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Title: Alexandria: A History and a Guide
Author: Forster, E. M. (Edward Morgan)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Alexandria: A History and a Guide" ***

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Online

                         A HISTORY AND A GUIDE.


                       BY THE SAME WRITER:

                           HOWARDS END,
                           THE LONGEST JOURNEY,
                           THE CELESTIAL OMNIBUS,
                           ETC., ETC.


                              To G. H. L.


          [Illustration: Vue d’Alexandrie—extraite du IOVRNAL

                              DES VOYAGES

                              DE MONSIEVR

                              DE MONCONYS

                             LYON M DC LXV.

                               See p. 84]



                         A HISTORY AND A GUIDE


                      E. M. FORSTER, M.A. CANTAB.

If a man make a pilgrimage round Alexandria in the morning, God will
make for him a golden crown, set with pearls, perfumed with musk and
camphor, and shining from the East to the West.

                                                             Ibn Dukmak.

To any vision must be brought an eye adapted to what is to be seen.


                        WHITEHEAD MORRIS LIMITED






THIS book consists of two parts: a History and a Guide.

The “History” attempts (after the fashion of a pageant) to marshal the
activities of Alexandria during the two thousand two hundred and fifty
years of her existence. Starting with the heroic figure of Alexander the
Great, it inspects the dynasty of the Ptolemies, and in particular the
career of the last of them, Cleopatra; an account of Ptolemaic
literature and science follows, and closes this splendid period, to
which I have given the title of “Greco-Egyptian.” The second period,
called “Christian”, begins with the rule of Rome, and traces the
fortunes of Christianity, first as a persecuted and then as a
persecuting power: all is lost in 641, when the Patriarch Cyrus betrays
Alexandria to the Arabs. An interlude comes next—“The Spiritual
City”—which meditates upon Alexandrian philosophy and religion, both
Pagan and Christian: it seemed better to segregate these subjects,
partly because they interrupt the main historical procession, partly
because many readers are not interested in them. History is resumed in
the “Arab Period,” which is of no importance though it lasts over 1,000
years—from Amr to Napoleon. With Napoleon begins the “Modern Period,”
the main feature of which is the building of the city we now see under
the auspices of Mohammed Ali; and the pageant concludes, as well as it
may, with an account of the events of 1882, and with surmises as to
future municipal developments.

The “History” is written in short sections, and at the end of each
section are references to the second part—the “Guide”. _On these
references the chief utility of the book depends_, so the reader is
begged to take special note of them: they may help him to link the
present and the past. Suppose, for instance, he has read in the History
about the Pharos: at the end of the section he will find references to
Fort Kait Bey where the Pharos stood, to Abousir where there is a
miniature replica of it, and to the Coin Room in the Museum, where it
appears on the moneys of Domitian and Hadrian. Or again, suppose that
the tragic fate of Hypatia has touched him: at the end will be
references to the Caesareum, where Hypatia was murdered, and to the Wady
Natrun, where the monks who murdered her generally resided. Or the
British victories of 1801: he will be referred to the country over which
our troops marched, to the Abercrombie Monument at Sidi Gaber, and to a
tombstone in the courtyard of the Greek Patriarchate. The “sights” of
Alexandria are in themselves not interesting, but they fascinate when we
approach them through the past, and this is what I have tried to do by
the double arrangement of History and Guide.

The “Guide” calls for no introduction. It is written from the practical
standpoint, and is intended to be used on the spot. Maps and plans
accompany it. The city is divided into sections, the visitor in every
case starting from the Square. Other sections deal with the environs,
and with the surrounding country as far as Rosetta on the east and
Abousir on the west. In transliterating Arabic names I have preferred
the French system: there are three English systems, each backed by a
rival government department, so the French seems the safer course, and
if I have not kept to it rigidly, I am only following, though at a
respectful distance, the example of the Alexandria Municipality. Here
and there some History has crept into the Guide—notably in the case of
Aboukir, whose fortunes, though dependent on Alexandria’s, present
features of their own.




There is, so far as I know, no monograph on Alexandria, and though the
present little book makes no claim to original research, it has drawn
together much information that was hitherto scattered. The following
works, among others, have been consulted; those marked with an asterisk
are published locally.


Ptolemaic Period:—_Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides_. A scholarly
and delightful work. 4 vols.

Ptolemaic Literature:—_A. Couat, La Poésie Alexandrine_; well written.
_Theocritus_, translated A. Lang.

Christian Period:—No satisfactory work. _S. Sharpe, History of Egypt
until the Arab Conquest, vol. 2_ may be consulted; also _Gibbon_, chs.
21 and 47. _Mrs. Butcher, The Story of the Church in Egypt_ is full of
information, but uncritical and diffuse.

Arab Conquest:—_A. J. Butler, The Arab Conquest of Egypt_. A monograph
of the highest merit, brilliantly written and practically reconstructing
the episode.

Jewish Thought:—_E. Herriot, Philon le Juif._

Neo-Platonism:—Various works. There is a lucid introduction to Plotinus
in _S. McKenna, Translation of the Enneads_, vol. 1; this admirable
translation is still in progress. _Porphyry’s Letter to Marcella_
(translated, A. Gardner) is also interesting.

Christian Theology:—See under “Christian period.” The Fathers can be
read in the _Ante-Nicene Christian Library_.

Arab period:—Too obscure to possess a history.

Napoleonic Wars:—_Mahan, Influence of Sea Power upon the French
Revolution_, chs. 9 and 10. _R. T_. _Wilson, History of the British
Expedition to Egypt_. See also below, under Aboukir.

General Modern History:—_D. A. Cameron, Egypt in the Nineteenth
Century_. A well-written book by the late Consul General at Alexandria;
contains good account of Mohammed Ali. The works of Lord Cromer, W. S.
Blunt and Sir V. Chirol are also useful.

Events of 1882:—_C. Royle, The Egyptian Campaigns_.

One or two novels and plays dealing with the History may here be
mentioned. The career of Cleopatra has inspired two noble tragedies,
Shakespeare’s _Antony and Cleopatra_, and Dryden’s _All for Love_;
extracts from them are given on p. 214. Dryden’s masterpiece should be
better known; it is most moving, admirably constructed, and contains
some magnificent scenes. A novel by Pierre Loüys, _Aphrodite_, also
treats of the period, but in a scented Parisian way.—Anatole France,
_Thais_, pictures life in the 4th cent. A.D.; the details are both vivid
and accurate, and build up a perfect work of art.—For the early 5th
cent. there is Charles Kingsley’s _Hypatia_, a rousing yarn about the
final contest between Paganism and Christianity; Kingsley is always
readable, but his bluff burly mind was incapable of understanding
Alexandria.—Two good novels by Marmaduke Pickthall, _Said the Fisherman_
and _Children of the Nile_ touch upon events in the modern period.

                  *       *       *       *       *

(B). GUIDE.:—

*_E. Breccia, Alexandrea ad Aegyptum._ In French: English translation
announced. Deals mainly with Classical Antiquities. Two sections—the
first dealing with the remains in the city and environs, the second with
the Greco-Roman Museum, of which Professor Breccia is the distinguished
Curator. I am under much obligation to this fine scholarly book,
especially in the following sections:—Greco-Roman Museum, Catacombs of
Anfouchi and Kom es Chogafa, Serapeum, Abousir.

Prehistoric Harbour:—*_E. Jondet, Les Ports submergés de l’ancienne Isle
de Pharos_. A monograph by the discoverer. Magnificent Maps.

Pharos and Fort Kait Bey:—_H. Thiersch, Pharos, Antike, Islam Und
Occident_. A standard monograph, but exhibiting the defects as well as
the merits of German Scholarship.

Canopus and Aboukir:—*_J. Faivre, Canopus, Menouthis, Aboukir_.
Published in French and English. *_R. D. Downes, A History of Canopus._
These excellent pamphlets supplement one another, the first dealing with
the literary evidence, the second with the typography.

Rosetta:—*_Max Herz Bey, Les Mosquées de Rosette_ (various articles in
the _Comptes Rendus_ of the Comité de Conservation des Monuments

St. Menas:—*_C. M. Kaufmann, La Decouverte des Sanctuaires de Menas_. By
the Excavator.

Natrun Monasteries:—_A. J. Butler, Ancient Coptic Churches_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Many friends have also helped me, among whom I would particularly thank
the following:—Mr. George Antonius for his assistance with those
interesting but little known buildings, the Alexandria Mosques; Mr. M.
S. Briggs for his help in the Rosetta section; Dr. A. J. Butler for
permission to reproduce two plans of the Natrun Churches; Mr. C. P.
Cavafy for permission to publish one of his poems, and Mr. G.
Valassopoulo for translating the same; the Rev. R. D. Downes for his
help at Aboukir; Mr. R. A. Furness for his verse translations from
Callimachus and other Greek poets; M. E. Jondet, Director of Ports and
Lights, for taking me to see his fascinating discovery, the Prehistoric
Harbour, and for placing at my disposal his unrivalled collection of
Maps and Views, two of which I have reproduced; and above all Mr. G. H.
Ludolf, to whose suggestion this book is due, and without whose help it
would never have been completed. I shall never forget the kindness that
I have received at Alexandria, and in no wise endorse the verdict of my
predecessor the poet Gelal ed Din ben Mokram who monstrously asserts

    The visitor to Alexandria receives nothing in the way of hospitality
    Except some water and an account of Pompey’s Pillar.
    Those who wish to treat him very well go so far as to offer some
       fresh air
    And to tell him where the Lighthouse is.
    They also instruct him about the sea and its waves,
    Adding a description of the large Greek boats.
    The visitor need not aspire to receive any bread,
    For to a request of this sort there is no reply.

Circumstances which I could not control have delayed the publication of
the book, but, with the help of friends, I have tried to bring the
“Guide” up to date as far as possible.





        Preface                                                i
        Authorities                                          iii

                            PART I: HISTORY.


        The Land and the Waters                                5
        Pharos, Rhakotis, Canopus                              6
        Alexander the Great                                    8
        The Foundation Plan                                    9
        The First Three Ptolemies                             11
        The Ptolemaic City                                    16
        The Later Ptolemies                                   21
        Cleopatra                                             23
        Ptolemaic Culture:                                    28
          Literature                                          29
          Scholarship                                         34
          Art                                                 35
          Philosophy                                          36
          Science                                             36


                     SECTION II: CHRISTIAN PERIOD.

        The Rule of Rome                                      44
        The Christian Community                               45
        Arius and Athanasius                                  47
        The Rule of the Monks                                 50
        The Arab Conquest                                     52


                    SECTION III: THE SPIRITUAL CITY.

        Introduction                                          60
        The Jews                                              62
        Neo-Platonism                                         64
        Christianity:                                         69
          Introduction                                        69
          Gnosticism                                          71
          Orthodoxy                                           72
          Arianism                                            75
          Monophysism                                         76
          Monothelism                                         76
          Conclusion: Islam                                   77


                        SECTION IV: ARAB PERIOD.

        The Arab Town                                         80
        The Turkish Town                                      82


                       SECTION V: MODERN PERIOD.

        Napoleon                                              86
        Mohammed Ali                                          88
        The Modern City                                       90
        The Bombardment of Alexandria                         93
        Conclusion                                            97


        The God abandons Antony                               98


                            PART II: GUIDE.

                               SECTION I:
                    FROM THE SQUARE TO RUE ROSETTE.

        The Square                                           102
          Statue of Mohammed Ali                             102
          Banco di Roma                                      103
        Rue Rosette                                          104
          Mosque of the Prophet Daniel                       104
          St. Saba                                           106
        Greco-Roman Museum                                   107


                              SECTION II:
                     FROM THE SQUARE TO RAS-EL TIN.

        Chorbagi Mosque                                      124
        Terbana Mosque                                       125
        Abou el Abbas Mosque                                 126
        Anfouchi Tombs                                       126
        Ras-el-Tin Palace                                    129
        Prehistoric Harbour                                  130

        Fort Kait Bey (The Pharos)                           133



        Place St. Catherine                                  142
        Attarine Mosque                                      143
        Old Protestant Cemetery                              144
        “Pompey’s Pillar” and Temple of Serapis              144
        Kom es Chogafa Catacombs                             148
        Mahmoudieh Canal                                     151



        Municipal Gardens                                    154
        Antique Tomb (Pompey’s?)                             155
        French War Memorial                                  156
        Nouzha Gardens                                       156
        Antoniadis Gardens                                   157
        Antique Tomb                                         157



        Caesareum and Cleopatra’s Needles (site of)          161
        Abercrombie Monument                                 165
        Abou el Nawatir                                      165
        San Stefano Casino                                   166
        Spouting Rocks                                       166



        Mex                                                  171
        Fort Agame                                           171



        Montazah                                             175
        Aboukir                                              176
        Canopus                                              180
        Baths of “Cleopatra”                                 183
        Edku                                                 184
        Rosetta                                              185


                    SECTION VIII: THE LYBIAN DESERT.

        Abousir                                              191
        Burg el Arab                                         194
        St. Menas                                            195
        Wady Natrun                                          200
        Natrun Monasteries                                   204



        APPENDIX I: The Modern Religious Communities         211

        APPENDIX II: The Death of Cleopatra                  214

        APPENDIX III: The Uncanonical Gospels of Egypt       217

        APPENDIX IV: The Nicene Creed                        218


        Index                                                222


                        LIST OF MAPS AND PLANS.

     De Moncony’s View (1665):                        _Frontispiece._
     Alexandria: Historical Map:                                   98
     Genealogical Tree of Ptolemies:                               12
     The World according to Eratosthenes:                          37
     The World according to Claudius Ptolemy:                      39
     Belon’s View (1554)                                           83
     Plan of Greco-Roman Museum:                                  108
     Anfouchi Tombs:                                              127
     Prehistoric Harbour                                          131
     Kait Bey, Plan I                                             134
      "    "     Plan II                                          135
     “Pompey’s Pillar” and Temple of Serapis                      144
     Kom es Chogafa                                               148
     Country round Alexandria                                     174
     Aboukir                                                      178
     Abousir                                                      191
     St. Menas. Plan I                                            196
        "       Plan II                                           197
     Natrun Monasteries. Plan I                                   202
       "         "       Plan II                                  203
     Map of Alexandria                                       in cover


                                PART I.




                               SECTION I.


                         GRECO-EGYPTIAN PERIOD.


                        THE LAND AND THE WATERS.

The situation of Alexandria is most curious. To understand it we must go
back many thousand years.

Ages ago, before there was civilization in Egypt, or the delta of the
Nile had been formed, the whole of the country as far south as Cairo lay
under the sea. The shores of this sea were a limestone desert. The
coastline was smooth as a rule, but at the north-west corner an
extraordinary spur jutted out from the main mass. It was not more than a
mile wide, but many miles long. Its base is not far from the modern
Bahig. Alexandria is built half-way down it, and its tip is the headland
of Aboukir. On each side of it there used to be deep salt water.

Centuries passed, and the Nile, issuing out of his crack above Cairo,
kept carrying down the muds of Upper Egypt, and dropping them as soon as
his current slackened. In the north-west corner they were arrested by
this spur, and began to silt up against it. It was a shelter not only
from the outer sea, but from the prevalent wind. Alluvial land appeared;
the huge shallow lake of Mariout was formed; and the current of the
Nile, unable to escape through the limestone barrier, rounded the
headland of Aboukir, and entered the outer sea by what was known in
historical times as the “Canopic” Mouth.

This explains one characteristic of Alexandrian scenery—the long narrow
ridge edged on the north by the sea and on the south by a lake and flat
fields. But it does not explain why Alexandria has a harbour.

To the north of the spur, and more or less parallel to it, runs a second
limestone range. It is much shorter than the spur and much lower, being
often below the surface of the sea in the form of reefs. It seems
unimportant. But without it there would have been no harbour (and
consequently no town), because it breaks the force of the waves.
Starting at Agame it continues as a series of rocks across the entrance
of the modern harbour. Then it reemerges to form the hammer-headed
promontory of Ras-el-Tin, disappears into a second series of rocks that
close the entrance of the Eastern Harbour, and makes its final
appearance at the promontory of Silsileh, after which it rejoins the big

Such are the main features of the situation; a limestone ridge, with
harbours on one side of it, and alluvial country on the other. It is a
situation unique in Egypt, and the Alexandrians have never been truly


        QUARRIES BEYOND MEX: p. 171
        HILL OF ABOU EL NAWATIR: p. 165
        MONTAZAH: p. 175
        HEADLAND OF ABOUKIR: p. 182

                       PHAROS, RHAKOTIS, CANOPUS.

Who first settled on this remarkable stretch of coast? There seem to
have been three early centres.

(i). Homer (Odyssey, Book iv) says:—

    “There is an island in the surging sea, which they call Pharos,
    lying off Egypt. It has a harbour with good anchorage, and hence
    they put out to sea after drawing water.”

Homer’s island is now the promontory of Ras-el-Tin; the intervening
channel has silted up. There are no traces of any early settlement on
its soil, but in the sea to its north and west the masonry of a
prehistoric harbour has been found. Homer goes on to tell how Menelaus
was becalmed on Pharos as he returned from Troy, and how he could not
get away until he had entrapped Proteus, the divine king of the island,
and exacted a favourable wind. A similar legend has been found in an
ancient Egyptian papyrus. There the King is called the “Prouti” or
“Pharaoh”. “Prouti” is probably the original of Homer’s “Proteus,”
“Pharaoh” of his “Pharos.” It is significant that our first glimpse of
the coast should be through the eyes of a Greek sailor.

(ii). But our historical survey must begin with Rhakotis. Rhakotis was a
small Egyptian town built on the rise where “Pompey’s Pillar” stands
now, and it existed as long ago as 1,300 B.C., for statues of that time
have been found here. The people were coast guards and goat herds. Their
chief god was Osiris. Rhakotis was never important in itself. But it is
important as an element in the great Greek city that was built up round
it. It was a little lump of Egypt. Compare it to the Arab villages and
slums that have been embedded in the scheme of the modern town—to
Mazarita or to Kom-el-Dik. Rhakotis was like one of these. The native
and conservative element naturally rallied to it, and it became the site
for Alexandria’s great religious effort—the cult of Serapis.

(iii). At the tip of the limestone ridge, where the Nile once entered
the sea, was another early settlement. It also appears in Greek legend.
In historical times, it was known as Canopus.

