Spotlight: Ancient Library of Alexandria, Egypt – 640 AD destroyed


Ancient Library of Alexandria, built in the 3rd century B.C. and destroyed in 640 A.D.

The Ancient Library of Alexandria was the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. Built under the Ptolemaic dynasty, which ruled Egypt during the Hellenistic period, the library is famous for both its alleged 300,000 scrolls (books) and its destruction—resulting in the loss of so much knowledge and books. The library itself is known to have had an acquisitions department and a cataloguing department.

The Library at Alexandria was in charge of collecting all the world’s knowledge, and most of the staff was occupied with the task of translating works onto papyrus paper. According to philosopher Galen, any books found on ships were taken to this library.

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