Monday, March 13, 2023
HomeE-LearningHow 99% of Historical Literature Was Misplaced

How 99% of Historical Literature Was Misplaced

Historical Greece and Rome had loads of literature, however virtually none of it survives at the moment. What precisely grew to become of just about all the things written down in Western antiquity is the topic of the video above by ancient-history Youtube channel Instructed in Stone, beforehand featured right here on Open Tradition for its investigations into all the things from the Colosseum and the Pantheon to Roman nightlife and the explosion of Mount Vesuvius. However none of its previous movies has fairly as a lot relevance to this explicit story as the one on the burning of the Library of Alexandria.

Described by narrator Garret Ryan as “the best of all historic libraries,” the Library of Alexandria may have contained between 532,800 and 700,000 volumes in scroll type, all of them misplaced by the point Julius Caesar burned it down in 48 B.C..

Even so, “the lack of all however a tiny fraction of historic literature was not caused by the disappearance of a single library. It was, as an alternative, the consequence of the fundamental fragility of texts earlier than the appearance of printing.” Papyrus, the pre-paper writing materials first developed in historic Egypt, actually couldn’t stand the check of time: in comparatively humid western Europe, “most papyri needed to be recopied each century or so.”

Plus ça change: even, and maybe particularly, in our digital period, long-term information archival has turned out to necessitate common motion from one storage medium to the following. However maybe our civilization will show luckier with the method than the Roman Empire, whose collapse meant that “the elites who had historically commissioned new copies all however vanished. Far fewer manuscripts had been produced, and those who had been tended to serve the actual functions of faith, schooling, and the technical disciplines.” For these and different causes, only a few classics made it to the Center Ages, and thus to the Renaissance. However even in case you don’t have a lot to check, so the latter period gloriously demonstrated, you possibly can greater than compensate by learning it arduous.

Associated content material:

What Was Truly Misplaced When the Library of Alexandria Burned?

How Egyptian Papyrus Is Made: Watch Artisans Maintain a 5,000-12 months-Previous Artwork Alive

The Rise and Fall of the Nice Library of Alexandria: An Animated Introduction

The Turin Erotic Papyrus: The Oldest Identified Depiction of Human Sexuality (Circa 1150 B.C.E.)

How Historical Scrolls, Charred by the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, Are Now Being Learn by Particle Accelerators, 3D Modeling & Synthetic Intelligence

Primarily based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embrace the Substack publication Books on Cities, the ebook The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.



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