Que conhecimento pode ter sido perdido na Biblioteca de Alexandria?

Que conhecimento pode ter sido perdido na Biblioteca de Alexandria?


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É claro que nunca saberemos com certeza, mas os historiadores têm algumas idéias razoáveis ​​sobre que conhecimento pode ter sido perdido na Biblioteca de Serapeum de Alexandria, quando foi destruída pelo Decreto de Teodósio em 391?

No filme "Agora", é mostrado que os ocupantes pagãos tentaram salvar o que puderam e sugere que pode ter havido pesquisas filosóficas, matemáticas e astronômicas. No entanto, as informações da Wikipedia sugerem que, neste momento, a biblioteca pode não ter essas informações:

O Serapeum abrigava parte da Grande Biblioteca, mas não se sabe quantos livros, se houver, estavam contidos nele no momento da destruição. Notavelmente, a passagem de Sócrates não faz nenhuma referência clara a uma biblioteca ou seu conteúdo, apenas a objetos religiosos. Um texto anterior do historiador Ammianus Marcellinus indica que, quaisquer que sejam os livros que possam ter sido armazenados anteriormente no Serapeum, nenhum estava lá na última década do século IV. O autor pagão Eunápio de Sardis testemunhou a demolição e, embora detestasse os cristãos e fosse um estudioso, seu relato da destruição do Serapeum não faz menção a qualquer biblioteca.

Então, minha pergunta é: neste ou em outros eventos destrutivos, a Biblioteca de Alexandria abrigou informações que foram perdidas, e causadas por falta de um termo melhor, um revés para o progresso do conhecimento humano?


O autor italiano Lucio Russo em seu livro "Forgotten revolution" argumenta que grande parte do conhecimento científico do mundo helenístico foi perdido. Acho seus argumentos muito convincentes.

As ciências exatas no sentido moderno desta palavra se originaram no Egito ptolomaico e em outros estados helenísticos, e alcançaram um grau de desenvolvimento muito alto. Poucas obras de primeira classe sobreviveram, como Euclides, Apolônio e Arquimedes, mas há muitas evidências de que esta é apenas a ponta do iceberg. Por exemplo, quase todos os escritos de Hiparco, "o pai da astronomia", foram perdidos. Sabemos sobre eles pelo relato de C. Ptolomeu, que viveu três séculos depois. Ou veja o "mecanismo de Antikythera" na Wikipedia e em outros lugares, para obter alguma evidência do que foi perdido.

L. Russo é um matemático e, em sua opinião, o nível de desenvolvimento em algumas áreas da matemática na época helenística não foi realmente superado até o século XIX. Também sou matemático e confirmo isso.

Isso não se aplica apenas às ciências exatas. O estudo científico crítico de textos antigos, como o entendemos agora, também aparentemente se originou nesses estados helenísticos.

Uma lenda diz que um dos governantes Ptolomeu tentou comprar (de Atenas) os textos originais de Ésquilo, Sófocles e Eurípides. Atenienses recusaram. Então ele pediu emprestado para copiar. Os atenienses concordaram, mas exigiram um enorme depósito de segurança. Ele pagou o depósito e não devolveu os manuscritos originais :-) Suponho que eles foram mantidos na Biblioteca Alexandrina (onde mais?).

O mesmo Ptolomeu emitiu a ordem para que todos os navios que chegassem a Alexandria fossem inspecionados e revistados em busca de livros. Todos os livros encontrados devem ser confiscados e cópias feitas e entregues aos proprietários :-)

Então, realmente perdemos muito com a biblioteca alexandrina. Quando exatamente ele desapareceu e como, também está sujeito a discussão. Alguns culpam Júlio César, que iniciou um incêndio durante uma batalha que destruiu grande parte da biblioteca. Outros dizem que ainda existia na época da conquista árabe e foi destruída pelos conquistadores. E muitos eventos intermediários também são mencionados.

O fato é que Cláudio Ptolomeu (astrônomo, que provavelmente trabalhou em Alexandria no século 2 DC) podia ler Hiparco. E não podemos. Na verdade, quase todos trabalham em astronomia antes de Ptolomeu ser perdido. E todo trabalho matemático antes de Euclides se perder.

Recentemente, aprendemos de fontes secundárias que havia combinatória altamente desenvolvida nos tempos helenísticos (Habsieger, L .; Kazarian, M .; e Lando, S. "On the Second Number of Plutarch." Amer. Math. Monthly 105, 446, 1998). Nenhum dos trabalhos originais sobreviveu.

Conhecemos o nome do grande polímata Posidônio (135-51 aC), cuja produção científica é comparável à de Aristóteles. Ele escreveu sobre todas as ciências. Todas as suas obras estão perdidas. O filósofo (lógico) Crisipo (279-206 aC) foi considerado pelos contemporâneos mais elevado do que Aristóteles. Nenhuma de suas obras sobreviveu. Nenhuma das obras do fundador da medicina científica, Herophilos (335-280), sobreviveu. O grande engenheiro (mecânico, hidráulico, pneumático) Ctesibius (século 3D aC) é creditado por muitas invenções. Todo o seu trabalho está perdido.

Diversas fontes mencionam com frequência enormes navios de guerra da era helenística (Tesserakonteres, Leontophoros são os maiores mencionados), cuja tripulação pode exceder a tripulação de um porta-aviões moderno. Os historiadores especulam nos últimos 2.000 anos como esses navios eram e como poderiam ser construídos. Nenhuma descrição clara sobreviveu.

OBSERVAÇÃO para um matemático. O que sabemos de matemática antes de 300 aC vem principalmente de Euclides. Imagine que do nosso período contemporâneo apenas os livros Bourbaki sobrevivam ...

OBSERVAÇÃO 2. Há um consenso entre os cientistas modernos de que Demócrito de Abdera foi um dos maiores cientistas que já existiram.

Aqui está a lista de todas as obras de Demócrito, com seus títulos dados por Diógenes Laércio: Grande Cosmologia; Little Cosmology; Cosmografia; Nos planetas; Na Natureza; On Human Nature; On Intelligence; Nos sentidos; Na Alma; Em sabores; On Color; Em diversos movimentos dos átomos; De Mudanças na Forma; As causas dos fenômenos celestiais; As causas dos fenômenos atmosféricos; Em chamas e em coisas em chamas; As causas dos fenômenos acústicos; A respeito do ímã; As causas das sementes, plantas e frutos; Em Animais; Uma descrição do céu; Geografia; Uma descrição do pólo; Na geometria; Realidade geométrica; Nas tangentes do círculo e da esfera; Números; Em linhas irracionais e sólidos; Projeções; Astronomia; Tabela Astronômica; Em Raios de Luz; Em imagens refletidas; Sobre ritmo e harmonia; Sobre Poesia; Sobre a beleza da canção; Sobre eufonia e cacofonia; A respeito de Homero ou sobre Dicção Épica Correta; A Ciência da Medicina; Na Agricultura; Em palavras; Em nomes; Em valores ou em virtude; Sobre a disposição que caracteriza os sábios; Na Pintura; Um Tratado sobre Táticas; Circunavegação do Oceano; Na história; O Pensamento da Caldéia; O pensamento dos frígios; Sobre as Escrituras Sagradas da Babilônia; Sobre os escritos sagrados de Meroe; Sobre as febres e as tosses decorrentes de doenças; On Aporiae; Questões jurídicas; Pitágoras; Na lógica, ou critério de pensamento; Confirmações; Pontos de Ética; No Bem-estar. Tudo perdido ...

Esta é uma lista incompleta (apenas amostras) dos itens que SABEMOS e que se perderam. Que coisas estavam lá que não sabemos (porque todas as referências a elas também se perderam) está aberto à especulação.


O Serapeum é na verdade um "ramo" menor da biblioteca original, formalmente parte do Templo de Serápis. O templo foi convertido em uma igreja cristã por Teófilo por volta de 390 DC, e parece que esta é a referência que você anotou acima. Este "galho" não foi realmente destruído, mas não há dúvida de que muitos documentos foram destruídos durante a conversão.

A biblioteca oficial, conhecida como Biblioteca Real de Alexandria, era muito maior e abrigava mais de meio milhão de documentos no auge de sua glória. Existem três alegações diferentes de ter destruído a biblioteca original, mas talvez nunca saibamos exatamente quem foi o responsável.


Pergunta:
Que conhecimento pode ter sido perdido na Biblioteca de Alexandria?

