History of Book Burning
Throughout history we have had books, and so many of those books have had a major influence over the people who read them. Sometimes a book can be so overwhelmingly powerful and have such an influence that the figure of power that it is taking away from tries to destroy it. The simplest, fastest, and most recognizable method of eliminating a book, can be through book burning. Book burnings have been recorded since before the first century, empires and governments collecting and destroying knowledge, whether its for an increase in their power or an attempt for a ideological revolution, the idea of book burnings have lasted through time even to reach our own twenty-first century.
The very first recorded occurrence of a book burning was in 213BC and was ordered by Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Emperor Huang ordered all books of history and philosophy from everywhere other than Qin province in China to be destroyed by way of burning. He wanted not only to remain in power, but to create a new standard for power by destroying all previous knowledge of the world so that he may be the very start of all history and knowledge. Emperor Huang even buried some of his own uncooperative intellectuals alive in order to achieve his goal. Many other empires and religious groups have had their own incidents of book burning throughout history, the Ancient Greeks and Romans have destroyed much of the Christian and Jewish scriptures. Many of the popes of the Roman Catholic religion anywhere from the timelines from the thirteenth to seventeenth century ordered the burning of the Talmud, which destroyed John Wycliffe’s very influential fifteenth century work and William Tyndale’s translation of the bible ‘s New Testament during the sixteenth century.
The Spanish Inquisition also have a large history of book burning, destroying over five thousand Arabic manuscripts in Granada in the year 1499, and the Conquistadors burned all of the Maya in 1562. Martin Luther’s...