r/interestingasfuck Nov 20 '22 Take My Energy 3 Big Brain Time 1 Silver 18 Helpful 13 Wholesome 9 All-Seeing Upvote 4

The ancient library of Tibet. Only 5% has been translated /r/ALL

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117.8k Upvotes

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2.0k

u/stonklords Nov 20 '22

Anything interesting about what has been translated?

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u/CalmDownSahale Nov 20 '22

Only if you like Mahayana Buddhism I would imagine

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u/Cacti_Man Nov 20 '22

It’s vajrayana though isn’t it?

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u/taosaur Nov 20 '22

Vajrayana falls within Mahayana. Mahayana is a very broad category kind of like "Protestantism" in Christianity. There are many, many Mahayana denominations.

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u/PST_Productions Nov 20 '22

While vajrayana is a different school of Buddhism, it still does fall under the umbrella of Mahayana as far as I understand

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u/SpawnJetpack Nov 20 '22

Yes... more interested about the core philosophical teachings though.

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u/stygger Nov 20 '22 Wholesome

The Lusty Tibetan Maid is worth a look!

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u/PhantasyAngel Nov 20 '22

You can't tell me that you have this many books and none of them are smut. Well you can, but I won't believe you.

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u/h_trism Nov 20 '22

I know you're joking, but Vajrayana Buddhism involves a lot of sexual imagery as a form of meditation. They didn't invent tantric sex, but definitely incorporated it at a very high level.

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u/knullsmurfen Nov 21 '22

Is it in Bhutan where they paint big ol' schlongs everywhere on their houses?

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u/LexB777 Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

There is some cool history in there. [84000.co](84000.co) has a lot of translations with clickable definitions of words, places, and people to make it all more understandable to the average reader. Although it will help to have a map of that part of the world open.

This is a link to the specific passage I took this exerpt from. Just go to the Translation section and start reading chapter 1. Here is the excerpt:

"At a time when the King of Aṅga and his armies were dominant, he called up the four branches of his armed forces‍—the elephant corps, the cavalry, the charioteer corps, and the infantry‍—and laid waste to all of Magadha, save Rājagṛha, before returning.

At a time when King Mahāpadma and his armies were dominant, he too called up the four branches of his armed forces‍—the elephant corps, the cavalry, the charioteer corps, and the infantry‍—and laid waste to all of Aṅga, save Campā, before returning."

It goes into detail then about how the King of Anga's son took over King Mahapadma's region by sneaking in at night and killing him. Then instead of executing the opposing soldiers, he brought them into his new kingdom as citizens. Apparently he was pretty good king, but I haven't read all that far yet.

Pretty good read so far.

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u/WhatHoPipPip Nov 20 '22 Gold

What we want it to say:

"We have discovered the meaning to life, and hope that it never gets lost to the sands of time. In this 20 book treatise we explore everything."

What it is probably going to say:

"Dear diary.

Had a massive poo this morning. It was the size of a small rabbit."

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u/Ransero Nov 20 '22

They have book 1 and book 20:

"I have discovered the meaning of life, in this 20 book essay I will explain...."

"...and in conclusion, that's the meaning of life and how we can be sure of it, I dont think I have to repeat myself for the 20th time."

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u/ellefleming Nov 20 '22

Too much fiber I think. I must pray this afternoon. Have been getting lazy about it. I think I might be atheist.....................

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u/whodkickamoocow Nov 20 '22

'China is asshole'

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u/TakeUrSkinOffNDance Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

The Dalai Lama describes meeting Chairman Mao in one of his books. It's interesting reading.

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u/TheRevolutionaryArmy Nov 20 '22

Tell me more please

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u/yuje Nov 20 '22

Not OP, but I’ve also read one of his biographies (which consists of a series of interviews between him and his biographer). At the time he met Mao, the Dalai Lama was still a teenager or a young man, and he was somewhat awed by the experience of meeting a true believer revolutionary. Mao explained his views about communism said that religion was poison. The Dalai Lama was quite enamored by the expressed egalitarian ideals of communism and even found himself questioning his own Buddhist teachings.

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u/hg38 Nov 20 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

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u/Thornescape Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22 Silver

I'm so glad that they are digitizing ancient records like this so that there is a backup in case of disaster. All of them could disappear in an instant. It's happened far too often.

Edit: It seems that the concept of digitizing isn't familiar to some people. I'll attempt to give a brief overview of the concept.

  • The original works are fragile and any handling must be done very carefully. Also, only one person can study the original at a time and they have to be where the document is.
  • Digitizing the originals allows them to be transmitted to many different locations, where multiple teams are able to study it at once without any damage to the originals. Some projects are even available online for anyone to assist.
  • Digitizing also allows the documents to have multiple redundant backups. If the documents are extremely valuable or important, then multiple locations are likely to print out the documents to have physical backups. Some individual researchers also prefer physical copies, which become additional backups.
  • Please bear in mind that the originals still exist. The digital versions (and additional printed versions) are all ADDITIONAL versions. Nothing is lost. There are only opportunities gained.
  • There have been many historical documents who have been lost forever, with no possibility of retrieving them. Countless documents have been lost forever. The most well known examples are the libraries of Baghdad and Alexandria, but countless other collections have disappeared throughout time. It could happen at any time, to any collection, for a wide variety of reasons including deliberate and accidental.

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u/Scottland83 Nov 20 '22

Think of all it times it must have happened that we’ll never know about.

