Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 8 years ago

Didnt Muslims burn down the library at Alexandria?

Didnt Muslims burn down the library at Alexandria

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    So who did burn the Library of Alexandria? Unfortunately most of the writers from Plutarch (who apparently blamed Caesar) to Edward Gibbons (a staunch atheist or deist who liked very much to blame Christians and blamed Theophilus) to Bishop Gregory (who was particularly anti-Moslem, blamed Omar) all had an axe to grind and consequently must be seen as biased. Probably everyone mentioned above had some hand in destroying some part of the Library's holdings. The collection may have ebbed and flowed as some documents were destroyed and others were added. For instance, Mark Antony was supposed to have given Cleopatra over 200,000 scrolls for the Library long after Julius Caesar is accused of burning it.

    It is also quite likely that even if the Museum was destroyed with the main library the outlying "daughter" library at the Temple of Serapis continued on. Many writers seem to equate the Library of Alexandria with the Library of Serapis although technically they were in two different parts of the city.

    The real tragedy of course is not the uncertainty of knowing who to blame for the Library's destruction but that so much of ancient history, literature and learning was lost forever.

    Selected sources:

    "The Vanished Library" by Luciano Canfora

    "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbons

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  • Andy F
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    I've read some accounts that says they did.

    But a supposedly "Christian" mob burned at least part of the library much earlier, I think -- under the Christian patriarch of Alexandria, Theophilus, in 391 AD.

    As part of a major clash between Christians and pagans that Theophilus had helped to start in 391 AD, a Christian mob attacked and destroyed the Serapeum, a building housing part of the Library of Alexandria that had survived two earlier disasters, including an accidental burning of the books by Julius Caesar.

    According to Wikipedia's account of this incident, Theophilus's destruction of the Serapuem was hailed by many writers at the time as representing Christianity's triumph over other religions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophilus_of_Alexand...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serapeum#Alexandria

    Wikipedia -- admittedly not always the most reliable source -- adds that there also was a later destruction of part of the Great Library of Alexandria that was attributed to Muslims in 642 AD.

    However, the Arabic sources that describe the Muslim attack on the library in 642 were all composed at least 500 years afterwards, which makes some people question their accuracy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria

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  • 6 years ago

    It is a common Muslim practice whenever they conquer a culture and take it over for Islam - and Egypt was done violently - that everything in the library which contains text not pertaining to Islam be destroyed by fire. Egypt was the first land to be taken by Islam following the death of Mohammad in 632 AD. The first assaults of the legacy of Mohammad came to the Christian Levant and Egypt. Umar was the second Rashidun Caliph and reigned during 634-644. The Great Alexandria Library was burnt by Muslim savages in 642 A.D. Islamic Arab invaders also destroyed The Library Ctesiphon in 651 A.D., and

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  • 8 years ago

    Julius Cesar accidentally burned the Library at Alexandria.

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  • Janet
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Muslims NEVER burnt a bible or other books huh ?? ROFL..... sure they didn't..... Keep telling yourself that .... Now, as for *us guys*, I have NEVER burnt a book, don't like it, don't think it should be, but those people have the RIGHT and or FREEDOM to do as THEY choose..... Rather, you, me or anyone else agrees is beside the point...... It is a form of PROTEST... and if the muslims don't like it , well, they should STOP doing what they are doing, THINK for a change what their actions are causing, etc..... Peace is a multi way street..... Yes I know, 2 wrongs don't make a right.... But, I too am TIRED of a LOT of things this country has been putting up with, I just use prayer instead of book burning... go in peace.... God bless PS, not an extremist but a *fundie* as people like saying......

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  • 8 years ago

    No. I was just there

    EDIT: After reading some of these answers I believe I may have given you too much credit...I thought you knew Christianity wasn't even close to being a religion much less Islam.

    The new library is standing and absolutely beautiful.

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  • 8 years ago

    Yes, after Romans and Christians burned it down.

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  • ?
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    It was burned several times including by Muslims.

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  • 8 years ago

    It is not who destroyed it, but what was forever lost! A treasure of information if you ask me!

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  • 8 years ago

    They missed it by 400 or so years.

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