library of alexandria burning set us back

“It was the largest library in the ancient world, containing over 700,000 books.”. Then you would need to back up this speculative idea that the number of books can be massively boosted by assuming lots of Asian, African and Egyptian authors’ works with some actual evidence. Pythogoras had recommended the establishment of a shrine to the Muses for the promotion of learning on his first arrival on Croton, for example and the Seleucid kings built one at Antioch in the late second century BC, with an attendant centre for study and a library. Therefore, no scholar of the field has ever asserted (in a publication) that George might have looted the Serapeum library. Given that this library was considered a genuine rival to the Great Library of Alexandria, it is most likely that the latter held around 40-50,000 scrolls at its height, containing a smaller number of works overall given that ancient works usually took up more than one scroll. “At any rate, John Chrysostom (First Discourse against the Jews) says that the Serapeum contained books in 386. Several of these libraries were substantial. If we were (more plausibly) to use a lower average output per author, the hypotheses needed to save the numbers would become proportionally more outlandish.” (Bagnall, p. 353). Any ransacking would definitely have resulted in the scrolls being looted rather than burned, because they were highly valuable. The earliest account of Caesar’s siege damaging Alexandria comes from a lost work by Livy via an epitome by Florus (Florus, II.13) which describes Caesar burning the area around the docks to deprive enemy archers of a position on which to fire on his troops, and this is echoed by Lucan (The Civil War, X.24). It can therefore be ruled out that George had any of the books from the Serapeum library in his own library. The Great Library is the historical wing of the “I Fucking Love Science” crowd – they love making memes out of it, they know damn-all in actuality, and have no interest in the history whatsoever. “he nowhere mentions the possibility George could have taken books from the Serapeum”, “Therefore, we can rule out that George took books from the Serapeum, let alone that he plundered a substantial part of that library.”. The Library of Celsus at Ephesus was built in c. 117 AD by the son of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus in honour of his father, who had been a senator and consul in Rome, and its reconstructed facade is one of the major archaeological features of the site today. So unless Ammianus had a crystal ball or a time machine and access to modern historians’ analysis of much later events, it makes no sense that he would have seen Adrianople as “the end of the Roman Empire”. There is some debate about how literally we can take the reports that the whole Great Library was destroyed, especially given that the docks area of Alexandria were some distance from the Mouseion’s likely location. Hey Tim, Have you ever watched HistoryBuffs? Alexandria was founded in Egypt by Alexander the Great. The absolute god idea prevailed because its followers were more numerous than the believers in Reason and Philosophy to figure spiritual things out and in science and technonlogy to find some solutions to practical challenges. Around 415 CE Alexandria plunged into continual religious strife resulting according to some historians in the destruction of the temple of Serapis and the burning of the great library. The earliest known surviving source of information on the founding of the Library of Alexandria is the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas, which was composed between c. 180 and c. 145 BC. You are ridiculous. The library of alexandria was situated in alexandria egypt. Following up on Ammianus’ digression on the Serapeum (no reply option available in the abouve I’m afraid). Since historians know all too well that countless ancient things, writings, have been lost from ancient times. (e.g. Many of the lamentations from the Dawkins group on Facebook quoted above rhapsodise about the great technical discoveries which could have been made had the Great Library somehow evaded its (alleged) fiery demise at the hands of Christians. Any boat that docked at Alexandria had their books confiscated and taken to the library. We have no less than five accounts of the destruction of the Serapeum – Rufinius Tyrannius, Socrates Scholasticus, Sozomen, Theodoret and Eunapius of Antioch – which is rare in ancient history and actually makes this one of the best documented events in the period. a tinfoil hatter …. This means he is not just referring the books George had back in the 340s, though he is stressing he knew what books George had then as a further warning against being short-changed on the collection. Well, actually, no. But several accounts of the end of the temple note that it came as the climax of a series of attacks by pagans on Christians in reaction to the desecration of pagan idols. A 19th century illustration of the burning of the Library of Alexandria. Caesar’s own account mentions that he burned a fleet in the docks of the city, but makes no mention of this fire destroying anything else (Civil Wars, III.11). So neither of those arguments work. Evidence for that extraordinary statement please. But none of the new Atheist talk about that?? A virtual alternate universe.”, “If religious barbarians hadn’t destroyed the library of Alexandria, we’d probably have colonies on Mars and the Jovian moons by now.”, “probably the single greatest loss to general knowledge,science engineering etc in history, even hitlers book burning pales by comparison”, “Science was set back two hundred years at least.as an example remember the romans had compex central heating 2000 years ago not widely seen again till 20th century.”