A biblioteca de Alexandria era considerada uma das maiores e mais importantes bibliotecas do mundo antigo. Em seu pico, a Biblioteca continha entre 40.000 e 400.000 manuscritos (pergaminhos) e empregava mais de 100 funcionários para manter a coleção. Embora seja verdade que não houve uma única catástrofe ou incêndio que destruiu toda a coleção, mas sim a instituição declinou e erodiu ao longo do tempo como os impérios aos quais também pertencia. Ainda podemos falar de quais tesouros perdidos podem ter sido preservados naquela coleção.

A Biblioteca de Alexandria
uma das maiores e mais significativas bibliotecas do mundo antigo. A Biblioteca fazia parte de uma instituição de pesquisa maior chamada Mouseion, que era dedicada às Musas, as nove deusas das artes. [10] A ideia de uma biblioteca universal em Alexandria pode ter sido proposta por Demetrius de Phalerum, um estadista ateniense exilado que vivia em Alexandria, a Ptolomeu I Soter, que pode ter estabelecido planos para a Biblioteca, mas a própria Biblioteca provavelmente não foi construída até o reinado de seu filho Ptolomeu II Filadelfo. A Biblioteca rapidamente adquiriu um grande número de rolos de papiro, em grande parte devido às políticas agressivas e bem financiadas dos reis ptolomaicos para a aquisição de textos. Não se sabe exatamente quantos desses rolos foram alojados em um determinado momento, mas as estimativas variam de 40.000 a 400.000 em sua altura.

Muitos estudiosos importantes trabalharam lá ao longo dos séculos.

A Biblioteca de Alexandria

  • Zenodotus of Ephesus, que trabalhou para padronizar os textos dos poemas homéricos;
  • Callimachus, que escreveu Pinakes, às vezes considerado o primeiro catálogo de biblioteca do mundo;
  • Apolônio de Rodes, que compôs o poema épico Argonautica;
  • Eratóstenes de Cirene, que calculou a circunferência da Terra com algumas centenas de quilômetros de precisão;
  • Aristófanes de Bizâncio, que inventou o sistema de diacríticos gregos e foi o primeiro a dividir os textos poéticos em linhas;
  • Aristarco de Samotrácia, que produziu os textos definitivos dos poemas homéricos, bem como extensos comentários sobre eles.
  • Arquimedes diz-se que inventou o parafuso de Arquimedes e uma bomba de água usada para irrigação enquanto estudava na Biblioteca de Alexandria.

Embora não exista nenhum índice compressivo dos manuscritos perdidos de Alexandria, podemos atribuir com segurança alguns, senão muitos, dos textos perdidos conhecidos da antiguidade ao conteúdo dessa biblioteca. Eles incluem:

