Saturday, September 5, 2009
The great library of Alexandria Egypt. I was reading this book the other day that claimed "the church" burnt down this library and all of its ancient texts and scriptures regarding religion and spiritualism. So I checked it out. Not necessarily true.
First lets talk about the library itself. Legends say it was a pretty rad place. Famous scholars hung out there, there were several gardens, even a zoo. I think it was connected to a museum or was part of one. Anyway it seems like back in the day it was the place to be. So why would anyone wanna burn it down?
Well the first rumor takes place in 48 B.C. when Julius Cesar accidentally torched half the damn town, including the library, or some say part of it. He was burning some ships or something in order to keep the enemy away during some wild war with Ptolemy the 8th, co-ruler of Egypt. I guess everybody makes mistakes.
The second rumor is of a guy named Theofilius, who was ordered by Christian Emperor Theodosius to destroy all "pagan" temples and Theophilius did what he was told. I couldn't really find any more information on this rumor except I guess Socrates wrote about it in a book in 440 B.C, which is about 50 years after the event supposedly took place. I think it is pretty safe to say that the Theofilius dude was obviously an insecure little prick.
The third and maybe the most insane rumor is one that takes place in 642 where an Arabian army set to rid the library of all the books that contradict the Koran. Rumor says they burned the books to heat bath water for the Army. Gotta love a warm bath.
These rumors are consistent in all the different places I looked on the internet. I haven't read any books on Alexandria and really the most credible information source I visited was Wikipedia and the Alexandria Library home page. So don't quote me on any of this. So what have we learned from this legend of rumors??? What has history taught us this time??? War, religion, and warm baths are really selfish things! Ha ha. No, really, Here we observe that shit went down then, and it is still going down today. The library of Alexandria was probably a really bad ass place to be and it got burned down in some way out of selfishness, or ignorance. And maybe today we can get a little more honest and a little less freaked out by other people and how they want to party, so we don't have to bury the truth in a bunch of rumors.