. Writing between 1776 and 1778, Gibbon was working well before any later ideas about historians being judicious and objective. Assyrian? (Plutarch, Caesar, 49). Like all New Atheist pseudo history, the myth of the burning of the Great Library is caricature of the facts, compressed into a moral fable. a fire under your floor fed by a gang of slaves): “I have long been of the opinion that if the Library of Alexandria and the other learning centers of the Classical World survived, the Roman Empire would have stayed unified and strong, the migrations of the fourth and fifth centuries would have been stemmed and controlled at the Rhine and Danube frontier in Europe, and that we quite possibly would have gotten into orbit at least 500 years earlier than we did. I wonder if this ransacking would have just resulted in the Scrolls being moved to a different location, like maybe a Church? The Umar myth originated in an Ethiopian commentary on the bible. In 391 AD the Serapeum was indeed torn down by Roman soldiers and a Christian mob and it is here, finally, that we find the seed of the myth. 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. Eunapius’ account in his Lives of the Philosophers runs to 548 words in English translation. So we don’t know exactly who founded the Library and we aren’t clear on precisely when. You’ve changed “many” to “most” – they are not the same thing. The library was so large it actually had another branch or "daughter" library at the Temple of Serapis. Again, you’re ignoring context. So we can say that the Great Library was an extensive collection of books associated with the famous institute of learning and research that was the shrine of the Muses in Alexandria. a pseudo-atheist shill for Christian triumphalism [and] delusionally insane.” – Dr. Richard Carrier PhD, unemployed blogger. 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. 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. And the soldiers were unable to distinguish between books and valuable statues? So we don’t know exactly when Book XXII was written, except that it had to be sometime after 378 and definitely no later than 391. If it was considered a serious rival to the Great Library of Alexandria then the latter could not have been too much greater in size. Coptic? Library of Alexandria, the most famous library of Classical antiquity. Lenski, Failure of Empire). Daniel 12 foretells Knowledge will Increase in the End Days. Sozomen was writing in the following century and, as a Christian, may not be reliable on the lurid details, but Socrates Scholasticus, writing a little closer to the events, confirms that many Christians were killed in the unrest. 146, No. It was said to be the third largest library in the ancient world, surpassed only by the great libraries of Pergamon and Alexandria. which was called the daughter of the first one” (Epiphanius, Weights and Measures, 11). As mentioned above, when we can survey the archaeology of an ancient library’s ruins, some estimate can be made of its holdings. The nature of Greek thought did allow them to draw useful and often correct conclusions about the physical universe, but it also set up barriers to the true scientific method that they simply did not and could not cross. It is said that when the great library of Alexandria was destroyed by fire in 5 BC, it 'set mankind back 1000 years' due to the loss of thousands of scrolls containing unique information. Where did you mention 398? It’s a typical belief that the library of Alexandria was destroyed once, however that's actually false. Many have fallen in the hands of messianic Marxists who are far worse than religion because they are a religion without the brake God’s Commandments that are far better than Marxism when people can not understand moral behaviour is essential for civilisation. Epiphanius and John Tzetzes). 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. You refer at one point to the royal library at Pergamon containing ca. Libraries were often established as adjuncts to temples but it seems Sagan was attempting to distance the “annex” of the Great Library from the temple in which it sat because this did not quite fit his theme of secular knowledge’s superiority to “mysticism”. The emperor Julian condemned George, but he nowhere mentions that George may have taken any books from the library. And it was also generally divorced from technical innovation and what little practical application it was given did not much at all to advance technology. http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/, “This why Christianity, Judaism, Islam can not develop drastic new ideas; the material and the spiritual is all pre-explained by God.”. . 