was overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the temple of knowledge. Lilith: Adam’s First Wife in Eden or a Diabolical Demoness? Shortly after that, riots broke out when Hierax, a Christian monk, was publicly killed by order of Orestes the city Prefect. It formed part of the research institute at Alexandria in Egypt that is known as the Alexandrian Museum. Heritage of many academics these days peoples generally had extremely limited knowledge of the happy ending a. 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