The mysterious fate of the ancient libraries!

The ancient library containing the depth of knowledge of ancient civilizations in ancient times known as a repository of wisdom, a haven of thought, but like some mystical accompanied predestined fate of the great libraries of antiquity: some irreversibly destroyed, while others are hidden so skillfully that they can not be found and this day …


One of the first written records became collectors Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, who lived in the VII. BC "King of kings, the king of the four corners of the world, as called by his subjects, built in Nineveh huge building for the library, storing more than 20 thousand books tell of cultural and scientific heritage of the ancient world. Fact, they were kits clay cuneiform tablets. Many books have 100 and more "diehard pages" made of special clay and baked for durability. Figuratively speaking, such a library in the fire did not burn, and the water could not divide. Not afraid of it, that is important, not mice or rats. But there were the ancient texts terrifying enemies — ignorance and religious obscurantism people. When the forces of the Medes and the Babylonians in 612 BC Nineveh taken by storm, it is primarily dealt with the defenders of the city, and then began to break up the clay tablets. So the book turned into a pile of shards …

Kuyundzhik hill on which once towered grand library, archaeologists excavated only in the XIX century. Miraculously surviving fragments of tablets are now kept in the British Museum.


In Pergamum — the capital of the kingdom of the same name in the north-western part of Asia Minor — in the II. BC learned to make parchment (first manuscript existed in the form of papyrus scrolls), and the book took shape, similar to the modern. Its production process has reached perfection, this material was used for some time for the printing of books, even after the invention of paper.

Throughout the ancient world fame resounded Pergamum library, which contains over 200 thousand manuscripts and manuscripts. This unique library was under the protection of the Acropolis of Athena. But even this did not save the intercession of the library from total degradation, when Pergamum, loss of independence, became a province of Rome. General Mark Antony, one of the supporters of Julius Caesar, according to his own whim, gave almost all book treasures Pergamon Egyptian queen Cleopatra, trying to appease her after, either by the Romans burned much of the Library of Alexandria.


As a result of the "power" merging the two best book collections of the ancient world the Library of Alexandria funds storage totaled 700 thousand units. On the shelves of this huge, even by today's standards, the stacks were collected rare Egyptian papyrus scrolls East Delph parchment, manuscripts of Plato, and also surviving works of Aristophanes, Homer and other great authors.

Library of Alexandria was part of the Museion — the main scientific and educational center of Alexandria, Egypt. It is believed that this is where Archimedes invented the water pump, Eratosthenes measured the diameter of the Earth, Euclid wrote his major work "The Beginning" (15 books), containing the ancient foundations of mathematics, and Claudius Ptolemy wrote the "Almagest" — encyclopedia of ancient astronomical knowledge. It also worked Hypatia (Hypatia) — a female mathematician, astronomer and philosopher. When the library was close to the main building of the temple of the god Serapis built Serapeyon branch, which transported more than 40 thousand manuscripts.

But this magnificent treasure trove of ancient thought irretrievably lost.

In 391 AD Roman Emperor Theodosius I (the one that banned the Olympic Games, deeming them pagan) provoked mayhem library that militant activists of the orthodox Christian church is "the temple of Satan."

The last point raised soldiers of the Caliph Omar, captured Alexandria in 641 Moreover, even when the caliph was told that some of the captured manuscripts do not contradict the Quran, the conqueror ordered to throw them into the fire … Magnificent library, a gem of ancient culture, absorbing funds Pergamum library, as well as the personal library of Aristotle and other great thinkers, died almost completely …


In addition to the barbaric destruction, there is the hidden library. The most well-known reputation of being liberal-yard of Ivan the Terrible, in, which is based on an extensive collection of books, brought to Moscow as a dowry the niece of the last Byzantine emperor Constantine XI Palaeologus Sophia, which became the wife of Grand Duke Ivan III — grandfather of Ivan the Terrible. For some unknown reason, on the eve of his death, Ivan III put the book in the catacombs of the Kremlin.

His son, Vasily III found the book by chance and showed them to Maxim the Greek theologian. After the inspection finds that have been fascinated. However, history repeated itself fatally: Vasily III of death too for some reason put the book in the same dungeon at the Kremlin. Again tomes were discovered heir — now Ivan IV.

Unlike his father and grandfather, Ivan the Terrible constantly addressed to the Byzantine books expanding collection, and took care of the restoration of crumbling copies. And then, as if following some secret call of the king, too, hid Lieber, but so securely that for more than four centuries, it can not find.


At that point in history, when Constantine was to become only the Byzantine Emperor, thousands of kilometers from the Bosphorus, in the distant Samarkand, the fate of another great medieval libraries — libraries Ulugbek, the grandson of the famous conqueror Tamerlane. "Iron hromets", which met in the military campaigns of 37 years, having won 26 major
and small kingdoms, was known as a famous patron of the sciences, arts and crafts. From distant campaigns he brought to his capital captured scientists, architects, artists and craftsmen. It was under Tamerlane in Samarkand became architectural gem, the fame of which resounded throughout the East and far beyond. In addition, he brought valuable books and manuscripts from Asia Minor, Turkey, Persia, India, …

After Tamerlane's death, his empire was divided into two parts: in Khorasan (with its capital in Herat) rules son Shahrukh conqueror, and in Transoxiana (centered in Samarkand) — Shahrukh's son Ulugbek. Ulugbek and got a unique library, which he started to gather his formidable grandfather.

Ulugbek was known as one of the most enlightened rulers of the Middle Ages, gathered around him a galaxy of prominent Eastern scientists, for example Kazyzade Rumi, whose contemporaries called Plato of his time, as well as Kushchi Ali, who had no less than flattering nickname Ptolemy East. Lion's share of Ulugbek devoted to scientific pursuits, especially as they built an observatory. The main work of Ulugbek "new astronomical tables" contained information on 1,018 luminaries, practically no different from the modern ones.

No wonder that not everyone at the court like science and outreach Ulugbek, who in 1447, after the death of his father Shah Rukh, became head of the Timurid dynasty.

Conspiracy mature before our eyes. Traitors were able to win over even the son Ulugbek-Abdulatif.
Ulugbek foresaw trouble. He understood that, once in power, ignorant fanatics can destroy it created a scientific basis. The observatory was doomed, but the library should urgently rescued. Ulugbek Kushchi called Ali, and he said that in the mountains, near the village of Kesh, where he came from, there are many caves, where you can easily hide the library. On that and decided to do. Books — several thousand volumes — was put in forged trunks and dark night the caravan set off …

Meanwhile in Samarkand tragic events. In October 1449 Ulugbek treacherously murdered, and the most active part of the crime took his son. Soon the observatory was destroyed. Many scholars began to leave Samarkand, going to Herat.

They say that after the death of Ulugbek Kushchi left with a caravan to Turkey, where he remained until his death. He allegedly brought with him some of the books, but very small. The main library has remained in hiding. Back for her Kushchi was unable: the Maurya began a series of shocks …

Traces of the same library permanently lost. Her whereabouts is still one of the unsolved mysteries


Category: Mystery stories

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