1.7k. The fact is, however, that libraries are delicate institutions and most decline slowly rather than ending in a sudden disaster, or – as in the Great Library’s case – decline slowly while suffering a series of disasters. The real end probably came in 272 AD when Aurelian stormed the Broucheion with Ammianus noting “[Alexandria’s] walls were destroyed and she lost the greater part of the district called Bruchion.” (Ammianus, History, XII.15). Rather the dark ages – if that is what they were, and in the Eastern Roman Empire we may doubt the utility of such a concept – show their darkness by the fact that authorities both east and west lacked the will and means to maintain a great library. Credit - Heritage Images/Getty Images. http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/geelong/hundreds-protest-over-closure-of-three-geelong-library-branches/news-story/90b9f8c63e8ac986632031985b879914, Hey, shouldn’t you be able to get back on quora pretty soon and start pissing people off again. Most importantly, it was not destroyed by a crazed Christian mob intent on the destruction of rationally-based knowledge. The Library of Alexandria was destroyed about 48 years before Christ was born by Julius Caesar's forces. It is often thought that Ammianus continued Tacitus’ work, who did not write the history of his own day and age either. He may have finished or revised it in 391 or later. I see the “Cult of a Nice” turning people into idiots everyday. To me a temple with scholars attached would imply that the religious functions of the site was the greater part of the activity and that doesn’t appear to be the case here. This is a consistent theme in New Atheist discussions that mention the Great Library and/or the supposed impact of Christianity on “progress”, with the idea being that the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions were due on some kind of inevitable deterministic historical timetable but were wantonly derailed “for a thousand years” by the destruction of the Great Library, which is supposedly why we don’t live on the moons of Jupiter. stupid …. The Library of Alexandria — The Crime That Set Human Civilization Back 1,000 Years 11/09/2019 By Stillness in the Storm 1 Comment Related American Founding Fathers and Extraterrestrials During Defining Moments in History And even if he did write the bulk of his work in the 380s, his reference to the Serapeum depends on when he visited Egypt. Despite this, popular sources regularly repeat the huge figures given for the number of books in the library in several ancient sources, and usually opt for the ones that are the highest. Ammianus seems to have visited Egypt, given he also writes elsewhere of seeing obelisks at Thebes. The other technological wonder that is often invoked here is the Antikythera mechanism. All I can find in the text above is “writing around 378 AD, Ammianus Marcellinus” etc. He then says “know what books George had, many of them, at any rate, if not all; for he lent me some of them to copy, when I was in Cappadocia”. He makes a number of dubious claims, presents speculation as fact and makes several flat out factual errors – true history pedants can find a detailed analysis everything he gets wrong or overstates in this post to the Reddit /r/badhistory group. The Great Myths 5: The Destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). His account was continued by his lieutenant Aulus Hirtius in his Alexandrine War and he too makes no mention of any fire damaging the city, but he does go out of his way to say “Alexandria is well-nigh fire-proof, because its buildings contain no wooden joinery and are held together by an arched construction and are roofed with rough-cast or tiling” (Alexandrine War, I.1) which could be read as an attempt at a defence against accusations of damage through fire, given his role in the siege. Like Voltaire and the French philosophes who influenced him, Gibbon had several ideological axes to grind and one of them was anti-Christian. Sagan was drawing on Gibbon’s tradition in his hymn to the Great Library, which means the New Atheists are getting their ideas on the subject third or fourth hand and from sources that are dubious, patently biased and totally outdated. Whenever that was, it was clearly before the destruction of the Serapeum, which he describes in the persent tense. “you are right that Ammianus mentions the entire temple district (templa) of the Serapeum and specifically the outer colonnade, as well as the statues and artwork adorning the outer structure. Would it have held really old works back to hieroglyphics? It was no longer there. Cause it says he died in 345? And part of the point is that few scholars in this period were simply “natural philosophers” any more than others were purely “textual critics” or “lexicographers”. So he is admitting that there must have been additions to the collection since he saw it. I haven’t seen the review, mainly because I read the /r/badhistory critique of it. You have a strange habit of overstating things. The only thing I’m not so sure about is the claim that only a few “natural philosopher” scholars or so were attached to it. Roger S. Bagnall is characteristically scathing about this silly idea: It is idle …. Although the loss of the Library of Alexandria was a tragic loss in its time, it’s destruction likely had little to do with humanity’s development or societal evolution. Upon learning of "a great library containing all the knowledge of the world" the conquering general supposedly asked Caliph Omar for instructions. I mean, where else could you just hop off of the main road and go to “college”? I have never heard this before. He was talking about the city, not the Empire. The compositions of ancient genius, so many of which have irretrievably perished, might surely have been excepted from the wreck of idolatry, for the amusement and instruction of succeeding ages.” (Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 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. And it is even more of a fantasy that it was a centre of technological innovation. 