Christian Fanatics Destroyed the Great Library of Alexandria

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The library in Alexandria, Egypt was for a long time the major source of knowledge creation in the world.

At the time of Alexander of Macedonia’s death, his empire had expanded beyond Macedonia to cover a large extent of the Asian Minor, the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and Egypt, extending into Asia, as far as Punjab in present-day India.

After his death in 323 BC, three dynasties emerged.

The dynasties were founded by three of his generals to control the vast empire that he left behind. Antigonus controlled Macedonia, the Seleucus were installed as rulers in Asia, including the Persian empire and Ptolemies ruled as Pharaos in Egypt for three centuries, until Egypt was colonized by the Romans under the Ceasers.

Ptolemies established Alexandria on the sea coast as their capital city. The location of the city allowed Egyptians to develop military and naval ascendancy in the eastern Mediterranean. The city of Alexandria was the location of the richest library in the world and it is said to have held about 400, 000 volumes of books, at a time when writing was not common.

The library had manuscripts from Ethiopia, Persia, Syria, and Greece. It also had books by Babylonians, Assyrians, Romans, Phoenicians, and from all major places of the world at that time. In addition, the library served as a university, with faculties dedicated to astronomy, mathematics, literature and medicine.

Remarkably, it also had a chemical laboratory and a room dedicated to dissecting and studying anatomy.

This magnificent center of knowledge was first destroyed by the Romans under Julio Ceaser in 48BC. A second library, which was built to replace the original one by Mark Antony was presented to Cleopatra, but this was once again destroyed by Christian fanatics in 389AD.

One of the most significant aspects of the city of Alexandria was that it was the base of elephant hunting all across Africa, as far as along the Kenyan and Somalia Coast. Its maritime development also led to the construction of very expensive ships for transporting elephants which were needed for war.

By this time, the Seleucus who controlled Asia had become rivals of the Ptolemies who were the rulers of Egypt. These two groups were frequently at war with each other.

The location of Alexandria also facilitated trade relations with Asia through the Red Sea and the Nile Delta. Maize was exported from Egypt through Alexandria to the north in exchange of other raw materials.

Egypt exported other African products like ivory, gold, feathers and ostrich eggs which were bought in the southern of Egypt, and present day Eastern Africa region for export through the Mediterranean.

These products were then re-exported after being processed by Alexandrians to Greece and as far as the Black Sea. The processing industry in Egypt was highly developed in the Nile delta and the region of Alexandria.

Alexandrians also had a monopoly in the manufacture of papyrus which was used for writing, because the plant from which papyrus was made only grew in Egypt.

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