Monday, September 24, 2012

History of Alexandria in Egypt

Alexander the Great came to Egypt in the second half of the fourth century (332 BC). He stopped at a fishing village on the Egyptian Mediterranean coast called the village of Rakoda.

He noted that ‘the site was the very best in which to found a city, and that the city would prosper’. The Roman architect Vitruvius notes that Alexander choose the site ‘observing a harbor rendered safe by nature, an excellent center for trade, cornfields throughout all Egypt and the great usefulness of the mighty river Nile’.

He then pondered on a small island in the sea opposite to this village, called the island of Pharos.

The island had a port to which ships used to resort, which has turned into today’s Alexandria commercial port. 

The location was known to Greeks and already in use when Alexander decided to found a city there.

For the thousand years after its foundation, Alexandria served as the cultural, political, and religious center of Egypt. In addition to its reputation for learning, its architecture was famous.

By the early part of the first century BC, the city had grown so rapidly that travelers and historians overwhelmingly agreed she was the greatest city of the civilized world and surpassed all other in size, elegance and luxury.

Alexandria was built on a soil of limestone above the level of the Delta, on the January 20th 331 BC. The construction of the city was under the supervision of Kleumenes, Finance Minister of Alexander the Great in Egypt.

It was recorded that Alexander laid out the site an traced the streets skillfully and order that the city should be called after him Alexandria.

Alexandria was completed over eight years till the reign of Ptolemy II. Ptolemy made Alexandria the capital. He founded the university of Alexandria, the great Library and built laboratories, museums, a zoological garden and promenades.
History of Alexandria in Egypt
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