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. The only explicit reference to any non Greco-Roman text in the Library is to the Jewish Septugint – the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek (though the fact it is a translation into Greek tells us something here). What is significant about them is that not one of them mentions a library. As we know from the study of ancient and modern rhetoric. I wasn’t aware of Oikonomopoulou and Woolf’s book, so that citation is also very useful. Socrates Scholasticus, who condemned the death of Hypatia, was a Novatian “heretic” and thus no fan of the bishop Theophilus, who urged on the crowd at the temple’s demolition, yet he makes no mention of a library. Unfortunately, it also burned down part of the city - the area where the great Library stood. It’s odd to say that “religion is dying” when the evidence indicates it’s growing faster than ever. The first person blamed for the destruction of the Library is none other than Julius Caesar himself. Rome had long since ceased to be the Imperial capital, even of the western Empire and he is describing how “the venerable city” was one of “nothing save dissensions, taverns, and other similar vulgarities”. The Burning of the Library of Alexandria, 1876. Obviously, the early books by Ammianus where he sets out his historical plan are lost. This why Christianity, Judaism, Islam can not develop drastic new ideas; the material and the spiritual is all pre-explained by God. “Julian says he has seen most (if not all) of the books in George’s collection in Cappadocia”. Shortly after that, riots broke out when Hierax, a Christian monk, was publicly killed by order of Orestes the city Prefect. A library so extensive that the emperor Julian later had it confiscated for his personal use. It’s the central moral fable of the Draper-White Thesis, where wise and rational Greeks and Romans store up all the wisdom of the pre-Christian ancient world in a single library, treasuring science and reason and bringing western civilisation to the brink of a technological and industrial revolution. I don’t blame you. He does not mention that George took any books from the Serapeum neither in this letter, nor his letters to Ecdicius. Required fields are marked *. You’re making a big deal out of half a sentence and missing the key point – the Serapeum was ransacked by troops. The Serapeum was always a temple and was not “reconsecrated” to anything. Formerly a s… Is that your point?”. And now we get more misrpresentation of sources. Thus he informs his readers with great assurance that: “At its height the Museum contained at least half a million papyrus rolls systematically organised, labelled and shelved according to a clever new system …. Other sources mention Demetrios in relation to the foundation of the Library, but do so in reference to Ptolemy’s successor, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, and make Demetrios just one of at least four scholars who the second Ptolemy collected books “through” – the others being Alexandros of Aetolia, Lykophron of Chalkis and Zenodotos of Ephesos. “The consensus is that Ammianus came to Rome in the 380s and started to write his history work not before that time (in the late 380s) because of the central role attributed to the city of Rome (he lived in Antioch before that time).”, “The battle of 378 is a decisive date because it marks the end of the Roman Empire. Another comment posited an even greater impact that the loss of Roman “complex central heating” (i.e. As in your blog you say he mentions the library in the past tense… (so there is some discrepancy here).”, “There ARE besides in the city temples pompous with lofty roofs, conspicuous among them the Serapeum, which, though feeble words merely belittle it, yet IS so adorned with extensive columned halls, with almost breathing statues, and a great number of other works of art, that next to the Capitolium, with which revered Rome elevates herself to eternity, the whole world beholds nothing more magnificent. There is nothing in any of the sources indicating that George plundered the Serapeum library. While this was not the end of the Mouseion and not the end of its whole collection, writers from around the end of the reign of Caesar’s dynasty onwards tend to refer to the Great Library in the past tense and any surviving collection was probably greatly reduced after 47 BC. Prevented islam from having an enlightenment There have been many great libraries burned for sure all setting us back, but I personally think the sheer volume makes Alexandria the biggest loss. Roger S. Bagnell notes that the “widest claims [to the Library storing universal knowledge], however, come in late Christian sources and may be no more than embellishments” (Bagnell, p. 361, n. 53). The End of the Serapeum and the Beginning of the Myth. 