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ReligionANCIENT LIBRARIES

ANCIENT LIBRARIES

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Petar Gramatikov
Petar Gramatikovhttps://europeantimes.news
Dr. Petar Gramatikov is the Editor in Chief and Director of The European Times. He is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Reporters. Dr. Gramatikov has more than 20 years of Academic experience in different institutions for higher education in Bulgaria. He also examined lectures, related to theoretical problems involved in the application of international law in religious law where a special focus has been given to the legal framework of New Religious Movements, freedom of religion and self-determination, and State-Church relations for plural-ethnic states. In addition to his professional and academic experience, Dr. Gramatikov has more than 10 years Media experience where he hold a positions as Editor of a tourism quarterly periodical “Club Orpheus” magazine – “ORPHEUS CLUB Wellness” PLC, Plovdiv; Consultant and author of religious lectures for the specialized rubric for deaf people at the Bulgarian National Television and has been Accredited as a journalist from “Help the Needy” Public Newspaper at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Library of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, built by the Holy King and Prophet Solomon 3,000 years ago. There, in the temple library, the sacred books (of the Old Testament) were kept in order not to add anything to the sacred text. This, according to the Talmud, guaranteed the purity of the scriptures. There were three sacred scrolls in the Jerusalem temple (Hebrew for Sefer, Megillat Sefer): Sefer Mahon (named after a settlement near Tiberias, an important literary center), Sefer Zatute (miniature, minuscule scroll), Sefer Hee ( according to the name of its owner, who was a noted writer).

When the Bible speaks of a book, it means a scroll, because the shape of the biblical scroll was a roll, poetically described by the prophet Isaiah (34: 4): “The heavens shall be made like a book.” The books, the scrolls were written on both sides (or we have the so-called opistography). Moses also placed the scroll “baaron” or in a wooden coffin, as Xenophon wrote in “Anabasis” – books, position in “wooden vessels” (dr.- gr. “Kivotos” = dr.-Hebrew “aron”) . Sometimes such a court had 2-3 compartments for the individual books. In Qumran, the biblical scrolls found were wrapped in linen cloths and placed in cylindrical pottery. In Judaic Archeology, Josephus describes the procession of Emperor Titus Flavius, and that his warriors wore spolia templi (temple booty), which included temple scrolls (the same are depicted in Rome on the triumphal arch of the emperor, who destroyed Jerusalem and the temple). . After the destruction of a temple in Jerusalem, temple terminology and practice was transferred to Jewish synagogues. To this day, the sacred books are kept in a special chest, box or coffin in a deliberate apse (niche).

The library in the Qumran caves. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls between 1947 and 1956 was an event that ushered in a new era of Bible study, early post-biblical Judaism, and the beginning of Christianity. Written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and dating from 200 BC. until the middle of the first century AD, they allowed an incomparable and revolutionary view of Jewish life and worldview in Palestine during a fateful period in the development of Jewish and Christian religious thought. With their first publication in 1962 and the revised 1975 edition, these unbiblical Qumran texts became an accessible and convenient introduction to the organization, customs, history, and beliefs of the municipality that created them. These remarkable documents serve as an authoritative guide in the study of ancient Judaism and the nascent Christianity of the same period.

The manuscript hiding places found in the caves near the Dead Sea, near Ain el-Feshka and Hirbet-Qumran, were hidden by the members of the New Union (ancient Hebrew “Haberit Hadasha”), as those living in a separate and special a religious community built on the principles existing in the ancient Jewish sect of the Essays.

