Author Topic: Who burned the library of Alexandria?  (Read 1326 times)

Offline Baruch

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2018, 06:20:54 PM »
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Mr Sagan was a legitimate scientist who had a flair for explaining things in terms TROTW could understand.  IIUC, he specialized in the production of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation.  But he enjoyed many aspects of astrophyscis and was deeply involved in the now-accepted hypothesis that the high surface temperatures of Venus can be attributed to and calculated using the greenhouse effect.

And Sagan was dedicated to encouraging young scientists.  Viewers of the redone 'Cosmos' by Neil DeGrasse Tyson (different but well worth watching) may remember that Sagan invited the young DeGrasse Tyson to visit him and led him into astrophysics himself.

That was one rare person...  Both actually.

Yes, but the style is the thing.  The science was OK, just as science.  But Sagan had an agenda, as does DeGrasse.  Bronowski had an agenda too, but he was European-Jew, and WW II generation.

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Offline Cavebear

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2018, 09:06:45 AM »
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Yes, but the style is the thing.  The science was OK, just as science.  But Sagan had an agenda, as does DeGrasse.  Bronowski had an agenda too, but he was European-Jew, and WW II generation.

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I have his series of DVDs from older videotapes.  I think well of him. 

But style is NOT "the thing".  Facts and connections are "the thing".
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Cavebear

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2018, 09:25:39 AM »
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I don't recall ever hearing who burned the Library.  And I've often wondered about it.  I get the impression that it was religious fanatics who wanted to destroy the competition, but that's only an impression.  It could have been any religion, as they would all be motivated similarly.  On the other hand, I've heard the rioters described as a mob, but not associated with any particular ideology, just a mob motivated by the mob, doing what mobs do.

I'll put it more bluntly ib a 2nd reply.  It was a Christian mob, incited by Cyril, how flayed Hypatia alive ans burned the Libraray as the source of pagan knowledge.  Never mind that the "pagan" knowledge was pretty damn accurate.  You can get an idea of the contents here:  You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

But I think Carl Sagan explained the loss best.  Suppose all we knew of Shakespeare was King Lear and The Tempest and Midsummer's Night Dream.    Which were pretty good.  But there were surviving statements that he had also wrote some other plays which were better.  Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo&Juliet, etc and those were lost to us utterly because they had been destroyed. 

Multiple that by a dozen other great authors...

How lesser our world would be...  And is...

And that is a tenth of what we lost because some mob of crazed early Christians followed the flames of Cyril, The Bishop Of Alexandria.  And they made HIM a Saint.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2018, 01:40:34 PM »
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I have his series of DVDs from older videotapes.  I think well of him. 

But style is NOT "the thing".  Facts and connections are "the thing".

Tell that to Sagan or DeGrasse ... Americans are all style and no substance.  I am ashamed of us (culturally).

Yes, the world is a loss for a great library lost.  Just for the literature.  They didn't have much science in it.  But rioting mobs have better things to do than read books.  Just ask the Nazis.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2018, 02:06:15 PM »
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Tell that to Sagan or DeGrasse ... Americans are all style and no substance.  I am ashamed of us (culturally).

Yes, the world is a loss for a great library lost.  Just for the literature.  They didn't have much science in it.  But rioting mobs have better things to do than read books.  Just ask the Nazis.

Um, they are the ones who actually said it...

But speaking of "all style and no substance", you are doing a pretty good job of the style stuff.  And the rest of us are rather substantive...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2018, 07:49:24 PM »
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Um, they are the ones who actually said it...

But speaking of "all style and no substance", you are doing a pretty good job of the style stuff.  And the rest of us are rather substantive...

Sorry, we have some Europeans, here, but not you or I.  Some us Yanks do try to do better however.
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Offline PopeyesPappy

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2018, 09:19:13 AM »
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Save a life. Adopt a Greyhound.


Offline pr126

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2018, 11:56:03 AM »
I swear I didn't do it.



Here is Solo (not Han).  I take him for a walk every morning.

"Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their free will."
 - Joseph Goebbels

Offline PopeyesPappy

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2018, 12:54:23 PM »
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I swear I didn't do it.



Here is Solo (not Han).  I take him for a walk every morning.



Cool! Is he/she an ex-racer?
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Offline pr126

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2018, 12:59:00 PM »
He is 12 years old. Not a racer.

