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Library of Alexandria (Original)

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« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2008, 01:22:34 pm »


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   posted 07-28-2004 11:48 PM                   
Absonite and Tom, you both have some very interesting material on the library, but as for it specifically telling us where the library is (was), it actually isn't very specific:

By the fourth hour after landing they were settled near the eastern end of the long and broad avenue, one hundred feet wide and five miles long, which stretched on out to the western limits of this city of one million people.

Here is a passage that describes the layout of ancient Alexandria:

Layout of the Ancient City
The Greek Alexandria was divided into three regions:

1. The Jews' quarter, forming the northeast portion of the city;
2. Rhacotis, on the west, occupied chiefly by Egyptians;
3. Brucheum, the Royal or Greek quarter, forming the most magnificent portion of the city.

In Roman times Brucheum was enlarged by the addition of an official quarter, making up four regions in all. The city was laid out as a grid of parallel streets, each of which had an attendant subterranean canal.

Two main streets, lined with colonnades and said to have been each about 60 meters (200 feet) wide, intersected in the centre of the city, close to the point where rose the Sema (or Soma) of Alexander (i.e. his Mausoleum). This point is very near the present mosque of Nebi Daniel; and the line of the great east-west "Canopic" street only slightly diverged from that of the modern Boulevard de Rosette. Traces of its pavement and canal have been found near the Rosetta Gate, but better remains of streets and canals were exposed in 1899 by German excavators outside the east fortifications, which lie well within the area of the ancient city.

Alexandria consisted originally of little more than the island of Pharos, which was joined to the mainland by a mole nearly a mile long and called the Heptastadion ("seven stadia" -- a stadium was a Roman unit measuring somewhat more than 200m). The end of this abutted on the land at the head of the present Grand Square, where rose the "Moon Gate." All that now lies between that point and the modern Ras et-Tin quarter is built on the silt which gradually widened and obliterated this mole. The Ras et-Tin quarter represents all that is left of the island of Pharos, the site of the actual lighthouse having been weathered away by the sea. On the east of the mole was the Great Harbour, now an open bay; on the west lay the port of Eunostos, with its inner basin Kibotos, now vastly enlarged to form the modern harbour.

In Strabo's time, (latter half of 1st century BC) the principal buildings were as follows, enumerated as they were to be seen from a ship entering the Great Harbour.

1. The Royal Palaces, filling the northeast angle of the town and occupying the promontory of Lochias, which shut in the Great Harbour on the east. Lochias (the modern Pharillon) has almost entirely disappeared into the sea, together with the palaces, the "Private Port" and the island of Antirrhodus. There has been a land subsidence here, as throughout the northeast coast of Africa.
2. The Great Theatre, on the modern Hospital Hill near the Ramleh station. This was used by Caesar as a fortress, where he stood a siege from the city mob after the battle of Pharsalus
3. The Poseideion, or Temple of the Sea God, close to the Theatre
4. The Timonium built by Mark Antony
5. The Emporium (Exchange)
6. The Apostases (Magazines)
7. The Navalia (Docks), lying west of the Timonium, along the sea-front as far as the mole
8. Behind the Emporium rose the Great Caesareum, by which stood the two great obelisks, each later known as "Cleopatra's Needle," and now removed to New York and London. This temple became in time the Patriarchal Church, some remains of which have been discovered; but the actual Caesareum, so far as not eroded by the waves, lies under the houses lining the new sea-wall.
9. The Gymnasium and the Palaestra are both inland, near the Boulevard de Rosette in the eastern half of the town; sites unknown.
10. The Temple of Saturn; site unknown.
11. The Mausolea of Alexander (Soma) and the Ptolemies in one ring-fence, near the point of intersection of the two main streets
12. The Museum with its library and theatre in the same region; site unknown.
13. The Serapeum, the most famous of all Alexandrian temples. Strabo tells us that this stood in the west of the city; and recent discoveries go far to place it near "Pompey's Pillar" which, however, was an independent monument erected to commemorate Diocletian's siege of the city.

We know the names of a few other public buildings on the mainland, but nothing as to their position.

On the eastern point of the Pharos island stood the Great Lighthouse, one of the "Seven Wonders," reputed to be 122 meters (400 feet) high. The first Ptolemy began it, and the second completed it, at a total cost of 800 talents. It took 12 years to construct. It is the prototype of all lighthouses in the world. The light was produced by a furnace at the top. It was built mostly with solid blocks of limestone. The Pharos lighthouse was destroyed by an earthquake.

A temple of Hephaestus also stood on Pharos at the head of the mole. In the Augustan age the population of Alexandria was estimated at 300,000 free folk, in addition to an immense number of slaves.


As you can see, even the best descriptions of Alexandria tend to be vague as to where the original library was. It is also worth noting that most of the original ancient city has been destroyed by earthquakes and the royal and civic quarters have sunk beneath the harbor.

Interesting section about Jesus, though, Absonite. Scholars have long theorized that Jesus visited Egypt and the library while he was alive, now there is an account of it.

[This message has been edited by Apollo (edited 07-28-2004).]

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« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2008, 01:22:54 pm »


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  posted 07-29-2004 12:56 AM                       
just a wild guess, but it appears the recital of the main points were most likely seen as one would see while walking. This would place the library as the third main structure before Neptunes temple, or as Wikipedia calls it, Poseideion., and just after the museum. Although the account in Wikipedia is the most interesting and closest so far, so far, I would trust the accuracy of the Urantia account above all the others. I see no reason why these "attractions" would have been taken out of order of appearance as one walked the avenue.
"After the first survey of the city's chief attractionsÖuniversity (museum), library, the royal mausoleum of Alexander, the palace, temple of Neptune, theater, and gymnasium

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« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2008, 01:23:13 pm »

Tom Hebert
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  posted 07-29-2004 05:54 AM                       
Apollo wrote

Absonite and Tom, you both have some very interesting material on the library, but as for it specifically telling us where the library is (was), it actually isn't very specific:

Yes, I can't argue with that. However, Cayce and others have suggested a possible reason. There was probably more that one location. In other words, it may have been a library system located in and around Alexandria.


