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Earth, Wind, And Fire: The Alexandrian Fire-Storm Of 48 B.C.

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Chapter Summary

The Alexandrian Library and the fate of its intellectual content in 48 B.C. have been discussed by Classical philologists, historians, and archaeologists over the past 183 years. This chapter briefs chronological overview of the Bellum Alexandrinum. It outlines the meteorological conditions needed to produce a natural fire-storm. The chapter discusses the "fuel" which was readily available that could have fed such a fiery calamity. It describes the fire's initial ignition and its unintended inland spread. Useful to this description will be the comparison of eyewitness accounts of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 with that of Lucan's. The chapter posits the question, once having established the possibility that such a fire-storm could have occurred, how could the Great Library have survived such a fiery tempest?.

Keywords: Alexandrian Library; Bellum Alexandrinum; fiery tempest; fire-storm; Great Chicago Fire; Lucan



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