    RAS-EL-TIN (Homer’s Pharos): p. 129
    POMPEY’S PILLAR (Rhakotis): p. 144
    CANOPUS: p. 180

                    ALEXANDER THE GREAT (B.C. 331).

Few cities have made so magnificent an entry into history as Alexandria.
She was founded by Alexander the Great.

When he arrived here he was only twenty-five years old. His career must
be sketched. He was a Macedonian and had begun by destroying the
city-civilization of ancient Greece. But he did not hate the Greeks, no,
he admired them immensely and desired to be treated as if he was one,
and his next exploit was to lead a crusade against Greece’s traditional
enemy, Persia, and to defeat her in two tremendous battles, one at the
Dardanelles and one in Asia Minor. As soon as he conquered Syria, Egypt
fell into his hands, and fell willingly, for she too hated the Persians.
He went to Memphis (near modern Cairo). Then he descended the Nile to
the coast, and ordered his architect Dinocrates to build round the
nucleus of Rhakotis a magnificent Greek city. This was not mere idealism
on his part, or rather idealism was happily combined with utility. He
needed a capital for his new Egyptian kingdom, and to link it with
Macedonia that capital had to be on the coast. Here was the very place—a
splendid harbour, a perfect climate, fresh water, limestone quarries,
and easy access to the Nile. Here he would perpetuate all that was best
in Hellenism, and would create a metropolis for that greater Greece that
should consist not of city-states but of kingdoms, and should include
the whole inhabited world.

Alexandria was founded.

Having given his orders, the young man hurried on. He never saw a single
building rise. His next care was a visit to the temple of Ammon in the
Siwan Oasis, where the priest saluted him as a god, and henceforward his
Greek sympathies declined. He became an Oriental, a cosmopolitan almost,
and though he fought Persia again, it was in a new spirit. He wanted to
harmonise the world now, not to Hellenise it, and must have looked back
on Alexandria as a creation of his immaturity. But he was after all to
return to her. Eight years later, having conquered Persia, he died, and
his body, after some vicissitudes, was brought to Memphis for burial.
The High Priest refused to receive it there. “Do not settle him here,”
he cried, “but at the city he has built at Rhakotis, for wherever this
body must lie the city will be uneasy, disturbed with wars and battles.”
So he descended the Nile again, wrapped in gold and enclosed in a coffin
of glass, and he was buried at the centre of Alexandria, by her great
cross roads, to be her civic hero and tutelary god.

    COIN OF ALEXANDER: Museum, Room 3.
    STATUES OF HIM: Museum, Rooms 12 and 16.
    HIS TOMB (Soma): p. 105

                          THE FOUNDATION PLAN.

                   (_See Map of Ancient City p._ 98).

Before dissecting Alexander’s plan we must remember three differences in
the configuration of the soil as it existed in his day.

(i). As already pointed out, Ras-el-Tin was then an island. He thought
of building here, but rejected the site as too cramped. A shrine to his
dead friend Hephaestion rose here, that was all.

(ii). Lake Mariout was much deeper then than now, and directly connected
with the Nile. Consequently it was almost as important a water-way as
the sea, and a lake harbour was an integral part of the plan.

(iii). There was then through water-connection between the Mediterranean
and the Red Sea. The ancient Egyptians had cut a canal from the Nile at
Memphis down to the salt lakes that begin by the modern Ismailia. Thus
Alexandria stood in the position of Port Said to-day; a maritime gateway
to India and the remoter east.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The city was oblong, and filled up the strip between the Lake and the
sea; she was laid out in rigidly straight lines. Her main street (the
“Canopic”) still exists in part as the Rue Rosette. It ran almost due
east and west—a bad direction because it was cut off from the cool north
wind that is the real tutelary god of Alexandria, but, owing to the
site, nothing else could be contrived. Westward it terminated in the
sea; eastward it proceeded to Canopus (Aboukir). It was the natural
highway along the limestone spur, and no doubt existed long before
Alexander came.

Crossing the Canopic Street, and following the line of the present Rue
Nebi Daniel, was the second main artery, the street of the Soma. It
started at the Lake Harbour and ran northward to the sea. Where it
intersected the Canopic Street stood the Soma, or burial place of
Alexander—close to the present Mosque. Parallel to these two streets ran
others, dividing the city into blocks of an American regularity. It
could not have been picturesque, but the Greeks did not desire
picturesqueness. They liked to lay their towns out evenly—Rhodes and
Halicarnassus had just been laid out on the same lines—and the only
natural feature they cared to utilise was the sea. The blocks were
labelled according to the letters of the Greek alphabet.

Of the sea front magnificent use was to be made. Only one feature shall
be mentioned here: the dyke Heptastadion (seven stades long) which was
built to connect the island of Pharos and the mainland. It performed two
functions; it enlarged the city area, and it broke the force of the
currents and created a double harbour—the Great Harbour to the east and
the Eunostos (“Safe Return”) to the west. In the Arab period the
Heptastadion silted up and became the neck of land that leads to

The course of the walls is uncertain. Perhaps their eastern course was
from the promontory of Silsileh to the lake, and their western from the
modern Gabbari to the lake. Their foundations were accompanied by a
portent of the usual type. There was not enough chalk to mark the
outlines, so meal had to be substituted, and a number of birds flew out
of the lake and ate it all up. The Greeks interpreted the portent
satisfactorily: to the Egyptians it might well have symbolised the
advent of the hungry foreigner. We are not told what was substituted for
the meal, but somehow or other the walls were built and were studded at
frequent intervals with towers.

    LAKE MARIOUT: p. 190
    RUE ROSETTE, (Canopic Street): p. 104
    RUE NEBI DANIEL (Street of Soma): p. 104

                       THE FIRST THREE PTOLEMIES.

    PTOLEMY I., SOTER, 323-285.

                    (_See Genealogical Tree p._ 12).

When Alexander died the empire was divided among his generals, who ruled
for a little in the name of his half-brother or of his son, but who soon
proclaimed themselves as independent kings. Egypt fell to the ablest and
most discreet of these generals, a Macedonian named Ptolemy. Ptolemy was
no soaring idealist.



                                       PTOLEMY I
                                 Satrap of Egypt, 323
                                  King (Soter), 304
                                   m. Berenice I
             |                                                    |
         PTOLEMY II                                            Arsinoe
       King (Philadelphus), 287
       m. (i) Arsinoe I
         (ii) Arsinoe II, his sister
                                       PTOLEMY III
                                    King (Euergetes), 246
                                    m. Berenice II, of Cyrene
                   |                                              |
               PTOLEMY IV                                      Arsinoe
          King (Philopator), 221
          m. Arsinoe III, his sister
                                  PTOLEMY V
                            King (Epiphanes), 205
                            m. Cleopatra I of Syria
         |                            |                |
    PTOLEMY VI                   Cleopatra         PTOLEMY VII (Physkon)
    King (Philometor) 181                   Reigns with his brother, 170
    m. Cleopatra II his sister               King (Euergetes II), 145
    Reigns with his brother, 170        m. (i) Cleopatra II their sister
         |                                 (ii) Cleopatra III his niece
         |                                             |
         +──────────────────────────────+              |
         |                              |              |
       PTOLEMY VIII                Cleopatra           |
      King (Eupator) 145.                              |
      d. same year                                     |
                |                       |                      |
        PTOLEMY X[1] (Lathyrus)    Cleopatra              PTOLEMY XII
      King (Soter II) 116                      King (Alexander I) 108-88
      Expelled to Cyprus 108-88                m. (i). d. ?
      m. his sister Cleopatra IV               (ii) his niece, Cleopatra
      d. 80                                            Berenice III
                |                                             |
             +──+─────────────────────+                       |
             |                        |                       |
    Cleopatra-Berenice                |                  PTOLEMY XI
                                      |          King (Alexander II) 80
                                      |    m. his stepmother and cousin
                                      |          Cleopatra-Berenice III
                                      |        End of Legitimate branch
                              PTOLEMY XIII (Auletes)
                           King (Neos Dionysos) 80
                           m. his sister Cleopatra V
                           banished 58-55 d. 51
       |               |             |               |              |
    Berenice IV        |         PTOLEMY XIV    PTOLEMY XV       Arsinoe
    Queen 58-55        |            51-30         47-44
                     CLEOPATRA VI
               Queen (Philopator) 51-47
               m. her brothers Ptolemy XIV & XV
               mistress of Julius Caesar (48-44)
               and of M. Antony (40-30)
                PTOLEMY XVI (Caesarion)
                    (son by Caesar)

Footnote 1:

  Ptolemy IX is omitted from this list; he was probably a dead son of
  Ptolemy VII and Cleopatra II, whom they inserted posthumously in the
  annals as “Neos Philopator.”

He desired neither to Hellenise the world nor to harmonise it. But he
was no cynic either. He respected mental as well as material activity.
He had been present at the foundation of Alexandria, and had evidently
decided that the place would suit him, and now, taking up his abode in
the unfinished city, he began to adorn her with architecture and
scholarship and song. Rival generals, especially in Asia Minor and
Macedonia, occupied much of his energy. At the very beginning of his
rule he was involved in a curious war for the possession of the corpse
of Alexander, which he had kidnapped as it was on its way from Persia to
the Oasis of Ammon. Ptolemy annexed the corpse and much else. Before he
died he had assumed the titles of King and of Soter (saviour), and had
added to his kingdom Cyrene, Palestine, Cyprus, and parts of the Asia
Minor coast. Of this substantial domain Alexandria was the capital, and
also the geographic centre. Then, as now, she belonged not so much to
Egypt as to the Mediterranean, and the Ptolemies realised this. Up in
Egypt they played the Pharaoh, and built solemn archaistic temples like
Edfu and Kom Ombo. Down in Alexandria they were Hellenistic.

The second Ptolemy, Philadelphus, (Friend of his Sister), was a more
pretentious person than his father. He is famous through the praises of
the poets whom he patronised and of the Jews whom he invited, but his
personal achievements were slight. Indeed the chief event of his reign
is domestic rather than military—in 277 he married his sister Arsinoe.
This was as startling to Greek feelings as it is to Christian, but in
Egypt he had a prototype in the god Osiris who had married his sister
Isis, and he justified the union on the highest sacerdotal grounds. He
and Arsinoe were deified as the “Adelphian Gods,” in whose equal veins
flowed the uncontaminated blood of their divine father, the general, and
their example was followed, when possible, by their successors. It was
the pride of race carried to an extreme degree. The royalties of to-day,
for fear of debasing their stock, marry first cousins; the Ptolemies,
more logical, tried to propagate within even narrower limits. In flesh,
as in spirit, the dynasty claimed to be apart from common men, and to
appear as successive emanations of the Deity, in pairs of male and
female. Arsinoe—to come back to earth—was a domineering and sinister
woman. She was seven years older than her brother, and when they married
he had already a wife, whom she drove from Alexandria by her intrigues.
However, he liked her and when, a martyr to indigestion, she died, he
was so far inconsolable that he did not marry again.

The closing years of his reign were divided between his mistresses and
the gout. During a respite from the latter he looked out of his palace
window on some public holiday, and saw beneath him the natives
picnicking on the sand, as they do at the feast of Shem-el-Nessem
to-day. They were obscure, they were happy. “Why can I not be like
them?” sighed the old king, and burst into tears. His reign had been
imposing rather than beautiful and had initiated little in Alexandrian
civilization beyond the somewhat equivocal item of a mystic marriage. He
could endow and patronise. But, unlike Alexander, unlike his father, he
could not create. He completed what they had laid down, and appropriated
the praise.

Ptolemy Euergetes (Well-doer) was the son of Philadelphus by his first
wife. In character he resembled his grandfather. He was a sensible and
successful soldier, with a taste for science. By marrying his cousin
Berenice, he secured Cyrene which had lapsed—Berenice the most highly
praised of all the Ptolemaic Queens, though we know nothing of her
character. In their reign the power of Egypt and the splendour of
Alexandria came to their height. It is now time to examine that
splendour. One hundred years have passed since Alexander laid the
foundations. What has been built upon them?

    INSCRIPTIONS: Museum, Rooms 6, 22.
    BERENICE, STATUES: Museum, Rooms 4, 12.

                          THE PTOLEMAIC CITY.

                   (_See Map of Ancient City p._ 98).

The following were the most important buildings in the Ptolemaic city.


The Egyptian coast, being mainly alluvial, is difficult to sight from
the sea. It was therefore imperative to indicate, by some great
monument, where the new city stood. It was desirable too to provide a
guide for sailors through the limestone reefs that line the shore. For
these reasons the Ptolemies built a lighthouse over four hundred feet
high on the Eastern end of Pharos Island (present Fort Kait Bey). Full
details are given later (p. 132); here it is enough to note that the
Pharos (as it was called) was the greatest practical achievement of the
Alexandrian mind and the outward expression of the mathematical studies
carried on in the Mouseion; Sostratus, its architect, was contemporary
with Eratosthenes and Euclid.

A fortress as well as a beacon, the Pharos was the pivot of the city’s
naval defences. It dominated both the harbours, and kept special watch
over the more precious of them—the Eastern, which held the Royal fleet.
Here the promontory of the Palace stretched towards it. Westward, it
could signal over the other harbour to the Chersonese (present Fort
Agame). And further west, the system was prolonged into a long line of
watch towers and beacons that studded the north African coast, and
connected Egypt with her daughter kingdom of Cyrene. One of these towers
(that at Abousir) still remains, and shows in miniature what the Pharos
must once have been.

    FORT KAIT BEY (Pharos): p. 132
    TOWER OF ABOUSIR: p. 102


We can locate one point in the Palace, or rather palace-system: it
certainly covered the Promontory of Silsileh, which was then both longer
and broader than now. But no one knows how far the buildings stretched
inland, or along the shore, nor what the architecture was. Each Ptolemy
made additions, and the whole formed a special quarter, somewhat like
the Imperial City at Pekin. Egypt being an autocracy, the palace was the
seat of government as well as royal residence; clerks had their offices
there. There was a palace-harbour (left of Silsileh), and an Island
Palace or Kiosk called Antirrhodus, which rivalled the glories of
Rhodes; Antirrhodus lay in the Eastern Harbour, and rocks, now deep
below the surface of the sea, have been identified with it.

Inland, the Palace connected with another great system—that of the
Mouseion. On its seaward side, it was prolonged by breakwaters towards
the Pharos.

    SILSILEH (Site of Palace): p. 163
    COLUMNS FROM LOCALITY: Museum, Room 16.


The Mouseion at Alexandria was the great intellectual achievement of the
dynasty. Not only did it mould the literature and science of its day,
but it has left a permanent impress upon thought. Its buildings have all
disappeared, and the very site is conjectural; perhaps it had a facade
opposite the Soma, west of the present Rue Nebi Daniel. In its vast
areas were lecture halls, laboratories, observatories, a library, a
dining hall, a park, and a zoo.

It was founded by Ptolemy Soter, who summoned a follower of Aristotle,
Demetrius Phaleras, and ordered him to organise an institution on the
lines of the Athenian Mouseion—a philosophic establishment that had
contained the library of Aristotle. But the Alexandrian Mouseion soon
diverged widely from its model. It was far richer and larger for one
thing; the funds being administered by a priest who was appointed by the
King. And it was essentially a court institution, under palace control,
and knew both the advantages and disadvantages of royal patronage. In
some ways it resembled a modern university, but the scholars and
scientists and literary men whom it supported were under no obligation
to teach; they had only to pursue their studies to the greater glory of
the Ptolemies.

The most famous element in this enormous institution was the
Library—sometimes called the “Mother” library to distinguish it from a
later and even greater collection. 500,000 books, and a catalogue that
occupied 120. The post of “Librarian” was of immense importance and its
holder was the chief official in the Mouseion.

The actual literary and scientific output of the Mouseion will be
considered elsewhere (p. 28).

    RUE NEBI DANIEL (Site of Mouseion?): p. 105


The idea that one religion is false and another true is essentially
Christian, and had not occurred to the Egyptians and Greeks who were
living together at Alexandria. Each worshipped his own gods, just as he
spoke his own language, but he never thought that the gods of his
neighbour had no existence, and he was willing to believe that they
might be his own gods under another name. The Greeks in particular held
this view and had already identified Osiris, god of the world beyond
death, with their Dionysus, who was a god of mysteries and also of wine.
So when Ptolemy Soter decided to compound a god for his new city, he was
only taking advantage of this tendency, and giving a local habitation
and a name and a statue to sentiments that already existed.

Osiris was the main ingredient. He was already worshipped on the hill of
Rhakotis, and he was the most celebrated of the Egyptian deities. To him
was added the bull god Apis, of Memphis, whose cult had been recently
revived, and out of their names was formed the compound, “Serapis.” But
while the origins and title of the new god were Egyptian, his appearance
and attributes were Greek. His statue—ascribed to the Greek sculptor
Bryaxis—showed him seated in Greek garments upon a classic throne. His
features were those of the bearded Zeus, but softened and benign; indeed
he more closely resembled Aesculapius, god of Healing, to whom in a
civilised age men naturally turned. The basket on his head showed that
he was a harvest god, the three-headed Cerberus stood by his side to
show that he represented Pluto, god of the underworld.

The Ptolemies could launch such a being without any fear of wounding
religious susceptibilities. What they could not have foreseen was his
success. Serapis not only fulfilled their immediate political aim of
providing the Alexandrians with a common cult. He spread beyond the
city, beyond Egypt, and shrines to him arose all over the Mediterranean
world. Osiris-Apis-Dionysus-Zeus-Aesculapius-Pluto may seem to us an
artificial compound, but it stood the test of time, it satisfied men’s
desires, and was to be the last stronghold of Paganism against

The Temple stood on the old citadel of Rhakotis, where “Pompey’s Pillar”
rises to-day. It was in the midst of a cloister, and colonnades
connected it with each of the cloister’s sides. The architecture was
Greek: a large hall, and, at the end, the shrine with the god’s statue.
As the centuries passed, other buildings were added, and the second and
greater of the two Alexandrian libraries—the “Daughter”—was arranged in

    STATUES OF SERAPIS: Museum, Room 16.
    SERAPIS ON COINS: Museum, Rooms 2, 3.
    TEMPLE AT CANOPUS: p. 180.


