Tuesday, June 30, 2015

When Libraries Burn

Forget the Internet - libraries are terrific.  This is not a statement meant to downplay the Internet as an informational source.  This is about holding the "real deal" in your hands.  And that real deal is information.  Just think about it:  holding a book (well OK maybe a later edition copy of the original) is like holding history in your hands.  But if you are fortunate enough to hold or gaze upon an ancient manuscript consider yourself extremely fortunate; you may be seeing things through the author's eyes.  Sadly, we have lost so many "originals."  

It is unfortunate that the library of Alexandria was under siege through war and politics.  Caesar's civil war burned, whether intentionally or by accident, a considerable amount of the libraries' contents.  While putting down a rebellion in Egypt, Roman Emperor Aurelian's military tactics, again whether intentional or by accident, destroyed even more.  Then we have Roman Emperor Theodosius in 391CE declaring all forms of heathenry, paganism, and all Christian sects not compatible to Roman Christianity outlawed.  This roman emperor also authorized that the Serapeum, one of the last active and important areas within the library at Alexandria destroyed.  The Serapeum was the general area that included the temple to the pagan god Serapis.  In all cases, many scrolls containing ancient wisdom were forever destroyed. 

A massive fire struck Copenhagen during 1728.  Three days, October 20-23, bore witness to much of the old city, including a book repository, destroyed by fire's flames. It is believed that the book depository held many ancient works pertaining to the heathen north, all lost.  

The Cotton Library (Sir Robert Cotton) within the Ashburnham House (Cotton's) in England was ravaged by fire 10/23/1731.  Many manuscripts were lost, although some managed to be saved.  This library contained much information about early Anglo-Saxon England.  

In all three cases, so much information of the ancients pagan and heathen worlds was lost, information that could be used in our modern world.  

Within Asatru and Heathenry today, we understand (or should understand) the importance of knowledge; obtaining it is a never ending quest.  We are given the examples of Wodan/Odin sacrificing himself to himself to gain the knowledge of the runes and the giving up of his eye to increase his knowledge from Mimir's Well.  That's how important knowledge and the experience gained from knowing, is.

In the future, when you hear of a book being banned for some silly reason or a public library closing, look very deeply for the reasons.  Political Correctness aways is a poor reason and should not be tolerated.

                                                 Copyright @2015 Terry Unger  



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