Obras Perdidas

  • Agatharchides ':
    • Ta kata ten Asian (Assuntos na Ásia) em 10 livros,
    • Ta kata ten Europen (Assuntos na Europa) em 49 livros
    • Peri ten Erythras thalasses (No Mar da Erythraean) em 5 livros
  • Agripina, a Jovem:
    • Casus suorum (Infortúnios de sua família - memórias)
    • Historia de Sulpício Alexandre.
    • O livro de filosofia de Anaxágoras - apenas fragmentos da primeira parte sobreviveram.
    • Apolodoro de Atenas
    • Crônica (Χρονικά), uma história grega em verso
    • Sobre os Deuses (Περὶ θεῶν), conhecido por citações por ter - etimologias incluídas dos nomes e epítetos dos deuses
    • Um ensaio de doze livros sobre o Catálogo de Navios de Arquimedes de Homero
    • Na fabricação de esferas
    • No poliedro
    • Livro de astronomia de Aristarco de Samos delineando seu heliocentrismo (modelo astronômico no qual a Terra e os planetas giram em torno de um Sol relativamente estacionário)
  • De Aristóteles
    • segundo livro da Poética, que trata da comédia
    • Nos Pitagóricos 1
    • Protrepticus (fragmentos sobreviveram)
  • Augusto:
    • Reescrito para Brutus Respeitando Cato
    • Exortações à filosofia
    • História de Sua Própria Vida
    • Sicília (uma obra em verso)
    • Epigramas
    • Berossus 'Babyloniaca (História da Babilônia)
  • Caio Júlio César
    • Anticatonis Libri II (apenas fragmentos sobreviveram)
    • Carmina et prolusiones (apenas fragmentos sobreviveram)
    • De analogia libri II ad M. Tullium Ciceronem De astris liber
    • Dicta collectanea ("provérbios coletados", também conhecido pelo título grego άποφθέγματα) Cartas (apenas fragmentos sobreviveram)
    • Epistulae ad Ciceronem
    • Epístulas ad familiares Iter (apenas um fragmento sobreviveu)
    • Laudes Herculis
    • Libri auspiciorum ("livros dos auspícios", também conhecidos como Auguralia) Édipo
  • outros trabalhos:
    • contribuições para os libri pontificales como pontifex maximus
    • possivelmente alguns primeiros poemas de amor
  • Callinicus
    • Contra as seitas filosóficas na renovação de Roma
    • Prosphonetikon a Gallienus, uma saudação dirigida ao imperador
    • Para Cleópatra, Sobre a História de Alexandria, provavelmente dedicado a Zenóbia, que afirmava ser descendente de Cleópatra
    • Para Lupus, On Bad Taste on Rhetoric
  • Callisthenes '
    • Um relato da expedição de Alexandre
    • Uma história da Grécia da Paz de Antalcidas (387) à guerra de Phocian (357)
  • Uma história da guerra de Phocian
  • Cato, o Velho:
    • Origines, uma história de 7 livros de Roma e dos estados italianos.
    • Carmen de moribus, um livro de orações ou encantamentos para os mortos em verso.
    • Praecepta ad Filium, uma coleção de máximas.
    • Uma coleção de seus discursos.
  • Quintus Tullius Cicero:
    • Quatro tragédias no estilo grego: Tiroas, Erigones, Electra e uma outra.
  • Hortensius, um diálogo também conhecido como "Sobre a Filosofia".
  • Consolatio, escrito para acalmar sua própria tristeza pela morte de sua filha Tullia
  • Claudius '
    • De arte aleae ("a arte de jogar dados", um livro sobre jogos de dados)
    • um dicionário etrusco
    • uma história etrusca
    • uma história do reinado de Augusto
    • oito volumes sobre a história cartaginesa
    • uma defesa de Cícero contra as acusações de Asinius Gallus Ctesibius
    • Em pneumática, um trabalho que descreve bombas de força
    • Memorabilia, uma compilação de seus trabalhos de pesquisa
  • Ctesias ':
    • Persica, uma história da Assíria e da Pérsia em 23 livros.
    • Indica, um relato da Índia Eratóstenes
    • Περὶ τῆς ἀναμετρήσεως τῆς γῆς (Sobre a medição da Terra; perdido, resumido por Cleomedes)
    • Geographica (perdido, criticado por Strabo)
    • Arsinoe (um livro de memórias da rainha Arsinoe; perdido; citado por - Athenaeus in the Deipnosophistae) Euclides
  • Conics, um trabalho sobre seções cônicas posteriormente estendido por
  • Apolônio de Perga em seu famoso trabalho sobre o assunto.
  • Porismos, o significado exato do título é controverso (provavelmente "corolários").
  • Pseudaria, ou Livro das Falácias, um texto elementar sobre erros de raciocínio. Os Loci da superfície dizem respeito a loci (conjuntos de pontos) em superfícies ou loci que são, eles próprios, superfícies.
  • Eudemus ':
  • História da Aritmética, sobre o início da história da aritmética grega (apenas uma pequena citação sobreviveu)
  • História da Astronomia, sobre a história inicial da astronomia grega (várias citações sobreviveram)
  • História da Geometria, no início da história da geometria grega (várias citações sobreviveram)
  • Verrius Flaccus ':
  • De Orthographia: De Obscuris Catonis, uma elucidação de obscuridades nos escritos de Catão, o Velho
  • Saturno, lidando com questões do ritual romano Rerum memoria dignarum libri, uma obra enciclopédica muito usada por Plínio, o Ancião Res Etruscae, provavelmente em agosto.
  • Frontinus:
    • De re militari, um manual militar
  • Górgias ':
    • On Non-Existence (or On Nature) - Apenas dois esboços dela existem.
    • Epitáfios - O que existe é considerado apenas um pequeno fragmento de uma peça significativamente maior.
  • O Catálogo Hesiódico de Mulheres
  • Margites de Homero.
    • A Odisséia menciona o cantor cego Demódoco interpretando um poema que narra a, de outra forma desconhecida, "A Briga de Odisseu e Aquiles", que pode ter sido uma obra real que não sobreviveu
  • Tito Lívio: 107 dos 142 livros de Ab Urbe Condita, uma história de Roma
  • Longinus:
  • No Fim: por Longinus em resposta a Plotinus e Gentilianus Amelius (o prefácio sobreviveu, citado por Porfírio)
    • Por impulso
    • Princípios
    • Amante da Antiguidade
    • Na Vida Natural
    • Dificuldades em Homero
    • Se Homer é um filósofo
    • Problemas e soluções homéricas
    • Coisas contrárias à história que os gramáticos explicam como históricas
    • Sobre Palavras em Homero com Vários Sentidos
    • Dicção do Sótão
    • Lexicon of Antimachus and Heracleon
  • Lucan's:
    • Catachthonion
    • Iliacon do ciclo de Trojan
    • Epigrammata
    • Adlocutio ad Pollam
    • Silvae
    • Saturnalia
    • Medea
    • Salticae Fabulae
    • Laudes Neronis, um elogio a Nero
    • Orfeu
    • Prosa oratio em Octavium Sagittam
    • Epistulae ex Campania
    • De Incendio Urbis
    • A Ægyptiaca de Manetho (História do Egito) em 3 livros. Apenas alguns fragmentos sobrevivem.
    • Memnon of Heraclea's history of Heraclea Pontica.
  • Nicander:
    • Aetolica, uma história em prosa da Etólia.
    • Heteroeumena, um épico mitológico.
    • Georgica e Melissourgica, das quais consideráveis ​​- fragmentos são preservados.
    • O poema Medeia de Ovídio, do qual apenas dois fragmentos sobreviveram.
    • Léxico abrangente de Panfilo de Alexandria em 95 livros de palavras estrangeiras ou obscuras.
  • Pherecydes de Leros:
    • Uma história de Leros
    • um ensaio, On Ifigeneia
    • Nos Festivais de Dioniso
    • Genealogias dos deuses e heróis, originalmente em dez livros; numerosos fragmentos foram preservados.
    • Pherecydes of Syros 'Heptamychia
    • Filo da história fenícia de Byblos, uma tradução grega do livro fenício original atribuído a Sanchuniathon. Fragmentos consideráveis ​​foram preservados, principalmente por Eusébio no Praeparatio evangelica (i.9; iv.16)
  • Plínio, o Velho:
    • História das Guerras Alemãs, algumas citações sobrevivem nos Anais de Tácito e na Germânia
  • Studiosus, um trabalho detalhado sobre retórica
    • Dubii sermonis, em oito livros
    • History of his Times, em trinta e um livros, também citados por Tácito.
    • De jaculatione equestri um manual militar sobre mísseis lançados de cavalos.
    • Historiae de Gaius Asinius Pollio ("Histórias")
  • Sucessões de Filósofos de Alexander Polyhistor.
  • Pórfiro:
  • Ad Gedalium (um comentário sobre as categorias de Aristóteles em sete livros
  • Contra o cristão (apenas fragmentos sobrevivem) História de Constantino, o Grande, de Praxágoras (conhecida a partir de um précis por Photius).
  • Prodicus ':
    • Na natureza
    • Sobre a Natureza do Homem
    • "Sobre propriedade da linguagem"
    • Sobre a escolha de Hércules
  • Protágoras ':
    • "Sobre os Deuses" (ensaio)
    • Sobre a arte da disputa
    • Sobre o estado original das coisas
    • Na verdade
  • Τὰ περὶ τοῦ Ὠκεανοῦ (ta peri tou Okeanou) "No Oceano" das Pítias de Massalia.
  • De Causis Corruptae Eloquentiae de Quintilian (Sobre as Causas da Eloquência Corrompida)
    • Autobiografia de Septímio Severo
    • Bibliotheca historia (Biblioteca Histórica) de Diodorus Siculus - de 40 livros, apenas os primeiros 5 livros, e os livros de 10 a 20 ainda existem.
    • Os Livros Sibilinos da Sibila Helespontina
    • Livro sobre sinais de Sêneca, o Jovem. 5000 foram compilados
    • Versos de Sócrates das Fábulas de Esopo. Speusippus em números pitagóricos
    • História de Strabo. Suetônio '
    • De Viris Illustribus ("On Famous Men" - no campo da literatura), ao qual pertence: De Illustribus Grammaticis ("Lives Of The Grammarians"), De Claris Rhetoribus ("Lives Of The Rhetoricians") e Lives Of The Poets . Existem alguns fragmentos.
    • Vidas de prostitutas famosas
    • Biografias reais
    • Roma ("Em Roma"), em quatro partes: Maneiras e Costumes Romanos, O Ano Romano, Os Festivais Romanos e As Trajes Romanas.
    • Jogos gregos
    • Em escritórios públicos
    • Na república de Cícero
    • Os defeitos físicos da humanidade
    • Métodos de cálculo do tempo
    • Um ensaio sobre a natureza
    • Termos Gregos de Abuso
    • Problemas gramaticais
    • Sinais críticos usados ​​em livros
    • Memórias de Sila, referenciadas por Plutarco
    • Thales
    • No Solstício (possível trabalho perdido)
    • No Equinócio (possível trabalho perdido)
  • Tibério
    • Autobiografia ("breve e superficial", por Suetônio
    • Dacica de Trajano (ou De bello dacico) Varro
    • Saturarum Menippearum libri CL ou Menippean Satires em 150 livros
    • Antiquitates rerum humanarum et divinarum libri XLI
    • Logistoricon libri LXXVI
    • Hebdomades vel de imaginibus
    • Disciplinarum libri IX
  • Zenobia:
    • Resumo da história de Alexandria e do Oriente (de acordo com a Historia Augusta)
  • A obra dos poetas cíclicos (excluindo Homero), especificamente:
    • seis épicos do Ciclo Épico: Cipria, Etíope, a - Pequena Ilíada, a Iliupersis ("Saco de Tróia"), Nostoi ("Retorno") e Telegonia.
    • quatro épicos do Ciclo de Tebas: Édípode, Tebaida, Epigoni (épico) e Alcmeonis.
    • outros épicos gregos antigos: Titanomaquia, Heracleia, Captura de Oechalia, Naupactia, Phocais, Minyas

Fontes:

  • A Biblioteca de Alexandria
  • Zenodotus de Éfeso
  • Callimachus
  • Apolônio de Rodes
  • Eratóstenes
  • Aristófanes de Bizâncio
  • Aristarco de Samotrácia
  • Arquimedes
  • Obras Perdidas

Se a única cópia de uma obra estivesse em uma biblioteca específica, ela já estava perdida.

Em nossa pressa em reduzir a história a narrativas simples, muitas vezes as observações mais óbvias se perdem. Se a única cópia, digamos, da "Exortação à Filosofia" de Aristóteles foi perdida em um desastre específico na biblioteca de Alexandria, então claramente a obra já havia perdido sua relevância naquele mundo. A questão mais importante é: "Por que tantas obras de autores que estimamos hoje pereceram durante a Antiguidade Tardia?" A resposta não pode ser que uma biblioteca específica em uma cidade específica foi destruída. Obviamente, é uma questão muito mais complexa que oferece oportunidade para rica especulação e pesquisa.

(Na verdade, são duas perguntas, não são? Pois o outro lado da questão é: "Por que valorizamos essas obras que aparentemente as pessoas da Antiguidade Tardia não achavam que valia a pena preservar ?!")


Das obras escritas por Euclides, talvez o mais famoso filósofo grego, temos seis e perdemos seis, 50%. Para Arquimedes temos cerca de 10 obras e perdemos talvez cerca de 20, uma taxa de sobrevivência de 1/3. Para o playright Eurípides temos 19 jogos e perdemos cerca de 60 jogos, uma taxa de sobrevivência de 25%. Para outros autores e cientistas famosos, existem percentagens semelhantes.

É provavelmente seguro presumir que as bibliotecas de Alexandria originalmente tinham várias cópias de todas essas obras.


Qual destruição causou o dano (ou o maior dano)? Como observa a Wikipedia:

Apesar da crença moderna generalizada de que a Biblioteca foi "queimada" uma vez e destruída cataclismicamente, a Biblioteca na verdade diminuiu gradualmente ao longo de vários séculos, começando com a expulsão de intelectuais de Alexandria em 145 aC durante o reinado de Ptolomeu VIII Physcon, o que resultou em Aristarco da Samotrácia, o bibliotecário-chefe, renunciou ao cargo e exilou-se em Chipre. Muitos outros estudiosos, incluindo Dionysius Thrax e Apollodorus de Atenas, fugiram para outras cidades, onde continuaram ensinando e conduzindo bolsas de estudo. A Biblioteca, ou parte de sua coleção, foi acidentalmente queimada por Júlio César durante sua guerra civil em 48 aC, mas não está claro quanto foi realmente destruído e parece ter sobrevivido ou sido reconstruído pouco depois; o geógrafo Estrabão menciona ter visitado Mouseion por volta de 20 aC e a prodigiosa produção acadêmica de Didymus Chalcenterus em Alexandria desse período indica que ele teve acesso a pelo menos alguns dos recursos da Biblioteca.

