Was the library of Alexandria burnt to the ground by the Christian crusaders?

I cannot for the life of me remember whether it was Ceaser's conquest of Egypt that undid the library, or burned by edict of the catholic papacy for holding heretical texts during the crusades. Please Y!A, re-enlighten me.

Update:

uggh, the anti-intellectualism from slam-man's answer makes me cringe, everyone else, thanks for the responses.

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    There was more than one library in Alexandria.

    The Serapeum Library was destroyed by a Christian mob at the direction of Theophilus, the bishop of Alexandria, in the fourth century A.D. He wanted to destroy the classical learning it contained.

    Added:

    Thumbs down? Christians sure hate facts, as they have frequently demonstrated.

    The answer I gave is an historical fact. See The Vanished Library, by Luciano Canfora.

    By the way, the Palace library in Alexandria was destroyed by the Moslems in the seventh century.

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  • 10 years ago

    Neither. It was burned by the "christians", but as noted earlier, it was by papal edict around 400 AD. The version I heard was that the actual burning was ordered by Cyril when he was Bishop of Alexandria, this may have been in obedience to a papal edict, although I had not heard that part.

    But 400 CE was well before the Crusades, probably about a thousand years earlier. And the crusaders never went to Egypt in any case.

    Blessings on your Journey!

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  • Corey
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Ancient and modern sources identify four possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria:

    1. Julius Caesar's Fire in The Alexandrian War, in 48 BC

    2. The attack of Aurelian in the third century AD;

    3. The decree of [Pope] Theophilus in AD 391;

    4. The Muslim conquest in AD 642 or thereafter.

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  • 10 years ago

    No one knows for sure how it was destroyed.

    One theory is that Caesar did burn it down (by accident) when he set fire to his own ships to limit communications. This is promoted by Plutarch.

    One theory is that when the Emperor Aurelian suppressed a revolt by a local ruler, the library was ransacked and the contents taken to Constantinople in the third century AD.

    One theory is that in 391, Emperor Theodosius ordered the destruction of all pagan libraries and the local Christian Patriarch complied.

    The final theory is that Muslim invaders ransacked the library in 642.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    There are several stories about how it finally burned....none really definitive.

    What we know for sure is the last curator, Hypatia of Alexandria was murdered by a mob of followers of Cyril. Cyril was made a Saint....and the Library burned shortly after.

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  • 10 years ago

    It was burnt by accident during Caesar's attempt to put Cleopatra Ptolemy back on the throne. Kind of collateral damage. At least that's what I have read consistently in the histories of Caesar.

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  • 10 years ago

    Christians have never been keen on knowledge. The conquistadors destroyed all Mayan records too, and they're constantly trying to get knowledge out of schools--and replace it with biblical learning.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    And when the library burned at your school did 1000 books get destroyed before someone could color them?

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    it was burned by Caesar in 48 BC.

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  • 10 years ago

    I know that the Catholic church was involved. Hope thats helpful.

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