It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

What if it didn't burn

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 01:15 AM
link   
I am trying to get some opinions on a subject that has interested me for some time. What if the great library of Alexandria didn't burn to the ground? How different would our world be today? Do you believe it would be more advanced. With the burning of the library the world did loose much. Things like computer technology, hydraulics, etc. Much of this had to be rediscovered and much has been rediscovered only recently. I am looking for opinions.




posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 02:20 AM
link   
It's hard to believe that all this knowledge was lost for ages because of this one event, it would have been retained in the minds of people and in the scrolls that were copied.

Everyone still knew that water flowed downhill and all the other fluids still behaved the same for everyone that worked with them, so I think hydraulics were safe.

Computer technology was not lost because they just didn't have it back then.

I think it's safe to say that the biggest loss was the original scrolls and what a treasure it would be to have them today. But I can't see how this did any real damage or changed the development of mankind.

This was only the largest library of the time, not the only library.



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 02:44 AM
link   
Much of the knowledge contained in Alexandria was syphoned off of merchants entering the city to trade, and travellers and pilgrims who came to worship. Even those who were just passing through, on their way to somewhere less impressive, were searched for manuscripts as they entered the city.

The manuscripts were copied, and then RETURNED to their original owners.

So any knowledge housed there that came by way of travellers, existed in at least one other place, and should have survived the fire. If there were indeed half a million documents, it's likely some were priceless originals, and works found nowhere else. Those documents were perhaps lost, but there's no guarantee that people didn't retain the knowledge.

So..the picture isn't entirely bleak.

Where would we be if it hadn't happened? My guess is we'd be in much the same state as we currently find ourselves. It's human nature that keeps tripping us up, not a lack of knowledge.

I think the same will be true whether you look at the 4th, 14th, or 40th century. Technology changes, but human nature, for the most part, doesn't.



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 10:33 AM
link   
Alot was lost though. And when I talk about computer technology I don't mean anything like a modern computer. I am talking about machines with many gears and such that perform one task. Something like the The Antikythera Mechanism.

[edit on 8/21/05 by jetsetter]



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 12:24 PM
link   
There's apparently several libraries of Alexandria, but it was also in competition with the lesser known (and equally as good, apparently) library at Pergamum.
www.mediahistory.umn.edu...

It apparently had a long decline, so it may not have had the latest and greatest research there:
www.digital-brilliance.com...

In any case, it didn't finally burn until the 600's. It was heavily damaged in 47BC, in 391, and in 641. It was heavily damaged in the first two, but the collections were apparently rebuilt. It did not survive the third burning.

The Antikythera Mechanism is not as old as you might think -- it's dated to about 80 BC. So the knowledge that was used to build it probably ended up at Pergamum and other libraries.

Very nice article in Wikipedia on this:
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 01:24 PM
link   
Burn baby burn...Disco inferno...

Byrd beat me too it...

[edit on 21/8/2005 by Odium]



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 11:27 PM
link   

Originally posted by jetsetter
I am trying to get some opinions on a subject that has interested me for some time. What if the great library of Alexandria didn't burn to the ground? How different would our world be today? Do you believe it would be more advanced. With the burning of the library the world did loose much. Things like computer technology, hydraulics, etc. Much of this had to be rediscovered and much has been rediscovered only recently. I am looking for opinions.

It wouldn't be any different today.

In 300ADs the Romans (more specifically the Church) copied everything that was in the library at that time (somewhat less than what was there in ancient times but had more contemporary articles from the time as well which were more important) and formed the Vatican Library.

Later Coptic Christians destroyed the Library partially in the mid-300s or so...and the Muslims finished the library off in the late 600s.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 07:11 PM
link   
Good analogy


This was only the largest library of the time, not the only library.

Life today probably wouldn't be much different, although there is the slim chance some jewel of yet re-discovered information was lost...



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 08:13 PM
link   
If anything, I would like to think we lost some insight into the ancient world and their doings. Was a large chunk of history gone? No, because as others stated, there were other records... but we lost a personal (?) history of a culture/people.

If your town library were to burn down, it wouldn't matter in the bigger scheme of things. The only thing that would be lost was your town's own personal touches or views. How a city feels greatly dictates what knowledge it stores.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 10:58 AM
link   
Considering the effect that the loss of pagan philosophical texts had on europe during the dark ages, and then the revitalization that occured when these classical texts were re-discovered (ie, the renaissance and enlightement), I'd have to say that if the Library of Alexandria hadn't been destroyed, that there might've never been a european dark ages.

To be clear, the library was destroyed long before the dark ages, but i am saying that the texts kept there (and added to it later) would've probably presented our counter acted the dark ages.

Look at how advanced islamic civilization was during this time, and that was from having some of the classical works, imagine if the entire library had been available to them AND europe. Heck, there might've been a real flow of documents and peoples and thoughts between, say, europe and india, and imagine the synergy that'd occur with that. Just look at the learning and influence that occured for the period of alexanders hellenistic empire.

The world would definitly be radically different.


Though, I have to wonder if being in a dark age set europe up for developing the modern scientific persepective, if the shock had an influential impact for a lot of people. Perhaps if there was no Dark Ages and thus shock, europeans wouldn't have developed the rennaisane and enlightenment. After all, for all their classical learning, the muslims developed not chemistry, but al-chemistry, more of a pseudo-science than a science. And Byzantium, as the survival of the classical greco-roman world, it was unique, but it wasn't scientific or highly advanced over, say, italy during the renaisance, so maybe there would've been global stagnation instead of continuous progress.



posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 03:32 PM
link   
I tend to agree with Sooth. We lost history. A very sad thing.

Lex



posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 04:17 PM
link   
This subject brings to mind the Spanish conquistadors burning the Mayan manuscripts, the popol vuh (Mayan genesis) survived because a Mayan priest hid it.
So little we know of the Mayan culture, stuff we could have known more about if the spaniards weren't such christian fundamentalists.

And Nygdan, thanks, the pagan stuff too, how much more we could have known about paganism, and our own history.

And all those books that hitler burned.
All those scrolls that Qin Shi Huang of the first Chinese dynasty had burned.

We lost so much of our history through intolerant people, it makes me sick how much more of our history of humanity could have been known, and how much clear and undistorted it could have been.

Things are burned and destroyed by the powers that be for one reason.
They have something to hide or suppress.

What was it



[edit on 4-2-2006 by Toadmund]




top topics



 
0

log in

join