A Biblioteca diminuiu durante o período romano, devido à falta de financiamento e apoio. Seus membros parecem ter cessado por volta de 260 DC. Entre 270-275 DC, a cidade de Alexandria viu uma rebelião e um contra-ataque imperial que provavelmente destruiu o que restava da Biblioteca, se é que ainda existia naquela época. A biblioteca filha do Serapeum pode ter sobrevivido após a destruição da biblioteca principal. O Serapeum foi vandalizado e demolido em 391 DC sob um decreto emitido pelo papa cristão copta Teófilo de Alexandria, mas não parece ter abrigado livros na época e era usado principalmente como local de reunião para filósofos neoplatônicos seguindo os ensinamentos de Jâmblico.

Qualquer que seja instituição ainda existente na década de 640 foi suprimida pelo menos mais uma vez pelo califa Omar.


A trágica história da vida real da Biblioteca de Alexandria

Embora não fosse literalmente uma das Sete Maravilhas do Mundo Antigo - essa honra foi para um farol próximo - a Biblioteca Real de Alexandria era, na verdade, uma maravilha do mundo antigo. Concebida no espírito helenístico e cosmopolita de Alexandre o Grande, a Biblioteca de Alexandria foi construída pelos sucessores de Alexandre para ser um local central para todas as informações que valem a pena conhecer. Com este objetivo elevado em mente, a biblioteca tornou-se um centro de aprendizado em todo o Mediterrâneo, e muitas das maiores mentes do mundo clássico se aglomeraram nela.

No entanto, a tragédia atingiu a Grande Biblioteca e todos os seus manuscritos de valor inestimável foram perdidos. Mas como isso poderia acontecer? Quem iria querer arruinar um templo dedicado ao aprendizado e às artes como nenhum outro antes ou depois? A resposta, ao que parece, é mais complicada do que você pode imaginar. Continue lendo sobre o trágico destino da Biblioteca de Alexandria.


O que aconteceu com a Grande Biblioteca em Alexandria?

Outrora a maior biblioteca do mundo antigo e contendo obras dos maiores pensadores e escritores da antiguidade, incluindo Homero, Platão, Sócrates e muitos mais, acredita-se que a Biblioteca de Alexandria, no norte do Egito, tenha sido destruída em um grande incêndio cerca de 2000 anos atrás e suas obras volumosas perdidas.

Desde sua destruição, essa maravilha do mundo antigo tem assombrado a imaginação de poetas, historiadores, viajantes e estudiosos, que lamentam a trágica perda de conhecimento e literatura. Hoje, a ideia de uma 'Biblioteca Universal' situada em uma cidade celebrada como o centro de aprendizagem no mundo antigo, atingiu um status mítico.

Propaganda

O mistério foi perpetuado pelo facto de não terem sido recuperados quaisquer vestígios arquitectónicos ou achados arqueológicos que possam ser definitivamente atribuídos à antiga Biblioteca, o que é surpreendente para uma estrutura supostamente renomada e imponente. Esta falta de prova física persuadiu alguns a se perguntar se a fabulosa Biblioteca realmente existiu na forma popularmente imaginada.

Alexandria Antiga

Outrora o lar do enorme farol de Pharos, uma das Sete Maravilhas do Mundo Antigo, o porto marítimo mediterrâneo de Alexandria foi fundado por Alexandre o Grande por volta de 330 aC e, como muitas outras cidades de seu Império, recebeu o nome dele. Após sua morte em 323 AEC, o Império de Alexandre foi deixado nas mãos de seus generais, com Ptolomeu I Sóter tomando o Egito e fazendo de Alexandria sua capital em 320 AEC. Anteriormente uma pequena vila de pescadores no delta do Nilo, Alexandria se tornou a sede dos governantes ptolomaicos do Egito e se tornou um grande centro intelectual e cultural, talvez a maior cidade do mundo antigo.

Propaganda

As origens da biblioteca antiga

A fundação da Biblioteca de Alexandria, na verdade duas ou mais bibliotecas, é obscura. Acredita-se que por volta de 295 aC, o erudito e orador Demétrio de Falo, um governador exilado de Atenas, convenceu Ptolomeu I Sóter a estabelecer a Biblioteca. Demétrio imaginou uma biblioteca que abrigaria uma cópia de todos os livros do mundo, uma instituição que rivalizaria com as da própria Atenas. Posteriormente, sob o patrocínio de Ptolomeu I, Demétrio organizou a construção do 'Templo das Musas' ou 'Museu', de onde deriva a nossa palavra 'museu'. Essa estrutura era um complexo de santuários modelado no Liceu de Aristóteles em Atenas, um centro de palestras e discussões intelectuais e filosóficas.

O Templo das Musas seria a primeira parte do complexo da biblioteca em Alexandria, e estava localizado dentro do recinto do Palácio Real, em uma área conhecida como Bruchion ou bairro do palácio, no distrito grego da cidade. O Museu era um centro de culto com santuários para cada uma das nove musas, mas também funcionava como um local de estudo com áreas de leitura, laboratórios, observatórios, jardins botânicos, um zoológico, salas de estar e refeitórios, bem como a própria Biblioteca . Um padre escolhido pelo próprio Ptolomeu I era o administrador do Museu, e havia também um bibliotecário separado encarregado da coleção de manuscritos. Em algum momento durante seu reinado de 282 AEC a 246 AEC, Ptolomeu II Filadelfo, filho de Ptolomeu I Sóter, estabeleceu a 'Biblioteca Real' para complementar o Templo das Musas estabelecido por seu pai.

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Não está claro se a Biblioteca Real, que viria a se tornar a principal Biblioteca de Manuscritos, era um prédio separado localizado próximo ao Museu ou uma extensão dele. No entanto, o consenso da opinião é que a Biblioteca Real fazia parte do Templo das Musas.

Durante o reinado de Ptolomeu II, a ideia da Biblioteca Universal parece ter tomado forma. Aparentemente, mais de 100 estudiosos estavam alojados no Museu, cujo trabalho era realizar pesquisas científicas, palestras, publicar, traduzir, copiar e coletar não apenas manuscritos originais de autores gregos (supostamente incluindo a coleção particular do próprio Aristóteles), mas traduções de obras do Egito, Assíria, Pérsia, bem como textos budistas e escrituras hebraicas.

Propaganda

Conta-se que a fome de conhecimento de Ptolomeu III era tão grande que ele decretou que todos os navios que atracassem no porto entregassem seus manuscritos às autoridades. As cópias foram feitas por escribas oficiais e entregues aos proprietários originais, sendo os originais arquivados na Biblioteca.

Um número frequentemente citado para os acervos da biblioteca antiga em seu pico é meio milhão de documentos, embora se isso se refira à quantidade de livros ou ao número de rolos de papiro não seja claro. No entanto, em vista do fato de que muitos rolos de papiro foram necessários para compor um livro inteiro, é mais provável que se refira ao número de rolos. Mesmo 500.000 pergaminhos foram considerados altos demais por alguns estudiosos, já que a construção de um prédio com uma quantidade tão grande de espaço de armazenamento seria uma tarefa imensa, embora não impossível. No entanto, durante o reinado de Ptolomeu II, a coleção da Biblioteca Real tornou-se tão vasta que uma biblioteca filha foi estabelecida. Essa biblioteca ficava situada no recinto do templo de Serápis, no distrito egípcio de Rhakotis, na parte sudeste da cidade. Durante a biblioteconomia do escritor grego Calímaco (c. 305 AEC - c. 240 AEC), a biblioteca filha continha 42.800 rolos, todos cópias dos da Biblioteca principal.

O incêndio da grande biblioteca?

A infame destruição da Biblioteca de Alexandria pelo fogo, com a conseqüente perda da coleção mais completa de literatura antiga já reunida, tem sido um ponto de debate acalorado por séculos. O que aconteceu exatamente com esse incrível depósito de conhecimentos antigos e quem foi o responsável por sua queima? No entanto, é provável que "a maior catástrofe do mundo antigo" nunca tenha ocorrido na escala freqüentemente suposta.