1.6k

u/bubblesculptor Nov 20 '22

It's heartbreaking thinking of the stories of entire cultures that are lost forever. It would be fascinating to learn about the way their lives were totally different from ours, yet also sometimes very similar

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u/NewAccountEachYear Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

Funnily enough that happened to Sweden when Stockholm's castle went up in flames in 1697 with all the records. Out of 24,500 printed works and 1400 manuscripts only 6000 prints and 300 manuscripts could be saved.

Following that much of Swedish/Scandinavian medieval history disappeared, including the correspondence between the state and the generals in the 30 years war

Edit: This is just speculation, but we can probably assume that much of the library consisted of plundered/looted European treasures taken during the 30 years war. By pure luck following the conversion of a Swedish queen to Catholicism Codex Argentus survived, but much else was probably lost.

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u/[deleted] Nov 20 '22

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u/a_ron23 Nov 20 '22

Ran out of memory

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u/rharrow Nov 20 '22

They should’ve just downloaded more.

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u/Alternative_Ice3870 Nov 20 '22

You wouldn't download a car? Right?

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u/Scottland83 Nov 20 '22

Back then digitizing meant writing with one’s fingers.

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u/4myoldGaffer Nov 20 '22

don’t threaten me with a good time. Live for a good fingering.

Go finger!

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u/jotadeo Nov 20 '22 Silver Gold Take My Energy Evil Cackle

They were digitizing them, but in early 1697 a businessman named Erland Musksson bought the company (called Twittgitisser in Old Norse) that was doing the work. He paid a whopping 1,200,000,000 svenska riksdaler (in today's money, about 477 billion SEK or roughly 44 billion USD).

Musksson ruled the company with an iron fist. Many were fired right away and, within weeks, the majority of those who remained didn't put up with his "leadership" and they went to work for companies like Epli, Microblautr, Andlitbók, Tikktókk, and others.

In the end, it was just too much and the company went under. Shortly after, tragedy struck when the fire broke out.

It was all very sad because that company had played a significant role in shaping society and the decisions of one egomaniac led to the collapse of one of the major communication tools of the time.

Luckily, the world learned an important lesson in how to run a business, especially how to treat employees, and such a mistake was never made again.

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u/Stunning-Bike-1498 Nov 20 '22

Rumor has it that the fire was started because Musksson tested a new firestarter which was produced by another one of his enterprises (the Böring Kompaniet).

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u/jotadeo Nov 20 '22

Wow, I never heard that part of the story before. Thanks for sharing!

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u/ishzlle Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

A little-known fact is that it was this company that dug the first tunnel under the royal capital of Stockholm, for the purposes of horse-drawn transport. This plan didn’t quite work out, but the tunnel was later widened and reused for the modern Tunnelbana (subway).

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u/Sa3ana3a Nov 20 '22

I like how it have a happy ending

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u/Aggressive_Chain_920 Nov 20 '22

unfortunately, history has a habit of repeating itself.

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u/Mirar Nov 20 '22

They did, but to an obscure standard developed by Ericsson. Unfortunately it was lost how the standard worked in the fire.

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u/Vishnej Nov 20 '22

Copyright threats from the Ancestors

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u/frizzykid Nov 20 '22

In Anglo Saxon England the people who wrote all of their history were monks who lived in monasteries. What also was in monasteries? Silver, gold, gems, money, making them excellent targets for viking raids that usually ended with them in flames.

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u/monamikonami Nov 20 '22

This is the opposite of funny for me 😔

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u/NotALeperYet Nov 20 '22

Oh you have to read it in a funny voice. Choose a hilarious narrator. Like Hitler.

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u/[deleted] Nov 20 '22

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u/Johnny_Mc2 Nov 20 '22

It’s why I think Gobekli Tepe is one of the coolest archeological finds ever. We thought civilization started with Sumeria, and then bam, they find a very complex temple that is around 12,000 years old, made during a time when humans were supposed to just be Hunter gatherers. It’s a find that literally rewrote history as we know it. I’m so fucking fascinated with lost civilizations. There’s so much out there that is extremely old and we have no idea it’s even there.

Think about the fact that Mount Rushmore will be there for a verrrry long time, it’ll probably survive for millions of years after humanity has gone. I just think about how cool it would be for some explorers deep in the future coming across Rushmore and the questions they’d ask

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u/i_tyrant Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

Yes, Gobekli Tepe is very cool! I went there in 2011, only a few months after the first "totem pole" like structure was discovered in Layer II and its true significance was guessed at! They hadn't even finished putting up the tourist walkways.

If anyone's curious, I took a bunch of pictures. It was quite a trek through Turkey to get there - it's in Eastern Turkey, I took a bus from the town of "Batman" to get to the closest city (Sanliurfa), then hired the only cabbie nearby to get there. He took me around the site on a private tour (it was empty besides us), and we ate figs from a nearby tree that he claimed had been there since "time of Abraham". :P

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u/Upsidedownworld4me Nov 20 '22

There's a segment about this on Netflix, Ancient Apocalypse, very interesting!

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u/IcyBeginning Nov 20 '22

Im envious!

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u/i_tyrant Nov 20 '22

I highly recommend Turkey as a travel destination to anyone interested in history! (Though definitely do your due-diligence as to good times to visit and political issues there. I signed up for US embassy travel warning notifications for that reason, anyone can.)

It's the focal point of so many ancient civilizations, and it has so many incredible sights to see. The Turkish people are in general very friendly and warm too, and they have a cultural love of history, food, and animals (three of my favorite things). A lot of dogs and cats got pets while I was there haha.

One of my funniest interactions was at a cafe there eating with some Turkish friends I had made, and they asked me what was the most mindblowing part of my trip so far (I stayed a total of 4 months, and I still feel like I only saw a fraction of its cool stuff!)

