Skip to comments.Halls of Ancient Alexandria's Ivy Found
Posted on 05/31/2004 6:32:29 AM PDT by Grzegorz 246
CAIRO, May 26 - Polish archaeologists have unearthed 13 lecture halls believed to be the first traces ever found of ancient Egypt's University of Alexandria, the head of the project said Wednesday.
"This is the oldest university ever found in the world," said Grzegorz Majderek, head of the Polish mission.
The lecture halls, with a capacity of 5,000 students, were part of the fifth-century university, which functioned until the seventh century, according to a statement from Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
"This is the first material evidence of the existence of academic life in Alexandria," Mr. Majderek said. Knowledge of earlier intellectual pursuits there came through historical and literary documents.
Ancient Alexandria was home to a library, which was founded about 295 B.C. and burned to the ground in the fourth century. Ruins were never found. The auditoriums were found near the portico of the Roman Theater in the eastern part of the city. All the lecture halls are of identical dimensions. Each contains rows of stepped benches in a semicircle and an elevated seat apparently for the lecturer, the antiquities council said.
I thought you might be interested in this.
First the pyramids, then the library and university at Alexandria. Egyptians were rather clever before they got the moslem disease.
I find it interesting that the system of education by lecture has survived this far into the modern world. For most of human history books have been expensive and hard to obtain; but that's no longer so. Adhering to the lecture system, where the student is obliged to attend classes that may or may not be available when he needs them seems, to my mind, to be an outmoded and wasteful way of doing things.
I think the library and university were Greek institutions, only nominally "Egyptian" because of their location.
Aw, that's a Copt-out ;-)
Quite so but the fact remains that ANY society infected by the islamofascists sinks into darkness and does nothing of note again. Much like Canada, oh that was just mean... sorry eh?
Egyptians were rather clever before they got the moslem disease....
This slur indicates a complete lack of historical perspective.
The Alexandrian educational complex although in Egypt, was Greek. The next educational leap actually came out of the Islamic conquest.
Your own Western thought sprang from Arab scholorship discovered during the Crusades.
Educators (which includes parents) have a number of tools at their disposal, including lectures, book-reading, apprentiseships, and so on. Just because something is old doesn't necesarily mean it's become irrelevant.
There are many schools that currently have been trying alternative approaches to education, and failing. It really depends on the student's learning style, the material being covered, the developmental age of the student, the environment, and so on....
I'm thinking more on the lines of adult education, i.e., beyond secondary school. The problems you've mentioned are generally associated with bad self-discipline and poor reading skills.
I'm not sure you are right, my American History prof was a real treat to listen to. He made old George and the rest come to life and brought them into the 20 century.
I sure would have hated to miss his lectures.
The great scholarship of the Mohammedans was almost all due to Christians, Jews and converts. The caliphs and sultans took Christians and Jews and a few Zoroastrians to be their advisers and viziers. Most, not all, were converted to Islam or feigned conversion. Some of these stars were children of the original converts. The scholarship consisted mostly of translation into Arabic of the Greek texts from Alexandria and Antioch and Edessa, etc. that preserved much before the Islamic destruction of originals.
Thanks. GGG Ping.
Two things that might make it useful:
I think humans have a tendency to be lazy. Lecture helps focus one's mind for a period of time on the subject. As a student, without the lectures, I might not have self-educated as efficiently.
"Iron sharpens Iron". It is helpful to pose questions to a lecturer and have him or her answer. Then others in the class can also question each other. It is good for the mind to be challenged and apply one's mind in the cause of defending arugments.
I like Dorothy Sayers' essay on "Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning". She talks about the importance of not learning merely "subjects" but that learning is about the ability to take any subject and be able to argue persuasively and to express oneself in language.
Will Durant..... Our Oriental Heritage Volume 1 of 11
The life of Greece Vol II
Thanks. I'll check it out.
well, so much for TRoP claims to have been the first culture to establish universities.
The PC crowd must be sooooo depressed.
What "Arab" scholarship would that be? Plato and the Eliatics were merely rediscovered; Arab philosophic "scholarship" is still defined by a single person - Alfarabi.
Boethius, Augustine, Cassiodorus, and Alcuin were Arabs??? Which "crusades" were in Toledo and Monte Cassino??? Amazing the things they are doing with Aristotle, Cicero, and Plato in Saudi Arabia these days...
