The burning of the Egyptian ships in this action, however fortunate for
Cleopatra and Caesar, was attended with a catastrophe which has ever
since been lamented by the whole civilized world. Some of the burning
ships were driven by the wind to the shore, where they set fire to the
buildings which were contiguous to the water. The flames spread and
produced an extensive conflagration, in the course of which the largest
part of the great library was destroyed. This library was the only
general collection of the ancient writings that ever had been made, and
the loss of it was never repaired.

The destruction of the Egyptian fleet resulted also in the downfall and
ruin of Achillas. From the time of ArsinoŽ's arrival in the camp there
had been a constant rivalry and jealousy between himself and Ganymede,
the eunuch who had accompanied ArsinoŽ in her flight. Two parties had
been formed in the army, some declaring for Achillas and some for
Ganymede. ArsinoŽ advocated Ganymede's interests, and when, at length,
the fleet was burned, she charged Achillas with having been, by his
neglect or incapacity, the cause of the loss. Achillas was tried,
condemned, and beheaded. From that time Ganymede assumed the
administration of ArsinoŽ's government as her minister of state and the
commander-in-chief of her armies.

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