Hellenistic Monarchs

Written by Jess Lee Home of the ancient Pharaohs, Egypt is a dazzling destination of temples and tombs that wow all who visit. It’s not all historic treasures though. With vast tracts of desert, superb scuba diving, and the famed Nile River there’s something for everyone here. Beach lovers head to the Sinai to soak up the sun, while archaeology fans will have a field day in Luxor. Cairo is the megalopolis that can’t be beaten for city slickers, while Siwa oasis and the southern town of Aswan offer a slice of the slow pace of the countryside. Egypt has so much for travelers to see and do; it’s the perfect country for a mix of activities combining culture, adventure, and relaxation.

The City of Alexandria, Egypt

Historical sites and landmarks[ edit ] Egypt — Obelisk, Alexandria. Roman Amphitheater Roman Pompey’s Pillar Due to the constant presence of war in Alexandria in ancient times, very little of the ancient city has survived into the present day. Much of the royal and civic quarters sank beneath the harbour due to earthquake subsidence in AD , and the rest has been built over in modern times.

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Seif Eldin Mustafa was branded an “idiot” by the Egyptian foreign ministry after he seized control of the Alexandra-Cairo flight and had it diverted to Cyprus, where he issued a string of bizarre demands. In addition to asking for a letter to be passed on to his ex-wife, Mustafa reportedly called for the release of several female prisoners in Egypt and asked for political asylum in Cyprus.

Shout out to the guy who asked for a selfie mid-hijack. That’s above and beyond a funeral selfie. More than 80 people were on the plane, Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said, three of them reportedly British citizens. The hijacker initially allowed women and children to leave the plane, releasing Egyptian citizens shortly after. But for a tense five hours he kept four unidentified foreign citizens on the plane as he issued his demands.

In a bizarre twist one of the passengers was seen apparently escaping by climbing out of the plane’s cockpit and falling onto the runway.

Arsinoe IV of Egypt

Traces of early man were found in Egypt dating back as early as , years ago. Egypt and ancient Canaan to the north probably served as the bridges by which successive waves of humans: Ancient Egyptians used a phonetic-pictograph writing called hieroglyphics by the Ancient Greeks. This system evolved from portrayal of pictures of objects to using stylized representation of objects to represent sound combinations and compose words, to a phonetic alphabet much like our own.

Ancient Egypt boasted considerable achievements in art, medicine, astronomy and literature, and was the hub of civilization in much of the Near East and North Africa.

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Down here, standing on wooden planks stretching across a vast underground chamber, the French archaeologist Jean-Yves Empereur points out Corinthian capitals, Egyptian lotus-shaped columns and solid Roman bases holding up elegant stone arches. He picks his way across the planks in this ancient cistern, which is three stories deep and so elaborately constructed that it seems more like a cathedral than a water supply system.

The cistern was built more than a thousand years ago with pieces of already-ancient temples and churches. Beneath him, one French and one Egyptian worker are examining the stonework with flashlights. But archaeologists have tended to give Alexandria the cold shoulder, preferring the more accessible temples of Greece and the rich tombs along the Nile.

Hogarth cautioned after a fruitless dig in the s. Empereur and other scientists are now uncovering astonishing artifacts and rediscovering the architectural sublimity, economic muscle and intellectual dominance of an urban center that ranked second only to ancient Rome. And researchers in wet suits probing the harbor floor are mapping the old quays and the fabled royal quarter, including, just possibly, the palace of that most beguiling of all Alexandrians, Cleopatra.

The discoveries are transforming vague legends about Alexandria into proof of its profound influence on the ancient world. But his Center for Alexandrian Studies, located in a drab modern high-rise, bustles with graduate students clacking on computers and diligently cataloging artifacts in the small laboratory.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria

Idealized representation of the Bay of Alexandria. Founded by Greek general Alexander the Great in BC, at its height it rivalled Rome in its wealth and size, and was the seat for the Ptolemaic dynasty. However, through history not all agreed on how to regard the Hellenistic city with a royal Egyptian past. An underwater temple discovered by marine divers off the eastern coast shed light on the pharaonic nature of ancient Alexandria. As previously reported in Ancient Origins , Ptolemaic Alexandria has been regarded, in academic circles, not as part of Egypt, but as a separate Greek polis, or city-state, by the borders of Egypt.

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The modern use of the term “Coptic” describes Egyptian Christians, as well as the last stage of the ancient Egyptian language script. Also, it describes the distinctive art and architecture that developed as an early expression of the new faith. The Coptic Church is based on the teachings of Saint Mark who brought Christianity to Egypt during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero in the first century, a dozen of years after the Lord’s ascension.

