Fires of Alexandria and Destruction of Jerusalem


#1

Out of curiosity, how much damage was wrought to the study of antiquities when the Library in Alexandria was destroyed or when Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans??? Many original documents were destroyed in both that people are still searchng for today. Thanks and God Bless.


#2

Different categories of events really

Tradgic events that did immense harm to the study of antiquities

But could you imagine what Judaism and the world would have been like if the Temple hadn’t been destroyed? I’ve read some “what if” essays that speculate that is would have withered away or remained an isolated, local religion. WE would probably never have seen the development of the rabbinical/Talmudic tradition of questioning and struggling with issues that is one of the corner stones of modern thinking

What would then have been the effects on Christianity…on Islam?

And the Library at Alexandria would have been a wonderful place to study in
But without it the west was forced to rediscover a lot of knowledge and break the mold of the ancient world.

Without both losses the renaissance, the enlightenment, and the scientific method as we know it would not have developed


#3

History is full of events that destroyed great amounts of human knowledge.

The burning of the Library of Alexandria is one of the biggest, since so many irreplaceable books were stored there. I think far more was saved from the sack of Jerusalem.

However there were other Libraries in Athens, rome, constantinope, Antioch. All these cities too were eventually sacked. Alexandria was sacked several times. with the Muslim invasions and the Barbarians from the North, vast amounts of classical literature wee lost.

No classical works would have survived if it wasn’t for the monks re-copying them on to parchment in the Dark Ages, since paper doesn’t last.

Other big destructions include. The Viking attacks on places like Iona and Lindisfarne. The dissolution of the Monasteries where the biggest libraries in Britain were ripped up and used for toilet paper and wrapping fish. The sieges of Constantinople and Baghdad.


#4

According to the History Channel and most historians, the destruction of the Library of Alexandria set the western world back 1000 years. Imagine what might be today’s technology if the library wasn’t burned down.


#5

[quote=Fidei Defensor]According to the History Channel and most historians, the destruction of the Library of Alexandria set the western world back 1000 years. Imagine what might be today’s technology if the library wasn’t burned down.
[/quote]

That’s a possibility, but maybe it was a saving Grace in a sense. For as with all this technical advancement, the Church and Morality have suffered greatly in ways. Thanks and God Bless.


#6

sometimes, when you are forced to re-invent a thing, it comes out improved. true. i am an engineer, so i know a little. you can weed out the mistakes. so not so bad in addition, do we need so much technology???

the old guys were actually much richer in wisdom than we are.


#7

[quote=Steve Andersen]Different categories of events really

Tradgic events that did immense harm to the study of antiquities

But could you imagine what Judaism and the world would have been like if the Temple hadn’t been destroyed? I’ve read some “what if” essays that speculate that is would have withered away or remained an isolated, local religion. WE would probably never have seen the development of the rabbinical/Talmudic tradition of questioning and struggling with issues that is one of the corner stones of modern thinking

What would then have been the effects on Christianity…on Islam?

And the Library at Alexandria would have been a wonderful place to study in
But without it the west was forced to rediscover a lot of knowledge and break the mold of the ancient world.

Without both losses the renaissance, the enlightenment, and the scientific method as we know it would not have developed
[/quote]

I think Steve makes some excellent points. While it is always sad when books and research etc. are lost, the fact remains that it does force man to use the brains Our Lord gave us and work hard to restore our knowledge. I think it’s kind of fun to speculate but the reality is nothing happens in God’s Universe by mistake.

I, myself, would love the opportunity to 'walk through the library at Alexandria"!


#8

If I’m not mistaken, when Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans they burned the scrolls of the temple and killed all of the Levitical priests. Because they burned the scrolls with the geneologies of the Levites, they could no longer prove Levitical heritage. This act destroyed the Levitical priesthood. No longer could priests offer sacrifice for their people - which is why there are no animal sacrifices in Judaism today, even though they were essential in the OT.

It’s on the same level as a group rounding up all of the Bishops of the Catholic Church and killing them - within a generation, we would have no priests (as only a Bishop can make a Bishop, and only a Bishop can make a priest).

I’d say that was pretty bad…
RyanL


#9

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