When the Roman legions of Emperor Titus quelled the Israeli revolts in Palestine (c. 66-70 AD), the Qumrans left their shelters and hid their library in nearby caves. Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), who was a senior officer at the imp. Titus, who described in his “Natural History” the geography of Palestine and some cultural and historical facts and manifestations of that country, tells us that in his time west of the Dead Sea lived wonderful Jewish ascetics: “… west of Asphalt Lake are the Essays … These are people of their kind; without a woman, in denial of all that is the fruit of Venus; without money … Day by day they are reborn revived in equal numbers thanks to the multitude that comes; because there are many who are tired of life (want) to accept their way of life ”. (Historia naturalis, V, 17). The members of this secluded Jewish colony, which flourished in the first century AD, are also called essays by Dion Chrysostom (c. 40-120 AD), a Greek rhetorician and philosopher with a penchant for the Stoics and Cynics. . Bishop Synesius (370-413 AD), who was also a rhetorician, philosopher and poet, quoted Chrysostom Dion as follows: “… praises the essays for the happiness enjoyed by their entire city, which is located near the Dead Sea, in the middle of Palestine, not far from Sodom.

The Library of Alexandria is the most famous in human history. Egypt has traditionally had the greatest concentration of world literature since ancient times. Above the library of Pharaoh Ramses II was the following inscription: “Spiritual medicine.” During the conquest of Alexandria in 640, Caliph Omar found in the city 4,000 palaces and baths, 400 theaters and 700,000 books in the library. There were copies of the Hebrew scriptures in the Library of Alexandria, but they apparently did not agree with the prototype, so Ptolemy asked the Jerusalem high priest for “scrolls written,” and he, in turn, asked him to return them after work. in the temple “in a safe way.” There were two other Jewish temples on the territory of ancient Egypt, which had rich bookstores for the Jews in the diaspora (in settlement). The temple at Leontopolis, north of Cairo, was founded by Onias, grandson of Simon under Ptolemy VI, under the emperor. Vespasian (69-79 AD) was imprisoned after 233 years of existence. The temple on the island of Elephantine (in today’s Jezeret Aswan, Upper Egypt, around the Aswan Dam, known for the temple of the god Khnum, depicted as a ram) was founded before 525 BC. and destroyed in local riots in 411. The earliest date that can be associated with the existence of the colony is 525 BC. The Bible reports that after the fall of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, Jews fled to Egypt. Even then, they built a temple on the model of Jerusalem, in which a college of priests performed services by offering bloodless and incense sacrifices. The Elephantine papyri from his rich library describe various social relationships, and an Aramaic papyrus depicts the custom of celebrating the Passover. Appeared in kr. 20th century on the market of antiques pieces of papyrus and sharps (pieces of vessels) with texts in Aramaic, related to the ancient Hebrew language. More Egypt. pharaohs for border guards housed military garrisons of mercenaries in the border fortifications. In the 5th century BC, when these documents were written, Egypt was under Persian rule. The Persian authorities continued this tradition and a Jewish colony, officially called the “Jewish army”, lived to guard the southern border of Elephantine Island.

The library of Noosa, a town near present-day Kirkuk, from 2000 BC, the Middle Bronze Age. The documents are mainly of a legal nature: they contain many parallels with the biblical books – about the marital relationship (wife-sister), in Adam’s family it is a natural custom; concubinage – dr.-evr. “Pilegesh” – (Sarah-Hagar); the theft of the teraphim from Rachel, and they were a sign of inheritance; for the right of adoption for the purpose of inheritance of the property (Eliezer and his slave) and others.

The Marie Library, on the middle reaches of the Euphrates, is housed in the Marie Palace, which is 35,000 square meters and has a perfectly preserved sewer system, although it was destroyed in the 18th century BC. with preserved frescoes with ritual actions. Found in the archives of the palace library are 25 thousand cuneiform tablets, 5 thousand contain diplomatic correspondence from the era of the patriarchs; temple of the god Dagan. Names close to the biblical ones – “Benjamin” = Benjamin (translated Son of my right hand); and “Laba-an” and “Nahur” are the names of cities, but bear the name of their founder or the people of their founder.

