Alexandria is Conveniently Under the Sea

mythstifieD

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It's funny where the rabbit hole takes you sometimes. I never expected to end up 150 feet underwater but, like bugs bunny, you never know where you're head is going to pop out of. After reading about the Vatican Secret Archives, I thought about another archive that was legendary:

THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA

Library-of-Alexandria-cover.jpg 010518-57-Library-Alexandria[1].jpeg
Now we all "know" that the library burned down and with it went the history and science of the ancient world. With this sudden amnesia (because I guess all the smart people who read and wrote these books were also killed) we were plunged into a dark age, and it was only until the Rebirth, aka Renaissance, that we finally got smart again and started building cool statues and buildings again. Oh think how far ahead we would have been if those barbarians actually valued the written word!!!

What Barbarian? This guy.
julius-caesarjpg[1].jpg
Julius Ceasar.
During the "Great Roman Civil War" in 48 BC, Ceaser and Cleopatra fight off her brother Ptolemy XIII and in the midst of the battle the Library burns to the ground.

I'm not going to get too heavy into the history as I simply don't have the time here, but feel free to check out the Wikipedia article for the mainstream telling.

What I'm going to add is that I think it's incredibly convenient that if history got completely distorted (and in some cases completely made up) in the middle ages, that they can point to this place and say "We'd love to prove that the past actually happened, when and how we say.. but the library burned down!". Sure, ok, fine, but let's go there and dig, maybe we'll find some old lost books? Well, look at that! It's 150 feet under water!

Santa-Claus-Travel-Egypt-Flickr-Cover[1].jpg diver-locating-position-of-a-Sphinx-Cleopatras-father-3[1].jpg 160330154706-sunken-cities-5-super-169[1].jpg Isis-priest-holding-Osiris-jar-Statue-made-of-black-granite-Photo-Franck-Goddio-Hilti-foundati...jpg abu-qir-sunken-cities-alexandria-3[1].jpg neptune_reef_1[1].jpg
That's right! This giant city of the past is under the sea. This one here:

screen-shot-2013-11-15-at-1-01-18-pm[1].jpg 1519484818[1].jpg 172307-120-30BB78AE[1].jpg 70254[1].jpg
But how had the city sunk? Working with Goddio, geologist Jean-Daniel Stanley of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History examined dozens of drilled cores of sediment from the harbor depths. He determined that the edge of the ancient city had slid into the sea over the course of centuries because of a deadly combination of earthquakes, a tsunami and slow subsidence.
Raising Alexandria

I'll add more to this post later, including how basically any source about the library comes from the middle ages. Feel free to dig with me. The wikipedia article and the smithsonian ones are good places to start, if anything pops out and sounds strange, please post your thoughts here.

I suspect that this sad event never really happened and was just a convenient excuse for the dark ages that may have never happened at all. By pointing at Alexander they could justify pushing back the timeline a few hundred (or more?) years. I'm not sure if they KNEW that the city was under water in the middle ages, however. They might have just thought it ruined and destroyed.

On the one hand, it slipped into the sea. Or maybe the sea level naturally rose? Wow, what could make it rise that fast? The glaciers melting perhaps? Could these be ruins actually from a civilisation before 10,500BCE?
 

KorbenDallas

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Who exactly do we know about the Library of Alexandria from? Initial source, date, and the non existent original they are referring to? In general this stuff can be pretty hilarious. The below image is directly related to this entire Alexandria issue.

5th century scroll which illustrates the destruction of the Serapeum by Theophilus. It really does? Yet, we believe them, because they are scientists. To me it looks like an early depiction of the unshaved Superman.

Theophilus_papyrus_inv_goleniscev_310.jpg

I love using Google Ngram, when dealing with things like that.

NGRAM_Alexadria_library.png
Looks like 1805 is one of the first years we see the Alexandria Library in an English language pub. Amazing details they are able to provide. Really? Some Amri-Ebnol-As who lived over a thousand years ago has a reply recorded in history? I doubt that.

NGRAM_Alexadria_library_1.png

Underwater theory: i always want to know where the water came from, when something ends up underwater. It's not some Indonesian Tsunami of 2004. That water rolled in and went back. For something to end up under some serious water for good, there would have to be some huge additional amounts of water. 10,500 years ago, or 350... does not really matter. While this is a totally separate issue, I think it directly relates, for there would have to be the rest of the world affected.

Sliding into the see has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve heard to date.

Ancient Alexandria ...
I would also look into the 16th century depictions of the ancient city of Alexandria. The below one done by H. Schedel in the 16th century, does not look much like the ancient Alexandria we know.

ancient_alexandria_1.png

May be it was this Julius Caesar who burnt the library?