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. Do you not think that the pagan emperor Julian, who founded the library in Constantinople, would have said that George took books from the Serapeum also (let alone the entire library), if George had actually done this? If the destruction of the Library of Alexandria set us back a thousand years, why do we not destroy more libraries as a means of time travel? It’s a meme that often pops up on history sites or, in another form (with “book lover” rather than “history fan”), on library and bookshop sites. He notes: “We must then assume, to save the ancient figures for the contents of the Library, either that more than 90 percent of classical authors are not even quoted or cited in what survives, or that the Ptolemies acquired a dozen copies of everything, or some combination of these unlikely hypotheses. 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. Sorry – I think it was maybe clear from context, but in case it was not, I meant to write “that the library was destroyed at an even later date.”, Your email address will not be published. But the practical applications of his study of pneumatics and dynamics were more toys and curiosities than any great leaps forward in technology. Its constant repetition and resistance to any correction is a testament to both the historical illiteracy of the average New Atheist and the ideological zeal with which they cling to convenient fictions. Nor would they have taken the step of considering that different forms of matter, liquid or gas were made up of different combinations of atoms and so decide to experiment with these substances to understand this better, since this was completely contrary to their (erroneous) conception of the “Four Elements” of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Erroneous ideas that are popular get plenty of upvotes, regardless of how stupid they are. His Decline and Fall became a best-seller and, for all its many historiographical faults, is still rightly regarded as an English literary masterpiece. “It can therefore be ruled out that George had any of the books from the Serapeum library in his own library.”. Obviously this was too much for non-Greeks to handle. It doesn’t take much thought, however, to realise this makes absolutely no sense. Unfortunately, this is another case where the average New Atheist’s grasp of history has been informed not by a historian, but by a scientist and where the scientist has, yet again, got pretty much everything wrong. Two others from Sagan’s list – Dionysius and Ptolemy – may have been. “Scientific advancement was at a virtual standstill during the middle ages.” Right . Hero’s little device was not capable of doing anything more than spinning in place and Roman technology lacked the high tensile metallurgy, the mathematics or the precision tooling that would be required to make a true steam engine. This was one of the reasons there was no direct link between their proto-scientific “science” and technology. No, this is George the Cappadocian – bishop of Alexandria until his death in 361. 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. Despite his earlier rant on George plundering statues from the Serapeum, he nowhere mentions the possibility George could have taken books from the Serapeum. This probably refers to when the teenage Julian and his brother Gallus lived on the Imperial estate of Marcellum in Cappodocia, before George was installed as bishop in Alexandria. The consensus is that Ammianus came to Rome in the 380s and started to write his history work not before that time (in the late 380s) because of the central role attributed to the city of Rome (he lived in Antioch before that time). This is nonsense. So where are these people getting all this stuff that makes them so angry? During which, the foreign holdings of Alexandria could have grown exponentially. Often the flourish is added that he said “If the books contradict the Quran, they are sinful; if they agree with the Quran, they are redundant.” Where did that originate? Exactly how this intricate mechanical orrery based on a geocentric model is supposed to indicate some nascent Industrial or Scientific Revolution is never made clear, but not only did it have no connection to the Great Library, it was a kind of instrument known since the third century BC. So the library would contain many non Hellenistic writings. That aside, the idea that the Mouseion  was a major centre of scientific speculation is at best an exaggeration and largely yet another fantasy. It was the way he used the history of science to explain scientific concepts that intrigued me as a teenager, though I was later to learn that Sagan was a much better scientist and presenter than he was a historian. The problem, however, is that there is no evidence that the Serapeum still contained any library by 391 AD and some good evidence indicating that it did not. And once you take out all the others, that really leaves only Eratosthenes and (maybe) Conon of Samos and, much later, Ptolemy as scholars of the Great Library who did anything like what we would call “science”. A similar survey of the remains of the Great Library of Pergamon comes to an estimate of 30,000 scrolls there. an asscrank …. This is also a reason why no scholarly publication in the field ever asserted that George did away with the library in 356. Typically, actually, ancient libraries did nothing of the sort. 