Name: Temple of Serapis
Location: Khmet Coastline
Real World Location: Alexandria, Egypt
Purpose: Temple to the god Serapis
Condition: In excellent shape, center of commerce and trade.
Surrounding Places of Note:
- Port Said is the port for the Temple
- Temple of Serapis, worship area for followers.
- Basilica Ulpia, public study area for library
- Forum of Nerva, public area for announcements and entertainment
- Basilica of Aemilia, area for official public business with library
- Temple of Peace, archives from lost civilizations. Entrance to lower library caverns.
- Markets, non-Library merchants set up here, place of incredible trade.
General Appearance: The temple is a city into itself. Comprised of huge buildings, surrounded by vendors of all races. Not as large as Kokand or quite as diverse it still represents a challenge to Kokand in trade, which is why it is was added as part of the Trade Pact of the Major Trade Cities.
The Temple of Serapis or Library of Serapis near Port Said in the desert lands, is not only one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world, it is the center of organized worship. It was dedicated to Serapsis, the Patron and God of Knowledge from the First Founding. It flourishes under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functions as a major center of scholarship, with collections of works, lecture halls, meeting rooms, and gardens. The Temple of Serapsis is considered the capital of knowledge and learning. The library is part of a larger research institution called the Serapteum, where copies of most written and spoken works are spread across the world.
The Temple was created by Ptolem I, who was a Karthigienian general and the successor of Tizmar the Great. Most of the books are kept as papyrus scrolls. It is unknown precisely how many such scrolls were housed at any given time, but estimates range from 40,000 to 400,000 depending on each temple library.
It is not possible to determine the collection’s size in any era with certainty. Papyrus scrolls constitute the collection, and although codices have been used for the last 300 years, it is never documented as having switched to parchment.
A single piece of writing might occupy several scrolls, and this division into self-contained “books” was a major aspect of editorial work. King Ptolem II Philadelphus is said to have set 500,000 scrolls as an objective for the library. Dorius supposedly gave Keila Ptolem over 200,000 scrolls for the library as a wedding gift, taken from the great Library of Pergamum. The library’s index, Callimachus’ Pinakes, was lost during a break in, and it is not possible to know with certainty how large and how diverse the collection may be without it.
Estimates claim 400,000 scrolls are in this particular temple, which is an enormous collection that required vast storage space. This library, with the largest holdings in the world, acquired its collection by laborious copying of originals. Galen the Traveler spoke of how all ships visiting the city were obliged to surrender their books for immediate copying. The owners received a copy while the Ptolem rulers kept the originals in the library within their museum.
As a research institution, the library has filled its stacks with new works in mathematics, astronomy, physics, natural sciences and other subjects. Its empirical standards were applied in one of the first and certainly strongest homes for serious textual criticism. As the same text often existed in several different versions, comparative textual criticism was crucial for ensuring their veracity. Once ascertained, canonical copies would then be made for scholars, royalty, and wealthy bibliophiles the world over, this commerce bringing income to the library. This doesn’t include the incredible wealth of magical/mystical/divine knowledge kept in its locked stacks.