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Ancient Alexandria

The Ptolemaic City (323-30 BC)

Proofread and Updated April 26th 2019

Thu Mar 7 1985 – Page 24 · The Ithaca Journal (New York) · Newspapers.com

The Obelisk in Central Park in New York as it Stood in Alexandria

Overview: Alexandria -- the The Pearl of the Mediterranean -- lies northwest of the Nile delta on the coast. It is the second largest city in Egypt and also its main port. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC -- it was built by the Greek architect Dinocrates of Rhodes on the site of an old village named Rhakotis. It came to be known as the renowned capital of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. The buildings of the modern city are built over the ancient; therefore archaeological discoveries have been largely curtailed. The only remains of the prehistoric harbor have been found off the shores of the island of Pharos -- which is opposite Alexandria ...

A Scale Model of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina with the Planetarium in the Foreground -- Article: Legendary Library Resurrected (Architecture Week) The ancient city of Alexandria was at the beginning of the third century BC the birthplace of a great library --- the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. But the library was destroyed by a fire which ravaged Alexandria. The Egyptian Government in close co-operation with UNESCO has decided to build a new library in Alexandria to endow this part of the world with an important focal point for culture -- education -- science ...

A Description of the East and Some other Countries:
Volume 1 --- Observations on Egypt by Richard Pococke (1743)

Egypt was anciently divided into Provinces called Nomes, being certain districts with their capital cities; something like the present division of the country under the government of the Mameluk or Mamluk Beys [By the 18th century the importance of the (Turkish) pasha was superseded by that of the Mameluk Beys even though Egypt was in actuality part of the Ottoman Empire --- See Egypt Eyalet: Later Ottoman period (1707 to 1755)].

According to Herodotus "it was one hundred eighty-seven miles and a half from the sea to Heliopolis -- six hundred and five from thence to Thebes and one hundred and two miles and a half from Thebes to Elephantine; so that the whole length of Egypt was eight hundred and ninety-five miles according to this computation ; which must have been made by the windings of the river for Egypt being eight degrees in length, computing seventy miles to a degree, is only five hundred and sixty miles long.

When Alexander the Great returned from consulting the Oracle of Jupiter Ammon, being pleased with the situation of Rhacotis, he ordered a city to be built there which from him was called Alexandria. As the honour of being capital of the kingdom was translated from Memphis to this place, so it was not afterwards a part of any province but, with the territory about it, a distinct government by itself. When this city was taken by the Saracens, according to the Arabian historians there were in it four thousand palaces, as many baths, four hundred squares and forty thouand Jews that paid tribute.

As the sea has gained in some parts, and lost in others, so there is great difficulty in fixing the situation of many ancient places described by Strabo.

There being a bay about three leagues wide, the isle Pharos extending from east to west, near to the Eastern promontory Lochias, made the ports of Alexandria ... The famous Pharos or light-house was on a rock at the east end of the island, that was on every side encompassed with water, and so in a manner a small separate island ; which seems to be the spot on which the castle is built, at the entrance of the new Port ; and the pillars seen in a calm sea within the entrance may be the remains of that superb building : These pillars I saw when I went out on a boat on a calm day and could see to the bottom ...

Mon Jul 24 1882 – 4 · The Graphic: An Illustrated Weekly Newspaper (London) ·

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