The vast majority of the knowledge humans have assembled over the centuries, has been lost. The world's geniuses either kept their revelations to themselves and then died, or else they put it down on paper which has long since rotted or burned or been used to line some parakeet's cage.
Obviously we'll never know what great books have been lost to time, but we have clues on some of them, and what those clues tell us is mind-boggling, and a little bit depressing. If you could make a library out of just books that didn't survive, you'd have a collection of some of the best freaking books ever written.
7The Gospel of Eve, by Unknown
What is it:
It is apparently a totally sexually perverse lost book of the Bible. It's not hard to see why it didn't survive--church officials back in the day said the book was inspiring all kinds of depravity, from "free love" to "coitus interruptus and eating semen as a religious act."
(Wait, what? HOLY SHIT!)
Why it's Awesome:
Ah ha! The truth comes out! A book like this could deliver a potentially fatal blow to all that 2,000 years' worth of celibacy Christians had to set their watch to. For all we know, The Gospel of Eve could have been that Good News mankind had been waiting for or, failing that, it could've been totally fucking hot.
Why You'll Never Read It:In the 4th Century church officials like Epiphanius lashed out at the book, apparently having nothing better to do than stop everyone from having sex and eating a little bit of semen. And he got away with it.
Heh heh heh.
Whatever copies that asshole Epiphanius didn't torch, the Pope probably has stashed under his mattress. And Pope, if you're reading this (who are we kidding "if"), we will pay good, hard American dollars for copies of that book.
But is the Gospel of Eve really "the Word" of the Lord? Alas, we won't know until the second coming, at which point it will definitely be #1 on Cracked's list of "7 Vital Questions To Ask Jesus."
6On Sphere-Making, by Archimedes
What is it:
Supposedly a how-to on the many steampunk wonders of Ancient Greece, such as orreries, astronomical clocks and whatever devices they invented to assist them with their buggery. It was authored by one of the greatest mechanical minds in history: the legendary Archimedes, who knew a thing or two about spheres right down to his dying words...
The next panel has the soldier going "Fuck your circles," and then he just goes nuts on Archimedes.
Why it's Awesome:
Remember that fancy Antikythera mechanism Cracked mused about way back? The ancient, intricate machine found near Greece that dates back to about 100 BC but that contains gears and structures that were not found in devices again for 1000 years?
Well, this book may hold the blueprints for building one yourself (as well as the time machine it was attached to).
But even if such grand designs were not included, the simple fact that Archimedes was the Leonardo da Vinci of antiquity makes any of his undiscovered work invaluable. Even modern standards pale in comparison to how the Greeks mastered mechanics, and whatever secrets Archimedes had died when the Romans killed him.
Why You'll Never Read It:
Whatever copies exist are either buried in the middle of nowhere, or were destroyed when Rome torched the Library of Alexandria to prevent Greece from using time-travel against the Roman Empire again. Does this sound familiar yet? Jesus, Past, you really need to stop destroying all of our invaluable books.
"Don't fuck with the space-time continuum." - S.P.Q.R.
Unfortunately, it gets worse...