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The Library of Alexandria

The Library of Alexandria

  • The ancient world's intellectual jewel was established by general Ptolemy I Soter after Alexander the Great's death in 323 B.C.
  • At its peak, it may have included over 500,000 papyrus scrolls containing works of literature and texts on history, law, mathematics, and science.
  • The library was supposedly burned in 48 B.C. after Julius Caesar accidentally set fire to Alexandria's harbour during a battle against the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy XIII.
  • However, most historians believe that it only came to an end in 270 A.D. during the reign of the Roman emperor Aurelian, while others believe it occurred during the fourth century.

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  • Baghdad (the Iraqi city) was once one of the world's centres of learning and culture.
  • The House of Wisdom was established in the ninth century A.D. during the reign of the Abbasids.
  • The library was stocked with Persian, Indian, and Greek manuscripts on mathematics, astron...

  • In the mid-19th century, archaeologists found the ruins of the world's oldest known library in Nineveh (modern-day Iraq).
  • It dates back to the 7th century B.C and includes 30,000 cuneiform tablets, mostly containing archival documents, religious incantations and scholarly texts.

  • Around 112 A.D. the multi-use building complex was completed by Emperor Trajan in the city of Rome.
  • It consisted of plazas, markets, and religious temples as well as a library.
  • Two separate structures housed the library, one for works in Latin, and one for works in Greek...

  • The collection of the "Villa of the Papyri" is the only collection to survive to the present day.
  • About 1,800 scrolls were located in the Roman city of Herculaneum.
  • When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., the library was buried - and preserved - under 90-foot of volcanic ...

  • The Library of Pergamum was constructed in the third century B.C. by members of the Attalid dynasty in modern-day Turkey.
  • It was housed in a temple complex devoted to Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom.
  • The ancient chronicler Pliny the Elder said the Library of Pergamum ...

  • The library was built in the fourth century A.D. under Constantine the Great but stayed small until the fifth century.
  • The collection increased to 120,000 scrolls and codices.
  • The Imperial Library size continued to increase and shrink over the following centuries due to n...

  • Around 120 A.D. the son of the Roman consul Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus completed a memorial library to his father in Ephesus (modern-day Turkey).
  • The building featured four statues representing Wisdom, Virtue, Intelligence, and Knowledge.
  • The library may have held...

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