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Jos Strengholt

Short history of Alexandria

Alexander the Great possibly christened around 70 settlements from Africa to Asia after his own name (along with at least one after his horse’s name). The small Egyptian port town of Rhacotis, with his natural harbor and proximity to the Nile delta, was one of those ‘chosen’ settlements, and it was thus rechristened ‘Alexandria’ in 331 BC. But of course, beyond just the new name, the tiny port was also reinvigorated with a brand new suburb constructed beside the old town – with the plan apparently conceived by Alexander himself. And this is what Strabo had to say about the city after almost 300 years of its (re)founding…

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