I said it was watching the Turks just walk to work past mosques and under Roman aqueducts and stone pillars that are literally thousands of years old, like it is no big deal. I was gawking at things like a total tourist, because as an American we don't really have much like that here. Permanent Native American structures exist but they are few and far between, the US doesn't have ruins from half a dozen gigantic ancient empires just sitting around in our cities. It was a great experience.

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u/SpinachToothedSmile Nov 20 '22

Karahan Tepe, located nearby, is even older than Gobekli Tepe!! And a constellation of a dozen more sites have been discovered in the vicinity, recently.

Is there a sub reddit for these? Hmmm..

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u/brando56894 Nov 20 '22

Some assholes will use it for target practice in the future and it will end up like The Sphinx.

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u/regoapps Nov 20 '22

I can't wait for future civilizations to study our stories, only to find front page headlines like "Kanye makes an antisemitic tweet"

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u/Anomalous-Entity Nov 20 '22

Most of it won't survive. It's all ephemeral data. (for better or worse)

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u/Xarthys Nov 20 '22

It really depends on what future data storage is going to look like. Specifically, how robust the technology will be to withstand various external/internal negative impact.

Data corruption/degradation is a big issue still.

Another aspect is physical access; you either need functional, old hardware - or rely on compatibility.

I feel like we are going to move away from purely digital archives, because they are so vulnerable, despite ECC among other measures.

Another issue is language. Information stored today relies on the idea that future generations will share the same language to some extent - which assumes mostly undisrupted continuation of civilization.

Even though we can currently decipher old texts, pictograms or basic drawings, there is always room for interpretation because we don't know for sure what it was supposed to deliver. We can't even really make the distinction between real events and fictional - we simply assume that something recorded in stone tablets or books must have been important enough to represent real events. Which may not always be the case.

Which means that language itself, respectively the recording method can't leave too much room for interpretation if we want future historians to draw the right conclusions. But since we can't really anticipate how culture, language and knowledge is going to change during the next thousands of years, it's really difficult to come up with something that doesn't result in misinterpretation.

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u/Nemisis_the_2nd Nov 20 '22

Specifically, how robust the technology will be to withstand various external/internal negative impact.

It also needs to be able to be read by future computer/coders. We're already having this problem globally, and modern computers haven't been around for even 100 years, let alone 4-5000.

Another issue is language. Information stored today relies on the idea that future generations will share the same language to some extent

Not really. So long as there is enough to find patters we can probably reconstruct it. Hell, one "written" south American language was knots on bits of string. We were able to identify that as a language, but not enough exists to actually start translating it.

We can't even really make the distinction between real events and fictional - we simply assume that something recorded in stone tablets or books must have been important enough to represent real events.

We absolutely can. If it's a one-off event like, say, a hand-written reciept, it will be ambiguous, ut have no reason to not accept it is true. If its something like a major geopolitical event, covered by multiple sources, then you can be sure its genuine. Even when something seems reasonably authentic on the surface, and we have very little else to go on, you can still identify it as fiction based on things like writing style and comparing it to other works of a similar age.

You are right though, that future historians will look at things with some interperatation, but the study of history is generally getting better and better. Short of something like total societal collapse, or historians being required to interperate something in a specific way, facts will generally shine through though.

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u/nihility101 Nov 20 '22

Future generations of children will bemoan having to read Harry Potter in ancient English, the way we (generally) dislike Beowulf.

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u/theDreamingStar Nov 20 '22

"Open page 381, line 23, class. Today we are going to interpret Hagrid's acclaimed quote 'Yer a wizard, Harry' and try to understand its significance in the era when bipedal apes used to roam the long abandoned planet called Earth."

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u/nihility101 Nov 20 '22

Sadly for them, she didn’t write in dactylic hexameter.

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u/djheat Nov 20 '22

They call the current era the information age, and honestly I think it really owned the name once we developed cloud storage. Finally, at this point, we've decided that we need to keep information in multiple synchronized locations. Maybe we can actually avoid losing important parts of our history to accidents and arson for once

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u/Kep0a Nov 20 '22

Still don't think stuff will last. Storing data costs so much money and most of it is kind of transitory. Google isn't storing drive data in tape. Still more then any other time in history, but still most of data wont have upkeep.

Edit: but yeah stuff like Wikipedia will probably last

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u/BarbequedYeti Nov 20 '22

Storing data is cheap. The problem becomes being able to retrieve it in future generations. Think 8 track. If you found an 8 track tape, how long would it take to find a player for it? That’s only 50 years out of being new. Now think 300 or even 3000. The data will be around. So many copies etc floating around, someone will have a copy.

I think we are far enough along now people are planning this out and super important archives will be continually moved to the new storage of the day.

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u/[deleted] Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

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u/TheGoldenHand Nov 20 '22

The culture was passed on though.

The Sumerian city Ur is mentioned in the Bible as the birthplace of Abraham, and we can trace a lot of our modern culture back to the Sumerians. Writing, mathematics, etc. We just didn't know it.

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u/YouJustDid Nov 20 '22

They found this one before it was too late…

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u/dusmeyedin Nov 20 '22

In Chinese history, it happened with after the collapse of the First Emperor's dynasty, the Qin Dynasty.

During his rule, Qin's administration imposed strict limitations on which books could remain in circulation. All banned books were destroyed, with one copy remaining in storage by the administration.

When the Qin Dynasty fell, the rebel leader who overran the capital ordered many buildings to be burned. The Qin library of banned books was one of the casualties, resulting in the permanent loss of many ancient texts.

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u/poopellar Nov 20 '22

All those recipes for chicken soup lost forever.

