chapter  3
51 Pages

Science Lost, Science Regained: The Rise of Empiricism

Over a period of two centuries (starting from 200 BC), Romans became the dominant political power, assembling a vast empire that spread in all directions. When the illustrious city of Alexandria stood at the brink of military defeat in 31 BC, the romantic and ruthless Queen Cleopatra, seventh and last monarch of the Ptolemaic dynasty, used all her wiles to hold on to her kingdom as she fought to keep her dynasty alive. Even though she courted Julius Caesar and Mark Antony before the final battle with Rome, she could not stem the tide of Roman expansion. One battle between Egypt and Rome destroyed more than 100,000 scrolls of the great library of Alexandria. Later, Mark Anthony plundered a large library at Pergamon and presented 200,000 books to his lover Cleopatra to compensate for this terrible loss. Books were still valued treasure.