History Abridged: The City of Alexandria

Historian feature

Published: 11th November 2021

History Abridged: The City of Alexandria

History Abridged: This feature seeks to take a person, event or period and abridge, or focus on, an important event or detail that can get lost in the big picture. Think Horrible Histories for grownups (without the songs and music). See all History Abridged articles

One of the oldest cities in the world; it is a city that sits on the African continent, looks out across the Mediterranean Sea and fuses both those influences with its Arabian, Egyptian residents into something quite unusual. Today the city of Alexandria is a bustling port and is the largest city on the Mediterranean with a history that has been tumultuous.

Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE the city took over the existing fishing village of Rhakotis to become a demonstration of Alexander’s dominance over Egypt and the whole region, following his wars across and expansion through parts of the Middle East. Alexander spent very little time in Egypt before continuing his desire to conquer Perisia, meaning that the city was planned and building begun by his viceroy Cleomenes who, working with Dinocrates of Rhodes to design the city on a grid system, ensuring it would have the systematic Hellenic style and grandeur wanted by Alexander...

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