I’ve been reading Charles Hapgood’s fascinating Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (1966), a cartographic argument for the existence of an unknown ancient civilization. This anecdote, about the first of three burnings of the great library at Alexandria, caught my eye:
The first [burning] happened when Julius Caesar captured Alexandria. The citizens resisted him, and in the battle about a third of the Library was destroyed. Caesar is said to have called a public meeting of the citizens and lectured them, sadistically accusing them of being guilty of the destruction — because they had resisted him! In his view Rome had a perfect right to conquer Egypt, and so the Alexandrians were guilty of misconduct in resisting him.
Thank goodness such a thing could never happen today!10:37 pm on May 16, 2006 Email Peter Klein