Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Library at Alexandria

We'll be talking in Monday's Ancient Civilization class about the Hellenistic era -- the post-Alexander world where Greek cities and Greek monarchies dominated the Middle East.

One of the most famous institutions of that era was the library located in Alexandria, the Greek metropolis "by" rather than "in" Egypt. The library was a great scholarly institution attached to another, the well-financed "Museum," or temple to the Muses, the patrons of the arts and sciences in Greek lore. Ellen N. Brundige has a site that discusses the library's history and its legend.

You can see on the web a number of pictorial reconstructions of the library. The picture above, however, is something else: the modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the new library in Alexandria, Egypt that seeks to be a modern scholarly center, the world's window on Egypt and Egypt's window on the world. Its site is here.

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