Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/343

This page needs to be proofread.
303

ALEXANDRIA 303 ALEXANDRINE 24.000 Catholics, 19 priests, IC. sisters, 14 parishes, 19 churches, 4 convents, 2, .500 children in Catliolic schools. First bishop, Alexander MucDonnell, b. Lochiel. County Glengarry, Ont., 1 Nov., ISXi; d. at Montreal, 30 May, 1905. He was ordained priest 20 Dec, 1S62; appointed bishop, IS July, 1900; consecrated in October of same year. J.f CuTi'ula fcdenuiftique pour Vannfe, 1906 (Montreal); Battam>ii.h. Ann. ponl. culh.. 1900. 189. Alexandria, The Exegetical School of. See KXEGESI.S. Alexandrian Codex, Tiif:. See Codex Alex.vn- DUINUS. Alexandrian Library, The. — The Great Library of Alexandria, so called to distinguish it from the smaller or "daughter library in the Serapeum, was a foundation of the first Ptolemies for the pur- pose of aiihng the maintenance of Greek civilization m the midst of the coii.servative Egyptians. If the removal of Demetrius Phalereus to Alexandria, in 29G-29.5 n. c.,was connected with the organization of the library, at least the plan for this institution must have been formed under Ptolemaios Soter (died c. 284 B. c), but the completion of the work and its connection with the Museum was the achieve- ment of his successor, Ptolemaios Philadelphos. As Strabo does not mention the library in his description of the buildings upon tiie harbour, it is clear that it was not in that part of the city, and its connection with the Museum points to a location in the Bruclieion, or nortlnvestem quarter of the city. Of the means by which the boolcs were acquired many anecdotes are told. Ships entering the liarbour were forced to give up any manuscripts they had on board and take copies instead. The odicial copy of the works of the three great tragedians belonging to Atliens was retained by forfeiting the deposit of 15 talents that had been pledged for its return. The rivalry between Alexandria and Pergamon was so keen that to cripple the latter the exportation of papyrus was proliibited. Necessity led to the peifccting of the metliods of preparing skins to receive writing, the improed material being known as "charta i)erga- mena", from which is derived our "parchment". This rivalry was also the occasion of the composition of many spurious works, of devices for giving to mantscripts a false appearance of antiquity, and also of hastv and careless copying. The number of books thus obtained is variously stated, the discrepancy being due partly to the fact that the statements refer to various periods. Demetrius Plialereus is said to have reported that the number of papynis rolls was 2fX),0()0, but that he hoped to increase it soon to .5(K).000. In the time of Callimachos 490,000 rolls are mentioned; later, Auliis Gellius and Am- mianus Marcellinus speak of 700,000 rolls. Orosius, on the other hand. sjK'aks only of 400,000, while Seneca says that 40.000 rolls were burnt (probably an error for 400,000). The first librarian was Ze- nodotus (234 B.C.). He was succeeded in turn by Eratosthenes (234-195 ii. c); Aristophanes of Bj-zan- tium (195-181 B.C.); and Aristarchos of Samothrace (lSI-171 E.G.), all famous names in the history of scholarship. The inclusion in this list of Callima- chos and ApoUonios Rhodios rests on slight authority and seems chronologically impossible. The work of these men consisted in chissifying, cataloguing, and editing the works of Greek literature and exerted a deep and permanent influence not only upon the form of the books, their subdivisions, and arrangement, but also upon the transmission of the texts and all phases of the study of the history of literature. After Aristarchos the importance of the library l)egan to wane. In 47 H. c. CVsar was com- pelled to set fire to his fleet to prevent its falling into the hands of the Egj'ptians. The fire spread to the docks and the naval arsenal, and destroyed 400,000 rolls. It is most probable from the statement of Orosius that these were not in the librarj' itself, but had been removed from it preparatory for shipment to Rome, a view confirmed by the statement of the author of the " Bellum Alexandrinum " that Alex- andria Wiis built in such a way as to be safe from a great conflagration. Seneca and Gellius also speak only of the burning of manuscripts, though the latter represents the destruction as complete. Less care- fully, Plutarch and Dio Ciissius speak of the burning of the library, but had this been the case we .should find mention of it in Cicero and Strabo. The loss of books was partly repaired by Anthonjs gift to Cleopatra, in 41 B. c, of 200,000 volumes from the library of Pergamon. Domitian drew upon the library for transcripts. Under Aurelian, in a. d. 272, the greater part of the Bruclieion was destroyed, and it is most probable that the library iJerished at this time. The small library in the Serapeum is supposed to have perished when the temple of Serapis was de- stroyed by Theophilus, but there is no definite state- ment to that etTect. Up to the time of Gibbon, the generally accepted version of the destruction of the li- brary was that, on the capture of the city by the Ma- hommedans in A. D. 642, John Philoponos, having formed a friendship with their general Am.rou, a-sked for the gift of the librarj'. Amrou referred the mat- ter to the Caliph Omar and received the answer: "If these writings of the Greeks agree with the book of God, they are useless, and need not be preserved; if they disagree, they are pernicious, and ought to be destroyed." Accordingly, they were employed in the baths as fuel, and lasted six months. Phis storj- is now generally discredited, chiefly because it rests only on the authority of Abulpharagius, a writer si.x ccnturit>s later, while earlier writers, especially Euty- chius and Elmacin, make no mention of it. Besides, the act is contrarv to Mohammedan custom; John Philoponos lived about a century before the capture of the city, and the statement of the time the rolb lasted as fuel is preposterous. Finally, there is the evidence given above for the earlier destruction of the librarj'. Sa.niits, ".I Uitloru of ClaMical Scholarship (Cambridge, 1903); UlTsniL, OpuDcuta Philoloi/ica. I; Si'semihl, GetrhirhU der ffr. LUterutur in dcr AUxandrinerzcit (Leipziff. IS'Jl ); DziATZKO, in Tauly-Wissowa, Rfal-Encyclopadie, 111. 409- 414. GEonGE Melville Bollino. Alexandrine Liturgy, The.— The tradition of the Church of Egypt traces its origin to the Evangelist St. Mark, the first Bishop of Alexandria, and as- scribes to him the parent liturgy from which all the others used by Melchites, Copts, and by the daughter- Church of Abyssinia are derived. These three bodies possess the three groups of liturgies used throughout the original Patnarchate of Alexandria. There is the Greek Liturgj- of St. Mark, the oldest form of the three, u.sed for some centuries after the Monophysite schism by the orthodox Mclcliites; there are then three liturgies, still used by the Copts, translated into Coptic from the Greek and derived from the Greek St. Mark, and, further, a number of Abyssinian (Ethiopic) uses, of which the foundation is the "Liturgj' of the Twelve Apostles", that also de- scends from the original Greek Alexandrine rite. By comparing these liturgies and noticing what is common to them, it is possible in some measure to reconstruct the old use of the Church of Alexandria as it existed before the Monophvsite schism and the Council of Chalcedon (451). There are, moreover, other indications of that use. Clement of Alexandria (d. c. 217) makes one or two allusions to it; St. Athana- sius (d. 373) has many more; the Prayer Book of Scrapion, Bishop of Thmuis in the middle of the fourth centurj', and the descriptions of Pseudo- Dionysius (De hierarchia eccl.), at about the same time, in Egj'pt, make it possible to reconstruct the