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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.
Oh, my gosh, I am so sick and tired of this “Dark Age” that existed. NO NO NO. These “Dark” Ages were not only beautiful in their own right but had a great appreciation for the past. The “Dark” Ages is a myth that has become a permanent fixture because of this little thing called the Protestant Reformation. Think about it: You’re starting a new religion. You think it’s better than the old one. Well, why not tell everyone how horrible the past was? It was the time of the tyrannical Catholic Church, right? Clearly nothing good happened during the Dark Ages. It’s also because of the Enlightenment period. Do you know what historians call this time period? The MIDDLE Ages. Medieval. Do you know why it’s called that? It is called that because the people of the Enlightenment period believed that they were the best thing to come along since the Roman Empire. Well, the fall of Rome was the end of everything good, and we’re trying to bring back the Roman Empire, so we’re clearly way better than those “dark” Ages. The myth continues to grow.
Now, I’m not saying the Middle Ages were perfect. I wouldn’t say the 21st century is perfect either. Each time has contributed something beautiful and useful to humanity but each time has also contributed negatively. Learning was much easier moving out of the Middle Ages because the academic-college setting was a fixture—it was created in the Medieval period. Gosh, it must be pretty difficult to do advanced research when there are no institutions, standards, or teachers. Thank you, Middle Ages, for advancing the education system.
But the barbarians destroyed Rome! If Rome didn’t fall, think of all that good learning and culture we could have had! Now, I’m not the sort of person who agrees with attacking city. However, we should take a lot at who these “Barbarians” were—they were a diverse group of German cultures. Where they as advanced as the Roman Empire? No. However, many of these “barbarians” wanted to move into the Roman Empire because the allure of the art, learning, and Roman culture was very captivating to an illiterate society. They were invited in to rule by the Romans (not all of them though) and, yes, they took advantage of this power. They wanted to hold on to these aspects of a great society. Plus, they’re being pushed further over by the Huns. Who wants to mess with the Huns?
I’m not going to pretend I’m a science expert. Here’s a link.
Hmm, any other little myths?
Oh, yes. The Church keeping the written word from people. Can’t have people learning to read, can we? Too much trouble if the rabble rises up. Myth. Myth. Myth. First, books and writing materials were very expensive. You had to be wealthy to buy it yourself and the Church didn’t want to risk someone stealing their book. So, yes, the Bible was chained because it was VALUABLE. [Fun fact: People didn’t necessarily need it—they memorized passages, knew the stories, and could see it in the art work reflected in church architecture.] I mentioned at the beginning that the university system was being set up. The earliest stages were simply educated people sitting outside and teaching. The better you were at teaching, the more money you got from the people watching. Plus, there were those teaching freely.
I mentioned art work. Have you seen Medieval artwork? No? Google it.
Did we touch on the growth of philosophy? Try this.
I want to see the Library of Alexandria just as much as the next person. Arguably, I want to see it more than the average person. But our civilization didn’t stop. Our learning didn’t take a break. It took a turn. It went down a different path. History seeks to weed out the truth as much as we possibly can for any given period with the researches provided. Simply assuming one period of time is “dark” because its contributions took a different route than other eras is as ridiculous as assuming one culture is “dark” because it took a different route than other cultures.
If this quite snippet wasn’t enough, explore these links:
Link. [Neat site, not a .edu]
And, of course, one of my favorite blogs.