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Library of Alexandria, Ancient Egypt. Library of Alexandria in Ancient Egypt. This was one of the foremost centres of learning in antiquity for some 300 years from its construction in the 3rd century BC in the Ptolemaic period, until a fire around the time of the Roman conquest. Works consisted mostly of papyrus scrolls, thought to have numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The date of the library's destruction is uncertain, but may have taken place in the 4th century AD along with many pagan temples in the city. This woodcut dates from around 1870.
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