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date: 14 November 2019

Alexandrialocked

  • Judith McKenzie,
  • Gordon Campbell,
  • R. R. R. Smith,
  • Wiktor A. Daszewski,
  • A. H. Enklaar,
  • Dominic Montserrat,
  • C. Walters,
  • Wladyslaw B. Kubiak,
  • Sheila S. Blair
  •  and Jonathan M. Bloom

Extract

Egyptian city situated on the Mediterranean coast west of the delta of the River Nile, capital of Egypt from c. 320 bc to ad 642, seaport and centre of ancient Greek culture.

Judith McKenzie

Alexandria was founded in 331 bc by Alexander, on the site of the small Egyptian settlement of Rhakotis. Its location, with access by canal to the River Nile, enabled it to become an important and highly prosperous trading centre, and by c. 320 bc Alexandria was the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt. During Ptolemaic times (304–30 bc) it became a major centre of learning, with famous scholars of literature, mathematics, astronomy, medicine and geography, and it played a major role in the transmission of Greek culture to the East.

With the defeat of the last Ptolemaic monarch, Cleopatra VII (51–30 bc), by Octavian (later called Augustus) at the Battle of Actium in 30...

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Encyclopaedia of Islam, 8 vols and suppl. (Leiden, 1913–36/R 1987)