What is the worst crime in history? I can think of several candidates for the title: The Nazi’s Holocaust of the Jews of Europe, Stalin’s starvation of Ukrainia, Mao’s Great Leap Forward in China, Mother Teresa’s torture of the sick of India, the European Crusades to the Holy Land, the Inquisition, the European conquest of the New World, and I'm sure there are a lot more that you all can suggest.
But I nominate as my candidate the crime that pretty much made all the others possible: Bishop Theophilus’s burning of the Library of Alexandria. It was this event, not the fall of Rome 19 years later, that marked the beginning of the Dark Ages. Without it, there would have been no collapse of European civilization, no Muslim expansion which led directly to the Crusades and Inquisition. With the knowledge that was lost, medicine might have advanced enough in those 1000 years that the Black Death would not have wiped out a third of the population. The world could have been rich enough then that Marx wouldn't have risen to prominence, preventing both Stalin’s and Mao’s mass murders.
A list of crimes is boring. The reasons you nominate your candidates are what matter.
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