Ancient Alexandria was foremost and foremost a Grecian metropolis. Its history. nevertheless. is framed by two spiritual events that were foreign to Greek rational traditions: Ptolemy’s creative activity of the cult of Serapis. which helped him set up regulation. and the Christian public violences that massacred the heathen philosopher Hypatia in A. D. 415. Between these two events is an odd record of rational accomplishment. elegantly chronicled by docudrama shapers Pollard and Reid.
Among the many scientific progresss they cover. from Euclid and Archimedes to claudius Ptolemy. possibly the most exemplifying of the city’s cosmopolitanism is human anatomy. the Greeks’ limited apprehension of which was enormously aided by contact with Egyptian mummification. Throughout. the writers are eager. at times excessively eager. to show ancient Alexandria’s modernness. So it is funny that small is said about the celebrated feud between Callimachus. poet and cataloger of the great library. and his former student Apollonius. The ingredients of the feud plagiarism. lewdness. professional enviousness are queerly modern-day.
The writers besides paint an uncomplete image of the city’s literary civilization and its museum. which functioned like a modern university. These unfavorable judgments aside. most readers. particularly those interested in the history of scientific discipline. will happen this a alimentary history. From the city’s initiation by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE through its Islamic conquering in 646 CE. Pollard and Reid track Alexandria’s position as a centre of Hellenism in the ancient Mediterranean universe. Mysteries such as the destiny of Alexandria’s celebrated library are left as that. while the plants and writers it surely housed supply the authors’ basic beginning stuff.
Both writers have produced many history docudramas. and they write accessibly. non stodgily. as they discuss why Alexandrians such as Euclid and Eratosthenes are stars in the history of scientific discipline. Parallel to these narratives of bookmans. among them the innovator of librarianship. the cataloguer Callimachus. the writers recount the lucks of the Ptolemaic dynasty that expired with Cleopatra. Through it all stood the Pharos beacon. one of the Seven Wonders. from which 1 could hold observed the Roman coup d’etat and the growing of Christianity.
Classical history fans will enjoy this study. The amazing narrative of the ancient metropolis that invented the modern universe Founded by Alexander the Great and built by Grecian Pharaoh. the metropolis of Alexandria at its tallness dwarfed both Athens and Rome. It was the wonder of its age-legendary for its huge castles. safe seaports. and brilliant beacon. But it was most celebrated for the amazing rational fluorescence it fostered and the library it produced. If the European Renaissance was the “rebirth” of Western civilization. so Alexandria. Egypt. was its place of birth.
It was here mankind foremost discovered that the Earth was non level. originated atomic theory. invented geometry. systematized grammar. translated the Old Testament into Greek. built the steam engine. and passed their finds on to future coevalss via the written word. Julius Caesar. Anthony and Cleopatra. Judaic bookmans. Grecian philosophers. and devout early Christians all play a portion in the rise and autumn of the metropolis that stood “at the concurrence of the whole universe. ” Compulsively clear and scintillating with fresh penetrations into scientific discipline. doctrine. civilization. and innovation. this is an resistless. eye-opening delectation.