The Fire of the Great Library of Alexandria
There have been momentswhen an enormous amount of knowledge of humanity has been destroyed.
The conquest of Babylon by the Assyrians, the destruction of Nineveh, the migration of peoples, the conquest and destruction of Ktesiphon, the invasions of East Asia by the Mongols, the capture of Baghdad, the fourth crusade and the plundering of Constantinople. All are events that set humanity back years, decades, and even centuries.
But none of them was as devastating and significant as the destruction of the Library of Alexandria. It contained almost all the knowledge of the ancient world at that time and was the center ofscience.Up to 600,000 scrolls are said to have been there, and this collection is said to have been created by the fact that everyone who wanted to go to Alexandria had to hand over all the writings to copy. However, the library should have kept the original and returned the copy. The wisdoms of Socrates (who is said not to have written anything), Plato, Aristotle and many others were part of this library.Erastothenes, who calculated the circumference of the earth (almost correctly with 40000 kilometers) by mathematics alone.And much more of which we can only guess today what they knew then.
If the library had survived, many dark spots and gaps in history would not have existed, and you would know more about people’s everyday lives at the time.
But what actually happened, one wonders?
Yes, Caesar happened.
Caesar, the famous dictator of Rome, is to blame for the loss of centuries of knowledge that has been gathered in one place.
During its occupation of Egypt, the Egyptian fleet is said to have blocked the entrance to the port.
What does an ambitious military man do now? He does something without hesitation about possible civilian consequences.Caesar had ordered the Egyptian fleet to be set on fire.
The Egyptian fleet was defeated but the fire has stupidly spread to the port and the city, including the Great Library.
It is believed that about 400000 (or 40000 according to Livius) scrolls were lost.
One of humanity’s most tragic and devastating moments.
The library or the remains of it have been more and more damaged over the centuries.In the wars between Zenobias Palmyra and Aurelian’s Rome, Alexandria was partially destroyed and Emperor Theophilus ordered the destruction of “pagan temples” where the daughter library of the Great Library also fell victim.The Bishop of Alexandria would thus be the second culprit.A Christian mob lynched the library’s last director, Theon.
The last one would then be Caliph Umar, who is said to have given the rest to the library, because he thought that the writings in it were either heresy if they did not correspond to the Koran or if then superfluous are.