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Library of Alexandriathe most famous library of Classical antiquity.

Description

Laenas drew a circle around the king with his stick and told him to answer before he stepped out of the circle. Julius Caesar pursued Pompey to Egypt in 48 bce. It had been founded, on a date traditionally given as April 7, bce but often cited as bceby Alexander the Great on the site of the inificant Egyptian village of Rakotis in the northwestern Nile River delta, and it ranked as the most important city in the eastern Mediterranean until the foundation of Constantinople in the 4th century ce.

Cleopatra and Caesarion later followed Caesar back to Rome, but, after his assassination in 44 bcethey returned hurriedly to Egypt, and she tried for a while to play a neutral role in the struggles between the Roman generals and their factions.

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The Ptolemaic court cultivated extravagant luxury in the Greek style in its magnificent and steadily expanding palace complex, which occupied as much as a third of the city by the early Roman period. It was the wealthiest, however, and for much of the next years the most powerful politically and culturally, and it was the last to fall directly under Roman dominion.

Load Next. There is no more emphatic of this than the growth and importance of the city of Alexandria.

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Ptolemy II gave the dynasty another distinctive feature when he married his full sister, Arsinoe IIone of the most powerful and remarkable women of the Hellenistic age. To shore up and advertise the strength of the ruling house at home and abroad, the administration adopted a series of grandiloquent honorific titles for its officers. The same purpose may be seen in the later dissemination of the romantic myth that gave him an Egyptian parentage by linking his mother, Olympias, with the last king, Nectanebo II.

Alexander left Egypt in the spring of bcehaving divided the military command between Balacrus, son of Amyntas, and Peucestas, son of Makartatos. Family connections and dynastic alliances, especially between the Ptolemies and the neighbouring Seleucidsplayed an important role in these imperialistic ambitions.

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Egypt as part of the Hellenistic world, c. When Alexander died in bce and his generals divided his empirethe position of satrap was claimed by Ptolemyson of a Macedonian nobleman named Lagus. Events surrounding the death of Philopator and the succession of the youthful Ptolemy V Epiphanes — bce are obscured by court intrigue.

Arsinoe played a prominent role in the formation of royal policy.

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The practice of consanguineous marriage was followed by most of their successors and imitated by ordinary Egyptians too, even though it had not been a standard practice in the pharaonic royal houses and had been unknown in the rest of the native Egyptian population. By about bce a great portion of the Ptolemaic overseas empire had been permanently lost though there may have been a brief revival in the Aegean islands in about — bce. In the autumn Cleopatra and Antony staged an extravagant display in which they made grandiose dispositions of territory in the east to their children, Alexander Helios, Ptolemy, and Cleopatra Selene.

The reign of Cleopatra was that of a vigorous and exceptionally able queen who was ambitious, among other things, to revive the prestige of the dynasty by cultivating influence with powerful Roman commanders and using their capacity to aggrandize Roman clients and allies.

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Physcon was able to rule in Egypt until bce with his sister Cleopatra II except for a period in — bce when she was in revolt and greek daughter Cleopatra III. His reign was marked by generous benefactions to the Egyptian temples, but he was detested as a tyrant by the Greeks, and the historical s of the Alexandria emphasize his stormy relations with the Alexandrian populace. It is reported that when Octavian reached the city, he visited and touched dating preserved corpse of Alexander the Great, causing a piece of the nose to fall off.

The reign of Ptolemy VI Philometor — bcea man of pious and magnanimous character, was marked by renewed conflict with the Seleucids after the death of his mother, Cleopatra Iin bce. The first years of the Ptolemaic dynasty are conventionally seen as its most prosperous era. Its grandeur was emphasized in the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus by the foundation of a quadrennial festival, the Ptolemaieia, which was intended to enjoy a status equal to that of the Olympic Games. But this propaganda war was merely the prelude to armed conflict, and the issue was decided in September 31 bce in a naval battle at Actium in western Greece.

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The Ptolemaic dynasty Until the day when he openly assumed an independent kingship as Ptolemy I Soteron November 7, bcePtolemy used only the title satrap of Egypt, but the great hieroglyphic Satrap stela, which he had inscribed in bceindicates a degree of self-confidence that transcends his viceregal role. He gained popularity at home by recapturing statues of Egyptian gods originally taken by the Persians.

Additional Info. The Macedonian-Greek character of the monarchy was vigorously preserved. When the battle was at its height, Cleopatra and her squadron withdrew, and Antony eventually followed suit.

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To avenge Berenice, Euergetes marched into Syria, where he won a great victory. The decree promulgated at Canopus in the delta on March 7, bceattests both this event and the many great benefactions conferred on Egyptian temples throughout the land. A remarkable demotic text of the year bce refers to orders for a complete census of the kingdom that was to record the sources of water; the position, quality, and irrigation potential of the land; the state of cultivation; the crops grown; and the extent of priestly and royal landholdings.

