In process of time the library increased to four hundred thousand
volumes. There was then no longer any room in the buildings of the
Museum for further additions. There was, however, in another part of the
city, a great temple called the Serapion. This temple was a very
magnificent edifice, or, rather, group of edifices, dedicated to the god
Serapis. The origin and history of this temple were very remarkable. The
legend was this:

It seems that one of the ancient and long-venerated gods of the
Egyptians was a deity named Serapis. He had been, among other
divinities, the object of Egyptian adoration ages before Alexandria was
built or the Ptolemies reigned. There was also, by a curious
coincidence, a statue of the same name at a great commercial town named
Sinope, which was built upon the extremity of a promontory which
projected from Asia Minor into the Euxine Sea. Sinope was, in some
sense, the Alexandria of the north, being the center and seat of a great
portion of the commerce of that quarter of the world.

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