During the Hellenistic Period, the Alexandrian School was the premier center of learning in the ancient world. It held the Alexandrian Library and was founded in 300 BC. It was also known as the Museum (a site dedicated to the Muses). The school became famous for its scholars and scientists, such as Aristarchus, Eratosthenes, Apollonius of Rhodes, and Calanus.
The museum was closed in 39 AD when it was destroyed by the emperor Claudius. It has never been rebuilt. However, many of its scrolls were rescued by monks who escaped with them from the burning building.
Today, some fragments of these manuscripts are kept in various museums around the world. They include parts of the work of Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, Galen, and other important scientists of that time.
Also at the museum site today is an obelisk which was brought from Egypt by Augustus Caesar in 30 BC. It is 28 feet high and weighs over 22 tons.
Augustus had the top half of the obelisk transported to Rome where it stands in the Roman Forum today. The bottom half of the obelisk remains in Alexandria to this day.
The Library of Alexandria, the most renowned library in Classical antiquity, is the most famous library in Classical antiquity. It was a component of the Alexandrian Museum, a research organization in Alexandria, Egypt (Mouseion, "shrine of the Muses"). The museum and its library were administered by an executive committee called the Bibliotheca.
The Library attracted scholars from around the world who were interested in learning about many subjects, not just literature, which is why it is considered one of the most comprehensive libraries in history. By 250 AD, the Library contained more than million scrolls. Fire destroyed almost all of them except for about 20,000 manuscripts which were saved by monks after the city fell to the Romans in 30 AD.
The Library was unique because it was open to scholars for free. Authors could apply for permission to deposit books with the librarian, who would evaluate their content and quality and decide whether they should be allowed to stay. Many important works were produced specifically for publication in the Library, including most of Plato's writings and most of Aristotle's works.
Modern replicas of the Library have been established in Alexandria and New York City. One major difference between the ancient Library and its modern-day equivalents is that the Modern Libraries allow researchers to check out books, while the Ancient Library only allowed authors' rights to be evaluated.
What Happened? Co-editor The Library of Alexandria, the most renowned library in Classical antiquity, is the most famous library in Classical antiquity. The museum and its library were destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 373.
How Do We Know This? In 48 BC, after many years of rivalry, Pompey the Great gained control of Egypt. He wanted to make himself king, but the Senate of Rome decided that this would be too much power for one man. So they sent him back home with all the glory, but no power. After his death in 44 BC, his son Caesar became king as well as emperor. One of Caesar's first acts as ruler of Rome was to send Mark Antony and Lucius Cassius Longinus to Alexandria to collect the books from the library for preservation. These books were taken to Rome where they formed the basis for the great public library known as the Library of Caesar Augustus. This library was one of the seven ancient libraries recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 1998.
Many historians believe that without the Library of Alexandria, the study of mathematics, science, and philosophy would have progressed more slowly or not at all. Also, the destruction of the library means the loss of a huge amount of knowledge about astronomy, biology, medicine, and other disciplines.
The Museum of Alexandria is one of the largest and most important museums in Egypt. It is located in the Old City, opposite the Serapeum. The museum was built by King Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 BC), as a burial place for himself and his family.
It occupies an area of about 32,000 square meters (327,829 sq ft) on three floors. The ground floor has been called the "King's Floor" and it is divided into several rooms. Here are kept many of the king's treasures, such as statues, paintings, and architectural elements. There are also mummies here, including that of a young girl who was probably a royal child.
The first floor is called the "Princesses' Floor". It houses more than 300 objects that were used by the queen and princesses during their lives. Some of them are jewelry, clothes, and weapons. There are also two huge rooms here with hundreds of mummies in them.
The third floor is called the "Commoners' Floor". It contains many artifacts that were found near the graves of ordinary people.
Alexandria came to be known as the metropolis of knowledge and wisdom, thanks in part to the Great Library. Built under Alexander the Great's direction, it contained hundreds of rooms filled with scrolls. After his death, the library became the property of Aristotle, who lived in Athens but spent much of his time traveling. He was not able to consult all of the materials in the library, so students from around the world went to him for advice. In addition, scholars came to study at his request.
Aristotle is only one of many famous people who were born in this city-state. The list includes two Roman generals, one Pope, and one scientist. During the Renaissance, Alexandria was one of the most important centers of science and mathematics. It was here that Greek mathematician Pythagoras discovered some of his ideas about mathematics, which later were adopted into Arabic mathematics. In addition, several important philosophers taught in the city, including Plato and Plotinus. Finally, after Egypt became a French colony in 1798, Alexandria again became important as a center of education and science.
Alexandria was created approximately 331 BC and named for Alexander the Great. It was the capital of Egypt's Ptolemaic dynasty for about 300 years. Some well-known ancient Greek scientists, including Euclid of Alexandria and Eratosthenes, resided or studied there. The city became a Roman colony in 30 BC and remained so for nearly 500 years, until AD 648.
Alexander the Great was born in Macedonia but grew up in Egypt, where he was educated by Aristotle. When he became king at the age of 26, he wanted to make his home in Greece instead, but he needed an educational center where young Greeks could be trained. So he built a large library and museum there and called it "Aigeus" (Greek for "the youth"). This is why Alexandria has been called "the city of books" since its foundation.
The library contained thousands of scrolls written on papyrus, which were considered the writing paper of their time. It also included the first public museum in the world, where people from all over the empire came to see the great statues, sculptures, and artifacts that belonged to Egyptian pharaohs and other famous people.
After Alexander the Great's death in 323 B.C., his generals fought each other for power, but in 280 Alexandria fell to the Indian emperor Antigonus.
The Library of Alexandria is thought to have housed between 200,000 and 700,000 volumes. What made Alexandria so significant? For approximately 2,000 years, Alexandria was Egypt's biggest metropolis, serving as a commerce hub between Asia and Europe. The city also became an important center for science, learning, and philosophy.
Alexandria served as the capital of Egypt from 327 B.C. to 192 B.C. When Alexander the Great died in 323 B.C., his generals divided up his empire among themselves. Ptolemy I took control of Egypt and established his capital there. This decision proved to be very important because it allowed for much more communication and trade between Asia and Africa than ever before.
The Library of Alexandria was built under the direction of Ptolemy II. It was probably constructed around 280 B.C. as one of many projects designed to enhance Alexandria's status as the new capital of Egypt. The library consisted of several rooms, with each room holding up to 15,000 books. It is estimated that this library had about 200,000 volumes at its peak.
The importance of the library can be seen by the fact that Ptolemy II spent nearly all of his reign funds on building it. After his death, the library was destroyed by an earthquake. However, parts of it were rebuilt over the next few decades.