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The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind

The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind

Geschrieben von Justin Pollard und Howard Reid

Erzählt von Simon Vance


The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind

Geschrieben von Justin Pollard und Howard Reid

Erzählt von Simon Vance

Bewertungen:
4/5 (9 Bewertungen)
Länge:
11 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
1. Nov. 2006
ISBN:
9781400172771
Format:
Hörbuch

Beschreibung

Founded by Alexander the Great and built by self-styled Greek pharaohs, the city of Alexandria at its height dwarfed both Athens and Rome. It was the marvel of its age, legendary for its vast palaces, safe harbors, and magnificent lighthouse. But it was most famous for the astonishing intellectual efflorescence it fostered and the library it produced. If the European Renaissance was the "rebirth" of Western culture, then Alexandria, Egypt, was its birthplace.



It was here mankind first discovered that the earth was not flat, originated atomic theory, invented geometry, systematized grammar, translated the Old Testament into Greek, built the steam engine, and passed their discoveries on to future generations via the written word. Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Cleopatra, Jewish scholars, Greek philosophers, and devout early Christians all play a part in the rise and fall of the city that stood "at the conjunction of the whole world." Compulsively readable and sparkling with fresh insights into science, philosophy, culture, and invention, this is an irresistible, eye-opening delight.
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
1. Nov. 2006
ISBN:
9781400172771
Format:
Hörbuch

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4.2
9 Bewertungen / 6 Rezensionen
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  • (5/5)
    Plenty of amazing stories of intellectual superheros - including Hero. They produced a giant lighthouse, geography, steam devices, braille, siege engines, maps of the world, a philosophical framework for world religions, and so much more before Christians beat down the pagan philosophers in the streets. No, the library was not wiped out by fires from Caesar's ships. The destruction of these records of science, mathematics, medicine, technology, and philosophy occurred much later. This is one of my favorite non fiction works.
  • (3/5)
    This is a well-researched book with many facts told in a chronological order. Unfortunately, it is also somewhat dry and boring at times. I overall enjoyed learning about the history of Alexandria and the people involved with this city over time. The story helps one appreciate the value of the city and inspires a visit to it. Well done but not fascinating or amazing.
  • (4/5)
    Very interesting overview.
  • (4/5)
    This is a well written and informative account of the history of Alexandria. It is no small task to cover such a broad expanse of time and events, yet the author does so by finding an excellent balance between too much and too little information. Few ancient cities have been more innovative and significant, making this book a recommended read for a very wide audience.
  • (4/5)
    The Rise and Fall of Alexandria is a collection of stories about Alexandria over its approximate 1000 year history, from the founding by Alexander the Great. Pollard describes it as the intellectual capital of the ancient world, at least until about the 5th century. He discusses the famous library, political stories such as Anthony and Cleopatra. It's a cross-grain book, meaning it's a full history but not a lot of depth, however the grain he cuts through is very interesting and useful to understanding not only the ancient world but the modern. Many great discoveries were made at Alexandria, it was remarkable. A map of the known world, the size of the earth, large mechanical machines and robots, an early computer, sophisticated surgery. For 100s of years it was a place of exciting wonder and possibility, the leading light like its famous lighthouse so symbolic. Pollard is able to weave a compelling story that rarely falters, his experience with television no doubt helping with the narrative. I felt by the end like it was a grand epic. A few times I had stop and think hard, was Christianity a negative force? It replaced reason with faith and new discoveries came to an end. Gibbon came down against Christianity in The Rise and the Fall and its easy to see why, the old ways were discarded and ignored for about a thousand years. From the perspective of Alexandria, Christianity was a disaster, but then there is more to it than knowledge and learning, the weak and downtrodden would now have a chance at inheriting the earth.
  • (4/5)
    Lively review of the city that replaced Athens as the center of culture and creative energy for almost one thousand years. Just think what might have happened if the city had flourished ...