1. What city housed the world’s greatest library in antiquity until it was burnt down in 391 CE? This city also contained one of the ancient seven wonders of the world.


1. What city housed the world’s greatest library in antiquity until it was burnt down in 391 CE? This city also contained one of the ancient seven wonders of the world.

…1. Carthage
2. Rome
3. Alexandria
4. Athens
The great library was the most important library of the ancient world. It was founded by Ptolemy II Soter in 283 BCE, and enhanced and expanded by his successors. The library contained an estimated 700,000 volumes plus.

The library was (partially) burnt down several times. First in 48 BCE, during Julius Caesar’s conquest of Alexandria and again by the end of the 3rd Century CE by emperor Aurelian. The final blow came in 391 CE. By then what was left of the library was moved to the Serapeum (temple). When all pagan religions were forbidden in 391 CE the Serapeum was burnt down during riots between Christians and pagans.

During its 700 years of operation Alexandria served as the cultural centre of the Hellenistic world. Today only a part of the catalogue remains, giving us a hint at what treasures humanity has lost.

The ancient wonder of the world mentioned in the question is the great lighthouse (pharos) of Alexandria.

Alexandria:

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