The “Soma” of Alexander became so famous that the earlier Ptolemies were
buried close to it, and a mass of building—probably Greek in
architecture—arose where the present Rue Rosette and Rue Nebi Daniel
intersect. Later on, the burial place seems to have been in the Palace
enclosure, and perhaps the “Mausoleum” where Cleopatra died was on the
promontory of Silsileh, by a little Temple of Isis, within sound of the

    RUE ROSETTE: p. 104


Theatre and Racecourse. Both were near the Palace: the former was
probably on the site of the present Egyptian Government Hospital. Their
architecture was Greek.

The Dyke of the Heptastadion was part of Alexander’s scheme. But the
Ptolemies completed it and fortified it where it rested on the Island of

    EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL (Site of Theatre): p. 162

Such were the chief buildings and institutions that arose during the
first hundred years of the city’s life. Additions were made—notably the
“Caesareum,” begun by Cleopatra. But on the whole it may be said that
Alexandria was the product of a single scheme, laid down by Dinocrates
and executed by the first three Ptolemies, and that she exhibited all
the advantages, and perhaps some of the drawbacks, of a town that has
been carefully planned. There was the majesty of well considered
effects; but there also may have been a little dullness, and there were
certainly none of the mysterious touches that reminded Athens and even
Rome of an unanalysable past. In one sense the place was more Greek than
Greece—built at a date when the Hellenic spirit had freed itself from
many illusions and was winning a command over material forces that it
had never possessed before. To her also Romance was added in time; but
she started brand new, gleaming white, a calculated marvel of marble.
Everything in her had been thought out—even her religion.

                   THE LATER PTOLEMIES (B.C. 221-51).

                    (_See Genealogical Tree p._ 12).

After the death of Euergetes, the dynasty declines: Some of his
successors were able men, but a type evolved that made neither for
morality nor for success. The average later Ptolemy is soft; he has the
artistic temperament but no passionate love of art; he is born in the
Palace at Alexandria and spends all his time there—so much so that it
was not known for a year that Ptolemy IV had died; not naturally cruel,
he is easily hurried into cruelty; he is unexpectedly shy; in his old
age he grows fat, so that the Roman envoy murmurs “at all events the
Alexandrians have seen their king walk” when Ptolemy VII comes puffing
to greet him along the quay. And as the men soften, the women harden.
The dynasty is interwoven with terrific queens. There is the Arsinoe
whom Philadelphus married; there is Arsinoe III who faced the Syrian
army at Rafa; there is Cleopatra III who murdered her son; and there is
the last and greatest Cleopatra, with whom the tangled race expires.

In contrast to this confusion there rises the solid but unattractive
figure of Rome (first embassy B.C. 273, first intervention B.C. 200).
Her advance was postponed until she had gained the Western Mediterranean
by defeating Carthage. She then came forward with studied politeness as
the protector of liberty and morals in the East. Legal and
self-righteous, she struck a chill into the whole Hellenistic world. She
was horrified at its corruption—a corruption of which she never failed
to take advantage, and the shattered empire of Alexander fell piece by
piece into her hands. The Ptolemies were the allies of this impeccable
creature—a curious alliance, but it lasted over 200 years. As the
Egyptian fleet and army decayed, Rome’s ministrations multiplied. She
declared herself guardian of the dynasty; then that one of the Ptolemies
had bequeathed Egypt to her in a will that she never produced. The
dynasty became, with Ptolemy XIII, illegitimate, and Rome made him pay
her to recognise his legitimacy. When he was driven from Egypt (B.C. 89)
she made him pay her to restore him. He was escorted back by an army of
creditors, and to raise the necessary sum of ten thousand talents he had
to grind down the people with taxes. Rome was shocked, but firm.

Against this relentless advance Alexandria could do nothing. She was the
brain of Egypt, and its five senses too and, as each embassy touched her
quays, she realised, as the priest-ridden towns of the interior could
not, that the glory was departing from the Nile. There was only one
hope. Would Rome, before she could annex Egypt, fall to pieces herself?
There were signs of it. The victorious republic had absorbed more
plunder and more ideas than she could conveniently digest. She had
always found it particularly difficult to digest an idea. Rival
Ptolemies had contended in Alexandria. But rival Romans were now
contending in Rome. Might it be possible to play off against one the
other, and so win through to safety? The scheme commended itself to the
Alexandrians. It also occurred to the daughter of the bankrupt Ptolemy
XIII, a beautiful and amusing princess called Cleopatra.

    PORTRAIT OF PTOLEMY IV: Museum, Room 12.
    INSCRIPTION TO PTOLEMY VII: Museum, Garden Court.
    CARICATURE OF ROMAN SENATOR as a rat: Museum, Room 13.

                        CLEOPATRA (B.C. 51-30).

                    (_See Genealogical Tree p._ 12).

The girl who came to the throne as Cleopatra VI Philopator was only
seventeen. Her brother and husband Ptolemy XIV was ten; her younger
brother eight, her sister fifteen. The palace at Alexandria became a
nursery, where four clever children watched the duel that was proceeding
between Pompey and Caesar beyond the seas. Pompey was their guardian,
but they had no illusions, either about him or one another. All they
cared for was life and power. Cleopatra failed in her first intrigue,
which was directed against her husband. He expelled her, and in her
absence the duel was concluded. Pompey, defeated by Caesar, drifted to
Egypt, threw himself on the mercy of his wards, and was murdered by
their agents as he disembarked.

With the arrival of Caesar, Cleopatra’s triumphs began. She did not
differ in character from the other able and unscrupulous queens of her
race, but she had one source of power that they denied themselves—the
power of the courtesan—and she exploited it professionally. Though
passionate, she was not the slave of passion, still less of
sentimentality. Her safety, and the safety of Egypt were her care; the
clumsy and amorous Romans, who menaced both, were her natural prey. In
old times, a queen might rule from her throne. Now she must descend and
play the woman. Having heard that Caesar was quartered at the Palace,
Cleopatra returned to Alexandria, rolled herself up in a bale of
oriental carpets and was smuggled to him in this piquant wrapper. The
other children protested, but her first victory had been won; she could
count on the support of Julius Caesar against her husband.

Caesar’s own position, was, however, most insecure. He was Lord of the
World, but in his haste to catch Pompey he had hurried ahead of his
legions. When the glamour of his arrival had worn off the Alexandrians
realised this, and in a fierce little war (Aug. 48—Jan. 47) tried to
crush him before reinforcements arrived. He held the Palace (near
Chatby) the Theatre (Egyptian Government Hospital); also part of the
Eastern Harbour where his small fleet lay. They held the rest of the
town, including the Western Harbour and the Island, and they had with
them Cleopatra’s sister who had escaped from the palace and, later,
Ptolemy XIV himself,—so that they could claim to represent the dynasty.

It was indeed a national rising against the Romans and ably conducted.
Five stages (_see_ Map. p. 98).

    (1). _Siege of the Palace._—This was succeeding by land but failed
    by sea, when Caesar, making a sudden excursion down the docks of the
    Eastern Harbour, set fire to the Alexandrian fleet. The flames
    spread to the Mouseion and the Library (“Mother” Library) was burnt.
    An attempt to contaminate the palace water supply also failed; when
    the Alexandrians pumped salt water into the conduit, the besieged
    Romans bored wells in the Palace enclosure.

    (2). _First Naval Engagement._—Caesar’s reinforcements had begun to
    arrive, and a heavy east wind had carried them past the entrance of
    his harbour. He went out to tow them in, and the Alexandrians issued
    from their own harbour—the Western—to intercept him. They failed.

    (3). _Second Naval Engagement and loss of the Island of
    Pharos._—Issuing from his harbour, Caesar rounded Ras-el-Tin and
    deployed outside the line of reefs that stretch from it to Agame and
    guard the entrance to the Western Harbour. The Alexandrians waited
    inside. Dashing through the entrance he pressed them against the
    quays of Rhakotis and defeated them. Now he could attack the Island
    on both sides. On the following day it fell and he made it his
    headquarters, thus changing the strategy of the war.

    (4). _Battle of the Dyke._—Caesar now blocked up the arches that
    penetrated the Heptastadion so that the Alexandrians could not
    manœuvre from harbour to harbour. Then he tried to force his way
    into the town. He employed too many troops, and landing in his rear
    the Alexandrians threw him into confusion. He himself had to jump
    from the dyke and swim to a boat. Victory. They recaptured the whole
    of the Heptastadion and reopened its arches.

    (5). _Battle by the Nile._—The war was after all decided outside
    Alexandria. More reinforcements were coming to Caesar down the
    Canopic mouth of the Nile and the Alexandrians marched out to
    intercept them there. The young Ptolemy XIV was their general now.
    He was defeated and drowned, his army was destroyed, and Caesar
    returned in triumph to its city and to Cleopatra.

Cleopatra’s fortune now seemed assured. Having married her younger
brother (as Ptolemy XV) she went for a trip with Caesar up the Nile to
show him its antiquities. The Egyptians detested her as their betrayer
but she was indifferent. She bore Caesar a son and followed him to Rome,
there to display her insolence. She was at the height of her beauty and
power when the blow fell. On the Ides of March, B.C. 44, Caesar was
murdered. She had chosen the wrong lover after all.

Back in Alexandria again, she watched the second duel—that between Mark
Antony and Caesar’s murderers. She helped neither party, and when Antony
won he summoned her to explain her neutrality. She came, not in a carpet
but in a gilded barge, and her life henceforward belongs less to history
than to poetry. It is almost impossible to think of the later Cleopatra
as an ordinary person. She has joined the company of Helen and Iseult.
Yet her character remained the same. Voluptuous but watchful, she
treated her new lover as she had treated her old. She never bored him,
and since grossness means monotony she sharpened his mind to those more
delicate delights, where sense verges into spirit. Her infinite variety
lay in that. She was the last of a secluded and subtle race, she was a
flower that Alexandria had taken three hundred years to produce and that
eternity cannot wither, and she unfolded herself to a simple but
intelligent Roman soldier.

Alexandria, now reconciled to her fate and protected by the legions of
Antony, became the capital of the Eastern world. The Western belonged to
Octavian, Caesar’s nephew, and a third duel was inevitable. It was
postponed for some years, during which Antony acquired and deserted a
Roman wife, and Cleopatra bore him several children. Her son by Julius
Caesar was crowned as Ptolemy XVI, with the additional title of King of
Kings. Antony himself became a God, and she built a temple to him,
afterwards called the Caesareum, and adorned by two ancient obelisks
(Cleopatra’s Needles). This period of happiness and splendour ended in
the naval disaster of Actium in the Adriatic, where Octavian defeated
their combined fleets. The defeat was hastened by Cleopatra’s cowardice.
At the decisive moment she fled with sixty ships, actually breaking her
way through Antony’s line from the rear, and throwing it into confusion.
He followed her to Alexandria, and there, when the recriminations had
ceased, they resumed their life of pleasures that were both shadowed and
sharpened by the approach of death. They made no attempt to oppose the
pursuing Octavian. Instead, they formed a Suicide Club, and Antony, to
imitate the misanthrope Timon, built a hermitage in the Western Harbour
which he called Timonium. Nor was religion silent. The god Hercules,
whom he loved and who loved him, was heard passing away from Alexandria
one night in exquisite music and song.

Arrival of Octavian. He is one of the most odious of the world’s
successful men and to his cold mind the career of Cleopatra could appear
as nothing but a vulgar debauch. Vice, in his opinion, should be
furtive. At his approach, Antony after resisting outside the Canopic
Gate (at “Caesar’s Camp”) retreated into the city and fell upon his
sword. He was carried, dying, to Cleopatra, who had retired into their
tomb, and their story now rises to the immortality of art. Shakespeare
drew his inspiration from Plutarch, who was himself inspired, and it is
difficult through their joint emotion to realise the actual facts. The
asp, for example, the asp is not a certainty. It was never known how
Cleopatra died. She was captured and taken to Octavian, with whom even
in Antony’s life-time she had been intriguing, for the courtesan in her
persisted. She appeared this time not in a carpet nor yet in a barge,
but upon a sofa, in the seductive negligence of grief. The good young
man was shocked. Realising that he intended to lead her in his triumph
at Rome, realising too that she was now thirty-nine years old, she
killed herself. She was buried in the tomb with Antony; and her ladies
Charmion and Iras, who died with her, guarded its doors as statues of
bronze. Alexandria became the capital of a Roman Province.

    COIN OF CLEOPATRA: Museum, Room 3.
    PORTRAIT OF CLEOPATRA (?): Museum, Room 12.
    DEATH OF CLEOPATRA in Plutarch, Shakespeare and Dryden: Appendix p.
    INSCRIPTION TO ANTONY: Museum, Room 6.
    COLOSSUS OF ANTONY: Museum, Garden Court.
    SITE OF CAESAREUM: p. 161.
    SHRINE OF POMPEY (?): p. 155.

Thus the career of the Greco-Egyptian city closes, as it began, in an
atmosphere of Romance. Cleopatra is of course a meaner figure than
Alexander the Great. Ambition with her is purely selfish; with Alexander
it was mystically connected with the welfare of mankind. She knows
nothing beyond the body and so shrinks from discomfort and pain:
Alexander attained the strength of the hero. Yet for all their
differences, the man who created and the woman who lost Alexandria have
one element in common: monumental greatness; and between them is
suspended, like a rare and fragile chain, the dynasty of the Ptolemies.
It is a dynasty much censored by historians, but the Egyptians, who
lived under it, were more tolerant. For it had one element of greatness:
it did represent the complex country that it ruled. In Upper Egypt it
carried on the tradition of the Pharaohs: on the coast it was
Hellenistic and in touch with Mediterranean culture. After its
extinction, the vigour of Alexandria turns inwards. She is to do big
things in philosophy and religion. But she is no longer the capital of a
kingdom, no longer Royal.

                           PTOLEMAIC CULTURE.

Before leaving the Ptolemies, let us glance back at their civilisation.
We have seen how they founded two great institutions, the Palace and the
Mouseion, which communicated with one another, and which stretched from
the promontory of Silsileh to some point inland—as far as the modern
railway station, perhaps. It was in this area, among gardens and
colonnades, that the culture of Alexandria came into being. The Palace
provided the finances and called the tune: the Mouseion responded with
imagination or knowledge; the connection between them was so intimate as
almost to be absurd. When, for instance, Queen Berenice the wife of
Euergetes lost her hair from the temple where she had dedicated it, it
was the duty of the court astronomer to detect it as a constellation and
of the court poet to write an elegy thereon. And Stratonice, who was
perfectly bald, presented an even more delicate problem; she sent over a
message to the Mouseion that something must be written about her hair
also. Victory odes, Funeral dirges, Marriage hymns, jokes, genealogical
trees, medical prescriptions, mechanical toys, maps, engines of war:
whatever the Palace required it had only to inform the Mouseion, and the
subsidised staff set to work at once. The poets and scientists there did
nothing that would annoy the Royal Family and not much that would puzzle
it, for they knew that if they failed to give satisfaction they would be
expelled from the enchanted area, and have to find another patron or
starve. It was not an ideal arrangement, as outsiders were prompt to
point out, and snobbery and servility taint the culture of Alexandria
from the first. It sprang up behind walls, it never knew loneliness, nor
the glories and the dangers of independence, and the marvel is that it
flourished as well as it did. At all events it is idle to criticise it
for not being different, for if it had been different it would not have
been Alexandrian. In spirit as in fact the Palace and the Mouseion
touched, and the Palace was the stronger and the older. The contact
strangled Philosophy and deprived Literature of such sustenance as
Philosophy can bring to her. But it encouraged Science and gave even to
Literature certain graces that she had hitherto ignored.


                            (A) LITERATURE.

    CALLIMACHUS, about 310-240.
    THEOCRITUS, about 320-250.

The literature that grew up in the Mouseion had no lofty aims. It was
not interested in ultimate problems nor even in problems of behaviour,
and it attempted none of the higher problems of art. To be graceful or
pathetic or learned or amusing or indecent, and in any case loyal—this
sufficed it, so that though full of experiments it is quite devoid of
adventure. It developed when the heroic age of Greece was over, when
liberty was lost and possibly honour too. It was disillusioned, and we
may be glad that is was not embittered also. It had strength of a kind,
for it saw that out of the wreck of traditional hopes three good things
remained—namely the decorative surface of the universe, the delights of
study, and the delights of love, and that of these three the best was
love. Ancient Greece had also sung of love, but with restraint,
regarding it as one activity among many. The Alexandrians seldom sang of
anything else: their epigrams, their elegies and idylls, their one great
epic, all turn on the tender passion, and celebrate it in ways that
previous ages had never known, and that future ages were to know too
well. Darts and hearts, sighs and eyes, breasts and chests, all
originated in Alexandria and from the intercourse between Palace and
Mouseion—stale devices to-day, but then they were fresh.

    Who sculptured Love and set him by the pool,
    thinking with water such a fire to cool?[2]

runs a couplet ascribed to one of the early Librarians, and containing
in brief the characteristics of the school—decorative method,
mythological allusiveness, and the theme of love. Love as a cruel and
wanton boy flits through the literature of Alexandria as through the
thousands of terra cotta statuettes that have been exhumed from her
soil; one tires of him, but it is appropriate that he should have been
born under a dynasty that culminated in Cleopatra.

Literature took its tone from Callimachus—a fine poet, though not as
fine as his patrons supposed. He began life as a schoolmaster at Eleusis
(the modern Nouzha) and then was called to the Mouseion, where he became
Librarian under Euergetes. His learning was immense, his wit
considerable, his loyalty untiring. It was he who wrote the poem about
Berenice’s hair. Dainty and pedantic in all that he did, he announced
that “a big book is a big nuisance” and cared more about neatness of
expression than depth of feeling, though the feeling emerges in his
famous epigram:

    Someone told me, Heracleitus, of your end;
      and I wept, and thought how often you and I
      sunk the sun with talking. Well! and now you lie
    antiquated ashes somewhere, Carian friend.
      But your nightingales, your songs, are living still;
      them the death that clutches all things cannot kill.[2]

Footnote 2:

  Translated by R. A. Furness.

Only once was this exquisite career interrupted. There was among his
pupils a young man from Rhodes with thin legs, by name Apollonius.
Apollonius was ambitious to write an Epic—a form of composition detested
by Callimachus, and opposed to all his theories. In vain he objected;
Apollonius, then only eighteen, gave in the Mouseion a public reading of
the preliminary draft of his poem. A violent quarrel was the result,
Apollonius was expelled, and Callimachus wrote a satire called the Ibis,
in which his rival’s legs and other deficiencies were exposed. The
friends of Apollonius retorted with equal spirit, and the tranquillity
of the Mouseion was impaired. Callimachus won, but his victory was not
eternal; after his death Apollonius was recalled to Alexandria, and in
time became librarian there in his turn.