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« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2008, 01:23:31 pm »


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   posted 07-29-2004 08:40 AM                       
I think that Apollo's point, and Tom's as well, is that, due to the earthquake damage and the fact that modern Alexandria has built over much of the ancient one, we cannot be sure where the library was.
I suggest we look for maps of ancient Alexandria and see if we have more than one that specifies the location of the ancient library.

Here are two more links to Alexandria that I thought were useful:

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« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2008, 01:25:13 pm »


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   posted 07-29-2004 08:47 AM                       
The sunken quarters of Alexandria:
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« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2008, 01:25:36 pm »


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Artist's view of what the sunken quarters may have looked like above water:
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« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2008, 01:25:51 pm »


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   posted 07-29-2004 10:03 AM                       
nollage of the libarz is nothing comparted whan lies in the underground chambers of the nollage of acient era is stored and awaits to be use for the benefids of entire mankind
yes the nollage was great in libary of alexadria,but noting comares againd the nollage of acient altantis
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« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2008, 01:26:08 pm »


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   posted 08-02-2004 09:39 AM                       
The Bagdad Battery:

[This message has been edited by Chronos (edited 08-02-2004).]

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« Reply #38 on: March 31, 2008, 01:26:44 pm »


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"A bird is an instrument of flight obeying mathematical laws which man has the capacity to comprehend and master." - Leonardo da Vinci

Ages ago civilizations from the peaks of the Andes to the deserts of North Africa made numerous discoveries. This body of knowledge still only partially recovered is surprising in its depth and sophistication. Ancient peoples found they could start making sense of the world and also transform it, accomplishing remarkable feats of engineering. No less remarkable is the progress made in thought and ideas.

Ancient Knowledge

In the 6th - 7th century B.C. the first steps were taken in applying logic and reason toward understanding the natural world and humanity itself.

The idea that the true nature of the world and man can be revealed through thought and contemplation alone is commonplace among early philosophies. Pythagoras and others introduced the idea that nature is guided by and constructed out of the perfection of geometry and whole numbers. Aristotle marked a significant advance over many philosophies with his notion that nature can be understood by observation using the human senses.

In Ancient Greece the philosopher Socrates proposed a starting point for all thinking:

"The only thing I know is that I know nothing."

- this was in stark contrast to most people who felt they 'knew' everything or at least a lot of things with absolute certainty.

During the Renaissance the French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes made a similar statement:

"I think, therefore I am" 'Cogito ergo sum'

- based on his idea that the only thing that cannot be doubted is doubt itself. The next logical conclusion is that the doubter exists.

Thales (640 - 550 B.C.)- "Father of Greek Philosophy" He found that rubbing amber caused it to attract light objects ( static electricity ) The word electricity comes from elektron - the Greek word for amber.

Around 550 B.C. Anaximander of Miletus draws first known map of the world (the part known to the Ionians at this time.) He places the map on a cylinder to represent the curvature of the Earth.

Pythagoras (582 - 507 B.C.) - mathematics and geometry, Greek philosopher and mathematician.

Alcmaeon of Croton (around 500 B.C.), a pupil of Pythagoras, studied the human sense organs and did at least some surgical procedures on the eye.

Empedocles and Anaxagoras (500 - 428 B.C.) plus others discovered the cause of eclipses and could predict them accurately. Meton around 433 B.C. devised a 19 year calendar that related the lunar months to the solar year.

Democritus (460 - 370 B.C.) argued that all matter is composed of atoms (small indivisible particles) - substances are different due to different kinds of atoms.

Hippocrates of Cos (469 - 399 B.C.) - Father of Medicine emphasized direct and practical treatment of illness. Sickness is a natural result of imbalances in diet and conduct of life not of divine origin. He observes that a man involved in lead mining has developed abdominal cramps. Reason and experience were properly the main tools of a doctor in treating the sick not speculative ideas and notions.

Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.) - philosophy

The Round Earth
The notion that the Earth is round (spherical) existed well before the Renaissance. When Eratosthenes, a scholar in Egypt during Hellenistic times, learned that a shaft of sunlight penetrated to the bottom of a well in Syrene on the summer solstice, he deduced that he could use the information to measure the circumference of the Earth. Around the same time, another Egyptian scholar, Aristarchus of Samos, was trying to figure out how far the moon and sun are from the Earth. In the process, he deduced that the moon orbits the Earth, and the Earth orbits the sun. His insight came a millennium and a half before Copernicus, however, it was not appreciated at the time or widely published.

Cuneiform script
Writing cuneiform script involves using the end of a hollow reed stem or stylus to make wedge shaped marks on clay tablets (wet cakes of clay.) When the tablets dry they become hard and durable, many examples survive to this day. Cuneus is Latin for wedge.

When Sargon of Akkad ascended to power in 2300 B.C.E. the Akkadian language began to be written in cuneifom too, Assyrian and Babylonian are dialects of Akkadian.

The earliest writings by the Egyptians were on stone but papyrus (a type of paper made by mashing reeds together) has been found from 2600 B.C.E.

Aramaic alphabetic script
After the conquests of Alexander the Great the use of cuneiform declined in favor of the much more convienant Aramaic alphabetic script. The last texts in cuneiform are dated around 75 A.D.