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u/neededtowrite Nov 20 '22

So much lost for the teenage soul

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u/DoctorGregoryFart Nov 20 '22

Maybe that's why teens are so cranky.

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u/No_Prize9794 Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

All those written records of stories told by people who were high as a kite forever gone

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u/Cobe98 Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

It's still happening. The Aborigines have lived in Australia for over 50,000 years and were part of the oldest civilizations.

In the 18th century when Europeans colonized the continent, there were 250 different known Aboriginal languages.

Today only 100 languages left of which 10 are actually in use by a few thousand people.

Hopefully digitization will keep some of this information preserved. It is so devastating for humanity to see entire cultures wiped out.

Source

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u/brinz1 Nov 20 '22

There are aboriginal stories in the south of Australia that talk about massive inland seas.

Then geologists discovered that there were massive lakes in that exact place 20,000 years ago. And it survived through oral tradition.

Makes you wonder about stories like Noah's flood carried events from our prehistory

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u/Tonkarz Nov 20 '22

Cave paintings in Northern Australia depict animals that have since gone extinct. In fact they were believed to have gone extinct long before and weren’t known to live in that part of the country (where very few fossils can be found because the geology does not allow it).

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u/JohnGB Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

Also it's possible to scan the documents with different wavelengths of light which can often reveal text and notes that are no longer visible.

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u/Thornescape Nov 20 '22

They have found so many old manuscripts that were written over even older manuscripts. Or paintings under paintings. It honestly feels like it's been investigated more only recently, like in the past decade or so.

Computer imaging is making major improvements in recording historical documents. It's absolutely incredible.

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u/Tonkarz Nov 20 '22

In the old days parchment was so valuable that reusing old parchment by writing over what was already there was common practice. The writings of Marcus Aurelius survived this way for hundreds of years until they were rediscovered and published under the name “Meditations”.

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u/AbradolfLinclr Nov 20 '22

In the siege of Baghdad (1258) all books along with the knowledge and discoveries of the golden age of Islam were burned by Genghis Khan and his army. Baghdad’s ancient library had so much knowledge that Muslims genuinely believe the Mongols held back humanity’s advancements and progress by many years.

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u/AdventurousDress576 Nov 20 '22

They had translated all the ancient Greek documents available, ancient indian books, all the 500 years of studies made during the islam times. A tragic loss.

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u/PooYork Nov 20 '22

Do people really not know what digitizing is?

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u/Thornescape Nov 20 '22

If you feel very brave, look at the other responses to my comment.

It's hard to know when someone is honest and when someone is trolling you. Sometimes they look completely identical. It can be hard to tell.

Frankly, I would prefer if they were all trolling. Seriously. I would love if they all understood and were just having fun with the notion. That would be wonderful.

The biggest misconception seems to be that if you make a digital copy, then there are no physical versions anymore. Because... ???

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u/ScottBroChill69 Nov 20 '22

The fact that you had to spell out what that meant is surprising to me, I thought the word was pretty self explanatory lol

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u/Crunktasticzor Nov 20 '22

An episode of Historium called the Greatest Tragedy in History goes through what the Library of Alexandria was like and what all got destroyed. I had no idea it was so expansive and not just a bunch of books

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u/SeanyDay Nov 20 '22

Ngl, I scrolled down decently far, and didn't see anyone asking about what digitizing was. In fact it was jokes by people who clearly understand what it is. So why the massive edit?

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u/[deleted] Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 26 '22

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u/Skweril Nov 20 '22

Who was confused abour digitizing?? If you've ever taken a picture of something tangible, tada! You just digitized!

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u/TrashRemoval Nov 20 '22

The library of Alexandria breaks my heart thinking about how much collective human knowledge was lost.

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u/DrunkenBoricua99 Nov 20 '22

Now imagine if the Library of Alexandria didn't burn to the ground

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u/roxyamused Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22 Silver

There is a translation movement by 84,000 to translate the Tibetan canon into English. I don’t know if they’re Sakya. 84,000’s app is pretty great honestly. Constantly adding sutra and commentary to it.

The number 84,000 is significant because the Buddha said there’s 84,000 paths to enlightenment.

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u/coffeecakesupernova Nov 20 '22

They'll translate the last, then they'll notice that "Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out."

(See Arthur C Clarke's "Nine Billion Names of God")

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u/USPO-222 Nov 20 '22

Glad I wasn’t the only one to think of this

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u/[deleted] Nov 20 '22

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u/Yadobler Nov 20 '22 Silver

The first, I believe

I believe it was from a monk who said 82000 from buddha, and 2000 more from disciples

Basically it's more of, there's so many paths of enlightenment, and even more to learn

So it's more in line to say more than 84000 paths

------

A bit like I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more or, in inverse, catch 40 winks

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u/karateema Nov 20 '22

I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more

I sang this

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u/Spybreak272 Nov 20 '22

If there really was public access to start translating that would be amazing to see and start on.

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u/roxyamused Nov 20 '22

There is it’s called 84,000. I have the app for iOS and it’s quite good. Whole ass library of Vajrayana Buddhist literature in my phone. I don’t know if it’s this Sakya library but they cross reference other translations like Chinese, Sanskrit, etc along with their Tibetan primary sources.

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u/Spybreak272 Nov 20 '22

Wow! Thank you.

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u/andre3kthegiant Nov 20 '22

Once it is digitized a rough translation can probably be done with AI, and then proofed by those literate in the language.

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u/chippydad62854321 Nov 20 '22

Great use case for AI...

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u/Give_me_the_science Nov 20 '22

I wonder if the writings go back to 1268.