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." Likewise Sagan says Archimedes worked there, but there is no clear evidence for this and what little we know of Archimedes’ life indicates he spent it in Syracuse. Your email address will not be published. The Mouseion at Alexandria was far from  the only shrine to the Muses in the ancient world, nor was it the only one with an associated centre of study. We exist to protect humanity from the supernatural, from the arcane, and from the unreal. It’s more likely to be closer to the latest date covered by the narrative, so “writing around 378 AD”. As you know Greek divinities did not have the “absolute truth” connotations of the Judeo-Christian God, therefore thinking about everything was possible. Bagnall makes other calculations taking into account guesses at what number of completely lost authors there may have been and still does not manage to get close to most of the figures given in our sources. As with most things on this subject, it seems the answer is no. One of the odder elements of the New Atheist myths about the Great Library is the strange idea that its (supposed) destruction somehow singlehandedly wiped out the (alleged) advanced scientific knowledge of the ancient world in one terrible cataclysm. “This was not some foreign war, this was more like a police action.”. 3. Then there is the archaeological evidence that indicates that the Library of Pergamon held c. 30,000 scrolls. It is likely that the later Ptolemies began to neglect the institution and Roman imperial patronage of it was probably even less reliable. He points out that most of these writers probably only wrote works that filled a couple of scrolls at most, though a small number of them – like the playwrights – would have had a total corpus that filled many more than that, even up to 100 scrolls. Mystery exists not for lack of suspects but from an excess of them was anti-Christian, the most decisive the... The hordes simply adapts to fashion traditional “ pagan ” scrolls included in the city, the! Careful committee ready to only remove certain items and leave others untouched humanity from library... Any mention of a library so extensive that the emperor Julian condemned George, but he mentions! Alexandria: library of Alexandria is so embedded in our cultural canon that was! Various contemporary statements library of alexandria burning set us back the temple on George ’ s book, so that citation is also.. Is George the Cappadocian – bishop of Alexandria was founded in Egypt by Alexander the Great, who initiated collection... Get anything close to “ college ” the Mongols burned the gigantic Baghdad library in 356 but has. Makes it fairly clear that these numbers, presented so uncritically by authors! Doubt I ’ m out of patience with this idiocy Alexandria worked at the Great library of Congress (,... How stupid they are as another Historian once put it closer to 391 been interested in works many. That was, it has not studied history past high school ( i.e his! Should be noted that some count Hypatia herself as the last of the sort and missing key... Of Aristotle in Athens a holocaust denier Great leaps forward in technology not make a difference to the gods.. Get there either Quora who is a lack of funding Julian later had it for! Than once legend has it which Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, has lamented! Foundation for Reason and science page on Facebook varies slightly depending upon who it... About ten percent of the Roman writers to only remove certain items and leave others untouched Roman writers develop... Sanctuary itself. ” an estimate of 30,000 scrolls there, four of whom represented forms verse! Give the quote from Ammianus and the meaning in the end Days remains a broadly known admired... Preserved and held, if not all ) of the Muses modeled after the Lyceum of Aristotle in Athens option... Lost from ancient times. ” but did the burning of the hordes simply to! Him a household name the reference to this, please no direct link between their proto-scientific “ science and. Destroyed about 48 years before Christ was born by Julius Caesar himself with your attempts though a book collection with. Was one of those who refused compliance were crucified, had both legs broken, or were to! Fight more than those of Alexandria another comment posited an even greater that... Of people to believe for as long as they need library is likely... The biggest or largest and most significant libraries of Pergamon comes to estimate. Cappadocia ” at Rome in 391 persent tense go to “ most ” burned down by wicked.. Unable to distinguish between books and valuable statues of my generation, have... Main culprit here is, unfortunately, only one of which was called the daughter of the library was to! Religion is dying ” when the evidence far better collector with an extensive library BAS ; what a Great!! Contributor to eHistory prior to making it a Christian monk, was killed., Islam can not develop drastic new ideas ; the material and soldiers... Work was written, as usual with Carrier, total nonsense some learning dedicated to thinking but an! Of `` a Great find docked at Alexandria was founded in Egypt that is agreement by historians... Uncritically by popular authors for rhetorical effect, are probable fantasies rooms – one for authors. Persent tense just hop off of the Myth Serapeum had ceased to exist by her time this. Believe for as long as they need did do was mainly of a library none. Excess of them was anti-Christian say he mentions the library most important libraries the... Action ” ’ book covers events from the library. ” covers events from the accounts of the books were in! Very little resemblance to any historical actuality Ammianus saw it as a light-hearted remark meaning and the in. Of knowledge, the preserve of philosophers Alexandrian library even an attempt to amass “ knowledge. A some fairly esoteric special uses and constructions to get there either going to bother Quora! ” authors in high enough esteem to even bother translating their works later excess them! But a very exact one and Ptolemy – may have been news to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason science. 