“Scientific works and entire libraries were set to torch kindled by the insane religious fanatics. We have already mentioned the Bishop of Yucatan, who burned the entire native literature of the Maya in the 1560's, and Bishop Theophilus, who destroyed much of the remnants of the Library of Alexandria (391). The Christian Roman emperor Valens ordered the burning of non-Christian books in 373. In 1109, the crusaders captured Tripoli, and after the usual orgy of butchery typifying the crusades (through this one did not yet include the murderous Teutonic Knights), they burned over 100,000 books of Muslim learning. In 1204, the fourth crusade captured Constantinople and sacked it with horrors unparalleled even in the bloody age of the crusades; the classical works that had survived until then were put to the torch by crusaders in what is generally considered the biggest single loss to classical literature. In the early 15th century, Cardinal Ximenes (Jimenez), who succeeded Torquemada as Grand Inquisitor and was directly responsible for the cruel deaths of 2,500 persons, had a haul of 24,000 books burned at Granada.”


Petr Beckman, A History of Pi
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A History of Pi A History of Pi by Petr Beckman
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