2500 B.C. standard weights developed by the Sumerians and used in trading are the "shekel" of 0.29 oz (8.36 grams) and the "mina" which is 60 times heavier.

2100 B.C. the oldest preserved standard of length is the foot of the statue of Lagash, ruler of Gudea. It is divided into sixteen parts and is 10.41 inches long (26.45 cm.)

2000 B.C. Besides the "shekel" and the "mina" the Sumerians have units of volume: the "log" (33 cubic inches or 541 mL) and the "homer", equal to 720 logs. The cubit and the foot are units of length, with the foot being two-thirds the length of a cubit.

Ancient Civilizations

Name Approximate dates Location Major cities
Sumerian 3200-2360 B.C.E. Mesopotamia Ur, Nippur
Indus Valley 3000-1500 B.C.E. Pakistan,
Northwestern India —
Minoan 3000-1100 B.C.E. Crete Knossos
Egyptian 2850-715 B.C.E. Nile valley Thebes, Memphis,
Akkadian 2350-2230 B.C.E. Mesopotamia, parts of
Syria, Asia Minor,
Iran Akkad, Ur, Erich
Assyrian 1800-889 B.C.E. Mesopotamia, Syria Assur, Nineveh,
Babylonian 1728-1686 B.C.E. (old)
625-539 B.C.E. (new) Mesopotamia, Syria,
Palestine Babylon
Hittite 1640-1200 B.C.E. Asia Minor, Syria Hattusas, Nesa
Phoenician 1100-332 B.C.E. Palestine (colonies:
Gibraltar, Carthage,
Sardinia) Tyre, Sidon, Byblos
Phrygian 1000-547 B.C.E. Central Asia Minor Gordion
Etruscan 900-396 B.C.E. Northern Italy —
Greek 900-200 B.C.E. Greece Athens, Sparta,
Thebes, Mycenae,
Mede 835-550 B.C.E. Iran Media
Scythian 800-300 B.C.E. Caucasus —
Cimmerian 750-500 B.C.E. Caucasus, northern Asia
Minor —
Lydian 700-547 B.C.E. Western Asia Minor Sardis, Miletus
Persian 559-330 B.C.E. Iran, Asia Minor, Syria Persepolis,
Roman 500 B.C.E.-C.E. 300 Italy, Mediterranean
region, Asia Minor,
western Europe Rome, Byzantium

The Library at Alexandria

Ptolemy I (Ptolemaios Soter) is persuaded by Demetrios Phalereus in 307 B.C. to collect copies of all known books to be placed in Alexandria in an institution known as the Library.

This repository and university of knowledge flourished for many centuries eventually amassing over 750,000 scrolls and papers on a wide range of subjects. Here, at one place, was the sum knowledge of the Ancient world.

Unfortunately in a series of wars and struggles that swept through the Mediterranean the great library and its contents were destroyed. What is clear is that most of the facts and discoveries in the Library at Alexandria would not be re-discovered for nearly another millenium.

Euclid (300 B.C.) - mathematican - invented foundation of a complete geometry

Archimedes (287-212 B.C.E.) - Greek physicist and mathematician

Greek physicist and mathematician

Archimedes' Principle water displacement. hydrostatics and mechanics. Lever and compound pulley. Born in Syracuse around 235 BC he said, concerning levers
"Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth."

Invention and Discovery
Hero (Heron) of Alexandria - 1st century AD built the first steam engine. Called the aeolipile the device was a hollow sphere with vents on opposite sides. Steam pumped into the sphere caused the sphere to spin rapidly. There was no practical use made of this very primitive steam engine.


paper and publishing
704 AD oldest surviving piece of printing is a charm scroll from China.
By the 10th century AD publishing exploded in China.

compass - magnetic lodestone
mechanical clock
inoculation against disease
suspension bridge
fishing pole

Chinese alchemists researching substances for extending life discovered gunpowder. Referred to in 9th century AD texts. Gunpowder was the only explosive known for more than 500 yrs. Rudimentary guns were developed but not perfected. The Chinese army was equipped with gunpowder weapons in the 11th century. But gunpowder was used mostly for enjoyment as fireworks.

Arrows launched from a gun powder filled tube mounted on a stick could fly over 1000 yards. These were the first rocket weapons.

17 century onward Chinese technology declined and the Europeans ascended.

The Rebirth of Knowledge - The Renaissance
First recorded case of body snatching (grave robbing) for medical dissection is prosecuted in 1319. A 1240 decree of the Holy Roman Empire permits the dissection of human cadavers.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
master painter and artist
Mona Lisa and the Last Supper

airplane and flight
evil nature of man who would practice assassination from the bottom of the seas.

8 men to work it, to break through the ranks

machine gun
designed multi-barral cannon

civil engineering
psychology and anatomy

In his sketchbooks he could write backwards with his left hand while sketching with his right. He wrote his notes in "mirror fashion" reversed and backwards.

He described war as madness.

A bird is an instrument of flight obeying mathematical laws which man has the capacity to comprehend and master.

It wasn't until the late 1800s that his notebooks were carefully examined and his brilliance fully appreciated.

Johann Gutenberg (1396 - 1468) - The invention of movable type in printing starts an explosion of writing and publishing. By the end of the 15th century 35,000 different books have been published with 20 million copies made, almost half the books concern religion. 77% of all books are in Latin. 20 million books were made within 50 years of the invention of the printing press, within 100 years ten times that number of books (200 million) were available.



