n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Founding Alexandria : Alexander the Great and the politics of memory
|Article Title||Founding Alexandria : Alexander the Great and the politics of memory|
|© Publisher:||Classical Association of South Africa (CASA)|
|Journal||Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa|
|Affiliations||1 St Olaf College, USA and 2 University of South Africa|
|Publication Date||Jan 2014|
|Pages||72 - 91|
What exactly Alexander did during his five months in Africa (December 332-April 331 BCE) has puzzled experts since antiquity. The surviving ancient sources report various motives for the conqueror's engagement with his most famous civic foundation, Egyptian Alexandria, and this has facilitated numerous modern interpretations. But because of Alexandria's later significance, ancient and modern authors have assigned an importance, even prescience, to Alexander's actions in Africa that may be unwarranted. For example, Jean Bingen argues that Alexandria mattered to Ptolemy as a political and cultural centre because it had mattered to Alexander. Ptolemy chose Egypt because 'he realised that Alexandria, Alexander the Great's prestigious city foundation, enabled him to obtain immediately [emphasis added] the prestige linked with the recollection of the conqueror.'
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