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Library of Alexandria discovered
BBC News ^ | Wednesday, 12 May, 2004 | Dr David Whitehouse

Posted on 05/17/2004 10:10:51 AM PDT by presidio9

Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the site of the Library of Alexandria, often described as the world's first major seat of learning. A Polish-Egyptian team has excavated parts of the Bruchion region of the Mediterranean city and discovered what look like lecture halls or auditoria.

Two thousand years ago, the library housed works by the greatest thinkers and writers of the ancient world.

Works by Plato and Socrates and many others were later destroyed in a fire.

Oldest University

Announcing their discovery at a conference being held at the University of California, Zahi Hawass, president of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that the 13 lecture halls uncovered could house as many as 5,000 students in total.

A conspicuous feature of the rooms, he said, was a central elevated podium for the lecturer to stand on.

"It is the first time ever that such a complex of lecture halls has been uncovered on any Greco-Roman site in the whole Mediterranean area," he added.

"It is perhaps the oldest university in the world."

Professor Wileke Wendrich, of the University of California, told BBC News Online that the discovery was incredibly impressive.

Alexandria was a major seat of learning in ancient times and regarded by some as the birthplace of western science.

Birthplace of geometry

It was a tiny fishing village on the Nile delta called Rhakotis when Alexander the Great chose it as the site of the new capital of his empire.

It was made Egypt's capital in 320 BC and soon became the most powerful and influential city in the region.

Its rulers built a massive lighthouse at Pharos, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the famed Library of Alexandria.

It was at the library that Archimedes invented the screw-shaped water pump that is still in use today.

At Alexandria Eratosthenes measured the diameter of the Earth, and Euclid discovered the rules of geometry.

Ptolemy wrote the Almagest at Alexandria. It was the most influential scientific book about the nature of the Universe for 1,500 years.

The library was later destroyed, possibly by Julius Caesar who had it burned as part of his campaign to conquer the city.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: alexanderthegreat; alexandria; archaeology; cantstandsya; classicalgreek; economic; epigraphyandlanguage; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; library; libraryofalexandria; tropicofcancer
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

If you get the chance read the book "Treasure" by Clive Cussler. It's a book about the library director smuggeling most of the books and artworks out and hiding them before the library was destroyed. The story is about it's discovery 2000 years later in an unlikely place.It's an action adventure book with other subplots to it.It's a great read!


81 posted on 07/21/2004 8:05:37 AM PDT by painter
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Fascinating history of the library. Notes that the library was *not* burned by Julius Caesar, and in fact was around during Roman times, and was finally consigned to the flames by the Moslems:

The Vanished Library The Vanished Library
by Luciano Canfora
tr by Martin Ryle


82 posted on 04/21/2006 8:37:13 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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Fascinating history of the library. Notes that the library was *not* burned by Julius Caesar, and in fact was around during Roman times, and was finally consigned to the flames by the Moslems:

The Vanished Library The Vanished Library
by Luciano Canfora
tr by Martin Ryle


83 posted on 04/21/2006 8:39:39 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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The Vanished Library The Vanished Library
by Luciano Canfora
tr by Martin Ryle

Just updating the GGG information, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
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-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
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84 posted on 06/22/2006 6:56:26 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006.)
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· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
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Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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85 posted on 10/27/2009 8:10:12 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: dangus

Great words: auditoria, gymnasia, natatoria, symposia, Pennsylvania.


86 posted on 10/27/2009 8:13:56 PM PDT by ladyjane
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To: MarkL
I seem to remember the Library was burned more than once. The fire of Caesar's time (48 B.C.) was the first and the most destructive.

(yay! found my photocopy)

The Library originally had two parts: the biblion (main library), for scholars, and the museion (mus-e-um?), which also had a library. And an Annex was built later, called the Serapeion (Serapeum?).

Caracalla sacked Alexandria in the 3rd century AD. The Museum's library was apparently looted/damaged then. The Serapeion's collection was burned or looted in 391 AD, with some involvement of Theophilus (Patriarch of Alexandria) and the Emperor Theodosius I. And the mobs of Alexandria. Apparently, Alexandria was famous for its mobs (who over the years lynched Roman officials, sundry foreigners, and Hypatia, for example).

The Emir Amrou Ibn el-As captured Alexandria in 641 AD and, traditionally, was said to have used what books remained (except for Aristotle's stuff) to the feed stoves at the public baths.

87 posted on 10/27/2009 8:46:34 PM PDT by Poe White Trash (Wake up!)
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To: Destro

My understanding was that once the Italian and other scholars got their hands on the original Greek manuscipts brought by — or bought from! — the fleeing Byzantines, they realized how *awful* the Arabic-language translations were. The Arabic manuscripts were afterwards ignored, and Greek editions of the Greek classics were published forthwith.


88 posted on 10/27/2009 8:56:57 PM PDT by Poe White Trash (Wake up!)
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To: presidio9

Libraries and fire. Many years ago, when I received a library card for Oxford’s Bodleian Library I was required to read out loud from a card a curious and ancient declaration that, among other things, required me to affirm that I would not “bring into the Library, or kindle therein, any fire or flame.” The declaration seemed quaint and superfluous at the time, but in retrospect I realized that it likely had its genesis in some hugely costly and unfortunate event in an era when books were very rare.


89 posted on 10/27/2009 9:13:28 PM PDT by behzinlea
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To: behzinlea

Given what happened with Julius Caesar, did you have to promise that you were not a Roman Legionnaire, too?


90 posted on 10/27/2009 9:30:08 PM PDT by Poe White Trash (Wake up!)
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To: ladyjane

The library is right on Duke St and Holmes Run. Kinda hard to miss almost. Really nice, but I wish they had a better DVD collection.