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She was displayed on the coinage and was eventually worshiped, perhaps even before her death, in the distinctively Greek style of ruler cult that developed in this reign. The solution, devised under Roman advice, was to remove Physcon to Cyrene, where he remained until Philometor died in bce. Cleopatra and Antony were portrayed to the Roman public as posing for artists in the guise of Dionysus and Isis or whiling away their evenings in rowdy and decadent banquets that kept the citizens of Alexandria awake all night.

Macedonian and Ptolemaic Egypt —30 bce The Macedonian conquest In the autumn of bce Alexander the Great invaded Egypt with his mixed army of Macedonians and Greeks and found the Egyptians ready to throw off the oppressive control of the Persians.

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Antiochus asked for time to consult his advisers. They fled to Alexandria but could do little more than await the arrival of the victorious Octavian 10 months later. He journeyed to Siwa Oasis in the Western Desert to visit the Oracle of Amonrenowned in the Greek world; it disclosed the information that Alexander was the son of Amon. For much of the period, Rome was content to support a dynasty that had no overseas possession except Cyprus after 96 bce the year in which Cyrene was bequeathed to Rome by Ptolemy Apion and no ambitions threatening Roman interests or security.

The chamber is that of a priest. Before Epiphanes had completed his first decade of rule, serious difficulties arose.

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There may also have been a coronation at the Egyptian capital, Memphiswhich, if it occurred, would have placed him greek in the tradition of the kings pharaohs. In the course of the 3rd century a powerful Ptolemaic empire developed, which for much of the period laid claim to sovereignty in the Levantin many of the cities of the western and southern coast of Asia Minor, in some Alexandria the Aegean islands, and in a handful of towns in Thrace, as well as in Cyprus and Cyrene.

To conciliate Egyptian feelings, a religious synod that met in bce to crown Epiphanes at Memphis the first occasion on which a Ptolemy is certainly known to have been dating at the traditional capital decreed extensive privileges for the Egyptian temples, as recorded on the Rosetta Stone. Alexander was welcomed by the Egyptians as a liberator and took the country without a battle.

Euergetes was succeeded by his son Ptolemy IV Philopator — bcewhom the Greek historians portray as a weak and corrupt ruler, dominated by a powerful circle of Alexandrian Greek courtiers.

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The battle is notable for the fact that dating s of native Egyptian soldiers fought alongside the Macedonian and Greek contingents. There greek important agricultural innovations in this period. The reign was notable for another serious conflict with the Seleucids, which ended in bce in a great Ptolemaic victory at Raphia in southern Palestine. No one is to pass. Only one answer was possible, and by the end of July Antiochus had left Egypt.

Load. Alexandria was captured, and Antony dating Cleopatra committed suicide—he by falling on his sword, she probably by the bite of an asp—in August of 30 bce. Her long liaison with Mark Antony began when she visited him at Tarsus in 41 bce and he returned to Egypt with her. The festival was marked by a procession of amazingly elaborate and ingeniously constructed floats, with scenarios illustrating Greek religious cults. It is noteworthy that in bce Physcon took the step of bequeathing the kingdom of Cyrene to the Romans in the event of his untimely death. Videos Images. Trouble continued to break out for Alexandria more decades.

Ptolemy I won control Alexandria Cyprus and Cyrene and quarreled with his neighbour over control of Greek. Introduction Introduction to ancient Egyptian civilization Life in ancient Egypt The king and ideology: administration, art, and writing Sources, calendars, and chronology The recovery and study of ancient Egypt The Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods Predynastic Egypt The Early Dynastic period c. In the autumn of bce Alexander the Great invaded Egypt with his mixed army of Macedonians and Greeks and found the Egyptians ready to throw off the oppressive control of the Persians.

Until the day when he openly assumed an independent kingship as Ptolemy I Soteron November 7, bcePtolemy used only the title satrap of Egypt, but the great hieroglyphic Satrap stela, which he had inscribed in bceindicates a degree of self-confidence that transcends his viceregal role.

Native revolts in the south, which had been sporadic in the second half of the 3rd century bcebecame serious and weakened the hold of the monarch on a vital part of the kingdom. He ordered Antiochus to withdraw from Egypt.

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Such links were far from able to preserve harmony between the royal houses between and bce five wars were fought with the Seleucids over possession of territory in Syria and the Levantbut they did keep the ruling houses relatively compact, interconnected, and more true to their Macedonian-Greek origins. But he had failed to reckon with the more powerful interests of Rome.