A great fire may not be the cause behind the Great Library of Alexandria’s destruction

(source)
(source)

Chances are if you have ever taken a history class you have probably heard about the tragic burning of the Great Library of Alexandria. However, academics are arguing that government budget cuts played a much larger role in the destruction of the library than any fire did.

The greatest damage dealt to the library by the budget cuts did not come in the form of lost works, either. In fact, what hurt it most was the decline in reputation that the library and its collection suffered among the world’s scholars, according the San Diego librarian Heather Phillips. 

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“What made the Museum and its daughter branch great were its scholars. And when the Emperor abolished their stipends, and forbade foreign scholars from coming to the library, he effectively shut down operations,” according to the the article’s author Annalee Newitz.

To read more about the events that destroyed the Great Library of Alexandria click here.