After his death in 323, Ptolemy, one of his generals, became the new ruler of
Even better, beginning with Ptolemy 2nd, dozens of men, eager to learn, were paid to study these ideas, to create some of their own, and to write them down as well.
Eratosthenes (276-194 BC) was the first major thinker to enjoy the library and its benefits. He focused on thinking clearly about space and time. He believed the earth was round like a ball rather than flat like a plate. Because the earth was round, he believed the oceans were all connected. One, therefore, could travel to distant lands by sailing either east or west. He even figured out the distance one would have to travel to sail completely around the earth.
Eratosthenes also brought order to human thought about time. He figured out that the earth takes 365¼ days to orbit the sun. He created a calendar that, like ours, had 365 days a year plus an extra day every fourth year to keep calendar and cosmos together. Using that calendar, he accurately dated events which were important to him: the fall of
His colleagues believed he was second only to Plato in brilliance. He was a friend of another great thinker named Archimedes.