July 10, 2004

The Library of Alexandria

I want to know more about the Library of Alexandria. Why was it so famous? Were there other libraries of similar repute? What happened to it?

The library at Alexandria actually competed with that at Pergamum in amassing the most complete collection of books in the world. This went on in the 200's B. C., and it is interesting to note that there were already so many works in existence that obtaining a copy of each would have been an impossible undertaking even then. The destruction of this priceless treasure was a stroke of the most unimaginable bad luck. If Byzantine Egypt had been taken by one of the later Islamic conquerors, this irreplaceable collection would have been counted amongst the finest of the spoils of war to fall into a victor's hands.

Early in the year A. D. 642, Alexandria surrendered to Amrou, the Islamic general leading the armies of Omar, Caliph of Baghdad. Long one of the most important cities of the ancient world and capital of Byzantine Egypt, Alexandria surrendered only after a long siege and attempts to rescue the city by the Byzantines. On the orders of Omar, Caliph of Baghdad, the entire collection of books (except for the works of Aristotle) stored at the Library of Alexandria were removed and used as fuel to heat water for the city's public baths.

Wow...

Posted by torque at July 10, 2004 12:35 AM | TrackBack
Comments

hmmm... selling books, doesn't seem like a way for you to build a library like this ;)

i heard you sold your SF condo... wanna move down the peninsula, and around the corner from stanford? 3BR 2.5BA for $769k, let us or wanda know!

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Posted by: enoch choi at July 10, 2004 12:39 AM

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are leading the way at this years MTV Europe music awards with four nominations...

Posted by: Keaton Casteel at December 13, 2006 12:06 PM
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