Thales Of Miletus

6th century BC philosopher remembered for his cosmology based on water as the essence of all matter. According to the Greek thinker Apollodorus, he was born in 624; the Greek historian Diogenes Laërtius placed his death in the 58th Olympiad (548-545) at the age of 78.


b. 610 BC, Miletus [now in Turkey] d. 546/545 BC

Greek philosopher who proposed an origin of the universe without reference to supernatural forces thus establishing natural philosophy as a discipline separate from religion. Often called the founder of astronomy, the first thinker to develop a cosmology, or systematic philosophical view of the world.


b. c. 580 BC,, Samos, Ionia d. c. 500,, Metapontum, Lucania


b. c. 515 BC

Understanding nature must come reason rather than experience.


b. c. 500 BC,, Clazomenae, Anatolia [now in Turkey] d. c. 428,, Lampsacus

Brings Ionian philosophy to Athens. Discovers the true cause of solar eclipses and believes that there is an infinite number of elements.

Zeno Of Elea - greek philosopher and mathematician

(c. 495 BC-c. 430 BC)

Known best for his paradoxes that contributed to the development of logical and mathematical rigor and that were insoluble until the development of precise concepts of continuity and infinity.


b. c. 490 BC,, Acragas, Sicily d. 430, the Peloponnese, Greece Greek philosopher, statesman, poet, religious teacher, and physiologist.

c. 450 BC - Asserts that all matter in the universe is made of different proportions of earth, air, fire, and water. Also brought forth the idea of four bodily humours: blood; phlegm; choler, or yellow bile; and melancholy, or black bile. Health could only be maintained through maintaining a balance between these humours.

c. 431 BC - Greek medical teachings are brought together into the Hippocratic corpus, establishing ethical standards of medical practice.

Hippocrates b. c. 460 BC,, island of Cos, Greece d. c. 377,, Larissa, Thessaly

c. 400 BC - Brahmanic hospitals are set up in Sri Lanka

367 BC - Aristotle begins his studies at Plato's Academy. Aristotle's prodigious writings on astronomy, biology and many other fields virtually dominate western and Islamic thinking until the 17th century.

Eudoxus Of Cnidus Astronomer and mathematician

b. c. 400,, Cnidus, Asia Minor [now in Turkey] d. c. 350 BC,, Cnidus

c. 360 BC - Expounds a system of geocentric, homocentric spheres to account for irregularities in planetary motion

c. 350 BC. Aristotle's work on zoology and biology lays the foundation for physiological thought for over 2,000 years with the heart as the primary organ.


b. c. 372 BC,, Eresus, Lesbos d. c. 287

Succeeds Aristotle as head of the Lyceum. Carries on Aristotle's ideas especially in biology and botany. These views heavily influence life sciences until the Renaissance.


Elements - the defining book on geometry for over 2,000 years. taught at and founded a school at Alexandria in the time of Ptolemy I Soter, who reigned from 323 to 285/283 BC.


b. c. 335 BC,, Chalcedon, Bithynia d. c. 280

Alexandrian physician performs dissection of cadavers and details first anatomical accurate descriptions of the eye, brain and various other organs.

Aristarchus Of Samos

(c. 310-230 BC)

Constructs geometric model for determining the relative distances to the Sun and moon. Advances first known heliocentric view of the solar system.

Erasistratus Of Ceos

c. 250 BC Greek anatomist and physician in Alexandria, regarded by some as the founder of physiology. Studies the anatomy of the brain, veins, and arteries. Describes the bicuspid and tricuspid valves of the heart.

Eratosthenes Of Cyrene

b. c. 276 BC, Cyrene, Libya d. c. 194, Alexandria, Egypt

Greek scientific writer, astronomer, and poet, the first man known to have calculated the Earth's circumference. Director of the great library of Alexandria.


2700 BC the first pyramids are constructed in Egypt
2700 BC legendary Chinese emperor Shen Nung invents acupuncture.
2575 BC work begins on the great pyramids at Giza.
2300 BC legendary Chinese emperor Fu Hsi creates dualistic cosmic theory of yin and yang.
1790 BC In the Babylonian Empire the Code of Hammurabi sets fees for medical practice and punishments for malpractice.
1600 BC the Minoan civilization is at its peak, both culturally and in terms of technology. Conveniences at the palace at Knossos include bathrooms and running water.
1500 BC Water clocks are in use in Egypt. Simple water clocks, or clepsydras, are in use throughout the ancient world.
1200 BC paved roads in use in Near Eastern cities
1100 BC Phoenician dominance of the Mediterranean Sea begins extending to at least 800 BC Oars replace paddles in the very efficient Phoenician ships.

Edwin Smith papyrus - 1600 BC - written account of Egyptian medical practices from diagnosis, to a range of therapeutic measures including surgery.

Ebers papyrus - 1500 BC - Egyptian medical text on internal diseases, diseases of the eye, skin and extremities


Greek schools of Philosophy: Eleaticism
Ionian school

Ionian school - school of Greek philosophers of the 6th to 5th century BC, including Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Heracleitus, Anaxagoras, Diogenes of Apollonia, Archelaus, and Hippon. Although Ionia was the original centre of their activity, they differed so greatly from one another in their conclusions that they cannot be said to have represented a specific school of philosophy. Their common concern to explain phenomena in terms of matter or physical forces, however, distinguished them from later thinkers.

Pythagoreanism - a school of philosophy that believes reality has a mathematical nature and imbues certain numbers with mystical power.