Not mine, I just take him for a walk, as the lady owner (95) unable to walk without a walking frame.
"Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their free will."
 - Joseph Goebbels

Offline PopeyesPappy

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2018, 01:05:19 PM »
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He is 12 years old. Not a racer.

Not mine, I just take him for a walk, as the lady owner (95) unable to walk without a walking frame.

I could tell he was a senior from the picture. 12 is getting up there for a greyhound. That's as old as any of mine have gotten. I've known a few that made it to 15-16 range though and know of one that hit 20 before he passed. Older greyhounds make good indoor pets. Not very active...

Thanks for helping out. Once they are that age it is really hard on both the dog and the owner to separate them.
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Offline trdsf

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2018, 01:32:43 PM »
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I'll put it more bluntly ib a 2nd reply.  It was a Christian mob, incited by Cyril, how flayed Hypatia alive ans burned the Libraray as the source of pagan knowledge.  Never mind that the "pagan" knowledge was pretty damn accurate.  You can get an idea of the contents here:  You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

But I think Carl Sagan explained the loss best.  Suppose all we knew of Shakespeare was King Lear and The Tempest and Midsummer's Night Dream.    Which were pretty good.  But there were surviving statements that he had also wrote some other plays which were better.  Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo&Juliet, etc and those were lost to us utterly because they had been destroyed. 

Multiple that by a dozen other great authors...

How lesser our world would be...  And is...

And that is a tenth of what we lost because some mob of crazed early Christians followed the flames of Cyril, The Bishop Of Alexandria.  And they made HIM a Saint.
I remember being appalled not only by the loss of the Library, but the name Cyril, as the parish I grew up in was St Cyril's -- a little research differentiated between the Cyril that Sagan was talking about (Cyril of Alexandria) and my parish's patrons (SS. Cyril and Methodius), but it was eye-opening to contemplate a destroyer of knowledge as being a saint.  And another brick in my wall of faith fell... :)

Now, the degree of Cyril (of Alexandria)'s direct involvement in the murder of Hypatia is unclear on the historical record, but it is at a minimum a consequence of the political conflict between Cyril and the Roman Empire's Prefect Orestes, and it's more than likely, I think, that Cyril's agitation made the event likelier, if not virtually inevitable.  Whether he actually ordered the murder is unknown; I don't know what the state of historical research was at the time of recording, but if it's comparable to current knowledge, Sagan was guilty of no worse than oversimplification of the situation; Cyril was certainly involved, if only by setting the tone that made her murder more likely.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Offline Cavebear

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2018, 01:50:11 AM »
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I have You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login.

What on Earth are you talking about?  A link to my profile?  I barely know who you ARE!  I expect more sensible statements from a Moderator.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Cavebear

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2018, 01:56:24 AM »
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I remember being appalled not only by the loss of the Library, but the name Cyril, as the parish I grew up in was St Cyril's -- a little research differentiated between the Cyril that Sagan was talking about (Cyril of Alexandria) and my parish's patrons (SS. Cyril and Methodius), but it was eye-opening to contemplate a destroyer of knowledge as being a saint.  And another brick in my wall of faith fell... :)

Now, the degree of Cyril (of Alexandria)'s direct involvement in the murder of Hypatia is unclear on the historical record, but it is at a minimum a consequence of the political conflict between Cyril and the Roman Empire's Prefect Orestes, and it's more than likely, I think, that Cyril's agitation made the event likelier, if not virtually inevitable.  Whether he actually ordered the murder is unknown; I don't know what the state of historical research was at the time of recording, but if it's comparable to current knowledge, Sagan was guilty of no worse than oversimplification of the situation; Cyril was certainly involved, if only by setting the tone that made her murder more likely.

Well truth in ancient history is always difficult.  I'll go with the Cyril vs Hypatia model until better evidence shows up.  Not to make too great an historical analogy, but if Cyril ever said "Will no one rid me of this troublesome woman" and with the same intent, I would not be greatly surprised... 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Who burned the library of Alexandria?
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2018, 04:48:35 AM »
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Well truth in ancient history is always difficult.  I'll go with the Cyril vs Hypatia model until better evidence shows up.  Not to make too great an historical analogy, but if Cyril ever said "Will no one rid me of this troublesome woman" and with the same intent, I would not be greatly surprised...

Bonus points for channeling King Henry II vs Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket.
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