The most famous library in the world because of its influence and landmark in world and ancient history is the Library of Alexandria. Some people also consider the Library of Alexandria to be one of the great wonders of the world in history. I believe that while the library itself isn’t considered common knowledge around the world for any age group, anyone that knows anything about the world or history itself is familiar with the library. The library built at the time was one of the largest and most significant of its time and had been built within Egypt as a dedication to the Muses. In fact, the library itself was so significant for its time that it was considered a major centre for scholarship and intellect for 3 entire centuries due to the amount of works that it had collected throughout history, the lecture halls residing within the building and the gardens and meeting rooms in the building itself. It was the capital of knowledge and wisdom and considered one of the best places for scholars due to the great library residing in the Library of Alexandria. There was an estimated 40,000 – 400,000 scrolls within the library itself during the peak of traffic.
Even though the library was built in Egypt, it was built by the Macedonians, specifically the general Ptolemy I, who was successor to Alexander the Great. It is thought that the library was named after Alexander the Great because the city of Alexandria was named after him, but this cannot be confirmed. However, rather than the library being famous for it’s namesake and the fame and stature that the library provided for the scholarly world it had become famous for the destruction of the library. The library has its name sketched into history for being burnt down, and it is entirely unknown who had burnt the library down or even when it was officially destroyed. There are theories that anything from earthquakes to small fires over the time of its standing all the way to Julius Caesar burning the library down himself as an act of destruction.
Despite all the many stories that have been provided regarding the library, the library will not be forgotten in history because of how amazing the building was. The building was not only large, but from all reports in history it was also very grand and royal in terms of architecture. It is also believed that the many scrolls and artefacts within the building had been moved to various other libraries or academic buildings of the time before the destruction of the building itself. There are some theories that many of the scrolls had been moved to places such as the House of Wisdom, the Library of Constantinople after the conquering of lands by Alexander the Great and other libraries. As a slightly interesting factoid, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was named after the great library, giving it a smaller but just as important legacy within its name today.
The library had been one of the great buildings within the history of the world, especially when considering the academic and intellectual benefits that it has provided the world. Although this blog is mostly about libraries, the Library of Alexandria has made me want to discuss one or two more ancient Greek structures that had been built and destroyed in history. However, I hope you enjoyed todays blog post and check out some of the posts I have made in the past!