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

  • Опубликовано: 14 авг 2018
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    View full lesson: ed.ted.com/lessons/what-really-happened-to-the-library-of-alexandria-elizabeth-cox
    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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Комментарии • 1 471

  • TED-Ed
    TED-Ed  5 месяцев назад +159

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

    • Jivan Sesay
      Jivan Sesay 27 дней назад

      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...

    • mutleyshotta
      mutleyshotta 4 месяца назад

      Stolen african knowledge. Greeks were students. Africans were the teachers...alexander the greek not great...

  • Ajde Bre
    Ajde Bre 23 часа назад

    Macedonian ! not greek

  • Danice Lobrin
    Danice Lobrin День назад

    Reminds me of that lost library in Avatar

  • StarWarFan
    StarWarFan 2 дня назад

    The Archmaesters of the Citadel...

  • YouTube user 136677
    YouTube user 136677 2 дня назад

    You have this open space. What will you do with it?

  • ta sa
    ta sa 3 дня назад

    "Book hunters", now that's a career I would've loved to pursue!

  • GeneralGreevas
    GeneralGreevas 4 дня назад

    If the people who "worked" at the library were so smart, why didnt they make 2-3 copies and put them underground

  • Ahmed Abdelaziz z
    Ahmed Abdelaziz z 5 дней назад

    Iam from alexandria 😎🇪🇬

  • chemxal
    chemxal 6 дней назад

    thanks religion

  • Selahaddin33
    Selahaddin33 7 дней назад

    Where is the evidence that muslim rulers viewed written knowledge from other cultures as a threat? We know the very opposite to be true with the very principles of the religion itself but also with the Islamic history of Andalusia, Spain

  • Think Outside The Steeple
    Think Outside The Steeple 8 дней назад

    Blasphemy isn't a real thing. Kill anybody who believes in blasphemy.

  • AHB
    AHB 9 дней назад

    It was lost and burn “by the roman empire “maybe because they dont believe on science created the life and the universe not gods!

    S&S AMERICA 10 дней назад

    Yeah but now we have the Internet which is way better than some library

  • abdel aziz ibrahim
    abdel aziz ibrahim 10 дней назад

    Great library of google

  • ObieJPM
    ObieJPM 12 дней назад +1

    The internet is the new library of Alexandria!

  • Sneric
    Sneric 12 дней назад +2

    the internet is kind of like the modern day library of alexandria in a way

  • besho
    besho 12 дней назад

    *fear of knowledge* is the worst thing ever.

  • Koodie Xo
    Koodie Xo 13 дней назад

    I wonder if anyone was band for writing boobs on pg 32

  • Christian Laraque
    Christian Laraque 13 дней назад

    Theophilis in 325 ad burned what was left after Caesar’s war 400 yrs prior. It was the churches mission

  • Ponno Kutir
    Ponno Kutir 13 дней назад

    So what really happened?

  • andre win
    andre win 13 дней назад +1

    Perhaps we would be speaking greek instead of english should the library survive..

  • 4121Z0N4
    4121Z0N4 13 дней назад


    HoW GoVeRNMeNT of them.

  • carlos diaz
    carlos diaz 14 дней назад +1

    Wait a second Ted-Ed... in your narrative of the Alexandrian libraries history you curiously stopped at the year 415ce when Hypatia was murdered by it's "Christian Rulers" but very slyly left out the part about the Muslim rulers burning the whole thing to the ground in the 600's.
    You know, the so called politically correct stance you academics take to actually gloss over atrocities caused by this group are not only nauseating but dangerously revisionist even when the truth is well documented.
    Very shameful behavior on your part.

    • Commander Shepard
      Commander Shepard 2 дня назад

      Actually there is no concrete evidence muslims did that, there are accounts that point out it was already burned before they took over. Regardless of which accounts are even true, we already know relgious people (at least those on the right lmao) are clearly far too triggered, illogical, and emotionally unstable to be able to handle any sort of knowledge that contradicts your (or their) world view.
      You alt right nutjobs are just scared it's yet another bloodstain on Christian hands. The list is already damn long babe we DO know for certain that christianity took part in destroying the library. what we DONT know is Whether muslims contributed or not, but it doesnt matter. Religions all have blood on their hands , literally the only one I can think of with the least blood on its hands that has also been practiced by humans for centuries is buddhism . The one thats the least bloody doesnt even have true "gods" as you idiots do. The irony is Hilarious.

  • Passionately Ambivalent
    Passionately Ambivalent 14 дней назад

    Your final allegation is not supported by your reasoning. Throughout the video you suggest that it is your conjecture that the Library survived hundreds of years after the sacking of Alexandria, and died out slowly due to each group taking it over then losing a culture of knowledge. You offer no proof. You make it sound natural that the 'culture' of knowledge disappeared. Ever heard of the Muslim theologian Al-Ghazali and Sufism? Look it up.
    How did this dreck get on Ted?