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« Reply #39 on: March 31, 2008, 01:27:11 pm »


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Where lies the source of our civilization? There are many theories, some based upon scientific research, others on mere fantasy, but what do we really know? In the past decades, everywhere around the globe, new theories arised, which were radically different from the established assumptions. Perhaps we do not originate from primitive primates, but from an unknown advanced civilization, which existed long ago on Earth, but had been completely forgotten long before history begun...
Thousands of years before Egyptian civilization flourished along the Nile, the Sumerians lived in what later would be known as Babylonia. Their knowledge reached beyond that of later, ancient civilizations. A man named Zecharia Sitchin was the first to translate Sumerian clay tablets left behind by them. His work was the first step into what we know today about the Sumerians.

Nine thousand years ago, the Sumerians were able to draw the solar system with the exact orbits and sizes of the planets we know today. Where modern science only discovered the planet of Pluto in 1930, the Sumerians knew of the planet's existence thousands of years ago. However, the clay tablets show an other planet, beyond Pluto, comparable in size with Saturn.

The Sumerians know it as Nibiru, a planet which circles around the sun in 3,600 Earth-years. The number 3,600 was written as a large cicle in Sumerian. The epithet for the planet, shar, also means a perfect circle or a completed cycle. The reign periods a Sumerian text gives are also perfect multiples of the 3,600 year shar. The conclusion that suggests itself is that these shar's ruler ship were related to the orbital period shar.

Recent advances in DNA-research have established that there was an Eve who lived about 250 to 270 thousand years ago: a first mother from who all modern humans stem, no matter what their racial heritage. See the image on the right-top of this page: the two entwined snake-like creatures and the ladder like ribbons between the serpents bodies. The discovery by modern science of the double helix structure of DNA offers the answer to what this image represents: the entwined serpents (still the symbol of medicine today) emulated the structure of the genetic code, the secret knowledge of which enabled the creation of man; the first man the Annuaki (the people from Nibiru, according to the Sumerians) created, called the Adam. Images of comparable creatures return on several clay tablets and wall paintings.


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« Reply #40 on: March 31, 2008, 01:27:45 pm »


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I'd be happy to discuss the Sumerians with you, Helios, as I feel they, too, have much to offer and don't appear to have been discussed previously. Perhaps, after we've finished with this thread..?
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« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2008, 01:28:09 pm »

via mars 2
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   posted 08-06-2004 06:45 PM                       
rock - in case it wasn't mentioned after you asked, yes, there was an ancient library of sorts in the north. i believe in glasgow? i've read of it in other articles about ancient scotland and clan rivalries, etc. (it's on the tip of my tongue ... but, i've been working late)
i'm sure someone else will mention it, for it's very interesting.
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« Reply #42 on: March 31, 2008, 01:28:35 pm »


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   posted 08-08-2004 09:40 PM                       
Here is an interesting link to the Vatican library. One page has pictures of the Latin pages of Timaeus.
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« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2008, 01:29:20 pm »


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A list of ancient libraries:
Ancient Libraries

This is a list of ancient libraries, and a few early medieval ones, with information as available about each. They are classified according to region of the world. There are many more, but the information on them is not currently available for this site. The buildings of all of those listed (and the contents of some) have been destroyed by natural disaster, by invading armies, or by order of religious leaders. However, there have been remains of many found by archaeologists.



* Mani (Yucatán)
About 100,000 Maya texts were ordered by Bishop Diego de Landa to be burned. They contained hundreds or thousands of years of written records. The information included genealogies, biographies, collections of songs, science books, history, prophecy, astrology, and ritual.
* Tenochtitlán
In 1528, the first archbishop of Mexico, Don Juan de Zumárraga, ordered every book, codex, and hieroglyph -- numbering about 700,000 -- to be burned.
* Texcoco
Libraries, including some with vast information on medicinal plants, and books found elsewhere were ordered by the Spanish to be burned.
* Surviving Ancient Books
a. Dresden Codex
It pertains mainly to the Maya cycles of time. It also includes descriptions of solar eclipses, stories of Quetzalcoatl, and Maya ceremonies.
b. Grolier Codex
It contains information on scientific and religious matters.
c. Madrid Codex
It contains a 70-page document and a 42-page document on scientific and religious matters.
d. Mendoza Codex
It is one of the oldest of ancient Mexico, covering the history of the Mixtec people from 692 CE. It is written on deerskin in book form and unfolds like an accordion. The writing contains pictographic, ideographic and rebus forms.
e. Paris Codex
It is an 11-page document containing an account of Maya history.
f. Popul Vuh
It is the prime source for the Maya cosmology, setting out the concept of the cycle of the Suns. This is not original book, but one written from memory.
g. Tro-Coretesianus Codex
It is a Maya codex in two parts and is an astrological work that was used by priests.



* Thamugadi
Funds to build this library were provided by Quintianus Rogatianus. The plan was a square, with a forecourt surrounded by white limestone columns. In the walls were niches for cases that held rolls. Rooms on each side served as reading-rooms. The building was able to hold about 23,000 rolls. This was the only library in the Roman Empire west of Italy.