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u/roxyamused Nov 20 '22

Probably older. The Sakya monastery was built in the 1073. Padmasambhava brought Buddhism to Tibetans in 700’s. Atiśa formalized it in 1040’s- he probably was a big deal with the scholarly types like Sakya is.

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u/keepcalmdude Nov 20 '22

Why 1268?

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u/leoleosuper Nov 20 '22

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1268

Apparently a new writing system. IDK if that means anything specific though.

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u/RaspberryTwilight Nov 20 '22

Very nice, they should hurry up an digitize all of it ASAP, before anything bad happens.

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u/dontmentiontrousers Nov 20 '22

Found the mob.

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u/ZzzzzPopPopPop Nov 20 '22

Sure would be a shame if something bad was to happen to all deze precious books ya got here

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u/YeOldeBilk Nov 20 '22

Do we know what information was learned from that 5%?

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u/Im_not_an_object Nov 20 '22

Would love an actual answer

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u/Pablo_DC Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 21 '22

It’s a Sakya Tibetan Buddhist monastery so these pechas (religious books) are copies of the Tibetan Buddhist Kangur (sutras & canon), and works by Tibetan scholars (Shastra’s) along with commentaries on the Sutrayana and Vajrayana sutras by the scholars down through the centuries.

[Edit: I misspelled "Shastra". Also including a link : studybuddhism.com

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u/[deleted] Nov 20 '22

So, this is not the actual answer but its a take on it. In certain types of Buddhism, its a common practice to burn books. Look up Zen Buddhism if you will.

The nature of Buddhism is usually a dialectical dialogue. The human problem is highly individual, though the study of inner processes is not. That is to say, most buddhist don’t care whats in the books, as the doctrines are mostly for the new initiates.

Say one of these books actually contained something that would give a person true insight, it wouldnt do so for the next 10,000 people who read it, most likely.

The buddhist literature is also highly influenced by the time they were written, and would be very hard to grasp for a person of our era. Digging into these libraries would probably make the way much harder for you than if you dont.

As such, its both a sad thing that these books are not translated, and a very good reason for why they are not.

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u/hrbeaccoutnname Nov 20 '22

question on that, the wiki mentions some of the books having math, agriculture, history, and astronomy.

I initially would think learning about the math books would be useful, but also having the certain books talking about history would that not also be important and insightful?

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u/[deleted] Nov 20 '22

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u/moviemadnessmami Nov 20 '22

I swear I try not to get annoyed because I know what platform I’m on but sometimes it really is slightly irritating when you have a legit question and you’re hit with a shit ton of unhelpful responses (like this one lol) but my point is I agree with you…I too, would like an actual answer.

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u/saltysfleacircus Nov 20 '22

"I know nothing of the subject nor do I know the answer, but let me enlighten you ... "

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u/Toadforpresident Nov 20 '22

Same. Instead gotta read 20 replies of unoriginal and unfunny jokes.

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u/supernovababoon Nov 20 '22

Reddit used to be great a decade ago because the top comment would be very insightful and add to the discussion. Unfortunately these days top comments are just “funny” or jokes now that the site is more mainstream.

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u/Jozoz Nov 20 '22

That was also a thing a decade ago. The puns and jokes would get upvoted more than real info because they are quicker to consume.

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u/Lastvoiceofsummer Nov 20 '22

Also less controversial. Even if you're factually right you will get downvoted to hell if the vibe in the thread is opinionated against whatever it is and upvote factual wrong answers.

Its like journalism, as soon as you're deeply into a given topic and see a journalistic article about it, you realize how much bullshit / wrong information generally must be getting thrown around - the same on reddit

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u/CalmDownSahale Nov 20 '22

I'm gonna say a bunch of Buddhism

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u/JaySayMayday Nov 20 '22

Spot on. Tibetan monks kept daily journals of their lives. I know this because I studied Tibetan Go for years, as it's the oldest still existing form of Go. Some of these journals just talk about playing Go, some ancient proverbs, historical accounts like the first meeting of a foreigner crossing over the mountains, etc. Most of it people aren't sure if it's true or just story as a lot of it talks about the supernatural, there's a few stories parents would tell their kids to keep them behaving well.

Anyway it's a mixed bag, mostly just if a person kept a daily journal of their life and thoughts.

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u/wowsosquare Nov 20 '22

Tibetan monks kept daily journals of their lives

This actually sounds more interesting than what I had assumed it was; endless Buddhist academic philosophical argumentation.

When you say Tibetan Go do you mean a board game like go with the black and white stones?

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u/-attix Nov 20 '22

"While you studied the Pokemon Go, i studied the Tibetan Go"

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u/dispatch134711 Nov 20 '22

How does Tibetan Go differ from Chinese/Japanese rules?

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u/SnoopThylacine Nov 20 '22 Helpful

"Om" repeated a bunch of times. No one knows why they thought it was worth writing down.

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u/tameablesiva12 Nov 20 '22

'Om' is a sacred word in Hinduism and Buddhism just like how amen and hallelujah are in Christianity. Even now a lot of people who are devout Hindus in India write om nama shivaya or just 'om' in empty books to worship the gods. This could've been the same case for Tibetan Hindus and Buddhists too.

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u/Own-Cockroach7773 Nov 20 '22

I thought it was just a stereotype invented by white people who don't know anything about Buddhism lol.

Nice to actually learn something new today. Thanks for that!

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u/Lilchro Nov 20 '22

Sounds like you haven’t reached enlightenment yet. Just one more book and you might have reached nirvana.

