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Knowing the Roman imperial mints: XII- Alexandria.

August 31, 2018

Alexandria, the great Egyptian metropolis, continues being, today as yesterday, one of the most populous and commercially trafficked ports in the entire Mediterranean. Although there are very few preserved remains of its once monumental buildings, we can contemplate a multitude of minor pieces such as statues and inscriptions: sufficiently well preserved to give us an idea of the high level of splendor achieved by the city founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC taking advantage of a magnificent natural harbor located in the western third of the Nile delta.

 

Like so many other cities of capital importance in the history of the Mediterranean, Alexandria based its legendary prosperity on the practice of commerce. In fact, it was the main port of departure for the grain harvested in the very fertile Egypt. The accumulated wealth was used both in the construction of large buildings - it is the paradigmatic case of the famous Pharos (lighthouse), one of the eight wonders of antiquity - and in the creation of institutions dedicated to the cultivation of science and literature. Thus, during the Ptolemaic era, the Alexandrian Library and Museum were founded: by far the main center for the cultivation of human knowledge throughout the Western Hemisphere.

 

Photo 1.- Ruins of a little roman odeon in Alexandria.