What really happened to the Library of Alexandria? - Elizabeth Cox

  • Published on Aug 14, 2018
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    2,300 years ago, the rulers of Alexandria set out to fulfill a very audacious goal: to collect all the knowledge in the world under one roof. In its prime, the Library of Alexandria housed an unprecedented number of scrolls and attracted some of the Greek world’s greatest minds. But by the end of the 5th century CE, it had vanished. Elizabeth Cox details the rise and fall of this great building.
    Lesson by Elizabeth Cox, directed by Inna Phillimore.
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Comments • 1 726

  • TED-Ed
    TED-Ed  11 months ago +235

    What do you know about history's most mysterious book? Find out more here: bit.ly/2BcostO

    • Arsanios Mickael
      Arsanios Mickael 21 day ago

      @Fawad Ahmed who are you and what is this piece of floating information that sounds made up

    • Fawad Ahmed
      Fawad Ahmed 21 day ago

      @Arsanios Mickael Julius Caesar destroyed it thoroughly

    • uncaring nousername
      uncaring nousername 5 months ago

      Jivan Sesay
      The Romans took it back. Its in the 50 miles of tunnels under the Vatican so I hear. The Pope and Ceaser would never have allowed that knowledge to be destroyed.

    • Jivan Sesay
      Jivan Sesay 6 months ago

      A lot of that is true but the Egyptians created the library and invited everyone into it that’s when greed occurred and the library was burned...

  • Ali Walk
    Ali Walk 23 hours ago

    Those who acknowledge God in ALL their ways shall have they're path directed by HIM 👋👼👼👼💨💞

  • Andrie Florence
    Andrie Florence Day ago

    If there was no war we could have flying cars today

  • Killa Watt
    Killa Watt Day ago

    One of humanity's greatest tragedies. Just imagine what we lost. It likely set human knowledge back hundreds of years up.

  • Abubakar Sadique
    Abubakar Sadique 2 days ago

    Veeeeery informativeee....

  • suzi perret
    suzi perret 3 days ago

    Fear of knowledge is a great religious ploy to control people.

  • Belonginghouse
    Belonginghouse 3 days ago


  • Down Hill
    Down Hill 3 days ago

    Islam is the mistake of world. Islamic generals destroyed Nalonda University and burnt 9 millions books.

    • Sean Spacey
      Sean Spacey 2 days ago

      As if other religions have a less extensive resume of the destruction of knowledge to control people. Religion can only control people when the masses are uneducated. When the population is educated, religion can only be seen as an ideology and can still maintain followers but it cannot be used to control people. Not just Islam, but all religions.

  • James Linnstrom
    James Linnstrom 3 days ago

    So what exactly happened to the Library of Alexandria?? The video wimps out and never answers it. They don’t want to appear Islamophobic.

  • Derrick Wold
    Derrick Wold 3 days ago

    Interesting topic, I wonder how much more advanced we would be if this library had never been destroyed.

  • Mike Jay
    Mike Jay 4 days ago

    Europeans burnt it like they do anything showing they weren’t first

  • サラゴサ藤田百合子

    That's quite sad sometimes realizing not every source on the Internet tells the facts. Sometimes. It is fundamentally modified by others who wants to take advantage of one's ignorance.

  • サラゴサ藤田百合子

    I often spend my free times inside the university library. And i really enjoyed reading books there. It's really a catastrophic event losing this library. I my self got interested on it.

  • robert smith
    robert smith 4 days ago

    An ancient keeper or manuscripts was also known as Penemue. Not sure if I spelled that correctly.

  • robert smith
    robert smith 4 days ago

    The book of Enoch is now available on PDF on the internet. if you're going to read an ancient text that's the one to read. the church did its best to hide that one from as many people as it could. but copies were held in Ethiopia under the Christian church that was in Ethiopia.

  • robert smith
    robert smith 4 days ago

    Reminds me of the book in the movie Fahrenheit 451.

  • The Secret
    The Secret 5 days ago

    Similar incident happened to us here in ancient India at Nalanda University 800 years ago. Bakhtiyar Khalji absolutely demolished it by setting thousands of literatures on fire 😔

  • Giuseppe Saraceno
    Giuseppe Saraceno 6 days ago

    It's a clearer explication of the destruction of the library. Why has this video fear to speak about the distruction of the VII century by muslims? Cardini's article is nearest to the truth showing mistakes of Romans, Christians and Muslims. Only if we love truth without fear we will build a world without fundamentalism and true love

  • Vansh Sharma
    Vansh Sharma 6 days ago +1

    Kind of strange, how we don't even care about our most important resource-knowledge.