91 posted on 10/28/2009 3:58:57 AM PDT by dangus (Nah, I'm not really Jim Thompson, but I play him on FR.)
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To: presidio9

>> The library was later destroyed, possibly by Julius Caesar who had it burned as part of his campaign to conquer the city. <<

WTF? The news report has to cower to their Muslim masters? Caesar accidentally burned many books while he conquered Alexandria, but the library probably wasn’t even at its peak influence yet. Christian Emperor Theodosius ordered the destruction of pagan temples, some of which constitutes part of the library. But it was the Muslims who destroyed the library.

“Several historians told varying accounts of an Arab army led by Amr ibn al ‘Aas sacking the city in 642 after the Byzantine army was defeated at the Battle of Heliopolis. Some historians, including Alfred J. Butler, argue that, when the commander Amr ibn al-Aas asked the Caliph Umar on what to do with the library he gave the famous answer: “They will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, in which case they are superfluous.” It is said that the Arabs subsequently burned the books to heat bathwater for the soldiers.[21][22] Burning and destruction of the Library of Alexandria was reported to be the first act of sacking after Amr ibn al ‘Aas forces entered the city.[1] It was also said that the Library’s collection was still substantial enough at this late date to provide six months’ worth of fuel for the baths.”


92 posted on 10/28/2009 4:06:38 AM PDT by dangus (Nah, I'm not really Jim Thompson, but I play him on FR.)
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To: ladyjane

Yes, very few are aware that Pennsylvania is the plural form of Pennsylvanium. You must have studied Latin!


93 posted on 10/28/2009 4:10:59 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ("Prosperity is just around the corner." Herbert Hoover, 1932)
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To: dangus
“Several historians told varying accounts of an Arab army led by Amr ibn al ‘Aas sacking the city in 642 after the Byzantine army was defeated at the Battle of Heliopolis. Some historians, including Alfred J. Butler, argue that, when the commander Amr ibn al-Aas asked the Caliph Umar on what to do with the library he gave the famous answer: “They will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, in which case they are superfluous.” It is said that the Arabs subsequently burned the books to heat bathwater for the soldiers.[21][22] Burning and destruction of the Library of Alexandria was reported to be the first act of sacking after Amr ibn al ‘Aas forces entered the city.[1] It was also said that the Library’s collection was still substantial enough at this late date to provide six months’ worth of fuel for the baths.”

Any thoughtful person who knows history and religion would be anti-Islam. Along with Communism, Naziism, and the Black Death, Islam has been responsible for more death and destruction on the face of the planet than just about anything else since the last asteroid impact. Islam was started by predators. It has spread by predation. It has lived off the decaying corpses of the civilizations it has destroyed. It is a vast, ancient sea of corruption, oppression, fanaticism, and ignorance lapping up against the shores of the present, kept alive by the fortuitous accident of living above huge reserves of petroleum.
94 posted on 10/28/2009 4:12:23 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: KellyAdmirer

Guess what? You’re right. Caesar didn’t destory it; the Muslims did.


95 posted on 10/28/2009 4:12:31 AM PDT by dangus (Nah, I'm not really Jim Thompson, but I play him on FR.)
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To: KellyAdmirer

Guess what? You’re right. Caesar didn’t destory it; the Muslims did.


96 posted on 10/28/2009 4:12:32 AM PDT by dangus (Nah, I'm not really Jim Thompson, but I play him on FR.)
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To: dangus

How uncanny that the BBC made no mention of Muslim morons destroying the Alexandria library. It’s even in Wikipedia-—>>>

However, this version of events is not confirmed in contemporary accounts of Caesar’s visit. In fact, it has been reasonably established that segments of its collection were partially destroyed on several occasions before and after the first century BC. In any case the contents of the library were substantial up until the time of the Muslim sacking of Alexandria in 642.[1]


97 posted on 10/28/2009 4:16:59 AM PDT by dennisw (Obama -- our very own loopy, leftist god-thing.)
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To: presidio9

"You got that right, buster. And another thing, there's been on greater loss in the history of man than when those commie thug Muslims or playboy Romans burned the Library at Alexandria'.
98 posted on 10/28/2009 4:19:53 AM PDT by Rebelbase (This is the time of year when ACORNS fall.)
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To: behzinlea
You may be interested in this from Wikipedia (Cotton Library entry):

The Cotton or Cottonian library was the library compiled by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1571–1631), an antiquarian and bibliophile. Cotton's library included his collection of books, manuscripts, coins and medallions in his personal estate. The materials comprised the books and artifacts retrieved after the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. Consequently, his collection is the single greatest known resource of literature in Old English and Middle English. Several well known works such as Beowulf, the poem Pearl, and the Lindisfarne Gospels exist today because of Cotton's library.

The leading scholars of the era, including Francis Bacon, Walter Raleigh, and James Ussher, came to use Cotton's works. Richard James acted as his librarian. Upon the foundation of the Bodleian Library, he made a substantial contribution.

The Cotton library is now part of the British Library.

The Cotton Library suffered a very serious fire in 1731. A number of irreplacebale manuscripts were lost -- we nearly lost Beowulf!!

99 posted on 10/28/2009 4:21:59 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Play the Race Card -- lose the game.)
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To: aruanan

Not just “along with Black Death.” Black Death in Europe was the result of Islamic germ warfare (although, of course, it might have eventually spread there anyway). Islamic practice in its wars against the (Byzantine) Roman Empire was to fling diseased corpses into cities.


100 posted on 10/28/2009 6:23:58 AM PDT by dangus (Nah, I'm not really Jim Thompson, but I play him on FR.)
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