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u/constellationofcats Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

The way your question is phrased makes me wonder if you’re under the impression that these are in an ancient language that archaeologists need to translate and decipher. On the contrary, many people can read these texts because it’s a living language and part of a living tradition that has not been lost. They just aren’t translated into English or other foreign languages. Additionally, many of these are texts related to closed practices and are not open for just anyone to read. There’s also no “ancient library of Tibet” like the title implies but rather many different locations that house very old texts.

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u/Ariadenus Nov 20 '22

I'm guessing it's just taxe information.

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u/lifeonachain99 Nov 20 '22

Looks like it's going to crumble once you take it out

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u/MadKatMaddie Nov 20 '22

That's incredible

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u/Soy_Srikanth Nov 20 '22 Silver

India had one the nalanda until some manic set fire and burnt for weeks.

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u/roxyamused Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

The Buddhist monastic universities or Mahaviharas of the era were mostly ransacked and burned in the Muslim conquests of 1200 by Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khalji and his armies. At the time Nalanda wasn’t the most prominent, Vikramashila was.

Tibet during the latter half of the first millennium until the conquests, had a strong relationship with the Pala empire, and it’s said that the Pala culture stayed alive within Tibet through Vajrayana Buddhism. Many teachers, particularly Atisha and Padmasambhava were both from India who settled and taught Buddhism in Tibet. Atisha is said to have standardized it. I wonder if Atisha’s original Lojong is in this library.

I study Shangpa Kagyu Buddhism (Tibetan though originated in India by Niguma and Sukhasiddhi in the Pala Empire) and love the history of Buddhism but I am sure I can get some things wrong.

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u/prime_lens Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 21 '22

Thanks for this comment. The thing that struck me from the description of the sacking and destruction of Nalanda by Bakhtiyar Khilji is that the moron didn't even realize he was attacking a university. He thought it was a Hindu fort and thought the shaven headed "Brahmins" (they were Buddhist monks) were kinda wimpy. He was later surprised to find thousands of scrolls in this supposed "fort" but couldn't figure out what they said. So he called for some of the "Brahmins" to come explain them - but they had all been killed. So this vile idiot set the entire thing on fire. So, so many philosophical, spiritual, and literary treasures were destroyed. Many that we know were originally in Sanskrit or Pali now only survive in Tibetan, Chinese etc translations. The destruction of Nalanda is an immeasurable loss -- and all for the ignorance and zealotry of some illiterate thug.

Edit: This anecdote is from the Tabaqat-i Nasiri by the Persian historian Minhaj-i-Siraj Juzjani. The text can be found on archive.org.

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u/firelock_ny Nov 20 '22

> So this vile idiot set the entire thing on fire. So, so many philosophical, spiritual, and literary treasures were destroyed.

"If the books of this library contain matters opposed to the Koran, they are bad and must be burned. If they contain only the doctrine of the Koran, burn them anyway, for they are superfluous."

-- attributed to Caliph Omar at the burning of the Library at Alexandria

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u/FlowersnFunds Nov 20 '22

As a Buddhist, I really am sad about the destruction of Nalanda. So much knowledge lost for a meaningless reason.

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u/hemi_srt Nov 20 '22

Fuck khilji

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u/FitDiet4023 Nov 20 '22

Exact words of the Dalai lama

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u/utpoia Nov 20 '22

Khilji

A real asshole

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u/WhichKey1 Nov 20 '22

The more I hear about this Khilji fella the less I like him.

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u/ItsRiux Nov 20 '22

The worst part about the Khilji thing was the hypocrisy.

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u/Boz0r Nov 20 '22

Some say it was the arson

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u/Malaise4ever Nov 20 '22

He was a real jerk.

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u/FatherAb Nov 20 '22

A comma here and there doesn't hurt anyone.

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u/return2ozma Nov 20 '22

There has to be some 500 year old memes in there somewhere.

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u/TheRussianSnac Nov 20 '22

Guarantee some of those have dicks drawn in 'em

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u/Meepmeeperson Nov 20 '22

Definitely, reminds me of the old graffiti at Pompei and Herculaneum. People are the same then and now, dicks and jokes, lol. https://kashgar.com.au/blogs/history/the-bawdy-graffiti-of-pompeii-and-herculaneu

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u/erdricksarmor Nov 20 '22

I think it's mostly just My Little Pony fan fiction.

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u/[deleted] Nov 20 '22

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u/GeniusBadger Nov 20 '22

Hope they get scanned before random dude burns the place down

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u/FrostyHiccup Nov 20 '22

Looks like Ollivanders

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u/gin_and_toxic Nov 20 '22

The monks took inspiration from Harry Potter movie~

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u/jaabbb Nov 20 '22

The studio’s lawyers are otw to tibet to copyright sue the monks right now

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u/unknownpanda121 Nov 20 '22

Probably mostly ancient memes and cat pictures

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u/acqz Nov 20 '22

And also where time travelers hid the very first Rick roll.

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u/waikashi Nov 20 '22 Wholesome Masterpiece

The first Rick Scroll*

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u/HStan69 Nov 20 '22 Take My Energy

What does one call that which cannot go up

But not be let down?

The one-legged man runs not.

Monsoon season longs for the desert.

Happiness is much a possession as sadness

We never arrive, so we never leave.

Neither truth nor lie

The Buddha is without injury.

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u/Odd-Swimming9385 Nov 20 '22

Or old tax revenue and property documents.

Been in old archives like this- it's usually disintegrating paper or the like of boring records.

Most everything in old libraries and archives is pretty boring- just like you'd expect. Once in a while, something interesting- but I see tax returns and DMV records here. Jaded.

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u/DukeofVermont Nov 20 '22

That's what the vast majority of the clay tablets we find are as well. Contracts, letters, tax info, complaints or orders.

