Short DescriptionAlexandria extends about 20 miles (32 km) along the coast of the Mediterranean sea in north-central. It is home to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the New Library of Alexandria
Alexandria extends about 20 miles (32 km) along the coast of the Mediterranean sea in north-central. It is home to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the New Library of Alexandria,. It was founded around 331 BC by Alexander the Great, he was one of the most successful military commanders in history, and was undefeated in battle. Prior to his death, Alexander had already made plans for military and mercantile expansions into the Arabian peninsula,
In ancient times, Alexandria was one of the most famous cities in the world. Alexandria was known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), the Library of Alexandria (the largest library in the ancient world)
History of Alexandria
The city of Alexandria was named after its founder, Alexander the Great, The city was revived by Muhammad Ali as a part of his early industrialization program. In 1798, Napoleon invaded the Ottoman province of Egypt and destroyed the army of the Mamluk rulers at the Battle of the Pyramids. The immediate military objective of the expedition was to strike at Britain's communication routes with India. The British destruction of the French fleet in the Battle of the Nile near Alexandria dealt a blow to Napoleon's ambitions. However, the rest of the expeditionary force occupied Egypt, with great difficulty, for three years. The occupation was officially brought to an end in 1801 by a joint British-Ottoman expedition. The ethnic and political divisions within Ottoman ranks prevented them from operating effectively for very long. When the troops had their salaries delayed, some of them mutinied, and many turned to banditry. With the Mamluks out of power and the French occupation over, Egypt was thrown into a power vacuum. Muhammad Ali, a young officer who had been second in command only to his rival Kadeem Muhad Rasheek, was sent by the Sublime Porte to evacuate the French. Muhammad Ali stepped in to fill the power vacuum by establishing a local power base of village leaders, clerics, and wealthy merchants in Cairo. With no one else able to hold the office in safety, he was recognized by the Porte and appointed Ottoman viceroy
One of the more sober descriptions, given by the historian Arrian, tells how Alexander undertook to lay out the city's general plan, A few months after the foundation, Alexander left Egypt for the East and never returned to his city. After Alexander departed, his viceroy, Cleomenes, continued the expansion of the city.
Alexandria was not only a center of Hellenism but was also home to the largest Jewish community in the world.
Alexandrian Greeks placed an emphasis on Greek culture in part to exclude and subjugate non-Greeks. There were two institutions in Alexandria that were devoted to the preservation and study of Greek culture and which helped to exclude non-Greeks. In literature, non-Greek texts could only be kept in the library once they had been translated into Greek and notably, there were few references made to Egypt or native Egyptians in Alexandrian poetry; one of the few references to native Egyptians presents them as "muggers
The city passed formally under Roman jurisdiction in 80 BC, according to the will of Ptolemy Alexander.He was the son of Ptolemy VIII Physcon and Cleopatra III. In 110 BC he became King with his mother as co-regent, after his mother had deposed his brother Ptolemy IX Lathyros. However, in 109 BC he was deposed by Ptolemy IX. In 107 BC he became King again, and again with his mother as co-regent. In 101 BC he had his mother killed, and ruled either alone or with his niece/wife, Berenice III.
When he died, Ptolemy IX regained the throne. When Ptolemy IX died, Ptolemy X's wife Berenice III took over the throne for six months.
But only after it had been Roman influence for more than a hundred years. Julius Caesar dallied with Cleopatra in Alexandria in 47 BC and was mobbed by the rabble. His example was followed by Mark Antony, for whose favor the city paid dearly to Octavian. Following Anthony's defeat at Alexandria, Octavian took Egypt for his own, appointing a prefect who reported personally to him rather than to the Roman Senate. While in Alexandria, Octavian took time to visit Alexander's tomb and inspected late king's remains. On being offered a viewing into the tombs of the pharaohs, he refused, saying, 'I came to see a king, not a collection of corpses'.
Even as its main historical importance had sprung from pagan learning, Alexandria now acquired new importance as a center of Christian theology and church government
In the late 4th century, persecution of pagans by newly Christian Romans had reached new levels of intensity. Temples and statues were destroyed throughout the Roman empire: pagan rituals became forbidden under punishment of death, and libraries were closed.
In 616, it was taken by Khosrau II, King of Persia. Although the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recovered it a few years later, in 641 the Arabs, under the general Amr ibn al-As during the Muslim conquest of Egypt, captured it decisively after a siege that lasted fourteen months. The city received no aid from Constantinople during that time; Heraclius was dead and the new Emperor Constantine III was barely twelve years old. Notwithstanding the losses that the city had sustained, Amr was able to write to his master, the Caliph Omar, that he had taken a city containing "4,000 palaces, 4,000 baths, 12,000 dealers in fresh oil, 12,000 gardeners, 40,000 Jews who pay tribute, 400 theaters or places of amusement." In 645 a Byzantine fleet recaptured the city, but it fell for good the following year.
Some claim that The Library of Alexandria and its contents were destroyed in 642 during the Arab invasion. Others deny this and claim that the library was destroyed much earlier, in 3rd century, due to civil war in the time of the Roman Emperor Aurelian. The Lighthouse was destroyed by earthquakes in the 14th century, and by 1700 the city was just a small town amidst the ruins.
Alexandria figured prominently in the military operations of Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in 1798. Mohammed Ali, the Ottoman Governor of Egypt, began rebuilding the city around 1810, and by 1850, Alexandria had returned to something akin to its former glory. In July 1954, the city was a target of an Israeli bombing campaign that later became known as the Lavon Affair. Only a few months later, Alexandria's Manshia Square was the site of the famous, failed assassination attempt on the life of Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Persistent efforts have been made to explore the antiquities of Alexandria. Encouragement and help have been given by the local Archaeological Society, and by many individuals, notably Greeks proud of a city which is one of the glories of their national history.
The German excavation team found remains of a Ptolemaic colonnade and streets in the north-east of the city, but little else. Hogarth explored part of an immense brick structure under the mound of Kom el-Dika, which may have been part of the Paneum, the Mausolea or a Roman fortress.