jan 14

Books We Lost to History

7 Books We Lost to History That Would Have Changed the World. This is interesting because it makes you wonder how things would have been different if the Library of Alexandria had survived. Also, I wonder why no one has jumped on this Gospel of Eve thing.

1 comment

Nothing would have been different had the Library of Alexandria survived, for many many reasons.

Among other things, most works in the Library of Alexandria were written on papyrus, and papyrus is, needless to say, not the longest-lasting substance on Earth. There's a slim possibility that, had the Library lasted longer, some of those works might have been copied, but it's unlikely. Copying documents at the time was very time- and labor-intensive, and didn't actually happen very often for most documents. So in all likelihood, even if the physical Library structure still stood today, the overwhelming majority of documents in it would have been destroyed anyway.

Also, the "Gospel of Eve" thing hasn't caught on because it's ridiculous. Among other things, we only have two sentences of it, so even if it was worth more attention, there's nothing to study. But contrary to what the History Channel would have you believe, not all old books that call themselves "Gospels" are worth much attention. The "Gospel of Eve" was written 400 years after Christ died; it's not like it was some fundamental original text that reveals the true nature of the early Church. Unless you're really interested in obscure 5th century Gnostic cults, the Gospel of Eve isn't going to be that revelatory.

posted by Rex Manning Day at 11:22 AM on January 15, 2010

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