The Epic Apollonius insisted on writing has survived. It is modelled on
Homer and deals with the voyage of the Argo to recover the Golden
Fleece. But there is nothing Homeric in the treatment and though we are
supposed to be in barbaric lands we never really leave the cultivated
court of the Ptolemies. Love is still the ruling interest. He slips, the
naughty little boy, into the Palace of Medea, and shoots his tiny dart
at her, to inspire her with passion for Jason. So might he have inspired
Queen Berenice or Arsinoe. Pains, languors, and raptures succeed, and
the theme of the heroic quest is forgotten. Callimachus can have found
nothing to object to in such a poem except its length, for it is typical
of his school. Its pictorial method is also characteristic of
Alexandria; many of the episodes might be illustrated by terra cotta
statues and gems.

But one of the poets who worked in the Mouseion—Theocritus—was a genius
of a very different kind, a genius that Alexandria matured but cannot be
said to have formed. Theocritus came here late in his career. He had
been born at Cos and had lived in Sicily, and he arrived full of
memories that no town-dweller could share—memories of fresh air and the
sun, of upland meadows and overhanging trees, of goats and sheep, of the
men and the women who looked after them, and of all the charm and the
coarseness that go to make up country life. He had thrown these memories
into poetical form, sometimes idealising them, sometimes giving them
crudely, and he had called these poems Idylls—little pictures of rural
existence. Love, mythological fancies, decorative treatment—he liked
these things too, but he backed them with a width of experience and a
zest for it that Callimachus and Apollonius never knew. While they are
“Classics” who have to be studied, Theocritus appeals to us at once; his
Fifteenth Idyll, describing life in the Greek Quarter at Alexandria, is
as vivid now as when he wrote it. The dialogue with which it opens can
be heard to-day in any of the little drawing rooms of Camp de César or
Ibrahimieh. Praxinoe, a lady of the middle classes, is discovered
seated, doing nothing in particular. In comes Gorgo, her friend.

    _Gorgo._ Is Praxinoe at home?

    _Praxinoe._ Oh my dear Gorgo, it’s ages since you were here. She
    _is_ at home. The wonder is that you’ve come even now. (calls to the
    maid). Eunoe, give her a chair and put a cushion on it.

    _Gorgo._ Oh it does beautifully as it is.

    _Praxinoe._ Sit down!

    _G._ My nerves are all to bits—Praxinoe, I only just got here alive
    ... what with the crowd, what with the carriages ... soldiers’
    boots—soldiers’ great-coats, and the street’s endless—you really
    live too far.

    _P._ That’s my insane husband. We took this hut—one can’t call it a
    house—at the ends of the earth so that we shouldn’t be neighbours.
    Mere jealousy. As usual.

    _G._ But, dear, don’t talk about your husband when the little boy’s
    here—he’s staring at you. (to the little boy) Sweet pet—that’s all
    right—she isn’t talking about papa.—Good Heavens, the child
    understands.—Pretty papa!

    _P._ The other day, papa—we seem to call every day the other day—the
    other day he went to get some soda at the Baccal and brought back
    salt by mistake—the great overgrown lout.

    _G._ Mine’s exactly the same, he....[3]

Footnote 3:

  Adapted from Andrew Lang’s Translation.

And so on. But Gorgo wants to go out again, in spite of her nerves. It
is the Feast of the Resurrection—the Resurrection of Adonis—and there is
to be a magnificent service inside the Palace, with a special singer,
Praxinoe decides to venture too, and puts on the dress with the full
body, that cost “at least eight pounds,” excluding embroidery. They are
ready at last and then the little boy begins to scream; he wishes to be
of the party. But his mother remarks, “cry as much as you like, I cannot
have you lamed,” and takes Eunoe instead. In the street the crush is
terrific, they are terrified of the Egyptians (just like Greek ladies
to-day) and Eunoe, who is always awkward, nearly falls under a horse.
The battle at the Palace Gate is worse still, Praxinoe’s best muslin
veil is torn, and she is more thankful than ever that she did not bring
her little boy. But for a kind gentleman in the crowd, they would never
have got in. Once inside, all is enjoyment. The draperies are gorgeous
as might be expected when the Queen Arsinoe is paying for them—Arsinoe
the wife of Philadelphus. And here is a Holy Sepulchre on which lies an
image of Adonis, the down of early manhood just showing on his cheeks!
The ladies are in ecstacies and can scarcely quiet themselves to listen
to the Resurrection Hymn. In this Hymn Theocritus displays the other
side of his genius—the “Alexandrian” side. He is no longer the amusing
realist, but an erudite poet, whose chief theme is love.

    O Queen that lovest Golgi and Idalium and Eryx, O Aphrodite that
    playest with gold—lo from the everlasting stream of Hades they have
    brought thee back Adonis.... A bridegroom of eighteen or nineteen
    years is he, his kisses are not yet rough, the golden down being yet
    on his lips.... Thou only, dear Adonis, so men tell, visitest both
    this world and the stream of Hades. For Agamemnon had no such fate,
    nor Ajax the wrathful, nor Hector the first-born of Hecuba, nor
    Patroclus, nor Pyrrhus that returned out of Troy, nor the heroes of
    yet more ancient days.... Be gracious now, dear Adonis, and bless us
    in the coming year. Dear has thy resurrection been, and dear shall
    it be when thou comest again.

A beautiful hymn; but as Gorgo remarks “all the same it’s time to be
getting home; my husband hasn’t had his dinner and when he’s kept
waiting for his dinner he’s as sour as vinegar.” They salute the risen
god, and go.

This delightful Idyll is not quite characteristic of Theocritus—he
generally sings of Shepherds and their flocks. But it is his great
contribution to the literature of Alexandria, and our chief authority
for daily life under the Ptolemies. History is too much an affair of
armies and kings. The Fifteenth Idyll corrects the error. Only through
literature can the past be recovered and here Theocritus, wielding the
double spell of realism and of poetry, has evoked an entire city from
the dead and filled its streets with men. As Praxinoe remarks of the
draperies “Why the figures seem to stand up and to move, they’re not
patterns, they are alive.”

The Mouseion was at its best under the first three Ptolemies. Then it
declined—at least in its literary output—and though Alexandria turned
out poems, etc. for several hundred years, few of them merit attention.
With the coming of the Romans her genius took a new line, and essayed
the neglected paths of philosophy and religion. But she remained
attractive to men of letters, and nearly every writer of note visited
her in the course of his travels.

    STATUETTES OF LOVES: Museum, Room 18.
    NOUZHA (birthplace of Callimachus): p. 156

                            (B) SCHOLARSHIP.

In the Mouseion at Alexandria Greece first became aware of her literary
heritage, and the works of the past were not only collected in the
Library but were codified, amended, and explained. Scholarship dates
from Zenodotus, the first Librarian. He turned his attention to Homer,
divided the Iliad and Odyssey into “Books,” struck out spurious verses
from the text, marked doubtful ones, and introduced new readings. He
gave a general impulse to research. Hitherto the Greek language had
developed unnoticed. Now it was consciously examined, and the result of
the examination was the first Greek Grammar (about 100 B.C.). Grammar is
a valuable subject but also a dangerous one, for it naturally attracts
pedants and schoolmasters and all who think that Literature is an affair
of rules. And the Grammarians of Alexandria forgot that they were merely
codifying the usages of the past, and presumed to dictate to the
present, and to posterity; they set a bad example that has been followed
for nearly 2000 years. Greek accents—another doubtful boon—were also
invented in the Mouseion. Indeed the whole of literary scholarship, as
we know it, sprang up, including that curious by-product the Scholarly
Joke. For instance: one learned man wrote a poem that had, when
transcribed, the shape of a bird, another wrote a poem in the shape of a
double-headed axe, and a third re-wrote the whole of the Odyssey without
using the letter S. The donnish wit of the Mouseion infected the Palace,
and was practiced by the Ptolemies themselves. One scholar, Sosibius by
name, complained to King Philadelphus that he had not received his
salary. The King replied “The first syllable of your name occurs in
Soter, the second in Sosigenes, the third in Bion, and the fourth in
Apollonius; I have paid these four gentlemen, and therefore I have paid

                                (C) ART.

Unimportant. Alexandria had her special industries—_e.g._ glass, terra
cotta, “Egyptian Queen” pottery, and woven stuffs, and her mint was
famous; but for creative artists the Ptolemies looked over seas. Greek
and Egyptian motives did not blend in Art as they did in Religion;
attempts occur, but they are not notable and on the whole the city
follows the general Hellenistic tendencies of the time. These tendencies
led as we have seen away from the ideal and the abstract, and towards
portraiture and the dainty and the picturesque. Men had lost for the
time many illusions, both religious and political, and were trying to
beautify their private lives, and the tombs of those whom they had

    TERRA COTTAS: Museum, Room 18.
    PTOLEMAIC COINS: Museum, Room 3.
    BLEND OF GREEK AND EGYPTIAN MOTIVES: Museum Rooms 11 and 15; also
       Kom es Chogafa Catacombs, (p. 148).
    TOMB ORNAMENTS: Museum, Rooms 17-22.

                            (D) PHILOSOPHY.

Unimportant. The Ptolemies imported some second-rate disciples of
Aristotle to give tone to the Mouseion, but took no interest in the
subject, and were indeed averse to it, since it might lead to freedom of
thought. It was not until their dynasty was extinct that the great
school of Alexandrian Philosophy arose. (See p. 60, under heading “The
Spiritual City.”)

                              (E) SCIENCE.

The Ptolemies were more successful over Science than over Literature.
They preferred it, for it could not criticise their divine right. Its
endowment was the greatest achievement of the dynasty and makes
Alexandria famous until the end of time. Science had been studied in
Ancient Greece, but sporadically: there had been no co-ordination, no
laboratories, and though important truths might be discovered or
surmised, they were in danger of oblivion because they could not be
popularised. The foundation of the Mouseion changed all this. Working
under royal patronage and with every facility, science leapt to new
heights, and gave valuable gifts to mankind. The third century B.C. is
(from this point of view) the greatest period that civilisation has ever
known—greater even than the nineteenth century A.D. It did not bring
happiness or wisdom: science never does. But it explored the physical
universe and harnessed many powers for our use. Mathematics, Geography,
Astronomy, Medicine, all grew to maturity in the little space of the
land between the present Rue Rosette and the sea, and if we had any
sense of the fitting, some memorial to them would arise on the spot


Mathematics begin with the tremendous but obscure career of Euclid.
Nothing is known about Euclid: indeed one thinks of him to-day more as a
branch of knowledge than as a man. But Euclid was once alive, landing
here in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and informing that
superficial monarch that there is “no royal road to geometry.” Here he
composed, among other works, his “Elements” in which he incorporated all
previous knowledge, and which have remained the world’s text book for
Geometry almost down to the present day. Here he founded a mathematical
school that lasted 700 years, and acknowledged his leadership to the
last. Apollonius of Perga, who inaugurated the study of Conic Sections,
was his immediate pupil: Hyspicles added to the thirteen books of his
“Elements” two books more: and Theon—father to the martyred
Hypatia—edited the “Elements” and gave them their present form, so that
from first to last the mathematicians of Alexandria were preoccupied
with him. An insignificant man, according to tradition, and very shy;
his snub to Philadelphus seems to have been exceptional.


In Geography there are two leading figures—Eratosthenes and Claudius
Ptolemy. Eratosthenes is the greater. He seems to have been an all round
genius, eminent in literature as well as science. He was born at Cyrene
in B.C. 276 and, on the death of Callimachus, was invited to Alexandria
to become librarian. It was in the Mouseion observatory that he measured
the Earth—perhaps not the greatest achievement of Alexandrian science,
but certainly the most thrilling. His method was as follows. He knew
that the earth is round, and he was told that the midsummer sun at
Assouan in Upper Egypt cast no shadow at midday. At Alexandria, at the
same moment, it did cast a shadow, Alexandria being further to the north
on the same longitude. On measuring the Alexandria shadow he found that
it was 7⅕ degrees—_i.e._ 1/50th of a complete circle—so that the
distance from Alexandria to Assouan must be 1/50th the circumference of
the Earth. He estimated the distance at 500 miles, and consequently
arrived at 250,000 miles for the complete circumference, and 7,850 for
the diameter; in the latter calculation he is only 50 miles out. It is
strange that when science had once gained such triumphs mankind should
ever have slipped back again into fairy tales and barbarism.

[Illustration: The World according to Eratosthenes B.C. 250]

[Illustration: The World according To Claudius Ptolemy A.D. 100]

The other great work of Eratosthenes was his “Geographies,” including
all previous knowledge on the subject, just as the “Elements” of Euclid
had included all previous mathematical knowledge. The “Geographies” were
in three books, and to them was attached a map of the known world. (See
p. 37). It is, of course, full of inaccuracies—_e g._ Great Britain is
too large, India fails to be a peninsula and the Caspian Sea connects
with the Arctic Ocean. But it is conceived in the scientific spirit. It
represents the world as Eratosthenes thought it was, not as he thought
it ought to be. When he knows nothing, he inserts nothing; he is not
ashamed to leave blank spaces. He bases it on such facts as he knew, and
had he known more facts he would have altered it.

The other great geographer, Claudius Ptolemy, belongs to a later period
(A.D. 100) but it is convenient to notice him here. Possibly he was a
connection of the late royal family, but nothing is known of his life.
His fame has outshone Eratosthenes’, and no doubt he was more learned,
for more facts were at his disposal. Yet we can trace in him the decline
of the scientific spirit. Observe his Map of the World (p. 39). At first
sight it is superior to the Eratosthenes Map. The Caspian Sea is
corrected, new countries—_e.g._ China—are inserted, and there are (in
the original) many more names. But there is one significant mistake. He
has prolonged Africa into an imaginary continent and joined it up to
China. It was a mere flight of his fancy: he even scattered this
continent with towns and rivers. No one corrected the mistake and for
hundreds of years it was believed that the Indian Ocean was land bound.
The age of enquiry was over, and the age of authority had begun, and it
is worth noting that the decline of science at Alexandria exactly
coincides with the rise of Christianity.


Astronomy develops on the same lines as Geography. There is an early
period of scientific research under Eratosthenes, and there is a later
period in which Claudius Ptolemy codifies the results and dictates his
opinions to posterity. He announced, for example, that the Universe
revolves round the Earth, and this “Ptolemaic” Theory was adopted by all
subsequent astronomers until Galileo, and supported by all the thunders
of the Church. Yet another view had been put forward, though Ptolemy
ignores it. Aristarchus of Samos, working at Alexandria with
Eratosthenes, had suggested that the earth might revolve round the sun,
and it is only a chance that this view was not stamped as official and
imposed as orthodox all through the Middle Ages. We do not know what
Aristarchus’ arguments were, for his writings have perished, but we may
be sure that, working in the 3rd century B.C., he had arguments and did
not take refuge in authority. Astronomy under the Ptolemies was a
serious affair—lightened only by the episode of Berenice’s Hair.

As to the Calendar. The Calendar we now use was worked out in
Alexandria. The Ancient Egyptians had calculated the year at 365 days.
It is actually 365 ¼, so before long they were hopelessly out; the
official Harvest Festival, for instance, only coincided with the actual
harvest once in 1,500 years. They were aware of the discrepancy, but
were too conservative to alter it: that was left to Alexandria. In B.C.
239 the little daughter of Ptolemy Euergetes died, and the priests of
Serapis at Canopus passed a decree making her a goddess. A reformer even
in his grief, the King induced them to rectify the Calendar at the same
time by decreeing the existence of a Leap Year, to occur every four
years, as at present; he attempted to harmonise the traditions of Egypt
with the science of Greece. The attempt—so typical of Alexandria—failed,
for though the priests passed the decree they kept to their old
chronology. It was not until Julius Caesar came to Egypt that the cause
of reform prevailed. He established the “Alexandrian Year” as official,
and modelled on it the “Julian,” which we use in Europe to-day; the two
years were of the same length, but the “Alexandrian” retained the old
Egyptian arrangement of twelve equal months.


Erasistratus (3rd. cent. B.C.) is the chief glory of the Alexandrian
medical school. In his earlier life he had been a great practitioner,
and had realised the connection between sexual troubles and nervous
breakdowns. In his old age he settled in the Mouseion, and devoted
himself to research. He practised vivisection on animals, and possibly
on criminals, and he seems to have come near to discovering the
circulation of the blood. Less severely scientific were the healing
cults that sprang up in the great temples of Serapis, both at Alexandria
and at Canopus;—cults that were continued into Christian times under
other auspices.

    SITE OF MOUSEION: p. 105.
       “        ”        ALEXANDRIA: p. 144.


                              SECTION II.

                           CHRISTIAN PERIOD.

                  THE RULE OF ROME (B.C. 30—A.D. 313).

Octavian (Augustus) the founder of the Roman Empire, so disliked
Alexandria that after his triumph over Cleopatra he founded a town near
modern Ramleh—Nicopolis, the “City of Victory.” He also forbade any
Roman of the governing classes to enter Egypt without his permission, on
the ground that the religious orgies there would corrupt their morals.
The true reason was economic. He wanted to keep the Egyptian corn supply
in his own hands, and thus control the hungry populace of Rome. Egypt,
unlike the other Roman provinces, became a private appanage of the
Emperor, who himself appointed the Prefect who governed it, and
Alexandria turned into a vast imperial granary where the tribute,
collected in kind from the cultivators, was stored for transhipment. It
was an age of exploitation. Octavian posed locally as the divine
successor of the Ptolemies, and appears among hieroglyphs at Dendyra and
Philae. But he had no local interest at heart.

After his death things improved. The harsh ungenerous Republic that he
had typified passed into Imperial Rome, who, despite her moments of
madness, brought happiness to the Mediterranean world for two hundred
years. Alexandria had her share of this happiness. Her new problem—riots
between Greeks and Jews—was solved at the expense of the latter; she
gained fresh trade by the improved connections with India (Trajan A.D.
115, recut the Red Sea Canal); she was visited by a series of
appreciative Emperors on their way to the antiquities of Upper Egypt.

