EVERY TIME SOMEONE BRINGS UP THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA I GET SO ANGRY.
Because it got burned. All of that knowledge, lost forever.
The library was destroyed over 1000’s of years ago. The library consisted of thousands of scrolls and books about mathematics, engineering, physiology, geography, blueprints, medicine, plays, & important scriptures. Thinkers from all over the Mediterranean used to come to Alexandria to study.Most of the major work of civilization up until that point was lost. If the library still survived till this day, society may have been more advanced and we would sure know more about the ancient world.
***INSANELY PAINFUL SHRIEKING***
Why has this factbit devolved into the typical wanking about Alexandria (which, while undeniably tragic, was not the greatest loss of human knowledge in history by a long shot; I’m not even sure it’s in the top 5) without a single mention of the hilarious fact that they were straight-up stealing any book they found. Want the best library in the ancient world? Steal every book.
Also, we would not already be exploring the galaxy if Alexandria hadn’t burned. Literacy rates in the West and Middle East would have remained unchanged until the invention of the printing press, by which time all of this knowledge had been rediscovered anyway. A tiny handful of the rare educated elite who had access to stupifyingly rare and expensive books would not have sped us up any appreciable amount if they had also had access to the library at Alexandria. Science would have remained at a bottleneck until widespread literacy led to a massive infusion of inquiring minds. Once that did happen, science blossomed overnight. No ancient scrolls or lost lore necessary.
Anyway, China already knew all this stuff even at the time, and they didn’t lose a thing.
Thank you, this had been bothering the shit out of me all day but I couldn’t be arsed going and doing the research to make it stop.
Hang on, I’ve made a few notations on that timeline that might prove illuminating:
Also is no one going to mention how completely eurocentric this thing is I mean damn the middle east had tons of science going on during that “Christian dark ages” period and Alexandria was IN THE MIDDLE EAST (again to say nothing of China) so what is this even supposed to illustrate
Personally I’d like to know about the y axis on this grid,
What are the units?
Did we lose 100 Science in the fall of Rome? Or 1000? I’m just glad we now have like, 3000 science thanks to the red block.
Word to all the commentary in the latter half of this post.
And if I may interject, that graph is completely fucking wrong in its stance that no scientific advances were happening in Europe during the “Christian dark ages.” Tons of important scientific advances happened in Europe before the advent of the Renaissance! Here’s a few I can think of:
the heavy plough (good for heavier soil in northern Europe)
three-field system (let farmers plant more crops, kept soil healthy, increased food production)
horseshoes (let horses travel over rougher terrain)
cranes (easier to lift heavy things!)
mills (watermills and windmills I’m pretty sure)
the hourglass (portable timekeeping!)
blast furnaces (which China already knew about but hey, also very useful for iron production)
compasses and the stern-mounted rudder (hugely important for sailing)
a whole lot more contact and trade with the Islamic world, which counts as a scientific innovation to me because of all the stuff Europeans learned and brought back
look there was basically a renaissance in Europe in the 12th century where a whole bunch of cool stuff happened in science, in political organization, in the arts, in architecture, except nobody talks much about it and I find that sad
So yeah if you’re going to be Eurocentric at least be accurately Eurocentric, dang.
This is HUGE news, and of course no one is talking about it because it is not a part of popular culture. For the first time in the history of the world, there is a possible preventative cure for one of the most deadliest viral diseases to have entered the human gene pool. There is hope for those who have been diagnosed with a disease that may have given them only 20 or so years to live. This breakthrough in the science/pharmaceutical community means that other viral diseases and genetic mutations that were once incurable are now on the table for complete eradication. I’m absolutely seething that no one is talking about this on the news 24/7, but instead talking about Miley Cyrus or the biggest videos on Vine.