Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Library Of Alexandria

Wiki says (edited):

The Royal Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. It was dedicated to the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts. It functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. The library was part of a larger research institution called the Musaeum of Alexandria, where many of the most famous thinkers of the ancient world studied.

The library was created by Ptolemy I Soter, who was a Macedonian general and the successor of Alexander the Great. Most of the books were kept as papyrus scrolls, and though it is unknown how many such scrolls were housed at any given time, their combined value was incalculable.

Possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria include a fire set by Julius Caesar in 48 BC, an attack by Aurelian in the AD 270s, and the decree of Coptic Pope Theophilus in AD 391.

It is now impossible to determine the collection's size in any era with any certainty. Papyrus scrolls constituted the collection, and although codices were used after 300 BC, the Alexandrian Library is never documented as having switched to parchment codices, perhaps because of its strong links to the papyrus trade. (The Library of Alexandria in fact had an indirect cause in the creation of writing parchment — due to the library's critical need for papyrus, little was exported and thus an alternate source of copy material became essential.)

Julius Caesar Burns
The Library Of Alexandria

They did burn it all.
I didn't want to believe
a friend would screw me
like that but I know
it's true and my ninety odes
too, on sixteen scrolls.

They were there on loan
and I heard the main scholars
in residence would check
my style and my facts
quite often but the head man
wouldn't let the scrolls
leave the stacks because
I said not to. Now ashes,
just fucking ashes
and I don't know how
to recreate them.

Jules said
he was sorry. Right.

‎October ‎11, ‎2014 2:23 PM

I studied astrology, a serious student for a number of years and in truth I finished my degree in part by proving I had studied astrology with a disciplined eye toward advanced psychology and philosophically as a metaphysical system.  I am aware of the tradition that asserts the Library was a repository of serious work in the esoteric vein, a collection of the "wisdom of the ancients".  That is possible but it is also certain that the Christian burning of the Library was accusatory -- that the contents of the Library were decried as foul pagan work influenced by evil and demonic forces.  This can mean that the Library of Alexandria was falsely branded.  If you could find works on the study of Astrology and Alchemy and Magic in the library, you could also find by preponderance a great number of scrolls of poetry and science and mathematics and philosophy.  As for history, very few people ever wrote anything like history in those days.


  1. I should mention that it was standard library practice to get a work, copy it, and keep the copy. This is one primary function of scribes in the ancient world, to copy extant writing and they were valued as makers of true copies.

  2. Come one
    come all
    for the very first
    anual fire sale
    we are slashing
    and burning
    if you play your cards
    you will get the last of a kind
    Come one
    Come all
    fire sale
    everything's half gone


  3. I couldnt restrain myself...Happy Saturday:-)


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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