Propaganda

O principal suspeito da destruição da Biblioteca de Alexandria é Júlio César. Alega-se que durante a ocupação da cidade de Alexandria em 48 AEC por César, ele se encontrou no Palácio Real, cercado pela frota egípcia no porto. Para sua própria segurança, ele mandou seus homens atearem fogo aos navios egípcios, mas o fogo saiu do controle e se espalhou para as partes da cidade mais próximas da costa, que incluíam armazéns, depósitos e alguns arsenais.

Após a morte de César, geralmente se acreditava que foi ele quem destruiu a Biblioteca. O filósofo e dramaturgo romano Sêneca, citando a História de Roma de Lívio, escrita entre 63 aC e 14 dC, diz que 40.000 rolos foram destruídos no incêndio iniciado por César. O historiador grego Plutarco (falecido em 120 DC) menciona que o incêndio destruiu 'a grande Biblioteca' e o historiador romano Dio Cassius (c. 165 - 235 DC) menciona um depósito de manuscritos sendo destruído durante a conflagração.

Em seu livro The Vanished Library, Luciano Canfora interpreta as evidências de escritores antigos para indicar a destruição de manuscritos armazenados em armazéns perto do porto à espera de exportação, ao invés da própria grande Biblioteca. O grande estudioso e filósofo estóico Estrabão estava trabalhando em Alexandria em 20 aC e pelos seus escritos é óbvio que a Biblioteca não era naquela época o centro mundial de aprendizado que fora nos séculos anteriores. In fact Strabo does not mention a library as such at all, though he does mention the Museum, which he describes as 'part of the royal palace'. He goes on to say that 'it comprises the covered walk, the exedra or portico, and a great hall in which the learned members of the Museum take their meals in common.'

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If the great Library was attached to the Museum then Strabo obviously felt there was no need to mention it separately, and, perhaps more importantly, if he was there in 20 BCE, the Library had obviously not been burned down by Caesar twenty-eight years previously. The existence of the Library in 20 BCE, though in a much less complete form, means that we have to look to someone other than Caesar as the destroyer of Alexandria's ancient wonder.

In 391 CE, as part of his attempt to wipe out paganism, Emperor Theodosius I officially sanctioned the destruction of the Serapeum, or Temple of Serapis at Alexandria. The destruction of the Temple was carried out under Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, and afterwards a Christian church was built on the site. It has been hypothesised that the daughter library of the Museum, located close to the Temple, and the Royal Library were also razed to the ground at this time. However, whilst it is plausible that manuscripts from the Serapeum library may have been destroyed during this purge, there is no evidence that the Royal Library still existed at the end the 4th century. No ancient sources mention the destruction of any library at this time, though 18th century English historian Edward Gibbon mistakenly attributes it to bishop Theophilus.

The last suggested perpetrator of the crime is the Caliph Omar. In 640 CE the Arabs under General Amrou ibn el-Ass, captured Alexandria after a long siege. According to the story, the conquering Arabs heard about a magnificent library containing all the knowledge of the world and were anxious to see it. But the Caliph, unmoved by this vast collection of learning, apparently stated 'they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous.'

The manuscripts were then gathered together and used as fuel for the 4,000 bathhouses in the city. In fact there were so many scrolls that they kept the bathhouses of Alexandria heated for six months. These incredible facts were written down 300 years after the supposed event by Christian polymath Gregory Bar Hebraeus (1226-1286 CE). However, while the Arabs may have destroyed a Christian library at Alexandria, it is almost certain that by the mid 7th century CE the Royal Library no longer existed. This is made clear by the fact that no mention is made of such a catastrophic event by contemporary writers such as Christian chronicler John of Nikiou, Byzantine monk and writer John Moschus and Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem.

The Volatile City of Alexandria

Attempting to identify one single devastating fire that destroyed the great Library and all of its holdings is a futile task. Alexandria was often a volatile city, especially during the Roman period, as witnessed by Caesar's burning of the ships, and also in the violent struggle between the occupying forces of Queen Zenobia of Palmyra and the Roman emperor Aurelian in 270-71 CE. Aurelian eventually recovered the city for Rome from Queen Zenobia's armies, but not before many parts of Alexandria had been devastated, and the Bruchion district, which contained the palace and the Library, were apparently 'made into a desert'.

The city was again sacked a few years later by Roman Emperor Diocletian. Such repeated destruction spread over several centuries, along with neglect of the Library's contents as people's opinions and affiliations changed, means that the 'catastrophe' that ended the ancient Library at Alexandria was gradual, taking place over a period of four or five hundred years.

The last recorded Director of the great Library was scholar and mathematician Theon (c. 335 - c. 405 CE), father of the female philosopher Hypatia, brutally murdered by a Christian mob in Alexandria in 415 CE. Perhaps one day, in the deserts of Egypt, scrolls that were once part of the great Library will be discovered. Many archaeologists believe that the buildings that once composed the legendary seat of learning at ancient Alexandria, if not buried under the modern metropolis, could still survive relatively intact somewhere in the north-eastern part of the city.


What knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Alexandria? - História

Bibliotheca Alexandrina: The modern Library of Alexandria

Great question! For those not familiar, I’ll start with a little background on the subject. The Library of Alexandria was founded by either Ptolemy I or his son, Ptolemy II, sometime in the third century B.C. Libraries were nothing new to ancient civilizations, though places to keep etched clay tablets might not be what we would consider a proper library today. The initial goal of the Library of Alexandria was most likely to flaunt Egypt’s enormous wealth rather than provide a place for study and research, but of course the library transformed into something much more.

Charged with collecting the knowledge of the world, many of the workers at the library were busy translating scrolls from “barbarian” languages into Greek. Scrolls were obtained from ancient “book fairs” in Athens and Rhodes. Scrolls from ships that made port were taken to the library and copied. Ptolemy III also borrowed the original manuscripts of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides from Athens. According to Galen, the pharaoh had to pay a hefty price to guarantee that he would return the originals, but Ptolemy III had the scrolls copied and returned the copies. Because much about the library is wrapped in legend, we can’t be sure if this is true, or if it was a story told to show the power of Ptolemaic Egypt.

Needless to say, the library’s collection was vast, but the knowledge of exactly how many scrolls the library contained at any given point has been lost. Estimations range from 40,000 scrolls to 600,000. We do know that the collection spurred the need for a system of library organization. A precursor to today’s library catalogue was developed called Pinakes, or “tablets.” The tablets were divided into genre and sorted by the author’s name. It’s likely that this served as a record of the contents of the library rather than a precise system for finding the scrolls. Scrolls, unlike the books we know today, could not stand up on shelves but lay in heaps, meaning a precise method of organization would be nearly impossible to achieve. Unfortunately, the tablets along with the rest of the library have been lost to fire or time, meaning we have little record of the library’s exact contents.

Partially because of the library, Alexandria became a seat of scholarship and learning. Scholars from all over the Hellenistic world were allowed to browse the library. They researched, discovered, and taught. It was at the library that Euclid wrote his groundbreaking work on geometry (much to the distaste of a majority of high school freshmen everywhere) Eratosthenes discovered how to measure the Earth’s circumference with remarkable accuracy Herophilius learned that the brain controlled thought rather than the heart and Aristarchus stated that the Earth revolves around the sun—1,800 years before Copernicus. The library represented a blending of cultures and minds and we have it to thank for many of our modern ideas about medicine, astronomy, math, and grammar.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

To answer your question specifically on what ever happened to the historic library, you’ll often hear it disappeared suddenly in a fire, but this probably isn’t accurate. What actually happened seems to have been a series of events over time that slowly led to the demise of the library.

More specifically, while there are several reports of fires in Alexandria linked to the destruction of the library, there is no solid historical evidence of the “great fire” believed to have destroyed the entire library. That being said, you’ll often hear three names bandied about as the top players in the library’s demise: Julius Caesar, Theophilius of Alexandria, and Caliph Omar of Damascus.

Legend has it that Theophilius, Patriarch of Alexandria in 391 A.D., began destroying pagan temples in the name of Christianity. The classical “pagan” scrolls contained in the library would have been a point of contention, as was the Serapeum temple attached to the library. If Theophilius destroyed a library in Alexandria, though, it is thought it was probably the “daughter library’ set up by Ptolemy III which contained far fewer scrolls than the historic great library. We do know that one of the rare historic mathematicians, philosophers, and astronomers who was female, Hypatia, was brutally murdered by a religious mob in Alexandria around this time (in 415 A.D.) demonstrating some of the strife between certain scholars and the religious in the region, though many scholars today think her death had more to do with her being caught up in political events than specifically her stance on Christianity.