  • sebastuan asfasf
    sebastuan asfasf 7 days ago

    If that library never burned... we would be living the Star Wars life...

    THE COMPILATION 7 days ago

    ruclip.com/video/nXVVFb0wq04/video.html sub to sub

  • Michael Majid
    Michael Majid 7 days ago +1

    Imagine if the Egyptians had already discovered relativity centuries before einstein

  • Leland Levy
    Leland Levy 9 days ago

    This is basically the great citidale from Game Of Thrones 🤷🏽‍♂️

  • angela taylor
    angela taylor 9 days ago

    What happened? They raided it, took the loot to the Vatican, and burned everything else to cover their tracks.

  • Rick Bonilla
    Rick Bonilla 9 days ago

    We were pushed back from advancing for such a long time due to deeds such as this. How sad!

  • Rex Rowland
    Rex Rowland 9 days ago

    I'd LOVE to go to the library more, but there are two things that keep me from doing that.
    1) Yes, I'm an "old" man in my 50s, but back when I was a kid... people knew to keep a very quiet conversation (if talking at all), and there was NO such thing as assholes laughing out loud every 30 seconds while watching a movie on DVD. Libraries used to be a place of sanctuary for quiet research; that notion has by and large disappeared.
    2) Many libraries now reek of the homeless. I don't say that to be mean, it's just a fact -- there are several big-city libraries that now have so many homeless using them as daytime refuge that entire floors are unbearable from the odor.

  • June Sarj
    June Sarj 9 days ago

    Maybe, if the Library of Alexandria wasn't destroyed cellphones and internet was invented in the 1500's. And by 2000's we're probably inhaling from a cannister now since Earth is over polluted Earth.

    • Sean Spacey
      Sean Spacey 2 days ago

      That's an interesting way of looking at it.

  • BlkHistoryDecoded
    BlkHistoryDecoded 10 days ago +1

    The library of Timbuktu in Africa has a similar story and is conveniently ignored by historians now I see why.

  • Peter Sinclair
    Peter Sinclair 11 days ago

    The destruction of the Serapeum in Alexandria in 391 CE is mentioned less often, where, under Theodosius, the Christians rioted against the Pagans.

  • Nariman Terano
    Nariman Terano 11 days ago +1

    Once again, my theory of religious extremism is confirmed

  • elijahthesamurai
    elijahthesamurai 11 days ago

    Can we get a vid on the Library of Ashurbanipal @ Nineveh?

  • Anthony Palermo
    Anthony Palermo 12 days ago

    Think of it: All of the knowledge to construct massive, monumental, megalithic stone structures like the Pyramids of Giza were probably lost in the burning of the Library of Alexandria.

  • SlainSoul
    SlainSoul 13 days ago

    Library of Alexandria was burned and given the last strike by the Arabs not from Romans, Rome would love to have all those knowledge to use it against anyone.

  • M. Rojas
    M. Rojas 15 days ago +1

    I would like to point out that Christians didnt kill the Mathematician. It was the +100 year old Roman Catholic Church that killed him. They professed themselves to be Christian but are not

  • Milo Estobar
    Milo Estobar 15 days ago

    2000 years advance... stalled by some idiots... I should have my consciousness uploaded into internet...

  • Jeremy Ashford
    Jeremy Ashford 15 days ago

    question not answered

  • sharon anderson
    sharon anderson 17 days ago +1

    once again the abrahamic religions destroy.

  • Nicolai Vedel
    Nicolai Vedel 19 days ago +1

    There was knowledge and techology, then a dark age: establish religion, and then agian: knowledge and technology!

    • Sean Spacey
      Sean Spacey 2 days ago

      One thing is sure to emerge regardless of how many times it is lost: Knowledge!

  • George Jenkins
    George Jenkins 20 days ago

    Another atheist tries to pretend our calendar is not based on the life of Jesus. CE is the folly of the modern liberals who try to redefine history. ADios.