* Abu Simbel Temple
Scribes were assigned as the keepers of the books in the library. The library consisted of theological works, technical writings, literature, history annals, and practical texts. Other temple libraries were similar to this one.
* Alexandria
The most famous library in antiquity was created some time after 297 BCE as part of a school or museum by Ptolemy II (Philadelphus). The staff was made up of scholars in various fields.They did research, editing of works of previous writers, and carried on experiments. Known as the Brucheion Library, it had copies of all known books in the city. Agents were sent throughout the known world to acquire other texts. Ships entering the harbour were forced to lend books aboard to be copied. According to tradition, seventy Hebrews translated the Scriptures into the Greek Septuagint here. Many outstanding figures served as head librarians or were associated with the library. The collection, estimated to be over 700,000 rolls, was classified by Callimachus. Alexandria was burned by Ptolemy VIII (Cacergetes) in a civil war in 89-88 BCE, causing many scholars to leave. The library was reconstituted, but it was never as great. It was again partly destroyed in 47 BCE. Later, 200,000 rolls taken from Pergamum were added. Some rolls were taken from Alexandria to Rome in the Christian era. Alexandria was burned in 273 CE by Roman Emperor Aurelian. More damage was done by Christian bishop Theophilus in 391 CE. Whatever was left was destroyed by Moslem conqueror Omar in 645 CE. A replacement for this famous library was finally opened in 2001.
* Edfu
It was known as the House of Papyrus. Over the entrance was a large carved palette. On the walls of the interior, there were texts and emblems of the instruments used by the scribes. A catalogue, in two parts, of hieratical books was graven on one wall. The first specified twelve coffers of works. The second specified twenty-two coffers. No remains of papyrus or parchment have been found.
* Heliopolis
In the Hall of Rolls of a temple was an early medical library, which contained long works with lists of diseases and cures.
* Hermopolis
In the temple of Thoth one of the largest papyri collections on medicine was found. There were six intact, plus fragments of many others. A scribe-priest was known as the keeper of the sacred books. His assistant, a woman, was known as the lady of letters, mistress of the house of books. There was also a medical school at the temple.
* Tell-El-Amarna
The Place of the Records of the palace of the King, the library of King Amenhotep IV, existed about 1350 BCE. The contents were clay tablets in Babylonian cuneiform. They were mainly correspondence between the king and vassal states and foreign rulers in Asia Minor. Within these letters is much social and economic information. Works that may have been written on media other than tablets have not survived.
* Thebes
The House of Writings, the collection of King Khufu, existed about 2600 BCE. There is no information available on this library.
* Thebes
The Healing Place of the Soul, the palace collection of King Ramesses II, existed about 1300 BCE. It contained about 20,000 rolls and was probably a religious or philosophic library. Amen-en-haut was one of the librarians.

* Chinguetti
This existing collection contains centuries-old manuscripts, among the oldest in Islam. These are documents of the village when it was a flourishing city along the ancient caravan route. They are being protected by today's villagers.



* Edessa
This was a consolidation of the libraries of the temples at Nisibis and Sinope. The books were in Greek and Syriac.
Asia Minor

* Ephesus
The Library of Celsus was set up by the governor, Tiberius Julius Aquila Polemaeanus, who left money to purchase and to maintain the books. This was a donation to the city and a memorial to his father. It was completed by his heirs.
* Halicarnassus
It contained mostly Greek works, including those of Euripedes, Herodutus, Homer, and Longianus. It was open to the public so that young people could learn.
* Hattusas
This library was in operation from the 17th century BCE to the 13th century BCE. The mass of tablets from a royal palace was created by an unknown monarch. The tablets dealt with governmental activity, prosaic handbooks, Hittite renderings of Sumerian and Babylonian epics, religion, myths, legends, and historical annals. There were also detailed bibliographic entries and information on shelving.
* Pergamum
This library was founded by Attalus I about 200 BCE and lasted for several hundred years. It was located next to the temple of Athena. A listing of the holdings was drawn up. His son Eumenes II brought it to its peak. He strove to have the library to be equal to the one at Alexandria. This caused the Egyptians to halt the export of papyrus to Pergamium. As a result, the librarians developed a new form of parchment as a replacement. Eventually, the library declined and suffered loss of rolls to the Romans. These may have been returned by Augustus. Later, some volumes were taken to Samarkand.
* Rhodiapolis
This library contained mostly works in Greek. Included were those of a local physician, who was considered to be the Homer of medical poetry.

* Ashur
This library, created by Tiglath-Pileser I, operated between 1115 BCE and 1077 BCE. This king was probably the first founder of a library. Some of the tablets were literary, but most of the writings were professional for use by scribes and priests. The greatest number dealt with omens determined by astrology, sacrificial animals, and natural events. The next largest group were the standardized handbooks of vocabulary lists, plants, trees, animals, gods, place names, multiplication tables, and astronomy. There were also some hymns and musical compositions.
* Dura
A unique set of parchments and papyri were found. They contained literary and religious texts, official and business documents, and military archives. They were written in Aramaic, Pahlavi, Greek, and Latin.
* Kalakh
This library existed in the 7th and 8th centuries B.C.E. The books included the reignal year of the king, and the month and the day that they were written. The catalogue entry includes the title of the work, the number of lines, the contents, and the opening words. There appears to have been some sort of classification of tyhe books.
* Nineveh, Assyria
One of the greatest libraries in the ancient world was a private collection of King Ashurbanipal and in use in the period from 1115 BCE to 1077 BCE. It contained about 1,500 titles, many of which were in multiple copies. The largest number of them were in technical literature of religion and magic. The next largest number was in scholarly texts, containing lists of cuneiform signs, words and names, and dictionaries for translating from Sumerian into Akkadian. There were such literary works as The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Epic of Creation, The Myth of Atrachasis, and The Epic of Irra. Tablets were taken from the temples of Babylon, from the library in Ashur, and from private collections to add to this library. Also, there were about 300 wooden boards containing written works. Theft of the holdings was a threat that caused security measures to be imposed. There were borrowing privileges with some of the collections of the day, particularly for specific professions.

* Heraclea
In about 365 BCE, the ruler Clearchus opened a library to the public.

* Hopei
This was a Buddhist Grotto Library. The texts were carved on stone, and are well preserved. Confuscian and Taoist works are included, but Buddhist scriptures constitute the largest collection.
* Loyang
Lao-tse, according to tradition, was the keeper of the imperial library located here. This was the most famous library in ancient China. It was built up during the Chou dynasty. However, during the succeeding dynasty, all books, except a few topics, were publicly burned.
* Tun Huang
This is a cave library containing a collection of 15,000 rolls and a few books. The writing, some dating at 400 CE, was on paper, which was well preserved. An early printed work in roll form is dated May 11, 868, CE.

