The Rise and Fall of Alexandria Essay

1520 Words May 19th, 2011 7 Pages
A Literature Review of The Rise and Fall of Alexandria

Book Review of The Rise and Fall of Alexandria How the modern world was actually established is often overlooked and attributed to the powers and domination of Athens and Rome. What authors Justin Pollard and Howard Reid urge readers to understand, however, is the significance that the city of Alexandria had on Western Civilization. Both authors have worked in British and American television, and are accomplished in the film/documentary industry. Reid has also previously written five other books. In their narrative book, The Rise and Fall of Alexandria, they seek to emphasize just how important this little city was to the foundation of the modern world through accounts of
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7). He wanted Egypt as part of his growing empire. Not long after in 323 BC, however, Alexander died and left this newly established city to his half brother and baby son. Alexander’s childhood friend, Ptolemy, soon came to rule over the city and Alexandria began rising. Ptolemy had plans for the city and began building innovative roads and two sea harbors. With these new developments, authors note, the “fundamental plan of the greatest city in the ancient world was complete.” Houses, slaves, cattle, and taxpayers were being taken from surrounding villages and given to the capital city of Alexandria. When Ptolemy’s son and successor (Ptolemy II) began his rule on the city, he, too, threw himself into developing Alexandria and created a currency that could be used to sell and trade. Structures were built, such as temples and the lighthouse, and Alexandria was becoming known as “the light of the world” (p. 92).
Along with the furthering of physical growth to the city of Alexandria, there was also growth politically and religiously. Ptolemy wished to fuse ancient thinking with the modern thinking of the Greeks, so he devised a plan and created a cult through a fusion of two gods: the god of the dead and the living bull. And this Greco-Egyptian cult was created and called Serapis. Through this newly founded religion and the constant furthering of the city’s buildings and technology, Alexandria began to rise.
One of the main and most