Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Drangiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Happy Birthday!

Today, we are celebrating Alexander’s birthday. This is very unusual because we have only rare dates from antiquity that we can pin down and match to our modern calendar. Luckily for us, Alexander’s birthday is such an exception.

Unfortunately, we have no picture of the baby or of young Alexander. In fact, we only have one single picture of Alexander made during his lifetime, i.e. the tiny ivory head found in his father’s tomb at Vergina. All other statues, busts, reliefs, mosaics, intaglios, medallions and coins of Alexander the Great are either copies of contemporary works or creations from later centuries. His favorite sculptor Lysippos has transpired through later copies but none of Apelles paintings have survived. Imagine what it would mean to have just one of those originals!

The same goes for Alexander’s historians as nearly all contemporary literature is lost and we have to be content with “second hand” information gleaned by later authors who still had access to the original texts. My secret hope is that one day some of those original documents may be discovered among the Oxyrhynchus papyri that are still being deciphered.

Alexander truly keeps us busy, and rightfully so. Many happy returns, dear Alexander, may you live on forever in the memory of the world!

[Picture from Pinterest]

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