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Library of Alexandria

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posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 04:43 PM
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I've heard some people talking about how that if it weren't destroyed, we'de either be far more advanced, or we wouldn't exist at all. I know nothing and have never heard of this library, so could someone please fill me in on where, and when this building* took place? and could you tell me stuff about it?


I put the asterisk(*) on building because im not sure if was a building or mythical reference or maybe a symbolic title.




posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 04:55 PM
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A good question, really, and one we discussed before (so I know a smidgin about it.)

There were several libraries at Alexandria, and while they contained valuable and interesting books, they didn't contain UNIQUE copies of everything. So the idea that burning down one great library destroys civilization isn't well founded.

The most common version is that the library was destroyed by a mob of Christians, who viewed it as a center of evil. The head librarian was a woman (which they found disgusting and evil) and they attacked her when she was traveling in the streets and literally tore her apart. Then they burned the library to keep the dangerous pagan knowledge out of the hands of people.

Other stories, less common, are that Julius Caesar burned it, and that the Muslims burned it in 600 AD, and that the Emperor Theodotius ordered its destruction in 300 AD.

Hypatia was a real person... but there's a lot of legend associated with her. Wikipedia article:
en.wikipedia.org...

The Straight Dope has a nice review of the arguments here:
www.straightdope.com...



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:11 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd

There were several libraries at Alexandria, and while they contained valuable and interesting books, they didn't contain UNIQUE copies of everything. So the idea that burning down one great library destroys civilization isn't well founded.


and i suppose you have proof to back up your claim that they didnt contain any unique copies of anything?



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 09:32 PM
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and i suppose you have proof to back up your claim that they didnt contain any unique copies of anything?

Do you know a library not to have any copies of the housed books? How else the scholars in the library will spend their time if not rewriting them. Besides this is the best way to understand a document. Imagin to copy a book. Then the writer becomes you. You live the moment.

According to the loss of the Library of Alexandria, egyptians or anyone else in these years ever wrote any poem for the great loss of humanity...!

Can you suspect why?
Perhaps there were copies untouched (or the ones that lost were copies and the authentic had been placed somewhere else)



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 05:38 AM
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the Muslims burned it in 600 AD

just for once we know that this claim was not true
Islam wasn't even founded until 620AD
so unless they had a time machine
hehehe

In 640 AD the Moslems took the city of Alexandria. Upon learning of "a great library containing all the knowledge of the world" the conquering general supposedly asked Caliph Omar for instructions. 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." So, allegedly, all the texts were destroyed by using them as tinder for the bathhouses of the city. Even then it was said to have taken six months to burn all the documents. 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. These facts condemning Omar were written by Bishop Gregory Bar Hebrus, a Christian who spent a great deal of time writing about Moslem atrocities without much historical documentation.


so a Catholic Bishop made put the blame on the moslems
now why would he do that
muhahahaha



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by Dragonlike

Do you know a library not to have any copies of the housed books? How else the scholars in the library will spend their time if not rewriting them. Besides this is the best way to understand a document. Imagin to copy a book. Then the writer becomes you. You live the moment.


youre thinking is too modern. they didnt have printing presses....all books at that time were printed by hand. it is impossible to know what was in the collective libraries, or what was lost. anyone who says otherwise is blowing smoke up your arse.....and the self-proclaimed experts of this board should know better.


edit: oh and schmidt......your second signature is einstein.



[edit on 15-12-2006 by snafu7700]



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 09:53 AM
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The legend of the libraries at Alexandria are rife with speculations. It's a regular 'whodunit' with lots of fingers pointing elsewhere and plenty of agenda driven disinformation.

Here's an interesting collection of university student papers which are available online
However, please note the disclaimer


Please note: These papers were prepared for the Greek Science course taught at Tufts University by Prof. Gregory Crane in the spring of 1995. The Perseus Project does not and has not edited these student papers. We assume no responsibility over the content of these papers: we present them as is as a part of the course, not as documents in the Perseus Digital Library. We do not have contact information for the authors. Please keep that in mind while reading these papers


-and, a snippet from the text-


The library of Alexandria is a legend. Not a myth, but a legend. The destruction of the library of the ancient world has been retold many times and attributed to just as many different factions and rulers, not for the purpose of chronicling that ediface of education, but as political slander. Much ink has been spilled, ancient and modern, over the 40,000 volumes housed in grain depots near the harbor, which were supposedly incinerated when Julius Caesar torched the fleet of Cleopatra's brother and rival monarch. So says Livy, apparently, in one of his lost books, which Seneca quotes.[2] The figure of Hypatia, a fifth-century scholar and mathematician of Alexandria, being dragged from her chariot from an angry Pagan-hating mob of monks who flayed her alive then burned her upon the remnants of the old Library, has found her way into legend as well, thanks to a few contemporary sources which survived.[3] Yet while we know of many rumors of the destruction of "The Library" (in fact, there were at least three different libraries coexisting in the city), and know of whole schools of Alexandrian scholars and scholarship, there is scant data about the whereabouts, layout, holdings, organization, administration, and physical structure of the place.