In about A.D. 250 she, with the rest of the Empire, reentered trouble.
The human race, as if not designed to enjoy happiness, had slipped into
a mood of envy and discontent. Barbarians attacked the frontiers of the
Empire, while within were revolts and mutinies. The difficulties of the
Emperors were complicated by a religious problem. They had, for
political reasons, been emphasising their own divinity—a divinity that
Egypt herself had taught them: it seemed to them that it would be a
binding force against savagery and schism. They therefore directed that
everyone should worship them. Who could have expected a protest, and a
protest from Alexandria?

    RAMLEH (Nicopolis): p. 165.
    STATUE OF EMPEROR (Marcus Aurelius): Museum, Room 12.
    Imperial Coins: Museum, Room 2.

                        THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY.

According to the tradition of the Egyptian Church, Christianity was
introduced into Alexandria by St. Mark, who in A.D. 45 converted a
Jewish shoemaker named Annianus, and who in 62 was martyred for
protesting against the worship of Serapis. There is no means of checking
this tradition; the origins of the movement were unfashionable and
obscure, and the authorities took little notice of it until it disobeyed
their regulations. Its doctrines were confounded partly with the Judaism
from which they had sprung, partly with the other creeds of the city. A
letter ascribed to the emperor Hadrian (in Alexandria 134) says “Those
who worship Serapis are Christians, and those who call themselves
bishops of Christ are devoted to Serapis,” showing how indistinct was
the impression that the successors of St. Mark had made. The letter
continues “As a race of men they are seditious, vain, and spiteful; as a
body, wealthy and prosperous, of whom nobody lives in idleness. Some
blow glass, some make paper, and others linen. Their one God is nothing
peculiar; Christians, Jews, and all nations worship him. I wish this
body of men was better behaved.”

The community was organised under its “overseer” or bishop, who soon
took the title of patriarch, and appointed bishops elsewhere in Egypt.
The earliest centres were (i) the oratory of St. Mark which stood by the
sea shore—probably to the east of Silsileh—and was afterwards enlarged
into a Cathedral; (ii) a later cathedral church dedicated (285) by the
Patriarch Theonas to the Virgin Mary; it was on the site of the present
Franciscan Church by the Docks. (iii) a Theological College—the
“Catechetical School,” founded about 200, where Clement of Alexandria
and Origen taught—site unknown.

It was its “bad behaviour,” to use Hadrian’s term, that brought the
community into notice—that is to say, its refusal to worship the
Emperors. To the absurd spiritual claims of the state, Christianity
opposed the claims of the individual conscience, and the conflict was
only allayed by the state itself becoming Christian. The conflict came
to its height in Alexandria, which, more than any other city in the
Empire, may claim to have won the battle for the new religion.
Persecution, at first desultory, grew under Decius, and culminated in
the desperate measures of Diocletian (303)—demolition of churches, all
Christian officials degraded, all Christian non-officials enslaved.
Diocletian, an able ruler—the great column miscalled Pompey’s is his
memorial—did not persecute from personal spite, but the results were no
less appalling and definitely discredited the pagan state. While we need
not accept the Egyptian Church’s estimate of 144,000 martyrs in nine
years, there is no doubt that numbers perished in all ranks of society.
Among the victims was St. Menas, a young Egyptian soldier who became
patron of the desert west of Lake Mariout, where a great church was
built over his grave. St. Catherine of Alexandria is also said to have
died under Diocletian, but it is improbable that she ever lived; she and
her wheel were creations of Western Catholicism, and the land of her
supposed sufferings has only recognised her out of politeness to the
French. The persecution was vain, the state was defeated, and the
Egyptian Church, justly triumphant, dates its chronology, not from the
birth of Christ, but from the “Era of Martyrs” (A.D. 284). A few years
later the Emperor Constantine made Christianity official, and the menace
from without came to an end.

    SITE OF ST. MARK’S: p. 163.
    CAPITAL FROM ST. MARK’S: Museum, Room 1.
    SITE OF ST. THEONAS: p. 170.
    STATUE OF DIOCLETIAN: Museum, Room 17.
    COINS OF DIOCLETIAN: Museum, Room 4.
    POMPEY’S (Diocletian’s) Pillar: p. 144.
    CHURCH OF ST. MENAS: p. 195.
    REMAINS FROM ST. MENAS: Museum, Rooms 1, 2, 5.

                         ARIUS AND ATHANASIUS.
                            (4th Cent. A.D.)

It was natural that Alexandria, who had suffered so much for
Christianity, should share in its triumph, and as soon as universal
toleration was proclaimed her star reemerged. Rome, as the stronghold of
Paganism, was discredited, and it seemed that the city by the Nile might
again become Imperial, as in the days of Antony. That hoped was dashed,
for Constantine, a very cautious man, thought it safer to found a new
capital on the Bosphorus, where no memories from the past could intrude.
But Alexandria was the capital spiritually, and at least it seemed that
she, who had helped to free imprisoned Christendom, would lead it in
harmony and peace to its home at the feet of God. That hope was dashed
too. An age of hatred and misery was approaching. The Christians, as
soon as they had captured the machinery of the pagan state, turned it
against one another, and the century resounds to a dispute between two
dictatorial clergymen.

Both were natives of Alexandria. Arius, the older, took duty at St.
Mark’s—the vanished church by the sea at Chatby where the Evangelist was
said to have been martyred. Learned and sincere, tall, simple in his
dress, persuasive in his speech, he was accused by his enemies of
looking like a snake, and of seducing, in the theological sense, 700
virgins. Athanasius, his opponent, first appears as a merry little boy,
playing with other children on the beach below St. Theonas’—on the shore
of the present western harbour, that is to say. He was playing at
Baptism, which not being in orders he had no right to do, and the
Patriarch, who happened to be looking out of the palace window, tried to
stop him. No one ever succeeded in stopping St. Athanasius. He baptised
his playmates, and the Patriarch, struck by his precocity, recognised
the sacrament as valid and engaged the active young theologian as his
secretary. Physically Athanasius was blackish and small, but strong and
extremely graceful—one recognises a modern street type. His character
can scarcely be discerned through the dust of the century, but he was
certainly not loveable, though he lived to be a popular hero. His powers
were remarkable. As a theologian he knew what is true, and as a
politician he knew how truth can be enforced, and his career blends
subtlety with vigour and self-abnegation with craft in the most
remarkable way.

The dispute—Arius started it—concerned the nature of Christ. Its
doctrinal import is discussed below (p. 75); here we are only dealing
with the outward results. Constantine who was no theologian and
dubiously Christian, was appalled by the schism which rapidly divided
his empire. He wrote, counselling charity, and when he was ignored
summoned the disputants to Nicaea on the Black Sea (325). Two hundred
and fifty bishops and many priests attended, and amid great violence the
_Nicene Creed_ was passed, and Arius condemned. Athanasius who was still
only a deacon, returned in triumph to Alexandria, and soon afterwards
became Patriarch here. But his troubles were only beginning.
Constantine, still obsessed with hopes of toleration, asked him to
receive Arius back. He refused, and was banished himself.

He was banished five times in all—once by the orthodox Constantine
(335), twice by the Arian Constantius (338 and 356), once by the pagan
Julian (362), and once, shortly before his death, by the Arian Valens.
Sometimes he hid in the Lybian desert, sometimes he escaped to Rome or
Palestine and made Christendom ring with his grievances. Twice he came
near to death in church—once in the Caesareum where he marched
processionally out of one door as the enemy came in at the other, and
once in St. Theonas at night, where he escaped from the altar just
before the Arian soldiers murdered him there. He always returned, and he
had the supreme joy of outliving Arius, who fell down dead one evening,
while walking through Alexandria with a friend. To us, living in a
secular age, such triumphs appear remote, and it seems better to die
young, like Alexander the Great, than to drag out this arid theological
Odyssey. But Athanasius has the immortality that he would have desired.
Owing to his efforts the Church has accepted as final his opinion on the
nature of Christ, and, duly grateful, has recognised him as a doctor and
canonised him as a saint. In Alexandria a large church was built to
commemorate his name. It stood on the north side of the Canopic Street;
the Attarine Mosque occupies part of its site to-day.

    ST. MARK’S: p. 163.
    ST. THEONAS’: p. 170.
    COUNCIL OF NICAEA, picture of: p. 106.
    NICENE CREED: original text containing Clause against Arius:
       Appendix p. 218.
    CAESAREUM: p. 161.
    ATTARINE MOSQUE (Church of St. Athanasius): p. 143.

                         THE RULE OF THE MONKS.
                          (4th and 5th Cents.)


After the exploits of Athanasius the Patriarchate of Alexandria became
very powerful. In theory Egypt belonged to the Emperor, who sent a
Prefect and a garrison from Constantinople; in practise it was ruled by
the Patriarch and his army of monks. The monks had not been important so
long as each lived alone, but by the 4th cent., they had gathered into
formidable communities, whence they would occasionally make raids on
civilisation like the Bedouins to-day. One of these communities was only
nine miles from Alexandria (the “Ennaton”), others lay further west, in
the Mariout desert; of those in the Wady Natrun, remnants still survive.
The monks had some knowledge of theology and of decorative craft, but
they were averse to culture and incapable of thought. Their heroes were
St. Ammon who deserted his wife on their wedding eve, or St. Antony, who
thought bathing sinful and was consequently carried across the canals of
the delta by an angel. From the ranks of such men the Patriarchs were

Christianity, which had been made official at the beginning of the 4th
century, was made compulsory towards its close, and this gave the monks
the opportunity of attacking the worship of Serapis. Much had now taken
refuge in that ancient Ptolemaic shrine—philosophy, magic, learning,
licentiousness. The Patriarch Theophilus led the attack. The Serapis
temple at Canopus (Aboukir) fell in 389, the parent temple at Alexandria
two years later; great was the fall of the latter, for it involved the
destruction of the Library whose books had been stored in the cloisters
surrounding the buildings; a monastery was installed on the site. The
persecution of the pagans continued, and culminated in the murder of
Hypatia (415). The achievements of Hypatia, like her youthfulness, have
been exaggerated; she was a middle-aged lady who taught mathematics at
the Mouseion and though she was a philosopher too we have no record of
her doctrines. The monks were now supreme, and one of them had murdered
the Imperial Prefect, and had been canonised for the deed by the
Patriarch Cyril. Cyril’s wild black army filled the streets, “human only
in their faces,” and anxious to perform some crowning piety before they
retired to their monasteries. In this mood they encountered Hypatia who
was driving from a lecture (probably along the course of the present Rue
Nebi Daniel), dragged her from the carriage to the Caesareum, and there
tore her to pieces with tiles. She is not a great figure. But with her
the Greece that is a spirit expired—the Greece that tried to discover
truth and create beauty and that had created Alexandria.

The monks however, have another aspect. They were the nucleus of a
national movement. Nationality did not exist in the modern sense—it was
a religious not a patriotic age. But under the cloak of religion racial
passions could shelter, and the monks killed Hypatia not only because
they knew she was sinful but also because they thought she was foreign.
They were anti-Greek, and later on they and their lay adherents were
given the name of Copts. “Copt” means “Egyptian.” The language of the
Copts was derived from the ancient Egyptian, their script was Greek,
with the addition of six letters adapted from the hieroglyphs. The new
movement permeated the whole country, even cosmopolitan Alexandria, and
as soon as it found a theological formula in which to express itself, a
revolt against Constantinople broke out.

That formula is known as “Monophysism.” Its theological import—it
concerns the Nature of Christ—is discussed below (p. 76); here we are
concerned with its outward effects. The Patriarch Dioscurus, successor
and nephew to Cyril, is the first Monophysite hero and the real founder
of the Coptic Church. The Emperor took up a high and mighty line, and at
the Council of Chalcedon near Constantinople Dioscurus was exiled and
his doctrines condemned (451). From that moment no Greek was safe in
Egypt. The racial trouble, which had been averted by the Ptolemies,
broke out at last and has not even died down to-day. Before long
Alexandria was saddled with two Patriarchs. There was (i) The Orthodox
or “Royal” Patriarch, who upheld the decrees of Chalcedon. He was
appointed by the Emperor and had most of the Church revenues. But he had
no spiritual authority over the Egyptians; to them he was an odious
Greek official, disguised as a priest. (ii) The Monophysite or Coptic
Patriarch, who opposed Chalcedon—a regular Egyptian monk, poor, bigoted
and popular. Each of these Patriarchs claimed to represent St. Mark and
the only true church; each of them is represented by a Patriarch in
Alexandria to-day. Now and then an Emperor tried to heal the schism, and
made concessions to the Egyptian faith. But the schism was racial, the
concessions theological, so nothing was effected. Egypt was only held
for the Empire by Greek garrisons, and consequently when the Arabs came
they conquered her at once.

    WADY NATRUN: p. 200.
    CAESAREUM: p. 161.

                        THE ARAB CONQUEST (641).

We are now approaching the catastrophe. Its details though dramatic are
confusing. It took place during the reign of the Emperor Heraclius, and
we must begin by glancing at his curious career.

Heraclius was an able and sensitive man—very sensitive, very much in the
grip of his own moods. Sometimes he appears as a hero, a great
administrator; sometimes as an apathetic recluse. He won his empire
(610) by the sword; then the reaction came and he allowed the Persians
to occupy Syria and Egypt almost without striking a blow. Alexandria
fell by treachery. She was safe on the seaward side, for the Persians
had no fleet, and her immense walls made her impregnable by land; their
army (which was encamped near Mex) could burn monasteries but do nothing
more. But a foreign student—Peter was his name—got into touch with them
and revealed the secrets of her topography. A canal ran through her from
the Western Harbour, rather to the north of the present (Mahmoudieh)
canal, and it passed, by a bridge, under the Canopic Way (present Rue
Sidi Metwalli). The harbour end of the Canal was unguarded, and a few
Persians, at Peter’s advice, disguised themselves as fishermen and rowed
in; then walked westward down the Canopic Way and unbarred the Gate of
the Moon to the main army (617). Their rule was not cruel; though
sun-worshippers, they persecuted neither orthodox Christians nor Copts.
For five years Heraclius did nothing; then shook off his torpor and
performed miracles. Marching against the armies of the Persians in Asia,
he defeated them and recovered the relic of the True Cross, which they
had taken from Jerusalem. Alexandria and Egypt were freed, and at the
festival of the Exaltation of the Cross—his coins commemorate it—the
Emperor appeared as the champion of Christendom and the greatest ruler
in the world. It is unlikely that in the hour of his triumph he paid any
attention to the envoys of an obscure Arab Sheikh named Mohammed, who
came to congratulate him on his victory and to suggest that he should
adopt a new religion called “Peace” or “Islam.” But he is said to have
dismissed them politely. The same Sheikh also sent envoys to the
Imperial viceroy at Alexandria. He too was polite and sent back a
present that included an ass, a mule, a bag of money, some butter and
honey, and two Coptic maidens. One of the latter, Mary, became the
Sheikh’s favourite concubine. Amidst such amenities did our intercourse
with Mohammedanism begin.

Heraclius, now at the height of his power and with a mind now vigorous,
turned next to the religious problem. He desired that his empire should
be spiritually as it was physically one, and in particular that the feud
in Egypt should cease. He was not a bigot. He believed in tolerance, and
sought a formula that should satisfy both orthodox and Copts—both the
supporters and the opponents of the Council of Chalcedon. A disastrous
search. He had better have let well alone. The formula that he
found—Monothelism—was so obscure that no one could understand it, and
the man whom he chose as its exponent was a cynical bully, who did not
even wish that it should be understood. This man was Cyrus, sometimes
called the Mukaukas, the evil genius of Egypt and of Alexandria. Cyrus
was made both Patriarch and Imperial Viceroy. He landed in 631, made no
attempt to conciliate or even to explain, persecuted the Copts, tried to
kill the Coptic Patriarch and at the end of ten year’s rule had ripened
Egypt for its fall. There was a Greek garrison in Alexandria and another
to the south of the present Cairo in a fort called “Babylon.” And there
were some other forces in the Delta and the fleet held the sea. But the
mass of the people were hostile. Heraclius ruled by violence, though he
did not realise it; the reports that Cyrus sent him never told the
truth. Indeed, he paid little attention to them; he was paralysed by a
new terror: Mohammedanism. His nerve failed him again, as at the Persian
invasion. Syria and the Holy Places were again lost to the Empire, this
time for ever. Broken in health and spirits, the Emperor slunk back to
Constantinople, and there, shortly before he died, Cyrus arrived with
the news that Egypt had been lost too.

What happened was this. The Arab general Amr had invaded Egypt with an
army of 4000 horse. Amr was not only a great general. He was an
administrator, a delightful companion, and a poet—one of the ablest and
most charming men that Islam ever produced. He would have been
remarkable in any age; he is all the more remarkable in an age that was
petrified by theology. Riding into Egypt by the coast where Port Said
stands now, he struck swiftly up the Nile, defeated an Imperial army at
Heliopolis and invested the fort of Babylon. Cyrus was inside it. His
character, like the Emperor’s, had collapsed. He knew that no native
Egyptian would resist the Arabs, and he may have felt, like many of his
contemporaries, that Christianity was doomed, that its complexities were
destined to perish before the simplicity of Islam. He negotiated a
peace, which the Emperor was to ratify. Heraclius was furious and
recalled him to Constantinople. But the mischief had been done; all
Egypt, with the exception of Alexandria, had been abandoned to the

Alexandria was surely safe. In the first place the Arabs had no ships,
and Amr, for all his courage, was not the man to build one. “If a ship
lies still,” he writes, “it rends the heart; if it moves it terrifies
the imagination. Upon it a man’s power ever diminishes and calamity
increases. Those within it are like worms in a log, and if it rolls over
they are drowned.” Alexandria had nothing to fear on the seaward side
from such a foe and on the landward what could he do against her superb
walls, defended by all the appliances of military science? Amr, though
powerful, had no artillery. His was purely a cavalry force. And there
was no great alarm when, from the south east, the force was seen
approaching and encamping somewhere beyond the present Nouzha Gardens.
Moreover the Patriarch Cyrus was back, and had held a great service in
the Caesareum and exhorted the Christians to arms. Indeed it is not easy
to see why Alexandria did fall. There was no physical reason for it. One
is almost driven to say that she fell because she had no soul. Cyrus,
for the second time, betrayed his trust. He negotiated again with the
Arabs, as at Babylon, and signed (Nov. 8th, 641) an armistice with them,
during which the Imperial garrison evacuated the town. Amr did not make
hard terms; cruelty was neither congenial to him nor politic. Those
inhabitants who wished to leave might do so; the rest might worship as
they wished on payment of tribute.

