Jan 13, 2005

Are you a book burner? Posted by Hello
The Decline of the Library and Museum of Alexandria ----The loss of the ancient world's single greatest archive of knowledge, the Library of Alexandria, has been lamented for ages. But how and why it was lost is still a mystery. The mystery exists not for lack of suspects but from an excess of them.----In Tom Stoppard's contemporary play, Arcadia, the budding genius Thomasina laments to her tutor about the burning of the ancient Library of Alexandria, "Oh, Septimus!—can you bear it? All the lost plays of the Athenians! Two hundred at least by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides—thousands of poems—Aristotle's own library!...How can we sleep for grief?" ---In A. D. 391, riots instigated by fanatical Christians damaged the collection heavily. During the years between disastrous events, the library collection had been gradually restored. In 641, the Caliph of Baghdad exhibited the same spirit of religious fanaticism in ordering Amrou to burn the books stored there. The loss of the library at Alexandria was a particularly grievous blow because the works of so many Roman scholars. literary geniuses, and historians were destroyed----The Library of Alexandria, containing up to half a million documents in the form of papyrus scrolls, covering subjects from mathematics to sexuality, was burnt in 415 during a christian coup d'etat against the nominal Roman prefect.----The Mysterious Fate of the Great Library of Alexandria


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