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VMs: Alexandria [was: Nabatean, was; Personal Guess]

Jeff Jotted;
>... When Alexandria was burnt a lot of
> written text went with it along with the accumulated knowledge.

Barbara Babbles;
A misconception I'm afraid, and one I used to believe myself: it's
knowledge" after all ;-). 

In Julius Caesar's assault on Alexandria only an annex of the famous
library was
burnt down. Later, Mark Anthony ordered the Library at Pergamon (sp?) to
make copies of all their books and send them to Alexandria's library. In
the end few, if any, volumes were "lost", due to the fire. The
"destruction of the library" story originated as anti roman, or more
specifically anti Octavian (later Caesar Agustus) propaganda, somehow
over time the "chinese whispers" of common knowledge transferred this
"crime" from
Octavian's conquest to Julius's, probably because he did use fire to
burn the harbour whereas
Octavian didn't.

In later days the "loss" of Alexandria's books was attributed to the
conquerors of Egypt; legend has it that they burnt all the books saying
of their contents that "If it is not in the Koran it is blasphemy, and
if it is in the Koran it is superfluous". But this too was propaganda,
although anti-islamic this time.

In fact the library remained intact until under the Arab Caliphs it was
broken up and its contents distributed to the universities in Baghdad.
Alas my source for this is still unpacked and I only recall the title;
"Egypt After the Pharaohs". 

A much greater loss to human knowledge and history was the wholesale
destruction of Phoenician libraries during the wars against them by both
greeks and romans, particularly the destruction of the greatest
of all Phoenician libraries at Carthage during the Punic wars.

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