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Lecture 3

SOSC 1731 Lecture 3: SOSC 1732 Alexandria The Greatest City Notes

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1731
Lewis Code

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Alexandria: The Greatest City
- Has all the knowledge of the world.
-Imagine all the ideas this city produced & when it was
destroyed. - For 2300 years, it’s occupied a key junction
b/w the eastern & western - It’s in Egypt at the top of the
Nile, on the coast of Mediterranean.
-Every inch of the city is jam-packed today & buzzes with life.
-The ancient city is conspicuous by its absence.
-Alexander the Great was buried here, Cleopatra seduced Marc
Anthony & Caesar here & it’s the home of one of the 7 wonders
of the world.
-What make this city special are the scientific & intellectual
aspects of it. - Wanted to become the most powerful city in
the world by capturing all of the world’s knowledge.
-In ancient times, Alexandria was a new city. It was founded
only 2300 years ago.
-4th century B.C: in b/w time of history. Alexander the Great
changed the world.
-The word “Great” is included b/c his achievements were truly
-He united the Greeks as a nation & created a large empire.
-He also invaded Egypt.
-It was covered in ancient art.
-Greeks said non-Greeks ere “barbarians” & respected
-He invaded Egypt in 332 B.C. & overcame the Persians who
dominated them. - He also had to influence Egypt.
-When he arrived, a certain pyramid was 2000 years old;
Egyptians believed it had a sacred power.
-The Egyptians had beautiful blocks & inscriptions on them.
-They also had an underground. There is a bull buried in there.
-Along with believing in life on earth, they were obsessed with
life after death.
-They mixed up animals & humans happily.
-When Alexander arrived, he became a part of the society &
gave money & land to the temples. He visited the temple
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where he was hailed as the son of an Egyptian G-d, so he was
supposed to be the divine ruler on earth. This fits in with the
Egyptians belief of their Pharaoh being divine and a G-d on
-He effected a regime change; Egyptians considered him one of
-That wasn’t enough for them; he wanted to dominate the
country & that mean creating a new city. He had to find a
-He had a figure to guide him on his way.
-He was drawn the Pharos. He had a dream where a guy told
him about it. - He believed it was Homer. He took his advice &
came here to find his city.
-He had a plan to link Pharos to Egypt so he built a crossway &
a harbour.
Alexander & his army wanted Alexandria to become the
intellectual engine o the ancient world.
-Egyptians built monuments in honour of their Pharaohs.
-Their civilization had been a key player in the region for 4000
-4th century B.C: Alexander conquered this land & made it his
own & created a city named Alexandria.
-He envisioned a city where Greek & Egyptian culture came
together. -Today, so little is above ground that to get a sense
of this city you have to descend the monument-tropolis into a
city of the dead. There’s a mishmash of different styles in this
tomb. They also have statues that represent ppl. It was also a
wealthy town.
-This city wasn’t created during the Classical times.
-He passed his spirit of inquiry into the city.
-Knowledge was as valuable as grain or gold.
-Under an archeological oasis called Kom el-Dikka,
archeologists have begun to find the evidence that proves this.
A Polish team has been working on discovering where his ideas
played out. 20 lecture halls were discovered. There was a flat
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