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US News Long-lost Roman library reemerges in Germany after 2,000 years in darkness

17:15  06 august  2018
17:15  06 august  2018 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Video: Archaeologists Uncover 1,850-Year-Old Roman Library In Germany (GeoBeats)

When the Romans expanded across Europe 2,000 years ago, they made inroads into almost every corner of the continent, fighting as far away as Scotland and sending its coins to what today is Estonia.

But Germany posed a particular challenge. In year 9 of our modern calendar system, the Romans suffered an embarrassing defeat in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest near the modern day city of Hannover. They never recovered from it and were permanently pushed back to the western side of the Rhine river that separates Germany from south to north, 50 miles away from Teutoburg. Centuries later, it was marauders from Germany that finally brought an end to the western half of the Roman empire.

Amateur treasure hunter, 45, unearths a 1,800-year-old Roman signet ring engraved with the goddess of Victory in a field in Somerset

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Despite several successful campaigns and raids by the Romans in the years after the battle, they never again attempted to conquer the Germanic territories east of the Rhine river. Roman casualties have been estimated at 15, 000 –20, 000 dead, and many of the officers were said to In Germany

In a report published this Thursday, September 17, Goethe University Frankfurt archaeologists announce the discovery of the remains of a long lost Roman village in a small town in Germany . The remains, estimated to date back to nearly 2 , 000 years ago

A photo made available by the Roman-Germanic Museum shows an archeological find in Cologne, Germany, Dec. 5 2017. (Hi-Flyfoto/Roman-German Museum of Cologne/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) © HI-FLYFOTO/ROMAN-GERMANIC MUSEUM OF COLOGNE/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock/Hi-Flyfoto/Roman-German... A photo made available by the Roman-Germanic Museum shows an archeological find in Cologne, Germany, Dec. 5 2017. (Hi-Flyfoto/Roman-German Museum of Cologne/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) Yet the Roman were quite active on the western side of the Rhine and they left behind a vast number of architectural masterpieces. Archeologists still keep discovering remnants of that part of German history. And one of the most astonishing buildings from that era — the country’s oldest known public library — is only now being uncovered. 

Built about 150 years after the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, its walls recently reemerged after centuries of darkness during the construction of a new community center right next to the city of Cologne’s famous cathedral. At first, when the walls were discovered last year, researchers assumed that they had come across a community hall dating back to the Roman era. But this summer, a more extensive analysis found that the building was most likely used to store up to 20,000 scrolls of parchment. (The estimate would put the Cologne library in the same category as the vast Library of Celsus that was built in Turkey at around the same time.)

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Roman . The Library will contain 10 years ’ worth of material that has been published in BBC History Magazine, fully searchable by Topic, Location, Period and Person. We will also be putting archive issues of our long -running History Extra podcast in the Library , for exclusive subscriber access.

An ancient city thought to have been founded in the era of Alexander the Great has been discovered after being lost in the sands of history for over 2 , 000 years . A coin discovered in the city shows the Parthian king Orodes II, who ruled between 57 BC to 37 BC, so it's likely the city was still in use long

A photo made available by the Roman-Germanic Museum shows an archeological find in Cologne, Germany, Dec. 5 2017. (HI-Flyfoto/Roman-Germanic Museum OF Cologne/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) © HI-FLYFOTO/ROMAN-GERMANIC MUSEUM OF COLOGNE/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock/Hi-Flyfoto/Roman-German... A photo made available by the Roman-Germanic Museum shows an archeological find in Cologne, Germany, Dec. 5 2017. (HI-Flyfoto/Roman-Germanic Museum OF Cologne/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) The room that researchers believe was used as a library was 65 feet long and 30 feet wide, with a 30 foot high ceiling, according to estimates. But what really captured the researchers' attention were the roughly 30-inch deep wall recesses, which bore striking similarities with the set-up of other rooms that were used as libraries during the Roman era.

So far, Roman libraries have mostly been found in Egypt or Italy and the Cologne find may be the first such discovery in the Roman Empire’s northwestern regions, which at its peak spanned France, Britain and western Germany.

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Some 40, 000 book scrolls were destroyed in the fire. Not at all connected with the Great Library , they were There are four Arabic sources, all at least 500 years after the supposed events, which mention the fate ^ a b Butler, Alfred, The Arab Conquest of Egypt – And the Last Thirty Years of the Roman

Across the empire, Roman emperors left their footprint by introducing currencies, occupying territories and constructing buildings that reflected a culture that prospered for centuries — though it was built on the exploitation and oppression of other peoples. And while the walls discovered in central Cologne may once have accommodated a library, the use of the word “public” still remains controversial.

In the 1st century A.D. — about 50-100 years before the Cologne building was constructed — Roman Emperor Augustus began to embrace state libraries. Originally a Greek concept, the Romans soon started building similarly impressive collections across their territory.

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Researchers have since raised doubts over how public those libraries really were, with the University of Georgia’s T. Keith Dix writing in 1994 that anecdotes from that time indicate that access remained mostly restricted to “authors close to imperial circles who might naturally be expected to have won access to libraries under imperial control.”

The Roman Empire’s official libraries also appear to have been used “for censorship of literature,” according to T. Keith Dix.

Which parchments the library’s vast wall recesses accommodated about 2,000 years ago will remain a mystery — parchment and papyrus were notoriously fragile and many libraries' collections just distintegrated from lack of care over the years — but Cologne visitors will soon at least be able to take a closer look at the building’s foundations. The community center’s parking lot that was supposed to be constructed on top of it will now host two fewer parking spaces than planned. Instead, a glass window on the ground will allow visitors to get a glimpse of an era long predating Europe’s current borders.

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