* Citium
Writing was with red and black ink on marble tablets. One tablet contained a record of payments.

* Taxila
It is the oldest known library in India. It flourished more than one thousand years, up to the middle of the 5th century CE. It was located in a university centre.

* Caesarea
This was a Christian library founded by Origen in the 3rd century CE. It was passed on to Pamphilus. It survived the burning of the Christian libraries by Emperor Diocletian in 303 CE. This library was used by Eusebius in 30 CE and by Jerome in the 4th century CE. It survived until Palestine was captured by the Persians in 614 CE, when all Christian records were destroyed.
* Jerusalem
The books of the Law, the writings of Moses and the prophets, the book of Joshua, and sermons and exhortations of the prophets were preserved in the Hebrew temple. Most of the library was destroyed during the Babylonian captivity. However, much of it was restored by Nehemiah and Ezra after the return of the Israelites. Again, much of it was lost when Antiochus destroyed Jerusalem. It may have been re-established by Judas Maccabeus. There are several references to the collections in the Old Testament of the Bible.
* Khirbet Qumran
Remnants of more than 600 rolls of papyrus and thin sheet copper were found in several caves. This collection is known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Included on the rolls are some books of the Old Testament of the Bible, a collection of hymns, a manual of discipline, and other religious works. Apparently, there was a type of master library maintained with a scriptorium. These are works of an Essene group, dating to about 125 BCE to 70 CE.
* Lachish
Lachish letters were found on eighteen inscribed potsherds. Also found was a clay seal having the marks of papyrus fibres.
* Taanach
It was operating in 1400 BCE. In one room was found a book-chest made of baked clay, which contained tablets in the Babylonian language.
* Types of Libraries in Israel
a. central library at Jerusalem
b. temple libraries
c. local public libraries, including a special Greek public library
d. synagogue libraries, the most used
e. monastic libraries of the Essenes

* Kyongu
The oldest known printed text, found here, was printed between 704 CE and 751 CE. It is a scroll which is twenty feet long. The printing was done with twelve wooden blocks. The paper scroll was made from fibres of the paper-mulberry tree. The scroll was located in the Pulguksa Temple.

* Istakhr
It was called Diz-i-Nipisht. It held the original Avesta, the sacred book of the Zoroastrians.Mesopotamia

* Erach
This library in the Red Temple existed about 3000 BCE. It contained clay tablets in pictographic script.
* Nimrud
One room of this library contained treaties by an Assyrian king with neighbouring princes. One wing had records, including tablets concerning taxation and trade, and agriculture and administrative reports.
* Nippur
This library existed in the mid 3rd millenium BCE. An excavation uncovered a group of tablets dealing with the following: geographical names, a list of gods, a list of professions, a list of Sumerian works of literature, writing exercises, and a number of hymns. The owner of the collection is not known.
* Tello
This library existed about 2350 BCE. It is a collection of about 30,000 tablets in cuneiform.
* Ur
A Great House of Tablets, a building housing records, existed about 2100 BCE. It contained a well-organized law library or legal archive. One set of tablets contained a code of laws 300 years before Hammurabi. There were also the records of a national court for over a century.

* Sidon
It was so capably kept that it became a byword. The historical writings were of great exactness and were preserved in archives. The library was readily accessible and open to the public.
* Tyre
The library had authentic records that were preserved in archives. Like the one at Sidon, it was readily accessible and open to the public.

* Nisibis
About 485 CE, the Nestorian Christians who fled from Syria built this library. It was a good source of Greek science and philosophy. Scholars from Greece were attracted here. By 750 CE, the Moslems, seeing the value of this library, translated many of the books into Arabic.

* Damascus
A royal library was established in the late 7th century CE under the Umayyid dynasty. In 690 CE, the archives were separated from the literary and religious works and placed into a House of Archives. The palace library was open for use by students and scholars. In it were copies of books obtained from all parts of the known world. They included works on alchemy, medicine, astrology, literature, history, philosophy, and the Moslem religion.
* Ebla
It is dated to 2300 BCE to 2250 BCE. A collection of about 2,000 clay tablets was found in an archive room in a buried royal palace. They contained the following: administrative records dealing with the distribution of textiles and metals; cereals, olive oil, agricultural land, and breeding of animals; names of professions, geographical locations, birds, and fish; incantations; and the text of a Sumerian myth. The writing on the tablets was in Sumerian and Eblaite.
* Palmyra
There were hundreds of inscriptions, dealing with fixed tariffs, Queen Zenobia, the priesthood, and wine consumption.
* Ugarit
A library in the royal palace of King Nigmed existed about the 13th century BCE. The clay tablets included diplomatic correspondence, treaties, laws, some history, some commercial texts, and a dictionary of Ugartic and Sumerian. Also at the same time was one in the home of the high priest. It was mainly theological; but there were also some epic poetyry, magic lore, history, scientific dictionaries (unilingual and bilingual). There were also genealogical lists of kings and priests.

* Boghaz Kui
It contained over 10,000 clay tablets in two sections. One set was on black and grey clay. The other was on yellow and brown clay.
* Debir
The community was known as "booktown." The library held Hittite books.



* Constantinople
The imperial library was established by Emperor Constantine between 330 CE and 336 CE. He sent agents throughout the Roman Empire to search for Christian books for it. His collection included many writings of Greek and Latin secular authors. There were only about 7,000 books at the time of his death.
* Constantinople
The library of the Academy, a school of philosophy, was founded by Theodosius II in the 5th century CE. In the early 8th century CE, books containing religious pictures were sometimes destroyed as they were considered as heathen by the iconoclasts. The library flourished until the end of that century.