  • An intellectual
    An intellectual 15 дней назад

    *ePiC iNdEeD*

  • Mirabelle
    Mirabelle 16 дней назад

    So we have monotheists to thank for losing all that knowledge? I'm not remotely shocked.

  • Evan Nesbitt
    Evan Nesbitt 16 дней назад

    It's also worth nothing that Caesar wanted to build a library in Rome to rival the one at Alexandria where the same poets, doctors, and scientists could've studied and compiled their works and data, and the recovered works from Alexandria could have a new refuge. All a part of his public works project to employ the people of Rome.

  • eldersprig
    eldersprig 17 дней назад

    and the world lost 99% of the knowledge of bigfoot and alien astronauts.

  • DopeFlamingoTV
    DopeFlamingoTV 17 дней назад +1

    religions make us ignorants

  • Lee Turnbull
    Lee Turnbull 17 дней назад

    Just be honest, Muslims did it.

  • Merna Walid
    Merna Walid 18 дней назад

    Well the library of Alexandria still stands in alexandria , Egypt it contains thousands of books and holds hundreds of events every year and people count it as one of the greatest places here

  • toni ace
    toni ace 18 дней назад

    Imagine what have happen if it wasn't gone? Knowledge for all to apply in real life.

  • Zack Fair
    Zack Fair 18 дней назад +1

    Can you imagine if we we still had the library of Alexandria? The time we would have been able to save ...

  • Louie Weinhaus
    Louie Weinhaus 19 дней назад

    Distorted memes any1?

  • anonymous komentar
    anonymous komentar 20 дней назад +1

    It was destroyed by christians.

  • Rough collies
    Rough collies 20 дней назад

    Sums up religion pretty well,try to study math and get your head cut off

  • Dont correct Plisss
    Dont correct Plisss 20 дней назад

    Before century
    Before Chris
    Before Colombus

  • Chris Ganac
    Chris Ganac 20 дней назад

    Notice how it was a public library the ancients wanted every one to enjoy and accept knowledge openly 👌

  • Φάτε Μάτια Ψάρια
    Φάτε Μάτια Ψάρια 20 дней назад

    Judaism: lets start a Abrahamic religion and little by little poisoning the mind of Greco-Roman world and finally control it,
    - it's not possible they have evidence and knowledge about almost everything and the way of thinking is superior from us.
    BURN THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA!!! and blame Julius Ceasar :b
    🎶Hava Nagila plays in a distance while everything tear apart 🎶

  • Vic T
    Vic T 21 день назад

    So what I’m getting from this is that Julius Caesar set human civilization back 1000 years

  • Topics
    Topics 21 день назад +1

    If I went back in time, all the scholars would wonder why I’m taking all their books

  • P S
    P S 23 дня назад +2

    Sometimes, I think about the Library and cry. Legitimately cry.

  • Shamsul Arefin
    Shamsul Arefin 25 дней назад

    Why human always destroy important things. Such a premature creature we still are.

  • Specter 04
    Specter 04 25 дней назад +2

    People mourning about the loss of this library but no one's talking about how they kept the original copy of the books and returned the copied version 2:04 which may have been interpolated or had mistakes.

  • Specter 04
    Specter 04 25 дней назад +2

    People mourning about the loss of this library but no one's talking about how they kept the original copy of the books and returned the copied version 2:04 which may have been interpolated or had mistakes.

  • Boken ka gaming
    Boken ka gaming 25 дней назад +1

    Hopefully if when we have time machines we can save the library but at the cost of altering the whole future of man kind

  • Leonidas Escanor
    Leonidas Escanor 27 дней назад

    Who went here while playing assassin's creed origins?

  • shawn steele
    shawn steele 27 дней назад +1

    thinking about the library bothers me every day

  • M S
    M S 28 дней назад

    There was a film called Agora starring Rachel Weisz as Hypatia that explored some of the things mentioned in this video. Great film!

  • ariellovesblue7
    ariellovesblue7 28 дней назад +1

    This makes me mad

  • Susette Santiago
    Susette Santiago 28 дней назад

    Thank god for Africa, the mother of all ancesters and civilizations...they have saved out planet I hope our DNA is fixed and we can remove this Neanderthal strain to minimal levels

  • Susette Santiago
    Susette Santiago 28 дней назад

    Stealing the fire...what a disaster you have created...continual wars throughout the world....no idea of culture or civilization....they wanted to control knowledge and they created the Hebrew language and the Judaic laws that created Judaism...the Greeks did not invent anything they stole other countries knowledge...the Romans stole the documents and established what we know today as the Vatican...

