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  Ancient Mouseion

In the period of before Christ, in ancient Greece, Mouseion referred to the land which was related with arts and sciences, where people were inspired by nine goddesses Mousa(i) (English name Muses) who preside over arts and sciences in Greek myth. It's not clearly known when the myth of Mousa(i) originated. They were sisters born between Zeus and goddess of memory Mnemosyne according to Hesiodo's report. (It was not until the Roman times that a role was assigned to each of these nine goddesses.) They were believed to inspire poets and musicians, and on the other hand, to punish arrogant minstrels.
    Mouseion was included as the adytum where these goddesses were deified in the Academy school founded by Plato, and the Lyceum school founded by Aristotle. Among them, Mouseion in Egypt's Alexandria was the largest-scale, which maintained its prosperity until the Roman times as the center of artistic and scientific research in the Hellenistic world.
   Demetrius, who studied under Aristotle together with Alexander the Great, proposed to construct the Alexandrian Mouseion. Alexandria was the capital city of the dynasty built by Ptolemy, a follower general of Alexander the Great, after Alexander conquered Egypt. Ptolemaic dynasty was the realm which had the most cultural and economic prosperities in the Alexander's Empire. PtolemyTSoter established here the Mouseion and the attached large Library as royal learning institute.
    Besides, in the Mouseion, zoological park and arboretum, astronomical observatory, and chemical research facilities and dissection room to study medicine for eternal youth and longevity were established. Students and researchers were gathered here from other cities by public funds to engage in research of literature, mathematics, astronomy and medicine, which contributed to the flourishing of Greek natural science.
    Also, philology developed here from research on Homeric epic, the source of Greek literature, as well. Moreover, "The Old Testament" of Greek translation was made here, and Neo-Platonism philosophy, Judaism and Christianity theology, and Gnosticism thought were formed in the Roman times.
    In this way, Mouseion functioned mainly as the center of artistic and scientific research, meanwhile PtolemyTdisplayed pictures and sculptures of his preference in Mouseion: this is the etymology of museum which means a house to exhibit pictures.
     It says that Alexandrian Mouseion was reduced to ashes in war or earthquake, and at present it lies in the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. The ones lost with it are not only ancient material relics but also the mental potential as a fellow traveler.
    Although the large Library attached to Mouseion was reconstructed in October 2002, ancient Mouseion still remains as monument.

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