"When I wrote 'The Alexandria Link,' I discovered that we are only aware of about 10 percent of the knowledge of the ancient world. In the ancient world, most of the knowledge was destroyed." (Steve Berry)
In the modern world, libraries are taken for granted by most people, perhaps because their presence is ubiquitous. Every school has a library, large libraries can be found in every major city, and even most small towns have public libraries. However, the omnipresent nature of libraries is a fairly recent historical phenomenon because libraries were still few and far between before the 19th century. For centuries in the Western world, during what is known as the Middle Ages, written knowledge was guarded closely and hidden away in private repositories, usually by the religious classes.
The lack of libraries in the West has helped contribute to the popular imagination of the ancient Library at Alexandria and all the myths and legends that have come to be associated with it, but the Library of Alexandria deserves its reputation. Before the Middle Ages, Greek scholars carefully collected and inventoried books and other written materials in the Library of Alexandria, which truly made it a sort of precursor to all modern libraries. In fact the Library of Alexandria proved to be one of the greatest institutions created in the ancient world because it influenced the minds of countless people in profound ways for centuries.
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