I recommend a little 'look-through' this site specifically due to the wealth of information it provides, even though it is tainted by the remote possibility of incorrect speculations by the various authors.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
edit for punctuation

and grammar


[edit on 15/12/06 by masqua]

[edit on 15/12/06 by masqua]



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 10:25 AM
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i like the claim that the catholics looted what they needed and then burnt it to the ground to control the information and keep it from the masses
they later tried to blame the muslims who didn't exist at the time
and currently have a secret library at the vatican that no one is allowed to access
i wonder what could be in there
hehe

besides which
many of the works known to be at the library such as the writings of Poseidonius who claimed that the world had a circumference of 18,000 miles are quite apparent in the works of catholic heroes such as columbus who also thought that the world had an 18,000 mile circumference and was so convinced that he set out to prove it. He came up with the radically new idea that the world was egg shaped which is also something that the ancient greek polymath had supported. There is no other way he could have known of this unless it was from the vatican who actively supported his progress as it would claim the new lands and all their wealth for them.
that'll teach him to rely on an untested hypothesis



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 02:52 PM
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thanks everyone for your responses. I guess i'll never know who really burnt it down, but im siding with the 'cathlics dunnit and blamed it on the muslims' theory. But is there any speculation as to what information was lost, or is it just a mystery? Also, thanks for the assistance on my sig, snafu, but i actually have einstein in there after the quote, i guess it just got cut off, ill go fix that now. Again thanks everyone.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by snafu7700
and i suppose you have proof to back up your claim that they didn't contain any unique copies of anything?


According to the legends, anyone coming to Alexandria that had a book or scroll must give the document to be re scribed, so the library would have a copy. Not saying there wasn't any unique ones, but most of the documents were duplicates of other ones. I just remember a Carl Sagan Cosmos episode that mentioned some of the texts reported to be there. It seems that a lot of knowledge had to be relearned and rediscovered due to the sacking of the Libraries.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by Schmidt1989
...is there any speculation as to what information was lost, or is it just a mystery?


Not really a mystery...we have a fairly good idea what they were interested in, which can be seen here...



Mathematics
Alexandrian mathematicians concerned themselves for the most part with geometry, but we know of some researches specific to number theory. Prime numbers were a source of fascination from the time of the Pythagoreans onwards. Eratosthenes the Librarian dabbled in numbers along with everything else, and is reported to have invented the "sieve", a method for finding new ones.[20] Euclid also was known to have studied this tricky subject.
Eudoxis of Cnidus (see biography), Euclid's pupil, probably worked out of Alexandria, and is known for developing an early method of integration, studied the uses of proportions for problem solving, and contributed various formulas for measuring three dimensional figures. Pappus (See biography), a fourth century A.D. scholar, was one of the last of the Greek mathematicians and concentrated on large numbers and constructions in semicircles (See Vatican manuscript), and he was also an important transmitter into European culture of astrology gleaned from eastern sources.[21] Theon and his daughter Hypatia also continued work in astronomy, geometry, and mathematics, commenting on their predecessors, but none of their works survive.

Astronomy
Astronomy was not merely the projection of three-dimensional geometry into a fourth, time, although this is how many Greek scientists classified it. The movements of the stars and sun were essential for determining terrestrial positions, since they provided universal points of reference. In Egypt, this was particularly vital for property rights, because the yearly inundation often altered physical landmarks and boundaries between fields. For Alexandria, whose lifeblood was export of grain and papyrus to the rest of the Mediterranean, developments in astronomy allowed sailors to do away with consultation of oracles, and to risk year-round navigation out of sight of the coast.[22] Earlier Greek astronomers had concentrated on theoretical models of the universe; Alexandrians now took up the task of detailed observations and mathematical systems to develop and buttress existing ideas.

www.perseus.tufts.edu...


There's more info on that link above and other links available on that web page.



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