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What Is The Oldest Library In The World?

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Connor Sephton Profile
Connor Sephton answered
The oldest library in the world is the Royal Library of Alexandria, otherwise known as the Ancient Library of Alexandria, which is in Egypt. Exact dating of the construction of the largest and most significant library of the ancient world hasn't been possible but it has been narrowed down to either during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter (323 - 283 BC) or of his son, Ptolemy II (283 - 246 BC). It flourished during the Ptolemaic dynasty as a major centre of learning until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30BC.

In 48 BC, Julius Caesar is said to have accidentally burned the library down when he set fire to his own ships in order to frustrate Achillas' attempt to limit his means of communicating by sea. Following this destruction, scholars used a subsidiary library (known as a daughter library) in a temple called the Serapeum that was situated in another part of the city of Alexandria.

The earliest source of information that has been found regarding the library is the Letter of Aristeas, which tells us that the library was first organized by Demetrius of Phaleron who was a student of Aristotle.

It was built in the Royal Quarter in the same style of Aristotle's Lyceum, and was next to, and in the service of, the Musaeum, which is a Greek Temple, otherwise known as a House of Muses (and where the word museum comes from). It was a sophisticated building and was comprised of a Peripatos walk, gardens, a reading room, lecture halls, meeting rooms and a dining room. Although the exact layout is not known, it is thought that many of today's university campuses have similar layouts.

It is also thought that there was an inscription carved into the wall above the shelves for the papyrus scrolls that read: 'The place of the cure of the soul'.
Adam Akim Profile
Adam Akim answered

al-Qarawiyyin library

AP Images 1,157 years after it first opened, the world's oldest library has finally been restored and unveiled to the public. Located in Fez, Morocco, theal-Qarawiyyin library is part of the world's oldest continually operating university, al-QarawiyyinUniversity, which opened in 859.

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