Library of Alexandria, Egypt

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Library of Alexandria, Alexandria
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The library of Alexandria was once the greatest library in the world. After its destruction (in ancient times) it was rebuilt in the late 20th century.
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Information about Library of Alexandria

The Royal Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was once the largest library in the world. It is generally thought to have been founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC, during the reign of Ptolemy II of Egypt. It was likely created after his father had built what would become the first part of the library complex, the temple of the Muses — the Musaion (from which is derived the modern English word museum).

It has been reasonably established that the library, or parts of the collection, were destroyed by fire on a number of occasions (library fires were common enough and replacement of handwritten manuscripts was very difficult, expensive and time-consuming). To this day the details of the destruction (or destructions) remain a lively source of controversy. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated in 2003 near the site of the old library.

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