I am doing some research for an article entitled “Dualism and Jewalism.” The connection between Greek and Jewish thought comes, naturally, into the picture. My thoughts are now on that most tragic of all cultural calamities: the burning down of the library of Alexandria. Here is William Turner of the Maritain Centre:
“The Alexandrian Movement. The scientific movement in Alexandria, of which mention has already been made, was but a phase of the general intellectual revival which was centered in the capital of Egypt during the last centuries of the old era and the first century of the new. This revival may be said to date from the foundation of the city (332 B.C.) by Alexander the Great, who, owing probably to the influence of Aristotle, always held philosophy in the highest esteem and took a lively interest in the spread of philosophical knowledge. After the division of the Macedonian empire, consequent on the death of Alexander, the Seleucidae in Syria, the Attali in Pergamus, and the Ptolemies in Egypt continued to protect and encourage philosophy. The Ptolemies were especially zealous in the cause of learning, and under their rule Alexandria soon became the Athens of the East, — the center of the intellectual as well as of the commercial life of the Orient, — and the point where the Eastern and the Western civilizations met. The famous museum, founded about the beginning of the third century before Christ by Ptolemy Soter, was literally a home of learning, and the no less famous library contained all that was best in Grecian, Roman, Jewish, Persian, Babylonian, Phoenician, and Hindu literature. The protection and encouragement extended to learning by the Ptolemies were continued by the Roman emperors after Egypt became a Roman province.”
Who burned down the library? There are three accounts: the pagan Julius Ceasar (48 BC), Christians (circa 400 AD) and Muslims (640 AD). No matter who torched the over half million precious docs, I’m fuming. I want to cry. How now AM I going to be able to write anything of substance on the most vital aspect of dualism-monism, which is the who or the what of creation.