  • Siddiqin Rabbani
    Siddiqin Rabbani 28 дней назад +1

    Such disrespect to book lovers all over the world!

  • KezRie Hayudini
    KezRie Hayudini 28 дней назад +1


  • ElongatedVowels
    ElongatedVowels Месяц назад

    The loss of the Library is so overblown. People love to make outrageous claims like it's destruction "set us back thousands of years!!!" but in reality, much of the knowledge held in the Library was also held elsewhere in copies, and much of the information held there wasn't of practical use to humanity anyways.

  • BlackMamba
    BlackMamba Месяц назад

    If all of the texts inside the library were copied, then there is a chance that works of Plato is still out there intact?

  • ScienceAndStuff
    ScienceAndStuff Месяц назад +1


  • Marcus Spinotti
    Marcus Spinotti Месяц назад

    Good bit about the library, but inaccurate on Hypatia. The main source on her death, Socrates' Scholasticus, describes it as completely politically motivated by a power struggle of the bishop Cyril. Her studies were actually quite supported for the most part.

  • Phil R
    Phil R Месяц назад

    We lost this priceless library, but we have this great video ... That's it : informative, very nicely done...and with a brilliant conclusion...Subscribed!

  • Gearomme Depositario
    Gearomme Depositario Месяц назад

    How about the grand library of Baghdad?

  • HappyQuailsFarm
    HappyQuailsFarm Месяц назад +1

    Wow, consider this is the context of current day censorship of so-called "conservative" opinion, both political and cautionary in nature.

  • Karl
    Karl Месяц назад


  • Zachary Johnson
    Zachary Johnson Месяц назад

    0:27 I think you mean BC

  • Darky
    Darky Месяц назад

    Once again human advancement and knowledge is thwarted by religious fanatics

  • Bryce Wijesekara
    Bryce Wijesekara Месяц назад +2

    What Did The Librarian Say To The Kid?

    Read more

  • Valtress
    Valtress Месяц назад

    Library of Alexandria were not forgotten right after it burned because all the books translated to arabic in Baghdad library (dar al hikma) back when translators were the most wealthiest in the caliphates and then Genghis came and throw them all in the rivers ..

  • Karize de la Cruz
    Karize de la Cruz Месяц назад

    This just proves that cultivating knowledge is the key to humanities prosperity and the arrogance of people thinking they know more than anyone is the reason for the collapse of our society that’s happening today for example Donald Trump, Prince of Saudi Arabia. The advantage we have today is the limitless information we have on our hands and to be educated enough to not just read something and believe it but to challenge conventions and humbling ourselves that we might well not know everything.

  • Sawrattan
    Sawrattan Месяц назад

    I appreciate Islam has had its moments elsewhere, but this one was an exclusively Christian-led attack on pagans.

  • hinc1mike
    hinc1mike Месяц назад +1


  • OffNote
    OffNote Месяц назад

    what is that guy doing behind the pillar at 1:51? XD

  • shewolfsiren
    shewolfsiren Месяц назад

    I know a joke that's not really a joke concerning this place: "What caused the Dark Ages?" "Answer: The burning of the Alexandrian Library." I mean, how many of our discoveries are actually just rediscoveries only just now being made 2,000 years after the fact? Computers, electricity, flight---how different and much more advanced would our society be right now if we had never lost that place?

  • J T
    J T Месяц назад +1

    Is crazy to think that someone before 2.000 years found out how the earth actually is ...and it took humanity 1500+ years to realize that ...Just imagine how the technology could have been now if they didn't have burned the library ..

  • Carlo Censi
    Carlo Censi Месяц назад

    Exactly, like the people who one to force us to believe that men can be women if they want.

  • Klaus Cartesius
    Klaus Cartesius Месяц назад

    "Our digital archives": Google? Not much else is readily available to a typical person.

  • Vosian
    Vosian Месяц назад

    Throw one more comment out there- Hypatia was not murdered for studying the library. Mainly because the library was already destroyed. During the crisis of the third century, the city of Alexandria faced two sieges, and historians note that the second siege in 296 CE led by Emperor Aurelian would have almost certainly destroyed whatever was left of the original library. The last vestige of the library, a temple dedicated to Sarapis called the Serapaeum, was indeed vandalized by a Christian mob in 391 CE, but only after the pagans of Alexandria brutally murdered Christians in the streets for mocking their god.
    Hypatia came to prominence decades after this; her death, while regrettable, had nothing to do with the library. She’s only associated with it because she founded a school that was based off of it, and no she wasn’t murdered over the school, either. She was an influential and popular intellectual who, it was rumored, prevented the Christian governor Orestes, one of her former students, and Bishop Cyril from reconciling over civil matters.

