Imperialism, nationalism, religion and race: this narrative charts the tensions that destroyed Alexandria's ancient walls, leading to the loss of an entire classical heritage, and beginning a thousand-year rift between Christian Europe and the Islamic Middle East. In the fourth century AD Christian zealots destroyed the Great Library of Alexandria and killed Hypatia, the last director of the Museum. Over the next two centuries they systematically erased the entire 'pagan' heritage of the city. The subsequent war between the Byzantine and Egyptian Churches added to Alexandria's decline, and the inquisition unleashed by the Byzantine Patriarch Cyrus against the Egyptian Copts drove them into the arms of the invading Arabs, whose tolerance ensured both the survival of the Coptic Church of Egypt and the ready conversion of many Egyptians to Islam. But when, after conquering Alexandria by force, the Arabs demolished the surrounding walls, an entire civilisation perished. This fascinating book tells the extraordinary story of the destruction of classical Alexandria, exposing disturbing facts long erased from our collective historical memory.In charting the origins of the thousand year loss of dialogue between Europe and the Middle East, Bojana Mojsov reflects on the power and danger of ignorance driven by faith.
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