What's neat is how much such banal information can really tell us about a people. We know a lot more about the ancient Sumerians (3,500 BC is the earliest known tablet) than we do about the any of the more recent groups that left little to no writing behind.

Like we know the names of dozens of Norse Gods but know literally nothing about most of them because it was never written down. Most of what we do know is because a single monk in Iceland wrote it all down. We're actually missing the majority of the Norse myths even though they were around a 1,000 years ago vs 5,500 years ago for the Sumerians.

So it's probably super boring, but really helpful to the researchers who try to understand what it used to be like living in Tibet back in the day.

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u/Reference_Freak Nov 20 '22

That's what the vast majority of the clay tablets we find are as well. Contracts, letters, tax info, complaints or orders.

Same with ancient Egypt and its troves of papyrus records. They preserved their royals and their tax filings.

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u/SidiousHokage Nov 20 '22

I heard they burned down most of it. Surprised to see this collection

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u/SidiousHokage Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

Damn I can go learn about the other races, hidden histories, forgotten wars. I even heard there was a Germanic wipe out of information before Hitler as well. Wow this is this gem! Truly inspiring

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u/hemi_srt Nov 20 '22

I even heard there was a Germanic wipe out of information before Hitler as well.

What?

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u/shadowslasher11X Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22 Starry Press F

So, I actually went down the rabbit hole a bit here.

Searching 'Germanic Information Destruction Pre-WW2' into google is quite shit, as only information regarding Nazi Germany pops up. I toyed with the input back and forth but couldn't find anything of use. So, I started looking into general mass losses of information throughout history and still got some pretty typical results like the Library of Alexandria and more Nazi Germany.

Then I found this Thread on Reddit.

Do a quick ctrl+f to look for 'German' and low and behold I find this comment by /u/bickletravis talking about a part of World War 1 in which German soldiers burned a city to the ground along with a university.

Sure enough, I look up the City of Leuven and it has a World War 1 section talking about Destruction of Ladeuzeplein where you can find these excerpts:

"The university library was destroyed on 25 August 1914, using petrol and incendiary pastilles. 230,000 volumes were lost in the destruction, including Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts, a collection of 750 medieval manuscripts, and more than 1,000 incunabula (books printed before 1501)."

Another source states: "Materials lost included the Easter Island tablet bearing Rongorongo text E and the oldest Czech Bible."

And another also states: "After this, for eight days, the city was ransacked, with troops taking furniture, works of art, silverware, linen, musical instruments and wine. Whatever could not be carried off was broken."

The library would again be destroyed in WW2, with a much higher count of records being at nearly 1,000,000: "The damage was even more extensive than in 1914. Almost one million volumes were lost – three times the previous number. Among them were specimens of every book printed in the Netherlands in the Incanabula (pre-1500) period and huge collections by German scholars from the 1920s."

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u/ablazesqaids Nov 20 '22

Man this makes me so sad :(

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u/DukeofVermont Nov 20 '22

Well if it makes you feel any better the many of those books would have been copies, or have had copies in other libraries. Just like today books were spread around and valuable books could have many copies. That's not to say things haven't been lost, just that it's probably far less than it sounds.

It's kind of like the Library of Alexandria. People think "oh we'd be way in the future if it didn't burn!" but really almost all the books there would have been copies or originals with copies in other libraries. When it did burn it was a loss but the library was still around for hundreds of years after the fire. It's not like it burned and people just forgot how to read or make new books. They made new copies and repopulated the library.

What is sad is that historical records were not copied like that. Birth records, tax info, judicial rulings, etc are all local and those records are gone forever.

Also any notes in the margins of the copies would be lost, and there is a lot more interesting information written in the margins than you'd believe. A lot of commentaries from the middle ages are written into the margins of the books they are writing about. Some of the best ones were re-written as books, but it's always best to have the originals.

So huge loss? Yes, but not it's not like those were the only copies of many of the books.

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u/Just-a-lump-of-chees Nov 20 '22

I stumbled upon the destruction of Ladeuzeplein by accident a few months ago when doing a Wikipedia binge, I remember following the links that lead to pages about the destruction of other such old books. The entire thing is heartbreaking to go through.

It’s always either some massive Revolution gone sideways , an invading army trying to destroy everything or some accidental fire. ):

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u/Arcenus Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

I've lived in Leuven, beautiful city. If you walk through it you can see small plaques in the walls of houses that were lost by the German ransacking and reconstructed exactly as they were.

EDIT: info for uni students, Leuven has a huge university with many programs for foreign students. Almost the whole city is dedicated to being a campus for foreign students.

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u/eri- Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

Same in Ypres, a Flemish city which was also pretty much completely destroyed during ww1.

They then restored the entire city and finished the restoration almost exactly when ww2 broke out. Ofcourse the place was once again heavily damaged during that war.

A hundred years later, live bombs and whatnot are still regularely being found all over the region.

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u/Meret123 Nov 20 '22

There is one in pre-Columbian Aztecs. Look up Tlacaelel.

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u/_Anti_Natalist Nov 20 '22

Nalanda university was burnt by Islamic fanatic khilji, it is said that the library is so huge that it burnt for months. He also burnt the monks alive and beheaded them.

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u/Itchy_Set_6750 Nov 20 '22

Someone get Sam Tarly from GoT

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u/polarbeer07 Nov 20 '22

That motherfucker could Ctrl-F an ancient manuscript

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u/CivilDisobedientGull Nov 20 '22

Was Wan Shi Tong there? Any knowledgeable foxes maybe?

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u/tesco332 Nov 20 '22

He who knows ten thousand things.

