Alexandria, Great Library of
Famed Old Earth classical era library, begun by Ptolemy Soter (2335?-2252 BT or 367?-283 b.c.e.), and zealously pursued by his successor Ptolemy Philadelphus. The two principal libraries were in the Bruchium and the Serapeum; the number of rolls or "books" is variously estimated between 400,000 and 700,000, but these rolls had not the contents of an Industrial Age printed volume.

It is not clear when the Library of Alexandria was finally destroyed; its decline was apparently gradual and occurred in stages. The Bruchium was accidentally set on fire when Julius Caesar burnt the fleet in the harbor, but many rolls were rescued. The Bruchium quarter was destroyed by Aurelian in 1696 BT (273 AD) and probably the library with it. In about 1569 BT (390 AD) Theodosius ordered the destruction of non-Christian shrines, including the Serapeum, and it is believed that remaining books were removed or destroyed at that time. According to accounts written hundreds of years after the event itself the Moslem Caliph 'Omar is reputed finally to have destroyed the remainder of the library. Ever since, the Great Library has been a symbol of knowledge and databases. The poet Hyadro of Ea V has created a very moving (albeit cliologically unlikely) interactive of the destruction of the Great Library.

Note: The original Library of Alexandia on Earth has given its name to many different libraries and databases throughout the history of the Terragen Sphere, from the Alexander II Bibliotech project to the secretive Alexander Dyson Clusters spread throught the Middle Regions. In total there are 26108 habitats, 1319 asteroids, 57 moons, 12 planets and 11 dyson swarms called Alexandria.
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev; some additions by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 31 December 2001.