Skip to: Navigation Content Sidebar Footer. Their torches and usually metaphorical pitchforks stem from millennia of censorship and colonialism.
More than , volumes perished in the blaze along with other priceless historical artifacts and artworks, which generally seem to accompany literature into oblivion in some of the most infamous examples of purging.
Nobody knows for certain who bombed the Irish National Archives in , resulting in the almost universal loss of the Public Record Office of Ireland. Just about the only thing anyone can agree on is the devastating loss of centuries upon centuries of history obliterated completely in one conflagration.
A small number of 14th century manuscripts miraculously managed to survive, but these days much of what politicians and academics can glean about Irish official history comes from only the 19th and 20th.
Anecdotes — though no definitive proof — also link Qin Shihuangdi to the live burial genocide of scholars he deemed culturally threatening. Obviously, historians have yet to unearth a solid number for the books he destroyed, but the overarching impact his raging paranoia left behind still resonates even today.
Entire schools and academic corners may have wound up lost forever as a result! Even factoring out sheer volume, the destruction is undeniably among the most significant examples of completely game-changing book burning. This Indian marvel allegedly took months to fully burn to the ground when ransacked by Muslim invaders in As the most resplendent university of its time or any time, really , Nalanda University launched in A.
Burning The Books - Germany 1933 (1933)
Known also as Byat Ul-Hikma , The House of Wisdom shares no commonalities with the Baghdad research center destroyed by American troops in beyond the name. One of the greatest think tanks of the Islamic Golden Age launched in the s succumbed to the Mongols during their invasion.
In its prime, however, it acted as the premier center for scientific, philosophical, religious, and mathematical inquiry. Girolamo Savonarola, before his excommunication as a Dominican cleric, infamously tried to cleanse Italian society of all things he himself deemed too decadent or pagan.
More than just books ended up in the massive bonfires, including art, mirrors, makeup, music, clothing, games, and other aesthetic or luxury goods. His second major event in , which coincided with a new Medici rule, instigated such fervor that riots wound up ravaging Florence. What makes this horrific colonial incident among the biggest in history is how the religion, art, and other traditions of an ancient society almost died out entirely because of one man on one day.
Only a small sliver from that awful day remains, merely allowing us a tiny peek into a highly complex former dynasty. For more than six decades, the Quinlong Emperor set out cobbling together a massive collection of Chinese history, art, and literature books known as the Siku Quanshu.
At least 50 authors faced execution after being labeled evil for criticizing — even questioning — the ruling class. Among the volumes purged were encyclopedias he deemed unfit, some of which managed to escape and appear centuries later.
Starting with its inception, the organization destroyed literally tons of books in its heyday, citing them as pornographic and detrimental to a moralistic society.