Lost in Time - The Famed Ancient City of Alexandria

September 29, 2018
Alexandria, the famed ancient city, was a bustling centre for various cultural activities back then. Lost in time, the first discovery of its existence was made in 1994. It was a magnificent city, with a great history attached to its ruins, both rich and poignant at the same time.

Founded around a small Egyptian town by Alexander the Great himself, its chief architect was Dinocrates. Alexandria was known for its lighthouse, the famous library and the vast necropolis, amongst other things. After founding the city in c. 332 BC, Alexander left Egypt, but never returned to witness the greatness of the city. His general, Ptolemy managed to bring his body back, but the vestiges of which were never found by archaeologists, because it was probably separated from the burial site. Coming to the Lighthouse of Alexandria, it was known as the tallest man-made structure back in those days. It reached around 330 feet, the pride of Alexandria, but was eventually destroyed between 956 AD-1323, the reason being earthquakes. This famed lighthouse served as a model for future lighthouses, which accounts for its significance.

Apart from its lighthouse, the Library of Alexandria was another important aspect of the city. The library was its essence, and the core of intellectual and cultural pursuits. Completed during the reign of Ptolemy II, it was known to attract the greatest scholars like Erasthothenes (the man who calculated the circumference of the earth), Euclid (who apparently taught there), and even Archimedes! The library boasted of around 40,000 to 400,000 scrolls which were completely burned down. This incident was one of the saddest in history. Although exact details are not known, Julius Caesar and the Aurelian might have been the reason behind it, with both attacking the city in 48 BC and 270 AD respectively.

Alexandria saw many wars, many rulers, many kingdoms as they rose and fell, as well as religious unrest towards its latter part. It was once partly destroyed in 115 AD, as the Kitos war raged, but was rebuilt by Hadrian and architect Decriannus. But the city couldn't be saved from incessant war, and most of it was wiped out by 1323 AD, and only its ruins remained buried. The modern city of Alexandria, which is now an industrial centre, with its natural gas and oil pipelines, now stands proudly under the Egyptian sky, as the ghost of its past lingers.

Post Written by - Lopamudra

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