Julius_Caesar (from the Nine Heroes Tapestries).jpg

Some of the Alexandria underwater photos are priceless. This is Cleopatra, right? Did they clean her up, or just dropped in place? Sure enough that after over a thousand years under water the statue would not look like this.

0E3F407E-56E8-45A0-A627-F62FD76AA204.jpeg
 
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mythstifieD

mythstifieD

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Library of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria, the most famous library of Classical antiquity. It formed part of the research institute at Alexandria in Egypt that is known as the Alexandrian Museum (Mouseion, “shrine of the Muses”).
Libraries and archives were known to many ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece, but the earliest such institutions were of a local and regional nature, primarily concerned with the conservation of their own particular traditions and heritage. The idea of a universal library, like that of Alexandria, arose only after the Greek mind had begun to envisage and encompass a larger worldview. The Greeks were impressed by the achievements of their neighbours, and many Greek intellectuals sought to explore the resources of “Oriental” knowledge.
There is literary evidence of Greek individuals visiting Egypt especially to acquire knowledge: e.g., Herodotus, Plato (particularly in Phaedrus and Timaeus), Theophrastus, and Eudoxus of Cnidus (as detailed by Diogenes Laërtius in the 3rd century CE).
"Literary Evidence" is not evidence at all. Not any more than Harry Potter is evidence for Hogwarts. Also note carefully, they went to EGYPT for knowledge. Not specifically Alexandria. Note that Alexander the Great invaded Egypt in 322BCE (allegedly) so that wouldn't have given Alexandria much time to build and collect such a universal library. So these folks, if they did go to Egypt, didn't go to Alexandria for knowledge.
Against that background of avid hunger for knowledge among the Greeks, Alexander launched his global enterprise in 334 BCE, which he accomplished with meteoric speed until his untimely death in 323 BCE. His aim throughout had not been restricted to conquering lands as far from Macedonia as India but had been to also explore them. He required his companions, generals, and scholars to report to him in detail on regions previously unmapped and uncharted. His campaigns resulted in a “considerable addition of empirical knowledge of geography,” as Eratosthenes remarked (as reported by Greek geographer Strabo). The reports that Alexander had acquired survived after his death, and they motivated an unprecedented movement of scientific research and study of the Earth, its natural physical qualities, and its inhabitants. The time was pregnant with a new spirit that engendered a renaissance of human culture. It was in that atmosphere that the great library and Mouseion saw the light of day in Alexandria.
What noble intentions. Except, why would Alexander want to put the fount of all human knowledge in a far away land? Why make Plato and company travel so far to get educated, when instead he could make Athens the capital of wisdom? Something doesn't add up.
The founding of the library and the Mouseion is unquestionably connected with the name of Demetrius of Phaleron, a member of the Peripatetic school and a former Athenian politician. After his fall from power in Athens, Demetrius sought refuge at the court of King Ptolemy I Soter (c. 297 BCE) and became the king’s adviser. Ptolemy soon took advantage of Demetrius’s wide and versatile knowledge and, about 295 BCE, charged him with the task of founding the library and the Mouseion.
Alright, so Alexander just founded the city, he didn't want it to be the ground zero of knowledge? It was actually some guy named Demetrius, who also wasn't from there? I guess that's a bit more tenable.
The “Letter of Aristeas” of the 2nd century BCE reveals that the institution was conceived as a universal library:
Demetrius…had at his disposal a large budget in order to collect, if possible, all the books in the world;…to the best of his ability, he carried out the king’s objective. (Letters 9–10.)​
This letter shows up in the 18th century. Sorry, try harder. Nevermind it was likely a forgery anyway, am I the only one detecting a pattern?

Modern scholarship is unanimously with Hody. Victor Tcherikover (Hebrew University) summed up the scholarly consensus in 1958:

"Modern scholars commonly regard the “Letter of Aristeas” as a work typical of Jewish apologetics, aiming at self-defense and propaganda, and directed to the Greeks. Here are some instances illustrating this general view. In 1903 Friedlander wrote that the glorification of Judaism in the letter was no more than self-defense, though “the book does not mention the antagonists of Judaism by name, nor does it admit that its intention is to refute direct attacks.” Stein sees in the letter “a special kind of defense, which practices diplomatic tactics,” and Tramontano also speaks of “an apologetic and propagandist tendency.” Vincent characterizes it as “a small unapologetic novel written for the Egyptians” (i.e. the Greeks in Egypt). Pheiffer says: “This fanciful story of the origin of the Septuagint is merely a pretext for defending Judaism against its heathen denigrators, for extolling its nobility and reasonableness, and first striving to convert Greek speaking Gentiles to it.” Schürer classes the letter with a special kind of literature, “Jewish propaganda in Pagan disguise,” whose works are “directed to the pagan reader, in order to make propaganda for Judaism among the Gentiles.” Andrews, too, believes that the role of a Greek was assumed by Aristeas in order “to strengthen the force of the argument and commend it to non-Jewish readers. Even Gutman, who rightly recognizes that the Letter sprang 'from an inner need of the educated Jew,' sees in it 'a strong means for making Jewish propaganda in the Greek world.' ”[13]
But Tcherikover continues,