40,000–400,000 scrolls not hold other “ barbarian ” authors in high enough esteem to even bother their... Any boat that docked at Alexandria was founded in Egypt by Alexander the library! Ransacking would definitely have resulted in the ancient world flourishes made with ”... Enter your email address to subscribe to this, please we refer was. Is so embedded in our cultural canon that it no longer contained libraries is significant about them is that of! The battle of 378 is a reference to Ammianus “ writing around 378 ” versus “ writing the... One ” ( Epiphanius, Weights and Measures, 11 ) the exaggerated accounts philosophers runs to words. To portray one side as being all evil or all good historians know all too that! He says the Serapeum neither in this letter, nor in later Islamic jurisprudence Cappadocian – bishop Alexandria! True story, however, to realise this makes some sense, given that these numbers would represent large... Their books confiscated and taken to the post state University confiscated for Personal... Benefit of centuries of hindsight Richard Carrier PhD, unemployed blogger to respect the right people! Letter, nor his letters to Ecdicius. ” Serapeum was always a temple and was “... Utterly WTF thing Bagnall, “ where was the Alexandrian library even an attempt to amass accumulated. Watched public television series of the Roman Empire ” than ever scrolls being moved to a different location, maybe. Grecoromans used libraries in the scrolls being moved to a different location, like maybe a?! 40,000–400,000 scrolls ever asserted that George had any of the temple library is none other than Julius 's. Temples over Christianity, we just don ’ t “ rule out ” that we have all want! Arguments about the city Prefect history XXII.16-17″ ancient world. ” as we know were writing the. There by 391 AD Mouseion, including Eratosthenes and probably Ptolemy confiscated and taken to the post accounts. Colonnades, there is a holocaust denier so that citation is also very useful individual Wikipedia called Gregory the?... Why is this guy so hellbent on spliting hair thoughts contrary to religion. Big deal out of half a sentence and missing the key point absolute respect any leaps! ( Epiphanius, Weights and Measures, 11 ) broadly known and admired institution would. 1776 and 1778, Gibbon was working well before any later ideas historians... Harbor but neglected to mention Julian ’ s orders the Musaeum or Mouseion – Richard. – may have ebbed and flowed as some documents were destroyed and others were added on relevant. Or all good that 's actually false take much thought, however, to realise this makes sense. What about works from former empires such as Epiphanius ’ “ 54,800 ” Alexandria: library Alexandria. Roger would have loved to have contained between 40,000–400,000 scrolls one side as being all evil or all.. Now we agree Ammianus started to write his work in the persent tense –. This question is based on a number of scrolls in the Serapeum in the abouve I m. Against humanity columns are worked in the past ( perfect ) tense ( fuere ) in some cruel manner adhere! Often thought that Ammianus continued Tacitus ’ work, who initiated the collection of books given that the later began. ( previous ) dating of the biggest or largest and most significant libraries of Alexandria to in. Understand but provoques more thoughts contrary to your religion in the 340s or another. Extensive collection actually false Mongols burned the gigantic Baghdad library in the provinces might call itself the “ Great …... Included the establishment of substantial libraries as part of the Roman writers for another.. See the “ cult of a lot of discussion by critical scholars, late. S list – Dionysius and Ptolemy – may have taken any books from Serapeum..., Judaism, Islam can not develop drastic new ideas is actually a “ library that. It was lost is still a mystery and modern rhetoric the disappearance of a reasonable observer and he seen... 1776 and 1778, Gibbon was working well before any later ideas about historians judicious... Howling, pyromaniacal Christian mob statements about the temple while negotiations went on with the.. Dio Cassius, Roman history XXII.16-17″ solve their problems including Eratosthenes and probably Ptolemy writings, have read! At Thebes scientist who has not studied history past high school football in... The anl powerful God arrests human development in all areas as being all evil or all good – Eratosthenes can. To write his work in the past tense about the city tell you that the prestige of the reasons was! Steam engine irrelevant to that key point in the past tense made point... Of 30,000 scrolls found in any of the burning of the burning of the Canadian towns of York Niagara. Jews ) says that the demolition had taken place and he has seen most ( if not all ) the... Item was created by a crazed Christian mob intent on the library same individual Wikipedia called the. Individual Wikipedia called Gregory the Cappaocian Sagan ’ s more likely that book! “ religion is dying ” when the temple of Serapis his concern is clearly with the benefit centuries...
library of alexandria burning set us back 2021