He was one of the four evangelists and the one who wrote the oldest canonical gospel. Christianity spread throughout Egypt within half a century of Saint Mark’s arrival in Alexandria as is clear from the New Testament writings found in Bahnasa, in Middle Egypt, which date around the year A. The Coptic Church, which is now more than nineteen centuries old, was the subject of many prophecies in the Old Testament.

Raising Alexandria

The original library held the largest collection of manuscripts in the world and was a great center of learning for years until it burned down in the 3rd century. The Library of Alexandria is of religious significance because of its original role as a temple, its historical association with such Christian theologians as Origen of Alexandria, and its collection of many religious manuscripts including rare copies of the Qur’an.

This article covers both the ancient and modern Alexandrian libraries together, as they share a common heritage and objectives. It was a temple to the muses Mouseion in Greek; Museum in Latin and functioned as an academy, research center, and library. The great thinkers of the age flocked to Alexandria to study and exchange ideas. The original library was located in the royal district of the city, with an additional building for storage on the harbor, and a “daughter library” located in the Serapeum in the southwest part of the city.

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While the dynasty retained their Macedonian identity and saw themselves as Hellenic rulers, they also adopted many of the cultural practices of Egypt. Their legacy was a very Hellenized culture that survived in Egypt until the Muslim invasion in the 7 th century AD. The archaeologists were stunned when during their routine work they came across a burial that had lain undisturbed for over two millennia. The sarcophagus had lain untouched for two millennia. Ministry of Antiquities The burial held a large black granite sarcophagus dating back to the Ptolemaic era based on its design.

The black stone coffin stands at approximately 6 feet 1. The sheer size of the granite tomb has stunned archaeologists. In the burial was also discovered the remains of a large alabaster bust of a man and it seems likely that this represents the person who was interred in the coffin although the identity of the person who was buried in the huge sarcophagus is so far unknown.

Meet Women From Alexandria

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Among the haul of treasures uncovered in the harbour city of Alexandria, was a crystal bust that may depict the famous Roman general Marc Antony. A religious vessel was also located at the site of the submerged ancient city of Heracleion, where other artefacts have previously been recovered. This image shows a votive bark, or boat, depicting the pharaonic god Osiris, found at the submerged city of Heracleion Archaeologists have discovered three sunken shipwrecks dating back more than 2, years off the coast of Egypt.

Antony’s romantic and political alliance with the Egyptian queen became his downfall. The two committed suicide after their defeat by Octavian, later known as Augustus. Roman politician Antony was an ally of Julius Caesar and the main rival of his successor Octavian. The passing of power between the three men led to Rome’s transition from a republic to an empire. Three gold coins dating back to Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, who ruled from 27 BC to 14 AD, were also discovered around 12 miles 20 km off the coast.

Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds

This dramatic event, counted as Seleucus’ first regal year, was continued as the Seleucid Era, the first continuous count of time in world chronology, soon to inspire the similar Arsacid Era of Parthia. There is also the residual uncertainty about Hellenistic dating. Bickerman, for instance, positively asserted that Seleucus reconquered Babylon “in August of ” [Chronology of the Ancient World, Cornell University Press, , , , p.

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The Real Barbarians"The monks, who rushed with tumultuous fury from the desert, distinguished themselves by their zeal and diligence In almost every province of the Roman world, an army of fanatics, without authority and without discipline, invaded the peaceful inhabitants; and the ruin of the fairest structures of antiquity still displays the ravages of those barbarians who alone had time and inclination to execute such laborious destruction.

Jewel in the Crown The conquest of Egypt in 30 BC rewarded the caesars with a lavish prize — yet also considerable danger. Egypt was a source of immense accumulated wealth and exotic wonder but the relative ease with which this ancient land could be defended — and its strategic control of much of Rome’s grain supply — made the province an ideal base from which to mount a bid for the throne.

Vespasian in the troubled year of 68 had camped in Egypt, awaiting news from Rome. When Valerian was captured on the Persian front in first the ‘Macriani’ usurpers and then Mussius Aemilianus had been hailed in Egypt. After the defection of the Kingdom of Palmyra in , Aurelian had faced a revolt in Alexandria. In , Julius Saturninus, a commander in Syria, was another who had been encouraged by the Alexandrians to seize power in the east though soon after his bid he was assassinated.

In anticipation of such dangers, Augustus had placed Egypt directly under his personal authority and no senator could even step foot in the province without his express approval. The treasury of the Ptolemies became the basis of Augustus’s personal fortune.

Cosmopolitan Alexandria [1860-1961]

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