The story about Caliph Omar is almost certainly made up. In 645 A.D., Omar conquered Egypt and supposedly burned the books in the library because they were not in line with the Koran’s teachings. Again, if Omar did burn a library it was probably the one rebuilt at the site of the original daughter library. Most historians think that this story was probably invented in the 12 th century, and as with all stories that emerge long after they were said to take place, it should be considered with a grain of salt.

The most likely origin of the “great fire” theory is Julius Caesar’s actions during a war with Alexandria. Julius Caesar did set fire to the dockyards of Alexandria as well as the Alexandrine Fleet, which he documented in The Civil Wars. He doesn’t say whether or not the fire spread to the library, but it’s thought unlikely that it did, despite certain historic accounts. However, scrolls stored in warehouses along the harbour probably burned, and it is very likely that Caesar’s men looted the library and took a large number of scrolls back to Rome. Seneca wrote that 40,000 books were destroyed in Caesar’s fire, but if this is true, it would have probably been only a portion of the books that the library contained. Later writers, including Strabo and Seutonius, make mention of the museum of which the library was a part, as well as connections to the library scholars. This and other evidence demonstrates that the library survived, at least in part, past Caesar’s time—even if it, perhaps, never returned to the peak of its grandeur.

But if the library wasn’t destroyed by a fire and the original library isn’t standing today, then something must have happened to explain the loss of so much literature. If any one event contributed to the quick demise of the Library of Alexandria, it’s unknown to historians, contrary to popular belief. It is thought more likely that mundane things led to the “destruction” of the library, like time taking its toll on the amassed knowledge, with scrolls experiencing wear and tear and falling apart the librarians at Alexandria faced tough decisions on which scrolls to continue to copy in the face of papyrus shortages. A few conquering emperors took many of the library’s works as spoils of war to other parts of the world, dispersing the texts. It’s possible religious leaders, taking offense to some of the contents, may have had some of the scrolls destroyed as well, though most historians think this latter factor to be wildly exaggerated. (Particularly around the 17th century on it became in vogue by secular scientists to rail against the ignorance and misguided notions of various religious groups, with Catholics tending to be public enemy number one. As a result, many myths popped up, such as that Medieval Christians thought the world was flat and the like- basically attempts to portray religious people throughout history as mindless mobs burning books and rejecting science at every turn, despite this being quite contrary to actual documented evidence on many of these popular stories.)

Whatever the case, the loss of the knowledge contained in the library is enough to still the heart of many an academic today, particularly with hints of such works as the lost “History of the World” three book set, the “Books of Berosus”, written around 290 B.C., and references to other such works that were once there, hinting at how much we’ve lost.

However, this story does have something of a happy ending. In 2002, another library was built near the site of the original Library of Alexandria. Bibliotecha Alexandrina aims to maintain the spirit of the original library. People from all walks of life are coming together with the aim to preserve knowledge, from rare ancient texts to a science museum to computer systems. Countries from all over the world have sent books in an attempt to rebuild the collection that was lost to history. This time, just in case, the building is virtually fireproof.

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Kiwi Hellenist

Alexandria was the chief city of Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, and the most important cultural powerhouse of the ancient Mediterranean. The quotation above comes from this History Channel clip about its famous library, or rather libraries.

The narrator goes on (at the 1 min. 39 sec. mark):

Doctor sitting reading by an armarium holding books
(early 4th cent. CE Met. Mus. Art, New York)
This snippet ranges from absurd to outright false. (Let's do the easy bits right away: Aristotle didn't write comedies, and Aeschylus and Euripides wrote a combined total of about 170 plays.) The only bit that has any basis in reality is the first line, about Caesar burning the Ptolemaic fleet. Everything else is untrue, without any room for doubt on the point.

It's not like the History Channel is conveying an isolated opinion, by the way. Isto é realmente widely believed. Here's a full-length documentary that makes similar claims the Wikipedia article on the subject refers to "the incalculable loss of ancient works" Joel Levy's 2006 book Lost Histories calls it "the day that history lost its memory" online forums frequently get questions about just how big a disaster it was.

Important point: I'm not talking today about the historical circumstances of the library's destruction. There certainly was a major fire in 47 BCE, and there may have been other important moments of destruction in later centuries. We're not here to pin down when it disappeared, or who's to blame: this is about the historical significance of the library's loss.

  1. Misconceptions about the role of libraries in the ancient world.
  2. Misconceptions about what kinds of books the Alexandrian library actually held.
  3. Misconceptions about the actual causes for the loss of texts from antiquity.

1. The role of libraries

If the loss of the library was "the single greatest loss of knowledge" in history, that would mean the books destroyed were the only existing copies of those books.

Suppose -- heaven forfend -- that the British Library burned down tomorrow, or the Library of Congress. What kind of a loss would it be? In cultural terms, and purely in monetary terms, it would be catastrophic: millions of manuscripts, autographs, and rare and unique items would be lost, and the cost of replacing the printed collection would be vast.

But barely a scrap of actual conhecimento would be lost. Ismail Kadare's novels would survive. The Thirty Years War would not be forgotten. Aeroplanes and computers would not become treasured relics, never to be recreated.

This is because there are lots and lots and lots of repositories of information in the world. And exactly the same was true in Greco-Roman antiquity. There were hundreds of libraries of Greek and Latin texts dotted around the Mediterranean. Alexandria was the biggest, but it was just one fish in a sea of libraries. There were also important centres at Pergamon, Athens, Rome, Constantinople, and many important private collections. Roman aristocrats founded many libraries in the early Principate clubs and gymnasia in Greece were also centres of learning, with their own libraries, and we have inscriptions cataloguing regular deposits of books in their collections. Caesar's fire did not stop Athenaeus and Julius Africanus from being profoundly well-read more than two centuries later, and the likes of Pliny the Elder and Pausanias did their research privately or in Athens, not in Alexandria.

This last point is directly tied to one important function of ancient libraries. As well as being reading rooms, they were also scribal centres that bypassed the book trade. People could commission a scribe to go and make a copy of a book, and it seems this was a pretty economical thing to do. (Remember copyright is irrelevant in a society where reproduction is labour-intensive.) A beautiful example is the sole surviving copy of Aristotle's Constitution of the Athenians. An estate owner living near Hermopolis, Egypt, recycled four scrolls of his farm and business records by commissioning scribes to make a copy of some fairly high-powered intellectual works on the back, including Aristotle's book. (It's not very likely that the copying was done at Alexandria, about 200 km away.) The economics of the situation are telling: the owner was willing to hire professional scribes, but not to pay for clean papyrus. In other words, scribes were cheap.

It is unlikely that more than a handful of texts of any consequence were lost in the fire of 47 BCE, for the simple reason that anything important certainly existed in many copies, in libraries and private collections, all over the Mediterranean.

2. The books in the library

In the popular imagination, the library held all manner of arcane knowledge lost in the mists of time -- Babylonian mathematical treatises, dictionaries of Linear A, diplomatic correspondence between Egypt and Atlantis, the history of Göbekli Tepe, that kind of thing.

Illustrated edition of a poem about Herakles, probably for a popular audience:
Herakles' fight with the Nemean lion (P.Oxy. 2331, 3rd century)
In reality it was not a repository of records left by the Pharaohs of the Old Kingdom. It was a Greek library, of Greek texts, for Greek people, founded around 300 BCE. One late source tells us that there estavam accessions of Egyptian, Chaldaean, and Roman books, but they were invariably translated into Greek (Syncellus, Chronographia 516,6-10). We don't know if the originals would have been preserved too it doesn't seem likely that they were prized.

We have a very good idea of the kinds of things that were in the library. This is because surviving books routinely cite and discuss other books, including ones that have been lost. Many important pieces of modern research revolve around gathering together the fragments that we obtain this way: the most important such collection, the Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, lists over 1000 lost authors -- and that's just in the genres of history and geography. In some cases we know a huge amount about these books in other cases we know only titles. But it's more than enough to tell us that what we are missing is, essentially, pretty similar to what survived via the mediaeval manuscript tradition.

The thing that we're really missing out on is the colossal book-writing spree that Greek thinkers all round the Mediterranean went on in the late 4th to 1st centuries BCE: we have comparatively few intact books from that period -- we have Aristotle, Euclid, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, but we're missing out on the likes of Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, and Crates.