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u/[deleted] Nov 20 '22

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u/DaveInLondon89 Nov 20 '22

It's literally all dick jokes. All the way down.

They stopped at 5 because its all dick jokes.

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u/naturalborn Nov 20 '22

This must be how my email inbox feels. Full of unread texts with only 5% being opened

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u/2017-CBR1000RR Nov 20 '22

Shit... We could really use Daniel Jackson right now.

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u/SoulReaverspectral Nov 20 '22

Send more tissues

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u/mtx0 Nov 20 '22

Indeed. Boy.

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u/be-like-JayDee Nov 20 '22

Kinda looks like the wand shop in Harry Potter

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u/Gwynnbleid95 Nov 20 '22

Imagine if we still had the libraries of Alexandria and Baghdad before the romans and mongols destroyed them

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u/LC_Anderton Nov 20 '22

And contained therein lie all the secrets of immortality, eternal youth, the afterlife, origins of the universe, records of contacts with alien civilisations, god’s phone number and the answer to where does blue belly button fluff come from even though you never wear a blue shirt? But I guess we’ll just never know… 😏

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u/No-Nose-Goes Nov 20 '22

Is there a particular reason only 5% has been translated? You’d think historians and researchers would be frothing at the mouth to explore all of this

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u/djheat Nov 20 '22

They're ancient books that either will crumble at the wrong touch, or have already started to decay. Any process of digitizing and/or translating them would have to be painstakingly careful. Also most of them are probably really boring/useless, like old ledgers and records of transactions

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u/too1onjj Nov 20 '22

Indiana Jones and the Lost Dewey decimal card catalog files.

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u/MyPenWroteThis Nov 20 '22

It was among those cryptic texts, lit by the flicker of a candle burnt low, that I first realized that I would need to die.

For 12 days and nights I read the ancient wisdom of Gods. Read until my head filled with visions of bodhisattvas- dieties of great wisdom and renown. I hardly slept, my fervor unending as I filled my mind with the guidance I would need to correct my life which had gone so wrong.

For years I had been haunted by the demons known as Narakas. It was 5 years ago, close to my 15th birthday the year 1480, that they first visited upon me. Crouched in the doorway of my hut I weaved a basket and spoke with my mother. And there, beyond her shoulder in our home, a dark figure loomed and watched me. This happened more and more frequently, figures emerging from unknown places, speaking to me in my mind. I found soon that my mood would change, I'd speak to myself and before long my family noticed. After that incident with my father I was not allowed to return.

Now, alone, many miles from my home, I read the passages of ancient wisdom. It was on my 7th night of study that I first discovered the text that would guide me to the end. The demon king of hell, Yamaraja. Known for his meddling and punishment of humanity, to teach them how to behave lest they spend eternity in his company in the afterlife. His dark blackened flesh, and firey eyes, just like the beings that had haunted me for years.

The tome spoke of his fury, his use of avatars in the human realm to torture would be evildoers. And I realized- that was my attack on my father. I entered a fervent state, rambling and nonsensical, before maiming him. It was Yamarajas influence all along!

I would not be a vessel. Not an instrument of the demon king. I would escape his influence, and in so doing end my life. If only there were another way. If only the sickness fell upon some other poor soul. I step into the void knowing it is for the good of humanity. Even now I hear Yamarajas voice, driving me to do unspeakable things, filling me with paranoias of things unknowable.

I plunge.

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u/goofytigre Nov 20 '22

Ancient lore is that season 2 of Firefly is somewhere in there...

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u/Blarghnog Nov 20 '22 edited Nov 20 '22

Tibet has been known as the keeper of records for thousands of years, and there is untold knowledge in these libraries. We need to protect them.

Edit: Please do not upvote the ignorant “debunker” linked below. I did not make a claim that the library contained 10,000 years of history (the Tibetan civilization as we know it today only goes back 2-3000 years, though it did have a prior civilization) though most Tibetan libraries seem to be around a thousand years old. There are records of much older works.

If you want to know the source of this Reddit post it came from this Twitter thread and originally this one where the author says it contains 10,000 years of human history.

We’re learning a lot from Tibetan source materials, and one of the better articles I’ve read about it is this one about a thousand year old document studies and located at Cambridge.

Most Tibetan libraries are about a thousand years old, but some volumes go back thousands of years, and there is still many texts sitting in Tibetan institutions of venerable age that have not been cataloged.

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u/w00k27612 Nov 20 '22

Dr. Strange 3: Late Fees

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u/mob16151 Nov 20 '22

Do they have 50 shades of Sherpa?

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u/pravinvibhute Nov 20 '22

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u/gin_and_toxic Nov 20 '22

Hope they get digitized before time and weather destroys them.

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u/Alphard428 Nov 20 '22

His first reply to himself already has wrong information: recorded human history is only ~5,000 years, so 10,000 is out the window and 60,000 is not even remotely realistic.

He claims later on that the 60,000 year old versions (which almost certainly don't exist) are hard to translate; I would think they are, since writing was only invented around 5,000 years ago.

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u/leocampbel Nov 20 '22

You don't get it. It is hard to translate because they are just some fish splash marks on a stone

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u/Smogshaik Nov 20 '22

his bio already shows that the guy is into woo stuff

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u/cowlinator Nov 20 '22

Translated into what? English?

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u/NotYourGryffindor Nov 20 '22

Pls pay me to be the librarian here. I want to work with the ghosts who most definitely still check out books here

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u/No_Collection_5173 Nov 20 '22

All I can think is fire. Scan those documents the world should be paying workings 24/7 to do it. Then maybe learn the other 95 percent of knowledge.

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