deepstash

Beta

© Brainstash, Inc

AboutCuratorsJobsPress Kit
Alexandria during the third and second centuries BCE

Alexandria, with its Great Library, was marked as the intellectual capital of the world.

During the third century BCE, the Musaeum, an educational and research institution, was built in Alexandria. The Great Library was one part of the Musaeum and may have held around 700,000 scrolls (equivalent to over 100,000 printed books.)

@paige_v61

Centers of Progress: Alexandria (Information)

humanprogress.org

Alexandria was founded in 331BCE by the Macedonian leader Alexander the Great. Alexander left Egypt a few months later, leaving his viceroy Cleomenes in charge.

Alexander passed away in 323 BCE, and one of his deputies, Macedonian general Ptolemy Lagides, took control of Egypt. Ptolemy executed Cleomenes and declared himself pharaoh. He started the Ptolemaic dynasty and made Alexandria his capital in 305 BCE.

The city's population grew to around 300,000 people. It remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt, as well as Roman and Byzantine Egypt, for almost a thousand years.

Alexandria was designed by the architect Dinocrates of Rhodes, using a Hippodamian gridiron street plan. The city was cosmopolitan and diverse. It consisted of Greeks, Jew, and Egyptian Arabs.

The Musaeum, or "shrine of the Muses," from where we get the word museum, included a lengthy roofed walkway and a large communal dining hall, where scholars dined and shared ideas. The scholars were salaried employees, received free room and board, and paid no taxes.

The Musaeum contained exhibit halls, private study rooms, lecture halls, residential quarters for scholars, and theatres. The Great Library held shelves upon shelves of papyrus scrolls and was envisioned as a universal library that would contain all the world's written knowledge.

The idea of a universal library proved to be a game-changer. Alexandria inspired other cities to create rival "universal libraries," such as the Library of Pergamum in today's Turkey.

The Great Library's main structure was likely burned in 48BCE when Ptolemy XIII laid a siege against his wife and co-ruler Cleopatra and her lover, the Roman dictator Julius Caesar. The smaller library building in the Serapeum temple, which was added when the first library ran out of space, may have survived until the 4th century when the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I ordered all pagan temples to be destroyed.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

SIMILAR ARTICLES

Slavery was prevalent throughout the ancient world. Most of the enslaved people in Athens were from abroad, often captured in conflicts from farther north.

However, boundaries were often blurred between enslaved and free people. Some persons classified as slaves gathered great wealth, while some free people were poor.

5

IDEAS

  • Paris began as a small settlement on the Seine river banks. Paris gets its name from the Parisii, an Iron Age Celtic tribe, who fortified the area around 225BCE.
  • In 52 BCE, the Romans conquered the site and named it March of the Parisii.
  • By the 5th century CE, the Franks took control over Paris and made it their capital.
  • In 843 CE, the kingdom of Francia split. East Francia became the predecessor state to Germany while West Francia became the early version of the Kingdom of France.
The great ball court from Chichen Itza
  • The court of Chichen Itza is a massive 225 feet wide and 545 feet long.
  • At the ends of the court, the stone walls featured stone hoops, engraved with feathered serpents - images of the deity Kokulkan.
  • The court has excellent acoustic qualities, amplifying the cheers of fans and the calls of the ballplayers.
  • The sides of the court are lined with benches for spectators. The benches are sloped to help keep the ball in the courts.
  • At the end of many games, the losing team was beheaded and sacrificed to the Mayans' deities. That said, the Ball Game occasionally served as a substitute for war.
  • A variation of the Ball Game, Ulama is still played today— minus the ritual killing of the losing team.