The following year Amr entered in triumph through the Gate of the Sun
that closed the eastern end of the Canopic Way. Little had been ruined
so far. Colonnades of marble stretched before him, the Tomb of Alexander
rose to his left, the Pharos to his right. His sensitive and generous
soul may have been moved, but the message he sent to the Caliph in
Arabia is sufficiently prosaic. “I have taken,” he writes, “a city of
which I can only say that it contains 4,000 palaces, 4,000 baths, 400
theatres, 1,200 greengrocers and 40,000 Jews.” And the Caliph received
the news with equal calm, merely rewarding the messenger with a meal of
bread and oil and a few dates. There was nothing studied in this
indifference. The Arabs could not realise the value of their prize. They
knew that Allah had given them a large and strong city. They could not
know that there was no other like it in the world, that the science of
Greece had planned it, that it had been the intellectual birthplace of
Christianity. Legends of a dim Alexander, a dimmer Cleopatra, might move
in their minds, but they had not the historical sense, they could never
realise what had happened on this spot nor how inevitably the city of
the double harbour should have arisen between the lake and the sea. And
so though they had no intention of destroying her, they destroyed her,
as a child might a watch. She never functioned again for over 1,000

One or two details are necessary, to complete this sketch of the
conquest. It had been a humane affair, and no damage had been done to
property; the library which the Arabs are usually accused of destroying
had already been destroyed by the Christians. A few years later,
however, some damage was done. Supported by an Imperial fleet, the city
revolted, and Amr was obliged to re-enter it by force. There was a
massacre, which he stayed by sheathing his sword; the Mosque of Amr or
of Mercy was built upon the site. As governor of Egypt, he administered
it well, but his interests lay inland not on the odious sea shore, and
he founded a city close to the fort of Babylon—Fostat, the germ of the
modern Cairo. Here all the life of the future was to centre. Here Amr
himself was to die. As he lay on his couch a friend said to him: “You
have often remarked that you would like to find an intelligent man at
the point of death, and to ask him what his feelings were. Now I ask you
that question.” Amr replied, “I feel as if the heaven lay close upon the
earth and I between the two, breathing through the eye of a needle.”
There is something in this dialogue that transports us into a new world;
it could never have taken place between two Alexandrians.

    ROSETTA GATE (Gate of the Sun): p. 121.
    MOSQUE OF AMR: p. 144.

Such were the chief physical events in the city during the Christian
Period. We must now turn back to consider another and more important
aspect: the spiritual.


                              SECTION III.


                          THE SPIRITUAL CITY.



When Cleopatra died and Egypt became part of the Roman Empire, it seemed
that the career of Alexandria was over. Her life had centred round the
Ptolemies who had adorned her with architecture and scholarship and
song, and when they were withdrawn what remained? She was just a
provincial capital. But the vitality of a city is not thus measured.
There is a splendour that kings do not give and cannot take away, and
just when she lost her outward independence she was recompensed by
discovering the kingdom that lies within. Three sections of her
citizens—Jews, Greeks and Christians—were attracted by the same
spiritual problem, and tried to solve it in the same way.

_The Problem._ It never occurred to these Alexandrian thinkers, as it
had to some of their predecessors in ancient Greece, that God might not
exist. They assumed that he existed. What troubled them was his relation
to the rest of the universe and particularly to Man. Was God close to
man? Or was he far away? If close, how could he be infinite and eternal
and omnipotent? And if far away, how could he take any interest in man,
why indeed should he have troubled to create him? They wanted God to be
both far and close.

_The Solution._ Savages solve such a problem by having two gods—a pocket
fetich whom they beat when he irritates them, and a remote spirit in the
sky, and they do not try to think out any connection between the two.
The Alexandrians, being cultivated, could not accept such crudities.
Instead, they assumed that between God and man there is an intermediate
being or beings, who draw the universe together, and ensure that though
God is far he shall also be close. They gave various names to this
intermediate being, and ascribed to him varying degrees of dignity and
power. But they became as certain of his existence as of God’s, for in
philosophy their temperament was mystic rather than scientific, and as
soon as they hit on an explanation of the universe that was comforting,
they did not stop to consider whether it might be true.

After this preliminary, let us approach the three great sections of
Alexandrian thought.

                              I. THE JEWS.

    THE SEPTUAGINT—about B.C. 200.
    THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON—about B.C. 100.
    PHILO—cont. with Christ.

The seat of the Jews was Jerusalem, where they had evolved their cult of
Jehovah and built him his unique temple. But as soon as Alexandria was
founded they began to emigrate to the lucrative and seductive city, and
to take up their quarters near the modern Ibrahimieh. Soon a generation
arose that was Greek in speech. The Hebrew Scriptures had to be
translated for their benefit, and seventy rabbis—so the legend goes—were
shut up by Ptolemy Philadelphus in seventy huts on the island of Pharos,
whence they simultaneously emerged with seventy identical translations
of the Bible. This was the famous Septuagint version—made as a matter of
fact over many years, and not completed till B.C. 130.

                  *       *       *       *       *

But the new generation was Greek in spirit as well as speech, and
diverged increasingly from the conservative Jews at Jerusalem. Both
sections worshipped Jehovah, but the Alexandrian grew more and more
conscious of the churlishness and inaccessibility of his national god.
Thought mingled with his adoration. How could he link Jehovah to man?
And, utilising a few hints in the orthodox scriptures, he produced as
his first attempt a fine piece of literature called “The Wisdom of
Solomon”; it is at present included in the Apocrypha. The author—his
name is unknown—not only wrote in Greek but had studied Stoic and
Epicurean Philosophy and Egyptian rites. He had the cosmopolitan culture
of Alexandria. And, solving his problem in the Alexandrian way, he
conceived an intermediate between Jehovah and man whom he calls Sophia
or Wisdom.

    Wisdom is more moving than any motion: she goeth through all things
    by reason of her pureness. Being but one she can do all things and
    in all ages entering into holy souls she makes them friends of God,
    and prophets. She is more beautiful than the sun and all the order
    of stars: being compared with the light she is found beyond it. For
    after this cometh night, but vice shall not prevail against wisdom.

In such a passage Wisdom is more than “being wise.” She is a messenger
who bridges the gulf and makes us friends of God.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In Philo the Jewish school of Alexandria reaches its height. Little is
known of his life. His brother was head of the Jewish community here and
he himself was sent (A.D. 40) on a disastrous embassy to the mad Emperor
Caligula at Rome.

Being an orthodox Jew, he states his philosophic problem in the language
of the Old Testament. Thus:—

Jehovah had said I AM THAT I AM—that is to say, nothing can be
predicated about God except existence. God has no qualities, no desires,
no form, and no home. We cannot even call God “God” because “God” is a
word, and no word can describe God. While to regard him as a man is to
commit “an error greater than the sea.” God IS, and no more can be said
of him.

Yet this unapproachable being has created us. How? And why?

Through his Logos or Word. This Logos of Philo is, like “Wisdom,” a
messenger who bridges the gulf. He is the outward expression of God’s
existence. He created and he sustains the world, and Philo uses the
actual language of devotion concerning him, calling him Israel the Seer,
the Dove, the Dweller in the Inmost,—language which naturally recalls
and possibly suggested the opening of St. John’s Gospel. “In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.” Philo might have
written this. But he could not have written “the Word was God” nor “the
Word was made flesh” for it was, as we shall see, the distinction of
Christianity to conceive that the link between Man and God should be
himself both God and Man.

By this doctrine of the Logos, Philo made the Hebrew Jehovah
intelligible and acceptable to the Alexandrian Jews. It is a doctrine
not found in the Old Testament, and to extract it he had to employ
allegory and to wrest words from their natural meanings. This gives his
philosophy a frigid timid air, and obscures its real sublimity. Only
once or twice does he break loose, and declare that the path to truth
lies not through allegory but through vision. “Those who can see” he
exclaims, “lift their eyes to heavens, and contemplate the Manna, the
divine Logos. Those who cannot see, look at the onions in the ground.”
After his death, the Jews of Alexandria accomplished no more in
philosophy. They had stated the problem. The restatement was for the
Greeks and the Christians.


                           II. NEO-PLATONISM.

    PLOTINUS (204-262).
    PORPHYRY (233-306).
    HYPATIA (d. 415).

The Ptolemies had imported some Greek philosophers, as part of the
personnel of the Mouseion, but they were second-rate, and it was not
until the Ptolemies had passed away, and the city herself was declining,
that philosophy took root and bore the white mystic rose of
Neo-Platonism. It developed out of a doctrine of Plato’s. Six hundred
years before, Plato had taught at Athens that the world we live in is an
imperfect copy of an ideal world. He had also taught other things, but
this was the doctrine that the “New Platonists” of Alexandria took up
and pursued to sublime and mystic conclusions. Whatever Plato had
thought of this world as a philosopher, he had enjoyed it as a citizen
and a poet, and has left delightful accounts of it in his dialogues. The
Neo-Platonists were more logical. Since this world is imperfect, they
regarded it as negligible, and excluded from their writings all
references to daily life. They might be disembodied spirits, freed from
locality and time, and it is only after careful study that we realise
that they too were human,—nay, that they were typically Alexandrian, and
that in them the later city finds her highest expression.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The School was founded by Ammonius Saccas, who had begun life as a
porter in the docks, and as a Christian, but abandoned both professions
for the study of Plato. Nothing is known of his teaching, but he
produced great pupils—Longinus, Origen, and, greatest of all, Plotinus.
Plotinus was probably born at Assiout; probably; no one could find out
for certain because he was reticent about it, saying that the descent of
his soul into his body had been a great misfortune, which he did not
desire to discuss. He completed his main training at Alexandria, and
then took part in a military expedition against Persia, in order to get
into touch with Persian thought (Zoroastrianism), and with Indian
thought (Hinduism, Buddhism). He must have made a queer soldier and he
was certainly an unsuccessful one, for the expedition suffered defeat,
and Plotinus was very nearly relieved of the disgrace of having a body.
Escaping, he made his way to Rome, and remained there until the end of
his life, lecturing. In spite of his sincerity, he became fashionable,
and the psychic powers that he had acquired not only gained him, on four
occasions, the Mystic Vision which was the goal of his philosophy, but
also discovered a necklace which had been stolen from a rich lady by one
of her slaves. He was indifferent to literary composition; after his
death his pupil Porphyry collected his lecture-notes and published them
in nine volumes—the “Enneads.” The Enneads are ill arranged and often
obscure. But they contain a logical system of thought, some account of
which must be attempted—Alexandria produced nothing greater. And they
deal with the usual Alexandrian problem—the linking up of God and Man.

Like Philo, and like the Christians, Plotinus believes in God, and since
his God has three grades, we may almost say that he believes in a
Trinity. But it is very different to the Christian Trinity, and even
more difficult to understand. The first and highest grade in it he calls
the One. The One is—Unity, the One. Nothing else can be predicated about
it, not even that it exists; it is more incomprehensible than the
Jehovah of Philo; it has no qualities, no creative force, it is good
only as the goal of our aspirations. But though it cannot create, it
overflows (somewhat like a fountain), and from its overflow or emanation
is generated the second grade of the Trinity—the “Intellectual
Principle.” The Intellectual Principle is a little easier to understand
than the “One” because it has a remote connection with our lives. It is
the Universal mind that contains—not all things, but all thoughts of
things, and by thinking it creates. It thinks of the third grade—the All
Soul—which accordingly comes into being. With the All Soul we near the
realm of the comprehensible. It is the cause of the Universe that we
know. All that we grasp through the senses was created by it—the Gods of
Greece, etc. in the first place, then the demi-gods and demons, then,
descending in the scale, ourselves, then animals, plants, stones;
matter, that seems so important to us, is really the last and feeblest
emanation of the All Soul, the point at which creative power comes to a
halt.—And these three grades, the “One,” the “Intellectual Principle,”
and the “All Soul,” make up between them a single being, God; who is
three in one and one in three, and the goal of all creation.

Thus far the system of Plotinus may appear unattractive as well as
abstruse; we must now look at the other and more emotional side. Not
only do all things flow from God; they also strive to return to him; in
other words, the whole Universe has an inclination towards good. We are
all parts of God, even the stones, though we cannot realise it; and
man’s goal is to become actually, as he is potentially, divine.
Therefore rebirth is permitted, in order that we may realise God better
in a future existence than we can in this; and therefore the Mystic
Vision is permitted, in order that, even in this existence we may have a
glimpse of God. God is ourself, our true self, and in one of the few
literary passages in the Enneads, the style of Plotinus catches fire
from his thought and we are taught in words of immortal eloquence, how
the Vision may be obtained.

    But what must we do? How lies the path? How come to vision of the
    inaccessible Beauty, dwelling as if in consecrated precincts, apart
    from the common ways where all men may see?

    “Let us flee to the beloved Fatherland.” This is the soundest
    counsel. But what is the flight? How are we to gain the open sea?

    The Fatherland is There whence we have come, and There is the

    What then is our course, what the manner of our flight? This is not
    a journey for the feet; the feet bring us only from land to land;
    all this order of things you must set aside and refuse to see; you
    must close the eyes and call instead upon another vision which is to
    be waked within you, a vision the birth-right of all, which few can

    Withdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not find yourself
    beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be
    made beautiful; he cuts away here, he smooths there, he makes this
    line lighter, that purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his

    When you know that you have become this perfect work, when you are
    self-gathered in the purity of your being, nothing now remaining
    that can shatter that inner unity—when you perceive that you have
    grown to this, you are now become very vision; now call up all your
    confidence, strike forward yet a step—you need a guide no
    longer—forward yet a step—you need a guide no longer—strain and see.

    This is the only eye that sees the mighty Beauty. If the eye that
    ventures the vision be dimmed by vice, impure or weak, then it sees
    nothing even though another point to what lies plain before it. To
    any vision must be brought an eye adapted to what is to be seen, and
    having some resemblance to it. Never did eye see the sun unless it
    had first become sunlike, and never can the soul have vision of the
    first Beauty unless itself be beautiful.[4]

Footnote 4:

  S. McKenna’s Translation.

This sublime passage suggests three comments, with which our glance at
Plotinus must close. In the first place its tone is religious, and in
this it is typical of all Alexandrian philosophy. In the second place it
lays stress on behaviour and training; the Supreme Vision cannot be
acquired by magic tricks—only those will see it who are fit to see. And
in the third place the vision of oneself and the vision of God are
really the same, because each individual is God, if only he knew it. And
here is the great difference between Plotinus and Christianity. The
Christian promise is that a man shall see God, the Neo-Platonic—like the
Indian—that he shall be God. Perhaps, on the quays of Alexandria,
Plotinus talked with Hindu merchants who came to the town. At all events
his system can be paralleled in the religious writings of India. He
comes nearer than any other Greek philosopher to the thought of the

                  *       *       *       *       *

Porphyry, the pious disciple of Plotinus, was himself a philosopher of
note, and the Neo-Platonic School continued to flourish all through the
4th cent. Its main temper kept the same; it was pessimistic as regards
the actual world and actual men, but optimistic as regards the future
because it believed that the world and all in it has emanated from God
and has been granted the means of reverting to him. It recognised the
presence of Evil but not its eternal existence, and consequently it was
a practical support to its believers, and upheld the last of them,
Hypatia, through martyrdom.

    When I do contemplate your words and you
    revered Hypatia, then I kneel to view
    the Virgin’s starry home; there in the skies
    your works and perfect words I recognise,
    a star unsullied of instruction wise.[5]

Footnote 5:

  Translated by R. A. Furness.

Thus wrote an unknown admirer at the beginning of the 5th Century. None
of Hypatia’s discourses have been preserved, but we know that with her
and with her father, Theon, the great tradition of Plotinus expired at

                           III. CHRISTIANITY.


Percolating through the Jewish Communities, the Christian religion
reached Egypt as early as the 1st cent. A.D. On its arrival, it found,
already established there, two distinct forms of spiritual life.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The first was the spiritual life of Ancient Egypt, which had clung to
the soil of the Nile valley for over 4,000 years. It had existed so long
that though Christianity could close its temples she never quite
uprooted it from the heart of the people. The resurrection of Osiris as
Sun God; the partaking of him as Corn God by the blessed in the world
below; the beneficent group of the mother Isis with Horus her child; the
same Horus as a young warrior slaying the snaky Set; the key-shaped
“ankh” that the gods and goddesses carried as a sign of their
immortality:—these symbols had sunk too deeply into the minds of the
native Egyptians to be removed by episcopal decrees. Consequently there
were cases of reversion—e.g. at Menouthis (near Aboukir) in 480, when
some villagers were discovered worshipping the ancient deities in a
private house. And there were also cases of confusion, where the old
religion passed imperceptibly into the new. Did Christianity borrow from
the Osiris cult her doctrines of the Resurrection and Personal
Immortality, and her sacrament of the Eucharist? The suggestion has been
made. It is more certain that she borrowed much of her symbolism and
popular art. Isis and Horus become the Virgin and Child, Horus and Set
St. George and the Dragon, while the “ankh” appears unaltered on some of
the Christian tomb stones as a looped cross, and slightly altered on
others as a cross with a handle.

The second form of spiritual life was the life of Alexandria. Its
quality (mainly Hellenic and philosophic) has already been indicated.
Christianity, to begin with, was not philosophic, being addressed to
poor and unfashionable people in Palestine. But as soon as it reached
Alexandria its character altered, the turning point in its worldly
career arrived. The Alexandrians were highly cultivated, they had
libraries where all the wisdom of the Mediterranean was accessible, and
their faith inevitably took a philosophic form. Occupied by their
favourite problem of the relation between God and Man, they at once
asked the same question of the new religion as they asked the Jews and
the Greeks—namely, What is the link? Philo said the Logos, Plotinus the
Emanations. The new religion replied “Christ.” There was nothing
startling to the Alexandrians in such a reply. Christ too was the Word,
he too proceeded from the Father. His incarnation, his redemption of
mankind through suffering—even these were not strange ideas to people
who were accustomed to “divine” kings, and familiar with the myths of
Prometheus and Adonis. Alexandrian orthodoxy, Alexandrian heresies, both
centred round the problem that was familiar to Alexandrian paganism—the
relation between God and Man.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Thus Christianity did not burst upon Egypt or upon Alexandria like a
clap of thunder, but stole into ears already prepared. Neither on her
popular nor on her philosophic side was she a creed apart. Only
politically did she stand out as an innovator, through her denial of
divinity to the Imperial Government at Rome.