  • Polyphonic Monkey
    Polyphonic Monkey 21 day ago

    Roman catholic church took it all. I’m positive if we got into their vaults we would find unimaginable things filling in gaps in out history

  • 49
    49 22 days ago

    Moral of the story, don’t put all your eggs in one basket!!

  • fanny yip
    fanny yip 22 days ago

    I love the period of Greek ,ppl love thinking , free and respect knowledge and comfortable , not like now

  • Thanh Bui
    Thanh Bui 22 days ago +1

    Caesar happened.

  • iroulis
    iroulis 23 days ago

    Fear of knowledge did not elect Donald Trump President of the US and fear of knowledge did not destroy The Library of Alexandria.

    • Sean Spacey
      Sean Spacey 2 days ago

      Knowledge SHOULD be feared by any religion! The two just don't seem to mesh well together.

  • CutUr BullShit
    CutUr BullShit 23 days ago

    Library exists*
    Caesar, christian and muslim rulers: *triggered*

  • 03Venture
    03Venture 23 days ago

    This is excellent!

  • lex luther
    lex luther 24 days ago

    Why don't you ask the Roman Catholic church about those scrolls

  • Solid Color
    Solid Color 24 days ago

    god damnit Julius Caesar/ancient Christians/ancient muslims

  • DeadAss dude
    DeadAss dude 24 days ago

    Julius Caesar didn't besiege he got besieged

  • Bas
    Bas 26 days ago

    We couldve known how and why and who built the pyramids 😢

  • beshar beshar
    beshar beshar 27 days ago

    The name of the library
    Is said definitely in arabic
    The original Alexandria
    The arabic version alsekandria
    Which is said like

  • The TNTsheep
    The TNTsheep 27 days ago +4

    If only people treasured knowledge so much now...

  • that’s the thesis
    that’s the thesis 28 days ago

    And now alexandria is a dumpster.. If religion didn’t exist we would’ve been far more advanced than we are now

  • Drake And Josh
    Drake And Josh 28 days ago

    I am glad this happened
    People back then were very preservatives of their caste, race, gender and religion
    If they got very advanced and developed neuclear power then the world would be destroyed

  • Guy with many name
    Guy with many name 28 days ago

    Its in vatican

  • Sheunesu Dominic Mugabe

    Beautiful video! Great job guys

  • James Barrios
    James Barrios Month ago

    Religion is the death of all Reasons. At one point proven by this video.

  • Eugeniadella
    Eugeniadella Month ago

    Some day we'll find out all that knowledge is hidden inside the Vatican....

  • D C
    D C Month ago

    Political correctness strikes again...

  • Archie Boye
    Archie Boye Month ago

    Where men cried:

  • Zach T
    Zach T Month ago

    I think a lot about what would have happened if humans never fell into the dark ages when we were plagued by Christianity. Just imagine where we would be in Science and technology.

  • FromAlgeria
    FromAlgeria Month ago

    Eratosthenes didn’t calculate the earth circumference. And didn’t do the experiment himself. He just copy/paste an Egyptian work.

  • Joshua Jung
    Joshua Jung Month ago

    Thank you _again_ , Christianity...

  • BuggTee103
    BuggTee103 Month ago

    Crazy amounts of history loss. Also most of the knowledge Greeks could’ve added to the library would’ve originally been Kemetic anyway seeing as how all their great scholars and philosophers learned at the feet of ancient kemetics.

  • sharon na
    sharon na Month ago

    im sorry, it sounded like you said they kept the original copies in the library andgave back the copies

  • Anita Foster
    Anita Foster Month ago +1

    No one returned their books. Librarian would say “Now remember to bring it back in a week.” And everyone would say “Sure, OK”!

  • Juliana Bezáková
    Juliana Bezáková Month ago +44

    Library of Alexandria: *exists*
    Julius Caesar: I'm gonna ruin this library's whole career.

  • Obviously Fake Name

    so many of them
    have weak chins

  • Faisal Marzouq
    Faisal Marzouq Month ago

    Now Egypt and Greece are weak.

  • josef james
    josef james Month ago +1

    What is happening to Egypt now is bringing tears to my eyes Egypt was always a light house of science scientists from all over the globe were coming to Egypt to study and research Egypt was one of the strongest countries on earth forever but now it’s just a semi-country