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What really happened to the Library of Alexandria? - Elizabeth Cox

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2,300 years ago, the rulers of Alexandria set out to fulfill a very audacious goal: to collect all the knowledge in the world under one roof. In its prime, the Library of Alexandria housed an unprecedented number of scrolls and attracted some of the Greek world’s greatest minds. But by the end of the 5th century CE, it had vanished. Elizabeth Cox details the rise and fall of this great building.

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TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Elizabeth Cox
  • Director Inna Phillimore
  • Narrator Adrian Dannatt
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott, Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-checker Francisco Diez
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Today, there's a new library in Alexandria. The modern Library of Alexandria has an expansive collection and digital archives. Learn more about it here

Learn more about the ancient library here, or read up on key figures in it's history, like Ptolemy I and Hypatia

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Elizabeth Cox
  • Director Inna Phillimore
  • Narrator Adrian Dannatt
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott, Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-checker Francisco Diez