* Athens
There is some uncertainty about the accuracy of this one, which is said to have existed about 560 BCE. A collection was given to the city by the tyrant Pisistratus. The city opened it to the public and added to it and took care of it. It is reported to have been taken by Xerxes to Persia when he conquered by Athens. When King Seleucus conquered Persia, he returned the books to Athens.
* Athens
Plato was one of the first Greeks to own a library. Part of it was composed of a purchase of the library of Philolaus of Tarentum. Another part was obtained in Syracuse.
* Athens
Late in the 4th century BCE, Aristotle owned a library at his Peripatetic school. It included several hundred volumes, large for the time, that had been acquired by purchase and by gift. It contained his own writings and was well-rounded in the subject areas. He made it available to his pupils and friends.
* Athens
In this library of the 4th century BCE were official copies of plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripedes. These were to ensure that only authentic versions of the plays were produced. The books could be read and copied, but they could not be removed.
* Athens
This library was located in the Ptolemain secondary school. Students presented one hundred books to the school annually as a graduation gift.
* Athens
A library was established by Emperor Hadrian in the early 2nd century BCE. The library was a square enclosed by a colonnade of 120 columns. There were spacious rooms of alabaster and gold, filled with paintings and statuary.There were rooms for reading and lectures. There was, also, a central area from which books may have been delivered to readers. Nothing is known about the types of books in the library.
* Cos
In the period of about 200-175 B.C.E., well-to-do citizens subscribed to the **** of a library building. They contributed to a book-purchase fund or they donated books.
* Rhodes
This library existed during the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.E., possibly at the university. There was a subject catalogue that was arranged alphabetically.

* Como
It was established in the late 1st century B.C.E. by Pliny the Younger in this, his home town. He endowed it with a million sesterces (the common unit of computation of Roman money).
* Herculaneum
This was the private library of L. Calpurnius Piso, a collection of about 3,000 rolls, encased in wooden boxes. The majority of the rolls were philosophic works of the Sophis school. There were some works of medicine, literary criticism, and general literature. Most of them were in Greek, but there were some in Latin. The library was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
* Rome and Atrium
This collection of Cicero was maintained both in the city and in country villas. A specialist was used in setting up the libraries. Highly trained Greek slaves served as library personel. Copying was a major work, but reshelving, repairing, and keeping the catalogue up-to-date were functions that they performed. Parchment was used to place the author's name on the end of each roll. There was also the problem of theft that had to be handled. This library was used primarily by researchers.
* Rome
This private collection of Lucullus existed after 66 BCE. It was collected in Asia Minor as booty. The layout of the building was based on the library at Pergamum. In a room about three meters by three meters, the walls were lined with shelves with rolls piled high. The books were in Greek; but later, some in Latin were added. The library was open to friends and relatives of Lucullus, but also to Greeks living in Rome. Patrons from Greek states in Asia Minor came to use the library.
* Rome
The first-known public library, the Atrium Libertatis, located on the Aventine Hill, was opened about 37 BCE. The founder was G. Asinius Pollio, who, with his own wealth, consolidated several collections and reorganized the public archives there. The interior was adorned with the busts of the great writers. The collection was made up of Greek and Latin literature.
* Rome
Emperor Augustus built this library during the period of 36 BCE and 28 BCE, locating it in the temple of Apollo, on the Palatine Hill. It was divided into Greek and Latin sections. The first librarian was Pompeius Macer, and a later librarian was Julius Hyginus. The library was enlarged by Emperors Tiberius and Caligula. Although damaged by fire twice, it lasted into the 4th century CE.
* Rome
There was a library located in the Porticus Octaviae, which was believed to have been founded by Octavia, sister of Augustus. The first librarian was Caius Melissus. The library was damaged by fire about 80 CE, but it survived into the 2nd century CE.
* Rome
Emperor Vespasian established a library in 76 CE. It included books taken from Jerusalem when that city was captured by the Romans. According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, it contained copies of the books of Moses. The library was damaged by fire about 190 CE, but it was restored and lasted into the 4th century CE.
* Rome
The Ulpian Library, the greatest of the Roman libraries, was founded in 114 CE by Emperor Trajan. It may have been based on the private library of Epaphrodites of Cherones. The collection included about 20,000 rolls, which was divided into Greek and Latin sections. Early in the 4th century BCE, it was moved to the Baths of Diocletian. However, it was later returned to its original site. It was still in existence in 455 CE.
* Rome
A library was begun at the Baths of Caracalla in 212 CE and completed ten or more years later. There were two rectangular chambers set into the enclosure wall, opening at the front to the colonnade. Along the short walls were niches for bookcases.
* Rome
In the latter half of the 4th century CE, Pope Damasus I established a library in the church of San Lorenzo. At first, it was only an archive. Later, this was transferred to the lateran Palace. Eventually, the library included not only Bibles but also various Christian theologcal writings. It did not include non-Christian writings for a long time because of the official attitude toward those.
* Squillace
In the mid 6th century, Cassiodorus established a library at his monastery, Vivarium. He purchased books for it in northern Africa. Included in his library were works of major pagan Greek and Latin writers. His scriptorium produced many copies of Christian writings.

* Granada
About 1510, all Arabic manuscripts ordered by Cardinal Ximenes were ordered to be burned.

[This message has been edited by dhill757 (edited 08-09-2004).]

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A prodigious list, but nothing on Scotland, unless I missed it....
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