"In this article an attempt will be made to prove that the Letter of Aristeas was not written with the aim of self-defense or propaganda, and was addressed not to Greek, but to Jewish readers."[13]
In 2001, Bruce Metzger writes:

Most scholars who have analyzed the letter have concluded that the author cannot have been the man he represented himself to be but was a Jew who wrote a fictitious account in order to enhance the importance of the Hebrew Scriptures by suggesting that a pagan king had recognized their significance and therefore arranged for their translation into Greek.[14]
So WHY is an encyclopedia citing this as an authoritative source? What the hell?!

Anyway, back to the official story...

The same claim was reiterated more than once: Irenaeus spoke of Ptolemy’s desire to equip “his library with the writings of all men as far as they were worth serious attention.” Undoubtedly, however, the largest amount of material was written in Greek. In fact, judging from the scholarly work produced in Alexandria, it seems likely that the whole corpus of Greek literature was amassed in the library.
First of all, Irenaeus lived hundreds of years later, so how would he know? Plus that quote seems made up, google it yourself.
One of the major acquisitions for the library was the “books of Aristotle,” concerning which there are two conflicting accounts. According to Athenaeus, Philadelphus purchased that collection for a large sum of money, whereas Strabo reported that Aristotle’s books passed on in succession through different hands, until they were later confiscated in 86 BCE by Sulla, who carried them away to Rome. The two accounts perhaps deal with two different things. Athenaeus may be referring to the collection of books that Aristotle had amassed at his school in Athens, which Philadelphus was able to purchase when his former tutor, Straton, was head of the Lyceum. Strabo’s account may be dealing with the personal writings that Aristotle had bequeathed to his successors as heads of the Lyceum, until they were confiscated by Sulla. In support of the latter understanding is Plutarch’s remark that “the Peripatetics no longer possess the original texts of Aristotle and Theophrastus, because they had fallen into idle and base hands.”
This book from the 1800s reiterates the idea that Philadelphus purchased the books and cites Athenaeus as the authority of this claim. I feel like it came from the book he wrote called Deipnosophists but, alas, our oldest copy is from the 10th century and that one is missing many of the books. Big surprise. If someone can help me figure out EXACTLY where Athenaeus made this claim it would be interestesting.

Could the Library of Alexandria by a myth invented in the 18th century, with sparse reference discovered in the middle ages, to explain why there's a gap in history named the Dark Ages? Wouldn't it just be simpler to say the Dark Ages never happened?
 
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KorbenDallas

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According to the earliest source of information, the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas composed between c.180 and 145 BC, the library was initially organized by Demetrius of Phaleron, a student of Aristotle, under the reign of Ptolemy I Soter (c.323 BC—c.283 BC).

And there comes the LOL: Over twenty Greek manuscript copies of the letter are known to survive, dating from the 11th to the 15th century.
 
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mythstifieD

mythstifieD

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Indeed! I just edited my post a bit with a link to Wiki that explains how some think the entire letter is just propaganda. Double LOL. Here's the link again.

This is just crazy shit. I can't even watch normal history documentaries the same anymore. They're not asking the right questions. They're just popularising the 'story' and not trying to verify if the story actually happened. Where are the REAL historians that actually care about verifiable facts?
 

whitewave

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The keeping of such ancient documents of biodegradable writing material (papyrus, vellum, etc.) requires extraordinary measures of preservation even today. The Vatican claims that the oldest document it has in it's climate controlled library is from 800 CE. How long would any of those "ancient" documents last AND be readable in the middle ages if they were just stuffed in leather bags and dragged around from country to country or stuffed in jars, put on ships and subjected to the sea air?
 
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mythstifieD

mythstifieD

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That's actually a great question... Let's grant them the official story/timeline... That means a document from 200bce would need to survive 1000 years to be a direct copy of an original. Absolutely unfathomable. So there's no question they're all copies several times over. So even if they're not wholey made up, the could be altered and chapters added/omitted over time.
 

whitewave

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I know the Jews were very strict about accurate copies-their religion demanded that not one jot or tittle be omitted or altered so I think the Hebrew scribes could be counted on to accurately copy older manuscripts. Not as certain about monks who supported themselves my making (and drinking) wine. Very skilled artists but paper was expensive and hard to come by in those days so if they altered a letter or 2 or 10 or spaced out and started writing whatever they were daydreaming about, they might not be willing to destroy 2 days work (1 page) to correct their error.

