The Revival of the Ancient Library of Alexandria - Historical Dimensions

Historical Dimensions

The international community has taken the first step towards effacing the disaster caused by the fire that burned down the old library, more than 1600 years ago, by supporting the Revival of the Ancient Library of Alexandria Project.

At the meeting point of the three continents, Asia, Africa and Europe, Egypt has been the cradle of civilizations since ancient times. After more than 4000 years of development of the Pharaonic culture, the Greek dynasties, begun with the Ptolemies, made it possible for Alexandria to be the world's intellectual and commercial capital and metropolis. The Library they built there, in the fourth century BC, became the world's first university with its college scholars including such famous names as Euclid, Erastosthenes, Heron and Archimedes, to name but a few.

The great library, which also served as a publishing house, was built at the side of the museum.

Anticipating our modern libraries in the way it was run, it had a catalogue of all the works it possessed - 700,000 of listed and classified manuscripts already in the third century BC - and enjoyed "legal deposit rights", thereby, being entitled to make a copy of every book that entered the country.

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