3. How ancient texts actually got lost

The destruction of a library is a terrible thing, but it's a drop in the ocean. The disappearance of Greco-Roman texts is a story about culture and economics, not a timeline of specific events. Left to themselves, books vanish over time without any need for someone stepping in to destroy them. Poor storage, poor longevity in the materials, environmental factors, and human agency all hasten that natural decay, but that decay will happen anyway. Over a thousand years, that's plenty to ensure the demise of nearly every book in existence.

Sure, it would be nice if the library of Alexandria had survived to the present day. But that means positing a miracle. No ancient library has survived to the present. Even if the Alexandrian library had survived the fires, eventually it would have gone the same way as the Palatine library in Rome -- which suffered its own series of catastrophic fires (the History Channel never talks about those) -- and the libraries of Pergamon, Tralles, Athens, and so on. Aristotle's Constitution of the Athenians, mentioned above, is a truly extraordinary case: only a handful of texts have survived by being preserved on an intact ancient papyrus.

Codex and scroll (Pompeii, before 79 CE):
left, woman with note-taking codex (wax on wood)
right, man with commercial scroll ( with titulus )
Books survive if many different people ensure that they're copiado. And the people of the past who did that copying weren't operating with any top-down, organised plan they weren't members of a worldwide Book Preservation Society. They were independent institutions and individuals living in many different places and many different centuries, and their efforts just happen to have the fortunate combined effect that many texts have survived to the present.

Texts were disappearing long before Rome fell. The 2nd century CE is when we really start to notice extant sources treating old texts as things they haven't personally read -- they only have second- or third-hand information. In other words, that's when texts start vanishing em massa. J. O. Ward, cited above, points out that many oratorical speeches from Cicero's time were already obscure in Tacitus' time. We have no evidence of any of the Epic Cycle surviving beyond the 2nd century. (Some of them fez survive that long: so however they were lost, it had nothing to do with events in Alexandria.) Not a single ancient writer ever cites book 2 of Aristotle's Poetics, other than Aristotle himself: it was never as popular as the similar material in his On poets (also lost), which was intended for a wider audience, and about which we hear a great deal. Poetics book 2 may well have disappeared within a century of being written.

The 2nd-3rd centuries were also the time of a massive technical migration: from scroll to codex. ('Codex' is the word for a modern-style book, with pages sewn together at the spine.) The very biggest hurdle for the survival of books is nothing to do with libraries burning, or fictional stories about religious zealots destroying pagan books. It's about a format shift.

We first begin to hear about commercial use of codices by ancient booksellers in the 1st century CE poet Martial, who is impressed after seeing a codex edition of Ovid's Metamorfoses with the entire text in one volume (Epigramas 14.192):

Lionel Casson's Libraries in the Ancient World (2001), pp. 127-8, reports the following proportions in Egyptian papyrus finds:

Scroll Codex
1st-2nd centuries CE 98.5% 1.5%
ca. 300 CE 50% 50%
ca. 400 CE 20% 80%
ca. 500 CE 10% 90%

Um armarium for codices: the real reason
for the loss of Greco-Roman texts
(Codex Amiatinus, early 8th cent. CE)
A format shift doesn't only attach an extra cost to the survival of any text, it also attaches a time­-limit. If the storage units in your library are armaria for codices, scrolls that haven't been transferred by the deadline will simply not get stored in the library. In addition, ancient and mediaeval codices were normally stored flat on their backs -- not on end, as in modern bookshelves -- and they couldn't be piled high, if they could be piled at all. So even though a codex could hold a lot more text than a scroll, codices took up more space for the same amount of text!

Scrolls were effectively a self-destruct timer. A book published in scroll form might survive a century or three after 300 CE but if it hadn't been copied into a codex by that date, the text was basically doomed.

Wars and fires don't help of course, but those are pretty minor things in comparison to a format shift that affected tudo livros.

So don't lament for the library of Alexandria: celebrate it for what it was. It's an important chapter in the story of the desenvolvimento of knowledge. But in the story of the loss of knowledge, it barely warrants even a footnote.

Some other popular sources do a perfectly decent job with this topic: Carl Sagan's TV series Cosmos is a bit notorious for being unreliable on history, but it's on relatively steady ground here (1980 episode 1, "The shores of the cosmic ocean") --


1. Fundação

In 332 BC, Alexander III of Macedon ended the Persian rule of Egypt. Then he founded Alexandria on the shore of the Mediterranean, becoming the capital of Egypt. He was greatly influenced by the Assyrian Library of Nineveh, which inspired him to combine all the different works of all the countries he conquered in one place under Greek power as a universal library. But this concept changed with the change of rulers. The library was initially an intellectual center in the service of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Later, when the Romans ruled Egypt, the library fell under the protection of the emperors.

After the death of Alexander, the library was built during the reign of his friend Ptolemy I, known as Soter (323-284 BC).

Traditional action of the "Archimedean screw" pumping water up.

Archimedes&apos screw, also known as the water screw or the Egyptian screw, is a machine used to move water from a low water body into irrigation canals. Water is pumped by rotating a spiral surface inside a tube. Although it is commonly attributed to Archimedes, there is some evidence that the device was used in ancient Egypt long before his era.

The Ptolemies offered free housing, tax breaking, and good salaries to the scientists to attract them to the library. The scholars attracted by privileges were Strabo, Zenodotus, Aristophanes, Eratosthenes, Herophilus, Euclid, and Archimedes.

2. Description

There were two locations for the library:

  • The mother library or Mouseion, meaning the museum, was located on the grounds of the royal palace and contained between 400,000 and 700,000 manuscripts. The Mouseion consisted of an Academy of Sciences, a research center, and a library. The main Academy building and the Library building were connected by a network of tracks, columns. There were also botanical gardens and animal displays to please the scientists. Also, there was an outdoor amphitheater called exedra.
  • By the time of Ptolemy III, known as Eurgertes, a secondary library existed in the temple of Serapeum, which was located in the neighborhood of Rhachotis, a poor neighborhood in southwestern Alexandria. Serapeum contained around 42,800 manuscripts.

3. Library Collection

They wanted the best, most reliable copies of all books in the world if possible. They were willing to buy, borrow, or steal to get it.

During the reign of Ptolemy Urgerts, the library borrowed official Athenian copies of the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, giving Athena a huge sum of money as a guarantee of their return. Library clerks have made wonderful copies of these books with the highest quality manuscript. The originals were kept for the library, and the copies were returned to Athens.

Another story said that during starvation in Athens, ambassadors from the Library of Alexandria forced the sale of valuable manuscripts owned by Athena in interchange for food. In addition to purchasing books, the Ptolemies obtained books by plunder.

It was widely reported that upon entering the port of Alexandria, ships were searched, and whatever books they were carrying were seized. A copy was made and handed over to the original owner, but the original has been kept for the library.

4. The Destroy of the Library

The first story of the destruction of the Library of Alexandria goes back to Julius Caesar. Around 48 BC, Caesar went to Alexandria on his pursuit of Pompey during the Roman Civil War. On reaching Egypt, he learns that Pompey was dead. However, he found himself in the midst of another civil war, between Ptolemy XII and his sister Cleopatra VII on the throne of Egypt. After Caesar had sided with Cleopatra, Ptolemy&aposs army proceeded to besiege Caesar and Cleopatra inside Alexandria. It was said that Caesar set fire to some ships in the port. The fire spread to the sidewalks, and then to the neighborhoods of the neighboring city. According to this story, contemporary writers have estimated that about 40,000 manuscripts were lost during that fire.

Then many events led to the destruction of the library. Especially during the last period of Roman rule in Egypt, through that period, Roman persecution of the Egyptians increased, which led to an increase in vandalism, robbery, and looting.

That situation continued until the year 641 AD, with the arrival of the conqueror Islamic leader Amr bin Al-Aas to Egypt to end the rule of Romans in Egypt. The Egyptians praised him at the time for their liberation from the Romans.


6. Egypt Temple of Knowledge

After Egypt gained its independence, it desperately tried to control its heritage by stemming the massive flood of Egyptian artifacts flowing out of the country to private and public collections around the world. They were eventually able to set up a number of museums, including taking over the Institut d’Égypte (Temple of Knowledge,) which held hundreds of thousands of documents and manuscripts, some dating back to the 1500’s. On December 17, 2011, during the uprising against Egyptian leader President Mubark,violent protests spilled over into the Museum grounds, and a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window. Despite valiant attempts by bystanders to save the valuable works, only a fraction could be carried out. The rest were destroyed by the flames.


How was the Library of Alexandria Destroyed?