  • Agung Putra
    Agung Putra 2 месяца назад

    burning library is the worst crime in entire human history

  • Aleksa Momcilovic
    Aleksa Momcilovic 2 месяца назад +1

    The muslims destroyed most of the libary in the 7 centutry and when eartquke struck great lighthouse of alexandria instead of rebuilding they took the stones to build forts

  • newbie on the roll
    newbie on the roll 2 месяца назад

    When knowledge was a good reason to conquer the world. Oh humanity, look how far we've fallen.

  • Gustavo Polessi
    Gustavo Polessi 2 месяца назад

    CE also AD not Avanti Cristo. Italian subtitles are wrong at the beginning.

  • Gustavo Polessi
    Gustavo Polessi 2 месяца назад +1


  • mr biscuits
    mr biscuits 2 месяца назад

    They are probably in the Vatican city archives

  • Wolfgang Peter
    Wolfgang Peter 2 месяца назад +1

    And Darkness and Decay (...) held illimitable dominion over all.. History keeps repeating itself

  • * SIMON Says
    * SIMON Says 2 месяца назад

    The Jews took what scrolls they needed and burnt the rest down

  • Tc
    Tc 2 месяца назад

    So it was basically Wikipedia in real life

  • Lily Walker
    Lily Walker 2 месяца назад +1

    I'm so sad they destroyed that beautiful library

  • Ernest Imken
    Ernest Imken 2 месяца назад +1

    This politically correct historical narrative leaves out the Muslim destruction of the yAlexandrian library in the 7th century just as ISIS recently destroyed historical sites in Syria. Islam hates history.

  • James Moore
    James Moore 2 месяца назад

    They claim that there's even an older Library from a much earlier civilization inside the hidden chamber underneath the Sphinx front foot, I can't remember if it's the left or the right, I think it's the left front paw of the sphynx ,there is a chamber they discovered it doing ground-penetrating radar, but the Egyptian government will not let them excavate to see what's in there

  • hpgl2
    hpgl2 2 месяца назад +1

    Christian leaders don't approve of books or learning. The term "the Bible" (translating to "The Book" or the one book) is an echo of that. Religion robbed us of the works of geniuses, and a thousand years of progress. My blood boils when I hear the term "good Christian" and think of their torture, burning alive, destruction of knowledge, rewriting of history, lies and stupidity of that or any religion.

  • Sean Michaels
    Sean Michaels 2 месяца назад +3

    Moral of the story:
    Christians are dangerous.

  • Ahmed Osman
    Ahmed Osman 3 месяца назад

    Lol Christians killed those who study, not surprised

  • nekk74
    nekk74 3 месяца назад +2

    Hatters of Greek knowledge studies

  • nekk74
    nekk74 3 месяца назад +1

    Destroyed by the christians

  • Rafael Rabinovich
    Rafael Rabinovich 3 месяца назад

    The US Library of Congress has a copy of every book copyrighted in the US. It contains thousands of times the maximum possible amount of books the Library of Alexandria could have had.

  • Gustavo Rodriguez
    Gustavo Rodriguez 3 месяца назад

    Shocking muslims viewing knowledge as s threat who would of guessed

  • Pecu Alex
    Pecu Alex 3 месяца назад

    Hypatia wasn't killed by the Christian ruler of Alexandria, it was a Christian mob on rumors circulated by her political opposition, and the ancient world didn't hate the Greek literature, while the religion changed they were still viewed as "civilized" and many of the pre-christian philosophers like Aristotle still highly respcted

  • JessePinkman
    JessePinkman 3 месяца назад

    I’m pissed it was burnt to ashes, but a part of me still wishes that perhaps maybe not EVERYTHING if not everything was moved to some government restricted vault somewhere before they burnt it down.

  • dan skroko
    dan skroko 3 месяца назад

    Internet is the Library of Alexandrea meets the Guttenburg Press! Both victims of Fascism.

  • Aron Estrada
    Aron Estrada 3 месяца назад

    Christians an jews destroyed the library 📚

  • Aquarian Aged7
    Aquarian Aged7 3 месяца назад

    What happened to the libraries in TIMBUKTU - MALI, west Africa. Was that also destroyed and who holds that knowledge today ?

  • orlando098
    orlando098 3 месяца назад

    Hypatia was murdered for studying the ancient Greek texts that the Christian rulers saw as blasphemous? Bit of a sweeping statement, no? As far as I know there are various theories as to why Christian thugs murdered Hypatia and it's not clear there was a link to her studying texts in the library

    • Goliath Online
      Goliath Online 3 месяца назад

      You can clearly see the bias these 'educators' have already.