Bettany Hughes explores the world of Ancient Alexandria in the first episode of her Ancient World's series. She explores the rise and fall of the greatest city.
Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great and was the place where East and West met. The ancient city is well hidden by the modern city and one has to dig to find the story of Alexandria. It was an ancient city were the people took the best part of a variety of cultures and put them together. The city put a value on wisdom and was determined to collect the world's wisdom into one place. The city was founded in the in between times, between the fall of Greece and the rise of Rome.
When Alexander the Great got to the place that would be known as Alexandria, he built a causeway out to Pharos island, implemented city planning and created a harbor which made Alexandria one of the busiest harbors in the world. He won over the Egyptian people by adopting to their culture. The Ptolemy Family eventually take over and then the city fell to Rome.
Alexandria emphasized learning and collecting knowledge. There were places that allowed teachers to lecture students. Bettany Hughes introduces the audience to Hypatia on of the last female philosophers that Alexandria produced. She redesigned the Astrolabe. Alexandria was the place where teachers and philosophers could come together, work together and exchange their thoughts. The scale of Alexandria's ambition to collect the world's knowledge was unprecedented and bold.
It all came crashing down. With a city where ideas flew, someone was bound to become offended. The Library was destroyed and philosophers were killed.
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You can find the link for the YouTube video here.
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