If the Vatican has nothing earlier than 800 CE then how do they know the scriptures they possess have not been altered? Whatever documents/ manuscripts they DO possess, they're the only ones who know about it so they can tell us whatever they want and we just have to take their word for it. May they roast in all 7 hells (if such a thing exists).
 
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mythstifieD

mythstifieD

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I know the Jews were very strict about accurate copies-their religion demanded that not one jot or tittle be omitted or altered so I think the Hebrew scribes could be counted on to accurately copy older manuscripts
You KNOW? How do you KNOW? Did they tell you that? Did you read something they wrote about that? When was that written? By whom? Wouldn't there be incentive to claim that your copiest are the best and most accurate and never screw up? Nevermind there are plenty of jots that differ between the Dead Sea Scrolls and whatever manuscript we refer to today. Of course a scribe will do their best but mistakes will always happen and it's absurd to say that a Jewish scribe would be more trusting than a Arabic or Christian one.

I detect you may lean towards a certain persuasion, which is fine. So let me ask you, aside from the dead sea scrolls (which are fascinating but won't help you out here), what is the oldest manuscript that exists of the Hebrew Bible? And what year was this Bible found? Go look it up and return here with the answer
 

KorbenDallas

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Dating of the manuscripts is a big issue I think. Scientists can say that something is 2,000 years old but is it really? They have so many questionable dating methods.

Aww, this is a roman coin dated 56 CE located 4 feet deep, right next to a 65 mln year old dinosaur fossils.

This is especially true when we talk about the old testament. It is way too convaluted. Bits and pieces here, bits and pieces there. And then we get opinion based datings.

Why not 1437 or 1389 if we only located those in some 18th century.

5E14C99F-BFE3-4192-AF74-FC57E37FC221.jpeg
 

whitewave

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You KNOW? How do you KNOW? Did they tell you that? Did you read something they wrote about that? When was that written? By whom? Wouldn't there be incentive to claim that your copiest are the best and most accurate and never screw up? Nevermind there are plenty of jots that differ between the Dead Sea Scrolls and whatever manuscript we refer to today. Of course a scribe will do their best but mistakes will always happen and it's absurd to say that a Jewish scribe would be more trusting than a Arabic or Christian one.

I detect you may lean towards a certain persuasion, which is fine. So let me ask you, aside from the dead sea scrolls (which are fascinating but won't help you out here), what is the oldest manuscript that exists of the Hebrew Bible? And what year was this Bible found? Go look it up and return here with the answer

No need for hostility, brother. We're all searching for answers to the same questions while learning the correct questions to ask.
I know the answers to the questions you asked but I won't be baited into a religious argument. The reason I trust the Hebrew manuscripts more than others is: 1) their religion demanded it (not that the Jews were known for doing what they're told but one does expect a higher standard from the clergy), 2) There seems to be a biblical code evident in the Pentateuch. at least, that would not have survived the ages if strict adherence to exact copying had not been done. Newton suggested a biblical code in his day but lacked computer computationals that would have made it easier to discover. 3) The Hebrew language is an alpha-numeric language in which each letter has a numeric value as well as an alphabetic corollary sound. It's like writing out a musical piece. If you misplace one "note", it's immediately apparent in the entire "melody".

I have my own theory about the biblical story but this is not the place for it.
 

Dirigible

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No need for hostility, brother. We're all searching for answers to the same questions while learning the correct questions to ask.
I know the answers to the questions you asked but I won't be baited into a religious argument. The reason I trust the Hebrew manuscripts more than others is: 1) their religion demanded it (not that the Jews were known for doing what they're told but one does expect a higher standard from the clergy), 2) There seems to be a biblical code evident in the Pentateuch. at least, that would not have survived the ages if strict adherence to exact copying had not been done. Newton suggested a biblical code in his day but lacked computer computationals that would have made it easier to discover. 3) The Hebrew language is an alpha-numeric language in which each letter has a numeric value as well as an alphabetic corollary sound. It's like writing out a musical piece. If you misplace one "note", it's immediately apparent in the entire "melody".

I have my own theory about the biblical story but this is not the place for it.
This is the place for it, share your thoughts
 
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mythstifieD

mythstifieD

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Btw, I meant no hostility. I was emphasizing KNOW not as a yell but as a stresser. The whole point of this place is to dig deep and not allow people to take anything for granted and see what we're left with after.
 

KorbenDallas

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I’m wondering if this type of “copying” is exactly why our history is so screwed up.

Were they copying or making things up?
 
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