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The Arab Story Of The Destruction Of The Ancient Library Of Alexandria

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Chapter Summary

The Ancient Library of Alexandria, built by the Ptolemies in the third century B.C., played a very important role in the development of scientific and intellectual activities of the Mediterranean world over several centuries. The revival of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a few years ago, has stimulated the debate once more and this paper deals with the Arab version of the story of the fate of the Ancient Library. Notably enough, the Arabic story did not appear until the last decade of the sixth century A.H./twelfth A.D. Ibn al-Qiftī goes on to narrate how 'Amr was impressed by the erudition and intellect of Yahia and listened with admiration to his logical arguments concerning the Trinity, as well as his other philosophical opinions that were as yet unknown to the Arabs.

Keywords: Alexandria; Ancient Library; Arabic story; Ibn al-Qiftī; Yahia



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