Library of Alexandria Building / Landmark in Hypnosium | World Anvil

Library of Alexandria

What Was It?

The Great Library of Alexandria was one of the largest and most significant libraries in the world. It was part of a much larger campus called the Mouseion, a research institution that was dedicated to the Muses. This library acquired many scrolls made from papyrus. The was possible because the Ptolemy kings were determined to gather the world's knowledge in the library. They were rather aggressive and made sure the library was well-funded so it could acquire new acquisitions. It is unknow how many scrolls were contained in the library but rumors range from 40,000 to 400,000.  

What Happened To It?

During the reign of Ptolemy VIII Physcon in 145 BC, he purged intellectuals from the Alexandria. Those that could fled into exile. In 48 BC, Julius Caesar lead his civil war which resulted in the library being burned. Rumors abound of it having been completely destroyed sometime after.   Though it is true that some of the library burned during Julius Caesar's civil war, it was not actually destroyed. Instead, a consortium of ancient wizards cast a great spell and moved it to some unknown location. Not even the great johan knows where the library has been hidden. His magics cannot find it, though it has revealed that the library still exists. He has concluded that some greater than mortal magic must have been used. He suspects the Muses themselves may have been involved.
The Great Library was located in Alexandria in the Ptolemaic Kingdom and was establshed sometimes during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (aproximately 285 B.C.). It was the most funded public works maintained by the kings until Ptolemy VIII Physcon.   Rumors said it contained so many scrolls as to equal 100,000 books. In actuality, the Library held far more than scrolls. Clay and stone stablets were also collected and, unknown the Ptolemy kings, magical knowledge, scrolls, trinkets, relics, and artifacts were acquired as well.

Cover image: by geralt


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