    ANKH: Museum, Room 8.
    ISIS AND HORUS: Museum, Room 10.
    MENOUTHIS: p. 183.

                 (I). GNOSTICISM (Esoteric knowledge).

    CERINTHUS—About 100 A.D.

Gnosticism taught that the world and mankind are the result of an
unfortunate blunder. God neither created us nor wished us to be created.
We are the work of an inferior deity, the Demiurge, who wrongly believes
himself God, and we are doomed to decay. But God, though not responsible
for our existence, took pity on it, and has sent his Christ to
counteract the ignorance of the Demiurge and to give us Gnosis
(knowledge). Christ is the link between the divine and that unfortunate
mistake the human.

The individual Gnostics played round this idea. Cerinthus (educated
here) taught that Jesus was a man, and Christ a spirit who left him at
death. Basilides (a Syrian visitor) that there were three dispensations,
pre-Jewish, Jewish, and Christian, each of whose rulers had a son, which
son comprehended more of God than did his father. The Ophites worshipped
snakes because the serpent in Eden was really a messenger from God, who
induced Eve to disobey the Demiurge Jehovah. Consequently if we wish to
be good we must be bad—a conclusion that was also reached, though by a
different route, by Carpocrates, who organised an Abode of Love on one
of the Greek islands. These are unsavoury charlatans. But one of the
Gnostics—Valentinus—was a man of another stamp, and his system has a
tragic quality most rare in Alexandria.

Valentinus (probably an Egyptian; educated here; taught mainly at Rome)
held the usual Gnostic doctrine that creation is a mistake. But he tried
to explain how the mistake came about. He imagines a primal God, the
centre of a divine harmony, who sent out manifestations of himself in
pairs of male and female. Each pair was inferior to its predecessor, and
Sophia (“wisdom”) the female of the thirtieth pair, least perfect of
all. She showed her imperfection not, like Lucifer, by rebelling from
God, but by desiring too ardently to be united to him. She fell through
love. Hurled from the divine harmony, she fell into matter, and the
universe is formed out of her agony and remorse. She herself was rescued
by the first Christ but not before she had born a son, the Demiurge, who
rules this world of sadness and confusion, and is incapable of realising
anything beyond it. In this world there are three classes of men, all
outwardly the same, men of the Body, the Spirit, and the Soul. The first
two belong to the Demiurge and ought to obey him. The third are really
the elect of his mother Sophia. He rules them but cannot make them obey.
It was for their salvation that the Christ whom we call Jesus descended
straight from the primal God and left with his twelve disciples the
secret tradition of the Gnosis.

With Valentinus the Gnosticism of Alexandria reaches its height. Further
east it took other forms. It had spread by 150 A.D. all round the
Mediterranean, and threatened to defeat orthodox Christianity. But it
was pessimistic, imaginative, esoteric—three great obstacles to success.
It was not a creed any society could adopt, being anti-social, and by
the time of Constantine its vogue was over.

    GNOSTIC AMULETS: Museum, Room 17.

                       (II). ORTHODOXY. (Early).


Orthodoxy at Alexandria did not begin on clear cut lines; indeed the
more we look at it the more it melts into its surroundings. It adapted
from Philo his doctrine of the Logos, and identified the Logos with
Christ. It shared with Gnosticism the desire for knowledge of God, while
declaring that such knowledge need not be esoteric. It has its special
Gospel—St. Mark’s—but other Gospels, since condemned as uncanonical,
were equally read in its churches, e.g. the Gospels of the Hebrews and
of the Egyptians. It was permeated by Greek thought—Neo-Platonists
became Christians, and _vice versa_. But one distinguishing doctrine it
did have—the supreme value of Christ. Christ was the “Word” incarnate,
through whom the love and power of God could alone be “known.” Problems
as to Christ’s nature did not trouble the earlier theologians. Their
impulse was to testify, not to analyse. A feeling of joy inspires their
interminable writings, and it is possible to detect through their
circumlocution the faith that steeled the martyrs, their contemporaries.

Clement of Alexandria (probably a Greek from Athens) was head of the big
theological college here. His problem, like that of the Jews before him,
was to recommend his religion to a subtle and philosophic city, and his
methods forestall those of the advanced missionary to-day. He does not
denounce Greek philosophy. His line is that it is a preparation for the
Gospel, that the Jewish law was also a preparation, and that all that
happened before the birth of Christ is indeed a divine approach to that
supreme event. Learned and enlightened, he set Christianity upon a path
that she did not long consent to follow. He raised her from intellectual
obscurity, he lent her for a little Hellenic persuasion, and the
graciousness of Greece seems in his pages not incompatible with the
Grace of God.

    He is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven who shall do and teach
    in imitation of God by showing free Grace like His; for the bounties
    of God are for the common benefits.

Only in Alexandria could such a theologian have arisen.

His work was carried on by his pupil Origen, the strangest and most
adventurous of the Early Fathers. Gentle and scholarly by nature, Origen
had an instinct for self-immolation that troubled his life and the lives
of his friends. He was an Egyptian (the name is connected with Horus),
and he was born here of Christian parents and tried as a boy to share
his father’s martyrdom at the Temple of Serapis. Calmed for a while, he
supported his mother and brothers, and was fellow pupil with Plotinus.
Then he became head of the Theological College, and having attained fame
as a teacher and lay preacher, castrated himself (a “Eunuch for the
Kingdom of Heaven’s sake.”—Matt. xix, 12). His patron, the Bishop of
Alexandria, disowned him for this, and ruled that he could not now take
orders; other bishops declared that he could, and the Christian
communities were divided by the grotesque controversy. Origen was
considerate and even repentant; he had no wish to cause scandal, and
when ordered to leave Alexandria he obeyed. But his opinions ever verged
towards the incorrect; he believed, like Plotinus, in pre-existence, he
disbelieved in the eternity of punishment, and it is with the greatest
hesitation that orthodoxy has received him to her bosom. In the main he
developed the theory of his master Clement—that Christianity is the heir
of the past and the interpreter of the future,—and he taught that Christ
has been with mankind not only at his incarnation but since the
beginning of creation, and has in all ages linked them, according to
their capacity, with God.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Thus the characteristic of early orthodoxy was a belief in Christ as the
link between God and Man. A humanising belief; the work of the Greek
scholars who had subtilised and universalised the simpler faith of
Palestine, and had imparted into it doctrines taught by Paganism. We
must now watch it harden and transform. Several causes transformed
it—e.g. the growth of an ignorant monasticism in Egypt, the growth in
Northern Africa, of a gloomier type of Christianity under Tertullian,
and the general spirit of aggression the new religion everywhere
displayed as soon as Constantine labelled it as official. But there was
one cause that was inherent in the belief itself, and that alone
concerns us here. Christ was the Son of God. All agreed. But what was
the _Nature_ of Christ? The subtle Alexandrian intellect asked this
question about the year 300, and the Arian heresy was the result. It
asked it again about 400 and produced the Monophysite heresy. And a
third query about 600 produced a third heresy, the Monothelite. Let us
glance at these three in turn. Heresies to others, they were of course
orthodox in their own eyes. Each believed itself the only interpreter of
the link that binds God to Man.

    UNCANONICAL GOSPELS: Appendix p. 217.

                            (III). ARIANISM.

Christ is the Son of God. Then is he not younger than God? Arius held
that he was and that there was a period before time began when the First
Person of the Trinity existed and the Second did not. A typical
Alexandrian theologian, occupied with the favourite problem of linking
human and divine, Arius thought to solve the problem by making the link
predominately human. He did not deny the Godhead of Christ, but he did
make him inferior to the Father—of _like_ substance, not of the _same_
substance, which was the view held by Athanasius, and stamped as
orthodox by the Council of Nicaea. Moreover the Arian Christ, like the
Gnostic Demiurge, made the world;—creation, an inferior activity, being
entrusted to him by the Father, who had Himself created nothing but

It is easy to see why Arianism became popular. By making Christ younger
and lower than God it brought him nearer to us—indeed it tended to level
him into a mere good man and to forestall Unitarianism. It appealed to
the untheologically minded, to emperors and even more to empresses. But
St. Athanasius, who viewed the innovation with an expert eye, saw that
while it popularised Christ it isolated God, and he fought it with
vigour and venom. His success has been described (p. 47). It was
condemned as heretical in 325, and by the end of the century had been
expelled from orthodox Christendom. Of the theatre of this ancient
strife no trace remains at Alexandria; the church of St. Mark where
Arius was presbyter has vanished: so have the churches where Athanasius
thundered—St. Theonas and the Caesareum. Nor do we know in which street
Arius died of epilepsy. But the strife still continues in the hearts of
men, who always tend to magnify the human in the divine, and it is
probable that many an individual Christian to-day is an Arian without
knowing it.

    NICENE CREED (original text): Appendix p. 218.

                 (IV). MONOPHYSISM. (“Single Nature.”)

Christ is the Son of God, but also the Son of Mary. Then has he two
natures or one? The Monophysites said “one.” They did not deny Christ’s
incarnation, but they asserted that the divine in him had quite absorbed
the human. The question was first raised in clerical circles in
Constantinople, but Alexandria took it up hotly, and “Single Nature”
became the national cry of Egypt. We have already seen (p. 51) the
political importance of this heresy, how it was connected with a racial
movement against the Greeks, how when it was condemned at Chalcedon
(451) Egypt slipped into permanent mutiny against the Empire. The
Council announced that Christ had two natures, unmixed and unchangeable
but at the same time indistinguishable and inseparable. This is the
orthodox view—the one we hold. The Copts (and Abyssinians) are still
Monophysites, and consequently not in communion with the rest of

    COPTIC CHURCH: p. 160, 212.

                   (V). MONOTHELISM. (“Single Will.”)

As the minds of the Alexandrians decayed, their heresies became more and
more technical. Arianism enshrines a real problem which the layman as
well as the cleric can apprehend. Monophysism is more remote. And
Monothelism is difficult to state in the language of theology, and
almost impossible to state in the language of common sense. Perhaps it
bears in it the signs of carelessness, for as we have seen (p. 54) it
was the invention of the Emperor Heraclius in the last desperate days
when he was trying to conciliate Egypt.

If Christ has one Nature he has of course one will. But suppose he has
two Natures. How many wills has he then? The Monothelites said “One.”
The orthodox view—the one we hold—is “Two, one human the other divine,
but both operating in unison.” Obscure indeed is the problem, and we can
well believe that the Alexandrians, against whom the Arabs were then
marching, did not understand Monothelism when it was hurriedly explained
to them by a preoccupied general. But it was not without a future. It
failed as a compromise but survived as a heresy, and long after the
Imperial Government had disowned it and Egypt had fallen to Islam, it
was cherished in the uplands of Syria by the Maronite Church.

    MARONITE CHURCH: p. 140, 213.

                           CONCLUSION: ISLAM.

We have now seen Alexandria handle one after another the systems that
entered her walls. The ancient religion of the Hebrews, the philosophy
of Plato, the new faith out of Galilee—taking each in turn she has left
her impress upon it, and extracted some answer to her question, “How can
the human be linked to the divine?”

It may be argued that this question must be asked by all who have the
religious sense, and that there is nothing specifically Alexandrian
about it. But no; it need not be asked; it was never asked by Islam, by
the faith that swept the city physically and spiritually into the sea.
“There is no God but God, and Mohammed is the Prophet of God” says
Islam, proclaiming the needlessness of a mediator; the man Mohammed has
been chosen to tell us what God is like and what he wishes, and there
all machinery ends, leaving us to face our Creator. We face him as a God
of power, who may temper his justice with mercy, but who does not stoop
to the weakness of Love, and we are well content that, being powerful,
he shall be far away. That old dilemma, that God ought at the same time
to be far away and close at hand, cannot occur to an orthodox
Mohammedan. It occurs to those who require God to be loving as well as
powerful, to Christianity and to its kindred growths, and it is the
weakness and the strength of Alexandria to have solved it by the
conception of a link. Her weakness: because she had always to be
shifting the link up and down—if she got it too near God it was too far
from Man, and _vice versa_. Her strength: because she did cling to the
idea of Love, and much philosophic absurdity, much theological aridity,
must be pardoned to those who maintain that the best thing on earth is
likely to be the best in heaven.

Islam, strong through its abjuration of Love, was the one system that
the city could not handle. It gave no opening to her manipulations. Her
logoi, her emanations and aeons, her various Christs, orthodox, Arian,
Monophysite, or Monothelite—it threw them all down as unnecessary lumber
that do but distract the true believer from his God. The physical decay
that crept on her in the 7th century had its counterpart in a spiritual
decay. Amr and his Arabs were not fanatics or barbarians and they were
about to start near Cairo a new Egypt of their own. But they
instinctively shrank from Alexandria; she seemed to them idolatrous and
foolish; and a thousand years of silence succeeded them.

    INSCRIPTION FROM KORAN (Terbana Mosque): p. 125.


                              SECTION IV.


                              ARAB PERIOD.


                    THE ARAB TOWN (7th-16th Cents.)

During the thousand years and more that intervene between the Arab
conquest of Egypt and its conquest by Napoleon, the events in the
history of Alexandria are geographic rather than political. Neglected by
man, the land and the waters altered their positions, and could
Alexander the Great have returned he would have failed to recognise the
coast. (i) The fundamental change was in the 12th cent., when the
Canopic mouth of the Nile silted up. Consequently the fresh water lake
of Mariout, being no longer fed by the Nile floods, also silted and
ceased to be navigable. Alexandria was cut off from the entire river
system of Egypt, and could not flourish until it was restored; she has
always required the double nourishment of fresh water and salt. (ii)
There was also a change in the outline of the city: the dyke
Heptastadion, built by the Ptolemies to connect the mainland with the
island of Pharos, fell into ruin and became a backbone along which a
broad spit of land accreted; and so Pharos turned from an island into a
peninsula—the present Ras-el-Tin.

The Arabs, though they let the city fall out of repair, admired it
greatly. One of them writes as follows:—

    The city was all white and bright by night as well as by day. By
    reason of the walls and pavements of white marble the people used to
    wear black garments; it was the glare of the marble that made the
    monks wear black. So too it was painful to go out by night ... a
    tailor could see to thread his needle without a lamp. No one entered
    without a covering over his eyes.

A second writer describes the green silk awnings that were spread over
the Canopic Way. A third, even more enthusiastic exclaims:—

    I have made the Pilgrimage to Mecca sixty times, but if Allah had
    suffered me to stay a month at Alexandria and pray on its shores,
    that month would be dearer to me.

The Arabs were anything but barbarians; their own great city of Cairo is
a sufficient answer to that charge. But their civilisation was Oriental
and of the land; it was out of touch with the Mediterranean civilisation
that has evolved Alexandria. At first they made some effort to adapt it
to their needs. The church of St. Theonas became part of the huge
“Mosque of the 1,000 Columns;” the church of St. Athanasius also became
a Mosque—the present Attarine Mosque occupies part of its site; and a
third Mosque, that of the Prophet Daniel, rose on the Mausoleum of
Alexander. But the Caesareum, the Mouseion, the Pharos, the Ptolemaic
Palace, all became ruinous. So did the walls. And though the Arabs built
new walls in 811, their course is so short that they vividly illustrate
the decline of the town and of the population. (See map p. 98). They
only enclosed a fragment of the ancient city.

In 828 the Venetians, according to their own account, stole from
Alexandria the body of St. Mark, concealing it first in a tub of pickled
pork in order to repel the attentions of the Moslem officials on the
quay. The theft was a pardonable one, for the Arabs never seem to know
that it had been made; it occasioned much satisfaction in Venice and no
inconvenience in Alexandria. St. Mark procured, there was little to
attract the European world; the ports of Egypt were now Rosetta
(Bolbitiné Mouth of the Nile), and Damietta (Phatnitic Mouth); there was
no reason to approach Alexandria now that her water system had
collapsed. Towards the end of the Arab rule she did indeed regain some
slight importance; the Mameluke Sultan of Cairo, Kait Bey, built on the
ruins of the Pharos the fine fort that bears his name (1480). He built
it as a defence against the growing naval power of the Turks. The Turks
conquered Egypt in 1517, and a new but equally unimportant chapter in
the history of Alexandria begins.

    ST. THEONAS: p. 170.
    ATTARINE MOSQUE: p. 143.
    FRAGMENT OF ARAB WALL: p. 106, 155.
    FORT KAIT BEY: p. 133.

                  THE TURKISH TOWN (16th-18th Cents.)

Under the Turks the population continued to shrink, so that eventually
the narrow enclosure of the Arab walls became too large. A new
settlement sprang up on the neck of land that had formed between the two
harbours. It still exists and is known as the “Turkish Town.” A
second-rate affair; little more than a strip of houses intermixed with
small mosques; a meagre copy of Rosetta, where the architecture of these
centuries can best be studied. So unimportant a place can have no
connected history. All that one can do is to quote the isolated comments
of a few travelers. (i) The English sailor, John Foxe, (1577) has a
lively tale to tell. He had been caught by the Turkish corsairs and
imprisoned with his mates. With the connivance of a friendly Spaniard he
organised a mutiny, recaptured his ship and in true British style worked
it out of the Eastern Harbour under the fire of the guns on Kait Bey.
(ii) John Sandys (1610) gives a quaint but impressive description of the

    Such was this Queen of Cities and Metropolis of Africa: who now hath
    nothing left her but ruins; and those ill witnesses of his perished
    beauties: declaring rather that towns as well as men have the ages
    and destinies.... Sundry Mountains were raised of the ruins, by
    Christians not to be mounted; lest they should take too exact a
    survey of the city: in which are often found, (especially after a
    shower) rich stones and medals engraven with the figure of their
    Gods and men with such perfection of Art as these now cut seeme lame
    to those and unlively counterfeits.

(iii). Captain Norden, a Dane, (1757) was in an irritable mood, as the
Turks would not let him sketch the fortifications. The English community
was already in existence, and the Captain’s account of it makes
interesting if painful reading:—

    They keep themselves quiet and conduct themselves without making
    much noise. If any nice affair is to be undertaken they withdraw
    themselves from it and leave to the French the honour of removing
    all difficulties. When any benefits result from it they have their
    share and if affairs turn out ill they secure themselves in the best
    manner they can.