The Ugarit Library (7000-1200 BC), an ancient Phoenician city discovered opposite Fr. Cyprus on the hill of Ras es-Shamra (from Arabic “Dill head”). Of particular interest are the finds from the late Bronze Age (ca. 1600-1200 BC), when a huge number of written monuments were discovered, incl. temples (in 2 temples of Baal and Dagon) and priestly libraries, palace archives, small private collections in private houses. A general Semitic feature, e.g. is parallelismus membrorum, or the custom of repeating the same thought in other words – hence the hymnology of Canaan strongly influenced the biblical psalms; moreover, that the ancient Hebrew language itself, according to philological research, is only a dialect of the Canaanite language. Thus, Psalm 28 (29) reveals many elements (individual words and stylistic features) with some Ugaritic epics, and it is possible that the Israeli author used deliberately selected ancient linguistic expressions for the purpose of a poetic archaization.

The library of Asurbanipal from 7 BC, opened in his palace and in the temple of the god Anu with 25,000 tablets, 5 thousand of them contain epics, dictionaries, fables in Sumerian and Akkadian languages. The epic of creation (Marduk v. Tiamat) “Enuma elish”, whose main character is Gilgamesh (or Utnapishtim, saved in the flood by the god Ea); in the numerological written monuments found in it, the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th days were declared unfortunate. The palace of King Ashurnasirpal II (842-859 BC) was discovered during excavations in the middle of the 19th century on the Nimrud hill. and on Kuyunjik Hill rising against Mosul on the other side of the Tigris River, where ancient Nineveh and the palace of Sennacherib (704-681 BC), one of the most powerful rulers of the Assyrian kingdom, were discovered. Then the library of the great Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (668-626 BC) was opened, which contained 30,000 volumes, representing clay tablets with cosmogonic myths, divination and incantation texts, medical, philosophical, astronomical, mathematical and philological works. – a key to the whole Assyro-Babylonian culture. Sending his dignitary Shadanu to Babylon, the king gave him the following instructions: “On the day you receive my letter, take with you Shuma, his brother Bel-eshir, Apla, and the artists of Bursippa whom you know …, collect all the tiles which are in their houses, and the tablets which are in the temple of Isis. Find the valuable tiles from which there are no copies in Assyria and bring them to me! I just wrote to the high priest and the mayor of Brosip that you, Shadanu, must keep these tiles in your warehouse and that no one should deny you tiles. If you see that a tile or ritual text is suitable for the palace, look for them, take them and bring them to the palace. ”

The libraries of the Balkan Peninsula. during Turkish slavery. During the conquest of Bulgaria by the Ottomans, many monastic libraries were destroyed, and the surviving manuscripts were mostly exported to the free Orthodox countries. It is interesting that the book treasures in the city of Plovdiv had a completely different fate. Turkish troops penetrated the territory of Southern Bulgaria and in 1363-1364 captured a number of settlements in Thrace. This happened at a time when the son of Orhan-Sultan Murad I Hudavendigyar (1362-1387) was on the sultan’s throne. In front of Plovdiv is the experienced military leader Lala Shahin. The resistance turned out to be meaningless at night, in the catacombs under the church “St. St. Constantine and Helena ”, the garrison, men, children and women left the city and the siege directly in the Rhodopes. The next day, the Metropolitan of Plovdiv, in white clothes and other noble citizens, went to Lala Shahin and handed him the symbolic key of Plovdiv on a pillow. Lala Shahin, pleased that he had not made any sacrifice, ordered the entry into our city to be without “gasаvat”, ie. without destroying it. Another thing that the Turkish governor of Plovdiv, Shehabeddin Pasha, did was to collect all the written information (archives and books) and create the Plovdiv library. And it was built in today’s Old Plovdiv. Ironically, during the liberation of Plovdiv in 1878 by the Russian troops, this library was set on fire by captain Burago’s dragoons and the chronicles of the greatness of our city – the thousands of scrolls of books from ancient Rome, Byzantium and the Latin Empire were destroyed.

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