There is a mythos surrounding the Royal Library of Alexandria that endures to this day. Like many ancient libraries, it was a mecca of knowledge and scholarship for the brightest and most forward-thinking minds of its time.
Founded by Ptolemy in the 3rd century BC, it was part of a greater campus known as the Musaeum of Alexandria. The grounds housed lecture halls and gardens, meeting rooms for the discussion of topics ranging from astronomy to exotic animals, and–of course–hallowed halls with hundreds of thousands of scrolls.
The library was aggressive in its acquisition of knowledge. All papyri that passed through the port were compulsorily submitted to be copied and added to the institution’s collection. The duplicates were allegedly made with such precision, that one often couldn’t tell if the original or the copy was returned to the book’s owner.
Meanwhile, the foundations of science, math, poetry, and medicine were being expanded by an ever growing community of scholars. From Euclid and Archimedes to Eratosthenes and Hypatia, the library benefited from an atmosphere rich in dialogue and shared learning.
Regrettably, the Royal Library of Alexandria is largely remembered for its destruction. Though legend describes its epic burning as a singular event, it’s believed that the buildings fell into ruin from multiple invasions over many years. Regardless of how it came to pass, the cost of losing such an influential collection is tragic.
This “eye of knowledge” pattern is our ode to Alexandria’s library, and all beloved libraries throughout the ages, in reverence for their pursuit of truth.