Where is this "discovered" Western thought generally found today??? Lot of Aristotelians in downtown Cairo and Mecca???
Nope, not even close.
Lol, you're asking for a source to verify Alexandria was Greek?
Nope. Asking bert to site a source for his claim that all western thought came from møøselimbs.
It seems to have been refuted by some other posters...
As far as I can tell, we have yet to come up with a better system for real communication than face-to-face dialogue. While a lecturer can't engage in one-on-one dialogues, they offer something that no book, movie or internet site ever will be able to.
Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah is generally thought of as a hell of a good history. Arab scholarship, during years before the crusades, WAS far beyond anything in western europe. The fact that it was based upon Greek thought doesn't mean much: at least they were civilized enough to preserve greek learning!
I believe the mohamedan invaiders burned the library to the ground.
I note the university functioned from the 5th to the 7th centuries. The end seems to coincide with the Arabs kicking out the Byzantines in the late 600s.
Most of the same people who brag about a Muslim/Arab role in preserving Aristotelian scholarship reject it emphatically as part of the "Dark Ages" - a metaphorical terminology popularized by Petrarch to describe lack of knowledge of Ciceronian rhetorical Latin - something which has nothing to do with Muslims. IF lack of knowledge of Aristotle is "dark" that makes the modern American era one of the darkest in Western intellectual history.
William of Moerbeke, call your office...
Indeed. Saudi Arabia is about as interested in classical scholarship as the tenured Leftist dolts on American campuses, eh?
Now where did I leave my baseball bat...
I was always amused to hear liberal academics boasting of the rediscovery of "Greek learning" after the long "Dark Ages." And loved to ask them where on campus we could find that wonderful, brilliant, modern, enlightened, "Renaissance" of classical Greek scholarship, intertextual exegesis, and Aristotelian philosophy. A bizarre, awkward expression and silence usually followed, since the liberal in question usually knew no Greek and little Aristotle.
Helps to keep the liberal ideology of progress and modern "Renaissance" romanticism in perspective.
Islam, in other words
I think that's a good point. I've also read about their advances in medicine and the correlation they made concerning sanitation and health. It went well beyond the Greeks.
Our culture's understanding that sanitation might be a good thing really didn't come about until the Civil War. (Was told at Plymouth Rock that the natives were disgusted that the English didn't bath. Who knows.) It wasn't until the 1860's that we started to look at Lister's and Jenner's work seriously and began to understand that flies will travel the short distance from the outhouse to the hospital's kitchen and having the surgeons sharping their amputation knives on their dung covered boots may not be a great idea.
All in all, it a lesson in the cyclic rise and decline of cultures.
The Vanished Library
by Luciano Canfora
tr by Martin Ryle
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Why not mention WHO destroyed the Library of Alexandria and WHY?????????
Could the Cult of Death misdescribed as the Religion of Peace have had something to with it?
Finding it hard to get up for class in the morning??? are we???
"Your own Western thought sprang from Arab scholorship discovered during the Crusades."
What complete b*ll*cks.
Um, make that Western thought re-discovered. The Arabs of that era were still intellectually living off the plunder of Christian Civilizations they had overrun. It did help snap us out of the 'Dark Ages,' as did the Byzantine refugees from Islam who flooded into Europe, particularly the Italian City States.
The Muslims are owed a debt for preserving such Classical Knowledge as they did, and should also properly be castigated for that which they destroyed or forgot. Note I say "Muslims," not Arabs. Many of the "Muslim Best and Brightest" were actually forcibly converted Christians, and especially Jews.
Intellectually speaking, Islam has been an intellectual curse and a civilizational retrograde movement in those countries unlucky enough to have fallen to Arab conquest.
With something over 300 semester hours of college credits to my credit (or shame), I believe I must agree with you, at least somewhat. There ARE lecturers it's worth listening to, even today, though. Of course, we have recordings of many of those folks, now, too. ;) Google the Khan Academy, for a great example of lecture-on-demand. Especially if you have HS teenagers.
Oh, and I just LOVE your tagline!
Well, some of us would not be comfortable going to a medical doctor with a degree from a correspondence school.
Or a lawyer who knew law by reading all the required texts from Harvard Law but who never actually went there.