importance of history as a subject of study

Topics: Alexandria, Roman Empire, Greeks Pages: 9 (2826 words) Published: November 25, 2013
History of Alexandria
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The history of Alexandria dates back to the city's founding, by Alexander the Great, in 331 BC. Yet, before that, there were some big port cities just east of Alexandria, at the western edge of what is now Abu Qir Bay. The Canopic (westernmost) branch of the Nile Delta still existed at that time, and was widely used for shipping. After its foundation, Alexandria became the seat of the Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt, and quickly grew to be one of the greatest cities of the Hellenistic world — second only to Rome in size and wealth. It fell to the Arabs in 641 AD, and a new capital of Egypt, Fustat, was founded on the Nile. After Alexandria's status as the country's capital ended, it fell into a long decline, which by the late Ottoman period, had seen it reduced to little more than a small fishing village. The city was revived in the early 19th century by Muhammad Ali, the viceroy of Egypt, as a part of his early industrialization program. The current city is Egypt's leading port, a commercial, tourism and transportation center, and the heart of a major industrial area where refined petroleum, asphalt, cotton textiles, processed food, paper, plastics and styrofoam are produced. Contents

1 Early settlements in the area
2 Foundation
3 Ptolemaic era
4 Roman era
4.1 Roman annexation
4.2 Late Roman and Byzantine period
5 Arab rule
6 Modern history
7 See also
8 References
9 External links
Early settlements in the area
Just east of Alexandria in ancient times (where now is Abu Qir Bay) there was marshland and several islands. As early as 7th century BC, there existed important port cities of Canopus and Heracleion. The latter was recently rediscovered under water. Part of Canopus is still on the shore above water, and had been studied by archaeologist the longest. There was also the town of Menouthis. An Egyptian city, Rhakotis, existed on the shore where Alexandria is now. Behind it were five villages scattered along the strip between Lake Mareotis and the sea, so told according to a history of Alexander attributed to the author known as Pseudo-Callisthenes. Foundation

Alexander the Great Founding Alexandria
Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC (the exact date is disputed) as Ἀλεξάνδρεια (Aleksándreia). Alexander's chief architect for the project was Dinocrates. Ancient accounts are extremely numerous and varied, and much influenced by subsequent developments. One of the more sober descriptions, given by the historian Arrian, tells how Alexander undertook to lay out the city's general plan, but lacking chalk or other means, resorted to sketching it out with grain. A number of more fanciful foundation myths are found in the Alexander Romance and were picked up by medieval historians. Alexandria was intended to supersede Naucratis as a Hellenistic center in Egypt, and to be the link between Greece and the rich Nile Valley. If such a city was to be on the Egyptian coast, there was only one possible site, behind the screen of the Pharos island and removed from the silt thrown out by the Nile, just west of the westernmost "Canopic" mouth of the river. The site also offered unique protection against invading armies: the vast Libyan desert to the west and the Nile Delta to the east. 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. Ptolemaic era

Alexandria, sphinx made of pink granite, Ptolemaic, Pompey's Pillar. In a struggle with the other successors of Alexander, his general, Ptolemy (later Ptolemy I of Egypt) succeeded in bringing Alexander's body to Alexandria. Alexander's tomb became a famous tourist destination for ancient travelers (including Julius Caesar). Though Cleomenoes was mainly in charge of seeing to Alexandria's continuous development, the Heptastadion and...

References: 7. Jump up ^ Mediterranean 's 'horror ' tsunami may strike again, New Scientist online, March 10, 2008.
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