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Sample Research Paper on the Development of Alexandria Library (10-30 BCE)

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Sample Research Paper on the Development of Alexandria Library (10-30 BCE)

Introduction

Prologue of the study

Science has made significant contribution globally even as more discoveries are being made in the modern period. It is of great necessity to study the background and take note of institutions and individuals who have significantly contributed to the growth of science. Among the major contributions before 1400 is the presence of Alexandria Library, which was established in Egypt in the 3rd century BCE (Murray, 12). As such, this project will focus primarily on the development of Alexandria Library in the period between 10-30 BCE, and the key scientists and thinkers who used the library and its resources for the development of science.

The study is to explore key perspectives surrounding the establishment and development of Alexandria Library. The study is to kick off with the focus on the development of the Alexandria Library as an avenue for scientific research. It will then proceed to key resources in the library that contributed to more discoveries, before concluding with critical examination on past scientists that made considerable contribution to scientific discoveries. The study is based on the fact that Alexandria Library is among the scientific institutions established in the third century BCE highlights its connection or relation to the course “The History of Science up to 1400 CE.”

 

The development of Alexandria Library (10-30 BCE) is among the major scientific institutions established in the third century BCE that greatly contributes to the history of Science up to 1400 CE.

Thesis Statement

Alexandria library has made immense contributions to scientific discoveries in fields such as medicine, astronomy, zoology, and anatomy.

Objectives of the Study
  1. Development of the Alexandria library
  2. Contributions of the library, key scientists and thinkers
  3. key perspectives surrounding the establishment and development of Alexandria Library
  4. Relation of the Alexandria library to the history of science up to 1400 CE
Background Information
Draft of the Study

Several individuals and institutions contributed significantly to the growth of science in the period before 1400 CE. One of the greatest institutions that played an integral role in the development of science during the mentioned period is the Alexandria Library, which was established in Egypt in the 3rd century BCE. As such, this project will focus primarily on the development of Alexandria Library in the period between 10-30 BCE, and the key scientists and thinkers who used the library and its resources for the development of science.

Alexandria Library, after establishment in the 3rd century BCE, became part of the Museum of Alexandria and served as an avenue for scientific research. The library provided key resources that helped in the study of various scientific fields such as astronomy, zoology, and anatomy (MacLeod and Roy 4). Several household names in the field of science, who conducted studies and experiments in the library during its time of operation include Archimedes, Herophilus, Pappus, Hypatia, Theon, Aedesia, and several others (Murray 17). The operation and significant contribution of the library to the field of science ended when the army of Julius Caesar in 48 BCE burned it. The destruction was seen or considered by many people of the time as a loss of cultural knowledge.

The 3rd century BCE during which the library was established saw the birth of several scientists who played an integral role in the development of science (Trumble, 17). In respect of these perspectives, this project will focus on the key perspectives surrounding the establishment and development of Alexandria Library. Besides, the fact that it was one of the key scientific institutions established in the third century BCE highlights its connection or relation to the course “The History of Science up to 1400 CE.”

History of the Library
Before the burning of the library

            The ancient Library of Alexandria in Egypt was among the largest and most significant of the libraries in the ancient world (Trumble, 16). The library was built and dedicated to the nine goddesses of arts, Muses. It thrived under the leadership of Ptolemaic dynasty and operated as the main center of scholarship from the 3rd century BC when it was constructed until the Roman conquest in 30 BC. There were numerous lecture halls, meeting rooms, gardens and collections of works that facilitated the library to be referred to as a research institution. The library is assumed to have been created by Ptolemy 1 Soter, a Macedonian general and descendant of Alexander the Great. Majority of the books, of unknown number at any given time in the library, were made of papyrus scrolls. The library is nevertheless mainly known for being burnt down, a symbol of loss of cultural knowledge, resulting to loss of scrolls and books. It is still unclear on who was precisely responsible for the destruction, how and when it took place. However, most of the sources point to the army of Julius Caesar in 48 BC.