The Library of Alexandria is one of the most famous and well-known buildings in the ancient world. Despite this fame, scholars know little about it and much debate surrounds the details of its existence and eventual destruction. Most disagree on its size, its location, and most of all, how it was ultimately destroyed. [1]

Although the Library of Alexandria was not the first library of its kind in the ancient world, if what its contemporaries say about it is true, it was most certainly the largest. Many libraries existed in antiquity, but none contained as many books or enjoyed the same amount of financial support from the ruling monarchy. The Library of Alexandria was utilized by some of the most famous scholars of its time, and it amassed a collection of books. Some say it was half a million or more. No other institution had such a reputation. Ultimately the library was destroyed, but scholars do not know how or even in what century it met its demise. Although the Library is one of the most famous relics of the ancient world, we know very little about its appearance, the work is done there, or how it eventually came to its end.

Ancient Learning and Libraries

With the invention of writing, believed to have occurred in Mesopotamia around 3200 B.C., came the need to archive and store collections of texts. Most of the earliest clay tablets that were created contained information saved for practical purposes. When their relevance expired, the tablets were either erased and used again or reused as building materials. Their creators did not need to save or archive them, and as such, those first examples of writing are lost.

The earliest known collection of archived content comes from the ancient Sumerian city of Uruk, located in the southeast of Iraq. Archaeologists discovered roughly 4500 texts as part of a collection of varying topics from astronomy to mathematics. This is the earliest known evidence of what archaeologists call “archival behavior.” Other libraries that existed in that time included The Royal Library of Antioch (est. 221 B.C.) and the already ancient Library of Ashurbanipal, located in modern-day Iraq. It is said that, upon seeing Ashurbanipal, Alexander the Great was inspired to establish his own Library, and he bestowed that responsibility upon his Macedonian general Ptolemy I. [2]

Outline of the Museum and the Library

The Library and Museum were founded sometime between 300 and 290 BC. Scholars are unclear who founded it, but most agree it was either the first or the second King from the Ptolemaic dynasty. The Ptolemies were a dynasty of Pharaohs who ruled Egypt for nearly 300 years. The first Ptolemy was a general under Alexander the Great. They financially supported the library and its scholars and earned a reputation in the ancient world for being culturally enlightened rulers. [3]

The Library of Alexandria contained both a library and a museum. The museum was made of a community of scholars who were involved in academic and religious pursuits. The museum was named for the Muses, the Greek goddesses of artistry and scholarship. Its resident scholars studied mathematics, medicine, astronomy, and literature. They are famous for having edited most major Greek texts, including those of Homer and Hesiod. It is also believed that the library scholars served as teachers for privileged members of the community. [4] The library also had gardens, decorated walkways, and a dining hall where all of the museum's fellows ate together [5]

It is not known how many members the museum had. Their names have been lost to history. [6] However, it is known that many famous intellectuals studied and worked there, including Euclid, Callimachus, and Eratosthenes. [7] The scholars were led by a librarian who was appointed by the King. The librarian was the head scholar, head scholar, and tutor to the royal family. [8]

The librarians and the Ptolemies alike went to great lengths to obtain as many books as possible. Scholars were sent to other major cities such as Athens and Rhodes, to buy books. All ships that docked in the harbor were searched, and the books were taken and copied. The copies (not the originals) were returned to the owners. Books known to have been acquired this way include the tragedies of Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides. [9] It is believed that the Library may have contained as many as half a million scrolls. If these estimates are accurate, the Library of Alexandria was significantly larger than any other libraries of its time.

The Library Destroyed

It is unknown when or how the library was destroyed as there are no primary sources that discuss its destruction. Scholars can’t even be sure about a century when it may have occurred. Some scholars believe it was destroyed as early as 48 A.D. while others place the date six hundred years later in 641. It is not known where the library was located within the city nor how large it was, how many buildings it contained, or how many scholars lived there. There are no eye witness accounts or even primary sources which mention the destruction of the library. [10]

It is most widely believed that the Library of Alexandria was destroyed in a fire that was started when Caesar burned the Egyptian fleet during the Alexandrian Warn in 48 B.C. [11] Instead, Many Islamic scholars believe that Umar's order burned the library, a powerful 7th century Caliph from Mecca, after the Muslim conquest of Alexandria 641 A.D. Others believe that Emperor Theodosius burned it in 390 A.D. Finally, many believe it was destroyed during the recapture of Alexandria by Aurelian during the revolt of Queen Zenobia of Palmyra in 269 A.D.

Despite the best efforts of classical scholars, most details about the Library of Alexandria remain a mystery. What is known is that the Library was an unparalleled center of learning in the ancient world, which enjoyed the patronage of the ruling monarchy for centuries. Scholars traveled from all over the world to study at Alexandria and copy their books, and it has entered our modern psyche as a symbol of a great loss of knowledge and culture. As time goes on, scholars and the general public alike hope to eventually shed light on the mystery of its holdings and its eventual destruction. Until then, the details of the events in the Library of Alexandria's life are left to our imagination.


Referências

Empereur, J.-Y., 2008. The Destruction of the Library of Alexandria: An Archaeological Viewpoint. In: M. El-Abbadi & O. M. Fathallah, eds. What Happened to the Ancient Library of Alexandria?. Leiden Boston: Brill, pp. 75-88.

Newitz, A., 2013. The Great Library at Alexandria was Destroyed by Budget Cuts, Not Fire. [Conectados]
Disponível em: http://io9.com/the-great-library-at-alexandria-was-destroyed-by-budget-1442659066
[Accessed 8 May 2014].

Plutarco, Life of Julius Caesar ,
[Perrin, B. (trans.), 1919. Plutarch's Lives. London: William Heinemann.]

Wu Mingren (‘Dhwty’) has a Bachelor of Arts in Ancient History and Archaeology. Although his primary interest is in the ancient civilizations of the Near East, he is also interested in other geographical regions, as well as other time periods. consulte Mais informação


Here are 10 things you need to know about the ancient library of Alexandria.

1) The ancient library of Alexandria was founded by Demetrius of Phaleon, an Athenian politician who fell from power and fled to Egypt. There, he found refuge at the royal court of King Ptolemy I Soter, who ruled Egypt between 323 and 285 BCE. Impressed by the extensive knowledge and deep learning of Demetrius, Ptolemy assigned him the task of creating a library.

2) The ancient library of Alexandria was part of an institution of higher learning known as the Alexandrian Museum. The library was intended as a resource for the scholars who did research at the Museum.

3) The books at the library were divided into the following subjects: rhetoric, law, epic, tragedy, comedy, lyric poetry, history, medicine, mathematics, natural science, and miscellaneous. The library is believed to have housed between 200,000 and 700,000 books, divided between two library branches.

4) Book were acquired for the library through purchases at Athens and Rhodes, the two main book markets in the Ancient Mediterranean through copying and through confiscation.

5) One category of acquired books was called &ldquofrom the ships.&rdquo Whenever a ship arrived at the harbor in Alexandria, government officials went aboard, searching for books. They brought the books they found to the library for inspection. These books were either returned immediately, or confiscated and replaced with a copy made by the library scribes.

The Rosetta Stone, created in 196 B.C.E. in Egypt and contains writing in Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Egyptian demotic script. Fonte: Wikipedia.

6) Books at the ancient library of Alexandria were mainly written in two languages&mdashGreek and Egyptian, a now extinct Afro-Asian language. It is believed that the entire literary corpus of Ancient Greece was kept at the library, together with works by Aristotle, Sophocles, and Euripides, among others. The Egyptian books were books about the traditions and history of Ancient Egypt.

7) Scholars working at the Alexandrian Museum used the library to create the categorization of Ancient Egypt&rsquos history into 30 dynasties, which is still used today when we study ancient history, as well as the first translation of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Septuagint. To this day, the Septuagint remains a crucial text in critical Bible studies.

8) The ancient library of Alexandria was destroyed on two different occasions. The original library branch was located at the royal palace at Alexandria, near the harbor. When Julius Caesar intervened in the civil war between Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII, Caesar set fire to the ships in the harbor. It is believed that this fire spread to the library and completely destroyed it.

9) The second branch of the library was located inside a temple dedicated to the god Serapis. In 391 CE, Roman Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity the only legal religion of Rome, and ordered all pagan temples to be destroyed. The temple of Serapis at Alexandria was completely destroyed, and with it the second branch of the library.

10) In 2002, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina opened in Alexandria. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a research library and cultural center created in commemoration of the ancient library with the intention of making Alexandria into a city of world-renowned learning again. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina houses the world&rsquos largest digital collection of historical manuscripts as well as the largest repository of French books on the African continent.

Interior of Bibliotecha Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt. Fonte: Wikipedia.


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