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EVERY TIME SOMEONE BRINGS UP THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA I GET SO ANGRY.
Because it got burned. All of that knowledge, lost forever.
The library was destroyed over 1000’s of years ago. The library consisted of thousands of scrolls and books about mathematics, engineering, physiology, geography, blueprints, medicine, plays, & important scriptures. Thinkers from all over the Mediterranean used to come to Alexandria to study.Most of the major work of civilization up until that point was lost. If the library still survived till this day, society may have been more advanced and we would sure know more about the ancient world.
Most historians acknowledge that there wasn’t much of value lost in the Library of Alexandria; the books that were burnt were, as the infographic says, largely copies of other works, and anything important would have been copied many times over in other places. The idea that “most of the major work of civilization up until that point was lost” is ludicrous; you’d have to accept that most of the major work of civilization was happening exclusively in the mediterranean, which comes off as a bit ethnocentric. Many other great libraries existed throughout the lifetime of Alexandria’s, which would easily have contained copies of any works.
I’m not a very big Egyptian history buff, so don’t take what I say as fact, but a cursory glance at the relevant wikipedia pages shows that the library persisted through many burnings, and that it generally wasn’t an earth-shattering catastrophe for the world’s academic community. It cites that Byzantium, Iran and Iraq could easily have kept the knowledge around, which would make sense given that I don’t think there are particularly many diary entries around any of the burnings that say “Oh god, all science has been lost, we are nothing but worms in the dirt hereafter”, of which you’d expect there would be millions across the globe as word spread that humanity had lost most of its science juice.
When you see extraordinary claims like this, it’s good to make a cursory glance at least toward Wikipedia. Misinformation spreads like shit on toast when it comes to social networks like tumblr. In particular it’s good to have a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to claims that some very small (and very central to western thought) historical area of the world is the only part that has any importance. It’s almost never true.