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Old 09-01-2013, 07:08 PM
 
26 posts, read 46,133 times
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My question is simple. Where do you think the scientific establishment of the human race would be if the Library of Alexandria were to not be destroyed? The library contained hundreds of thousands of written accounts that compromised much of the knowledge of the ancient world, including their knowledge of astronomy. Do you think our scientific establishment would be at a much advanced pace ? Do you think human knowledge would be on a more advanced level ? This question is kind of presumptuous, so feel free to make fun of it or comment on it in any way in which you would like.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:08 PM
 
505 posts, read 550,645 times
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Google "A Prayer for Archimedes"
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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The tense of the question is awkward, but beyond that...

Historians and anthropologists would be elated, but hard science wouldn't be all that much different.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
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I have often wonder how much more we'd know or how much more advanced we'd be now if not for the burning of that library. I wonder if current mysteries of the ancient world wouldn't be mysteries, at the very least. I once heard that it set back the world of science by at least 100 years. Not sure how accurate that is. Should do some research on the subject.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christiancnv View Post
My question is simple. Where do you think the scientific establishment of the human race would be if the Library of Alexandria were to not be destroyed? The library contained hundreds of thousands of written accounts that compromised much of the knowledge of the ancient world, including their knowledge of astronomy. Do you think our scientific establishment would be at a much advanced pace ? Do you think human knowledge would be on a more advanced level ? This question is kind of presumptuous, so feel free to make fun of it or comment on it in any way in which you would like.
Your question is more philosophical than scientific because there's no way of actually knowing exactly what was contained in the collection apart from later texts attesting it as perhaps the largest collection of its time. It's hard to say what their knowledge of astronomy was, whether it was all that much different than the Greeks or Romans. If that's the case, then I don't think it would've necessarily resulted in a faster pace of scientific advancement. Assuming the course of history continued on in the directions it has, there's no reason to think the pace would've been any different. The libraries (I understand it probably wasn't just a single building) would've simply been a collection of knowlege that was available at the time. It was certainly considered to be a very impressive collection.

It's presumed that the libraries contained works from all over, but it may have contained mostly works of the Egyptians. Was anything ever salvaged from the fires? I don't think anyone really knows, apart from later writings attesting that it was an extensive library, a collection of works. That doesn't really tell you much though. There's not much to go on in terms of any of the actual works. I don't think human knowledge would be any more advanced than it is today. Had there been no fires, there may have been records to better detail the architecture and construction of the pyramids, other structures and complexes. We do have some records painted on the walls of tombs and temples which give some pretty good general ideas. Still, any records of it in the libraries would've helped fill in some of the blanks.

So what do you think? Would our scientific knowledge today be more advanced? What do you think the Library contained in the way of knowledge that isn't already known from Egypt and other areas?
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:57 AM
Status: "My eyes are rolled back so far I can see my brain." (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: Here.
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I think that knowledge of fire suppression systems would have been greatly advanced.

...well you said I could make fun of it.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Ohio
2,801 posts, read 1,731,204 times
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The burning of Alexandria wasn't the only time we potentionally "lost" hundreds or thousands of years of scientific knowledge, not too long ago advanced science was considered blasphemy/heresy by the church and those working in those fields were subject to imprisonment or execution, Galileo received a life sentence just because he said Earth wasn't the center of the Universe.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,105 posts, read 20,406,504 times
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I have often wondered if events like this or even the dark ages set back humans however after watching shows like the history of the world in 2 hours I no longer think so.
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