            It is still unknown the exact structure of the library but the former sources describes the library as a collection of scrolls, Greek columns, gardens, and rooms, which is a resemblance of a contemporary university campus. At its height, scholars state that the more than 400,000 scrolls were contained in the library. The library was a portion of the Musaeum of Alexandria, which doubled as a research institute (Trumble, 9). In addition, there were rooms for study of subjects such as astronomy, anatomy, and zoology where classical thinkers such as Euclid, Archimedes, Hipparchus, Pappus, Hypatia, and Aristarchus of Samos studied, wrote, and experimented. Numerous papyrus scrolls have been found among other self-contained books that were written and edited by the library editors. The library was in charge of gathering knowledge worldwide while its editors were in charge of translating the books and scrolls.

After the burning of the library

The infamous burning of the library, which included incalculable loss of ancient works, is presently a symbol of irretrievable loss of public knowledge (Booker, 2). Destruction of the entire structure is presumed to have taken place later on by wars. The burning of the library has been beneficial to the world as the precise size of the library is presently known and various myths surrounding the existence of the institution proved (O’Neill, para. 3). After its destruction, a daughter library, Serapeum, in a temple within the city was used by scholars, which was destroyed later in ad 391. It is however uncertain the content of this daughter library

Key perspectives surrounding the establishment and development of Alexandria Library
As a main scientific institution in the third century BCE

According to MacLeod & Roy (102), was known as an academic institution where academic elites resided as they did their research and took part in writing of the great books and scrolls. All the books and scrolls coming from foreign lands were collected, re-written and a copy left in the library for reference whereas the original texts were given back to their owners. The librarians are reputed to incorporate great figures of ancient scholarship in varying intellectual field. For instance, Demetrius is famous for philosophy, Zenodotus for Homeric textual criticism, Callimachus for bibliography and poetry, Apollonius of Rhodes for epic poetry, Erastothenes for geography, Aristarchus of Samothrace for grammar, and Aristophanes of Byzantium for textual criticism. Notable scholars related to the library include Archimedes who is the father of engineering, while Aristarchus of Samos proposed the initial heliocentric system of the world. Erassitratus was the pioneer of academy of medicine, Eratosthenes the father of spherical earth, Euclid, the pioneer of geometry, Herophilus was the father of physics and founder of the scientific method, Hipparchus, the founder of trigonometry, Hero for mechanics, while Pappus was the founder of mathematics. Even after it had ceased to exist, the library continued to develop from the numerous scrolls found to be useful.

As part of the history of science up to 1400 CE

According to Murray (17), the library offered profound information that the present world barely acknowledges. For instance, Aristarchus of Samos who was present in the 4th century BC proposed that the sun and not the earth was the center of the universe. This knowledge was commonly later known as the heliocentric theory. Aristarchus of Samos also predicted the Stellar parallax, which has offered an opening into complicated study of space and possibility of life in the outer space. Eratosthenes was a Greek scholar in the 3rd century BC was the first person to calculate the circumference of the earth and went on to deduce that the earth was round and measured its size. He became the first person to calculate the tilt of the earth’s axis with remarkable accuracy. Other successes on Eratosthenes the Greek scholar include accurate calculations of the distance from the sun to the earth, thereby creating the first map of the world including the meridians and the parallels.

Other contributions in the scientific field include Ibn al-Haytham being the first person to create the theory of attraction of masses. He went on to prove that a body moves perpetually until another force on the outside changes its direction or dares to stop it. This law came to be known as the Newton’s first law of motion, which was experimentally proven by Galileo after 600 years. Alhazen also up with the theory of optics that incorporated telescopic lenses, a theory that took long before Newton and Galileo came to rediscover. The oldest complicated scientific calculator known as the Antikythera mechanism was also invented in within the Alexandra library. In the same period, Barakat discovered the proportionality of force to acceleration instead of speed. This significant law is useful in classical mechanics.

Notable Contributions

The existence of Alexandra library has highly contributed to numerous fields due to its relation with philosophy among other subjects. As a research institute, the library of Alexandria is known for uncountable ancient civilizations in Egypt and its surroundings. Many visitors especially from Greece came to Egypt to explore and acquire knowledge. The unquenchable desire of Alexandra to conquer and explore everywhere resulted to considerable knowledge of geography after profound scientific research was conducted. In the study of the earth, natural physical qualities and population were critically studied. Innumerous brilliant theorists and dreamers of science have also been invented after the presence of the library in Egypt.

The librarians are reputed to incorporate great figures of ancient scholarship in varying intellectual field. These intellectuals were attracted by the good theories and experimented their theories before affirming them for application. Alchemists as well as mathematical scientists came up with theorems like the geometrical theorems to derive formulas to solve complications. In the field of medicine, Herophilus and Erasistratus made the first scientific studies on human anatomy. Using convicted criminals, these early scientists went on to acquire much body information through human vivisection, an application that was considerably cheap. Other contributions include early musical instruments such as pipes giving way to the invention of an organ with a hand-operated pump that sends air through the large pipes. Eratosthenes the librarian took part in defining the earth by coming up with the circumference of the earth.

Past scientists and their contributions to science include invention and development of philosophy, which have resulted to the common laws of humanity. Development of language and poetry, grammar and textual criticism has led to the legal justice system. Eratosthenes among other pioneers have contributed to the present field of engineering and medicine where innovative inventions in relation to technology and continually being made. Even after its long absence, the library continues to generate more inventions from the scrolls collected.

Conclusion

Alexandria library, which was established in Egypt in the 3rd century BCE, is one of the greatest research institutions as it has led to the History of Science up to 1400 CE. The study has made note of its background and those of the scientific pioneers who have significantly contributed to the growth of science. The study has explored key perspectives surrounding the establishment and development of Alexandria Library, which incorporates the institution being part of science up to 1400 BCE and being the main scientific institution in the third century BCE. The study has focused on the development of the Alexandria Library, which is an avenue for scientific research, before proceeding to key resources in the library that contributed to more discoveries.

The thesis statement for this study is that Alexandria library has made immense contributions to scientific discoveries in fields such as medicine, astronomy, zoology, and anatomy. The objectives of the study incorporates

  1. Development of the Alexandria library
  2. Contributions of the library, key scientists and thinkers
  3. key perspectives surrounding the establishment and development of Alexandria Library
  4. Relation of the Alexandria library to the history of science up to 1400 CE

Major discoveries in the field of science includes discovery of the heliocentric theory, which was proposed that the sun and not the earth was the center of the universe. The Stellar parallax, offered an opening into complicated study of space and possibility of life in the outer space. Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth and went on to deduce that the earth was round and measured its size. He went on to calculate the tilt of the earth’s axis with remarkable accuracy and calculations of the distance from the sun to the earth, thereby creating the first map of the world including the meridians and the parallels. Other contributions in the scientific field includes creation of the theory of attraction of masses, Newton’s first law of motion, theory of optics that incorporated telescopic lenses, generation of a scientific calculator and discovery of the proportionality of force to acceleration instead of speed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited
Primary sources

MacLeod, Roy M., and Roy MacLeod. The library of Alexandria: Centre of learning in the

ancient world. IB Tauris, 2004.

Murray, Stuart AP. The Library: An Illustrated History. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 2013, p 17

Trumble, Kelly. The library of Alexandria. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003.

 

Secondary sources

Booker Carilyn. “The Indestructible Library of Alexandria of Today – Data Storage.” Peak

  1. 10. 2013

            

O’Neill Tim. “How has the burning of the Library of Alexandria affected the world, and where

would we be if it never happened?” 2016

Word Count (2270)

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