[Illustration: Extrait des _Observations de plvsieurs singvlaritez etc._
par Pierre Belon du Mans Paris 1554]

(iv). Another irritable visitor landed here in 1779—the lively but
spiteful Mrs. Eliza Fay. Being a Christian, she was not allowed to
disembark in the Western Harbour nor to ride any animal nobler than a
donkey. She visited Cleopatra’s Needles and Pompey’s Pillar, then writes
to her sister “I certainly deem myself very fortunate in quitting this
place so soon.” She makes no mention of the English community, but was
entertained by the Prussian Consul, and has left an unflattering account
of his stout wife.

There are some old maps, compiled from the accounts of travellers, but
bearing little reference to reality. That of Pierre Belon (1554) is
reproduced on p. 83. Its main errors are the introduction of the Nile,
and the outflow of Lake Mariout to the sea. It shows the two harbours,
the Arab walls, Cleopatra’s Needles, Pompey’s Pillar and the Canopic or
Rosetta Gate (Porte du Caire). The Turkish town has not yet been built.
De Monconys’ map of 1665—_see_ frontispiece—is in some ways still more
absurd; Cleopatra’s Needle has turned into a pyramid. The mound in the
right centre is meant for Fort Cafarelli. The beginnings of the Turkish
Town appear on Ras-el-Tin. In 1743 Richard Pocock published the first
scientific map in his “Description of the East;” measurements and
soundings are given. Captain Norden the Dane brought out a good
pictorial plan of the “New,” i.e. Eastern harbour, showing the seamarks.
And the exact extent of Alexandria’s decay is shown in the magnificent
map published by the French expedition under Napoleon. There we see that
the Arab enclosure is empty except for a few houses on Kom-el-Dik and by
the Rosetta Gate, and that the population—only 4,000—is huddled into the
wall-less Turkish Town.

With Napoleon a new age begins.

    TURKISH TOWN: p. 124.
    ROSETTA: p. 185.
    POMPEY’S PILLAR: p. 144.
    FORT CAFARELLI: p. 170.


                               SECTION V.


                             MODERN PERIOD.


                         NAPOLEON (1798-1801).

On July 1st 1798 the inhabitants of the obscure town saw that the
deserted sea was covered with an immense fleet. Three hundred sailing
ships came out from the west to anchor off Marabout Island, men
disembarked all night and by the middle of next day 5,000 French
soldiers under Napoleon had occupied the place. They were part of a
larger force, and had come under the pretence of helping Turkey, against
whom Egypt was then having one of her feeble and periodic revolts. The
future Emperor was still a mere general of the French Republic, but
already an influence on politics, and this expedition was his own plan.
He was in love with the East just then. The romance of the Nile valley
had touched his imagination, and he knew that it was the road to an even
greater romance—India. At war with England, he saw himself gaining at
England’s expense an Oriental realm and reviving the power of Alexander
the Great. In him, as in Mark Antony, Alexandria nourished imperial
dreams. The expedition failed but its memory remained with him: he had
touched the East, the nursery of kings.

Leaving Alexandria at once, he marched on Cairo and won the battle of
the Pyramids. Then an irreparable disaster befel him. He had left his
admiral, Brueys, with instructions to dispose the fleet as safely as
possible, since Nelson was known to be in pursuit. Under modern
conditions Brueys would have sailed into the Western Harbour, but in
1798 the reefs that cross the entrance had not been blasted away, and
though the transports got in the passages were rather dangerous for the
big men-of-war. Brueys was nervous and thought he had better take them
round to an anchorage, supposed impeccable, in the Bay of Aboukir.
Nelson followed him, attacked him unexpectedly and destroyed his fleet.
Details of this famous engagement, the so-called “Battle of the Nile,”
are given in another place (p. 177); its result was to lose for Napoleon
the command of the sea. The French expedition took Cairo and remained
powerful on land, but could receive no reinforcements, no messages, and
withered away like a plant that has been cut at the root. Turkey
declared against it, and a Turkish force, supported by British ships,
landed at Aboukir (July 1799). Here Napoleon was successful. He
commanded in person and in a series of brilliant engagements drove the
invaders into the sea: this is the “Land” battle of Aboukir (described
in detail p. 179). But his dreams had been shattered by Nelson. He saw
that his destiny, whatever it was, would not be accomplished in the
East, and meanly deserting his army he slipped back to France.

                  *       *       *       *       *

We now come to the first British expedition, and to its successful and
interesting campaign. In March 1801 Sir Ralph Abercrombie landed with
1,500 men at Aboukir. His aim was not to occupy Egypt, but to induce the
French armies to evacuate it. He marched westward against Alexandria,
keeping close to the sea. The country on his left was very different to
what it is now, and to understand his operations two of the differences
must be remembered. (i) The “Lake of Aboukir,” since drained, stretched
from Aboukir Bay almost as far as Ramleh. As it connected with the sea,
it was full of salt water. (ii) The present Lake Mariout was almost dry.
It contained a little fresh water, but most of its enormous bed was
under cultivation. It lay twelve feet below the waters of Lake Aboukir,
and was protected from them by a dyke. Thus Abercrombie saw water where
we see land, and _vice versa_. He advanced with success as far as
Mandourah, because his left flank was protected by Lake Aboukir. But
when he wanted to attack the French position at Ramleh he feared they
would outflank him over the dry bed of Mariout. His losses had been
heavy, his advance was held up; wounded in the thigh by a musket shot,
he had to abandon the command, and was carried on to a boat where he
died; a small monument at Sidi Gaber commemorates him to-day. His
successor, Hutchinson, took drastic measures. At the advice of his
engineers he cut the dyke that separated Lake Aboukir from Mariout. The
salt water rushed in, to the delight of the British soldiers, and in a
month thousands of acres had been drowned, Alexandria was isolated from
the rest of Egypt, and the left flank of the expedition was protected
all the way up to the walls of the town. Later in the year a second
British force landed to the west of Alexandria, at Marabout, and, caught
between two fires, the French were obliged to surrender. They were given
easy terms, and allowed to leave Egypt with all the honours of war. The
British followed them; we had accomplished our aim, and had no reason to
remain in the country any longer; we left it to our allies the Turks.
But the sleep of so many centuries had been broken. The eyes of Europe
were again directed to the deserved shore. Though Napoleon had failed
and the British had retired, a new age had begun for Alexandria. Life
flowed back into her, just as the waters, when Hutchinson cut the dyke,
flowed back into Lake Mariout.

    MARABOUT: p. 171.
    “BATTLE OF THE NILE”: p. 177.
    LAKE MARIOUT: p. 190.
    RAMLEH: p. 166.
    TOMB OF COL. BRICE, d. 1801 (Greek Patriarcate): p. 106.

                       MOHAMMED ALI (1805-1848).

When Napoleon drove the Turks into the sea at Aboukir, among the
fugitives was Mohammed Ali, the founder of the present reigning house of
Egypt. Little is known of his origin. He was an Albanian, but born at
Cavala in Macedonia where he is said to have distinguished himself as a
tax collector in his earlier youth. His education was primitive; he was
ignorant of history and economics and only learnt the Arabic alphabet
late in life. But he was a man of great ability and power and an acute
judge of character. He reappears in Egypt in 1801, still obscure, and
fights under Abercrombie. When the English withdrew he profited by the
internal disturbances and became in 1805 Viceroy of the country under
the Sultan of Turkey.

His power was consolidated by the disastrous British expedition of
1807—General Frazer’s “reconnoitering” expedition, as it is officially
termed. England was hostile to Turkey now, and Frazer was sent to see
whether a diversion could be created in Egypt. He landed, like Napoleon
before him, at Marabout, but with no more than the following
regiments;—the 31st, the 35th, the 78th, and a foreign legion: 4,000 men
in all. He occupied Alexandria and Rosetta, but before long Mohammed Ali
had killed or captured half his force and he was obliged to ask for
terms. They were readily granted. The “reconnoitering” expedition was
allowed to reembark, and the only trace it has left of its presence in
Alexandria is a tombstone of a soldier of the 78th, in the courtyard of
the Greek Patriarchate.

For thirty years the power of Mohammed Ali grew, and with it the
importance of Alexandria, his virtual capital. He freed the Holy Places
of Arabia from a heretical sect, he interfered in Greece, he revolted
against his suzerain the Sultan of Turkey, and invading Syria added it
to his dominions. A kingdom, comparable in extent to the Ptolemaic, had
come into existence with Alexandria as its centre, and it seemed that
the dreams of Napoleon would be realised by this Albanian adventurer,
and that the English would be cut off from India. England took alarm.
And suddenly the empire of Mohammed Ali fell. Syria revolted (1840),
supported by a British fleet, and soon the English admiral, Sir Charles
Napier, was at Alexandria, and compelled the Viceroy to confine himself
to Egypt. According to tradition the interview took place in the new
Ras-el-Tin Palace, and Napier exclaims “If Your Highness will not listen
to my unofficial appeal to you against the folly of further resistance,
it only remains for me to bombard you, and by God I will bombard you and
plant my bombs in the middle of this room where you are sitting.” Anyhow
Mohammed Ali gave in. He had failed as a European power, but he had
secured for his family a comfortable principality in Egypt, where he was
king in all but name.

His internal policy was rather disreputable. He admired European
civilization because it made people aggressive and gave them guns, but
he had no sense of its finer aspects, and his “reforms” were mainly
veneer to impress travellers. He exploited the fellahin by buying grain
from them at his own price: the whole of Egypt became his private farm.
Hence the importance of the foreign communities at Alexandria at this
date: he needed their aid to dispose of the produce in European markets.
He won over the British and other consuls to be his agents by giving
them licences to export Egyptian antiquities, which were then coming
into fashion; our own Consul Henry Salt—his tomb is here—was a
particular offender in this. He also gave away “Cleopatra’s Needles” to
the British and American Governments respectively; the obelisks that
still remained on their original sites outside the vanished Caesareum,
and would have lent such dignity to our modern sea front. Still, with
all his faults, he did create the modern city, such as she is. He waved
his wand, and what we see arose from the aged soil. Let us examine it
for a moment.

    TOMB OF SOLDIER OF THE 78TH: p. 106.
    RAS-EL-TIN PALACE: p. 129.
    TOMB OF HENRY SALT: p. 144.
    CLEOPATRA’S NEEDLES: pp. 136, 162.

                            THE MODERN CITY.

During the years 1798-1807 as many as four expeditions had landed at or
near Alexandria—one French, one Turkish, and two English. Egypt had
again been drawn into the European system. A maritime capital was
necessary, and the genius of Mohammed Ali realised that it could be
found not in the mediaeval ports of Damietta and Rosetta, but in a
restored Alexandria. The city that we know to-day has followed the lines
that he laid down, and it is interesting to compare his dispositions
with those of Alexander the Great, over two thousand years before.

The main problem was the waters. The English, by cutting the dykes in
1801, had refilled Lake Mariout so that it had suddenly regained its
ancient area. But it was too shallow for navigation and they had filled
it with salt water instead of the former fresh: it gave no access to the
system of the Nile. That system had to be tapped. Alexander could find
the Nile at Aboukir (Canopic Mouth): now it was as far off as Rosetta
(ancient Bolbitic Mouth). Consequently Mohammed Ali had to construct a
canal 45 miles long. This canal, called the Mahmoudieh after Mahmoud,
the reigning Sultan of Turkey, was completed in 1820. It was badly made
and the sides were always falling in, but it led to the immediate rise
of Alexandria and to the decay of Rosetta. Alexandria now had water
communications with Cairo, to which was added communication by rail. The
Harbour followed. Mohammed Ali developed the Western which had been the
less important in classical times. The present docks and arsenals were
built for him (1828-1833) by the French engineer De Cerisy. A fleet was
added. To the same scheme belongs the impressive Ras-el-Tin Palace,
which standing on a rise above the harbour dominated it as the Ptolemaic
Palace had once dominated the Eastern; the favourite residence of the
Viceroy, it indicated that his new kingdom was no mere oriental
monarchy, but a modern power with its face to the sea.

Meanwhile the town started its development, but not on very regal lines.
Houses began to run up and streets to sprawl over the deserted area
inside the Arab Walls. It did not occur either to Mohammed Ali or to his
friends the Foreign Communities that a city ought to be planned. Their
one achievement was a Square and certainly quite a fine one—the Place
des Consuls, now Place Mohammed Ali. The English were granted land to
the north of the Square, on part of which they built their church, the
French and the Greeks land to the south; areas were also acquired by
other communities, e.g. by the Armenians. But there was no attempt to
coordinate the various enterprises, or to utilise the existing features
of the site. These features were: the sea, the lake, Pompey’s Pillar,
the forts of Kom-el-Dik and Cafarelli, and the Arab Walls. The sea was
ignored except for commercial purposes; the main thoroughfares still
keep away from its shores, and even the fine New Quays are attracting no
buildings to their curve. The lake was ignored even more completely—the
lake whose delicate pale expanse might so have beautified the southern
quarters; many people do not know that a lake exists. Pompey’s Pillar,
instead of being the centre of converging roads, has been left where it
will least be seen; only down the Rue Bab Sidra does one get a distant
view of it. Similarly with the two forts; huddled behind houses. The
Arab walls have been finally destroyed—remnants surviving in the eastern
reach where they have been utilised (and well utilised) in the Public

As Alexandria grew in size and wealth she required suburbs. The earliest
development was along the line of the Mahmoudieh Canal, where the Villa
Antoniadis and a few other fine houses have been built. But with the
improvement of communications the rich merchants were able to live
further afield. Two alternatives were open to them—Mex and Ramleh—and
rather regrettably they selected the latter. Mex, with its fine natural
features, might have developed into a very beautiful place: as it is a
belt of slums have parted it from the town, and an execrable tram
service has removed it even further. The town has spread to the east
instead, to Ramleh, served at first by a railway and now by good
electric trams.

Such are the main features of Alexandria as it has evolved under
Mohammed Ali and his successors. It does not compare favourably with the
city of Alexander the Great. On the other hand it is no worse than most
nineteenth century cities. And it has one immense advantage over them—a
perfect climate.

    MODERN HARBOUR: p. 129.
    RAS-EL-TIN PALACE: p. 129.
    SQUARE: p. 102.
    ENGLISH CHURCH: p. 102.
    FORT KOM-EL-DIK: p. 106.
    FORT CAFARELLI: p. 170.
    POMPEY’S PILLAR: p. 144.
    PUBLIC GARDENS: p. 154.
    MEX: p. 171.
    RAMLEH: p. 166.

                 THE BOMBARDMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (1882).

Thus the city develops quietly under Mohammed Ali and his successors—one
of whom, Said Pasha, is buried here. Attention was rather diverted from
her by the cutting of the Suez Canal, and it is not until 1882 that
anything of note occurs. She is in this year connected with the
rebellion of Arabi, the founder of the Egyptian Nationalist Party.
Arabi, then Minister of War, was endeavouring to dominate the Khedive
Tewfik, and to secure Egypt for the Egyptians. Alexandria, which had
held a foreign element ever since its foundation, was therefore his
natural foe, and it was here that he opened the campaign against Europe
that ended in his failure at Tel-el-Kebir. The details—like Arabi’s
motives—are complicated. But four stages may be observed.

(i). _Riot of June 11th._

This began at about 10 p.m. in the Rue des Soeurs; it is said that two
donkey boys, one Arab and one Maltese, had a fight in a café, and that
others joined in. The rioters moved down towards the Square, and at some
cross roads near the Laban Caracol the British Consul was nearly killed.
They were joined in the Square by two other mobs, one from the Attarine
Quarter and one from Ras-el-Tin. British and other warships were in the
harbour, but took no action, and the Egyptian troops in the city refused
to intervene without orders from Arabi, who was in Cairo. At last a
telegram was sent to him. He responded and the disorder ceased. There is
no reason to suppose that he planned the riot. But naturally enough he
used it to increase his prestige. He had shown the foreign communities,
and particularly the British, that he alone could give them protection.
In the evening he came down in triumph from Cairo. About 150 Europeans
are thought to have been killed that day, but we have no reliable

(ii). _Bombardment of July 11th._

British men-of-war under Admiral Seymour had been in the harbour during
the riot, but it was a month before they took action. In the first place
the British residents had to be removed, in the second the fleet
required reinforcing, in the third orders were awaited from home. As
soon as Seymour was ready he picked a quarrel with Arabi and declared he
should bombard the city if any more guns were mounted in the forts.
Since Arabi would not agree he opened fire at 7.0 a.m. July 11th. There
were eight iron-clads—six of them the most powerful in our navy. They
were thus distributed:—_Monarch_, _Invincible_ and _Penelope_ close
inshore off Mex; _Alexandra Sultan_ and _Superb_ off Ras-el-Tin; while
the two others the _Temeraire_ and _Inflexible_ were in a central
position outside the harbour reef, half-way between Ras-el-Tin and
Marabout; and off Marabout were some gun boats, under Lord Charles
Beresford. The bombardment succeeded, though Arabi’s gunners in the
forts fought bravely. In the evening the _Superb_ blew up the powder
magazine in Fort Adda. Fort Kait Bey was also shattered and the minaret
of its 15th cent. Mosque was seen “melting away like ice in the sun.”
The town, on the other hand, was scarcely damaged, as our gunners were
careful in their aim. Arabi and his force evacuated it in the evening,
marching out by the Rue Rosette to take up a position some miles further
east, on the banks of the Mahmoudieh canal.

(iii). _Riot of July 12th._

Unfortunately Admiral Seymour, after his success, never landed a force
to keep order, and the result was a riot far more disastrous than that
of June. With the withdrawal of Arabi’s troops the native population
lost self control. The Khedive had now broken with Arabi, but during the
bombardment he had moved from Ras-el-Tin Palace to Ramleh and his
authority was negligible. Pillaging went on all day on the 12th, and by
the evening the city had been set on fire. The damage was material
rather than artistic, the one valuable object in the Square, the statue
of Mohammed Ali, fortunately escaping. Rues Chérif and Tewfik
Pacha—indeed all the roads leading out of the Square—were destroyed, and
nearly every street in the European quarter was impassable through
fallen and falling houses. Empty jewel cases and broken clocks lay on
the pavements. Every shop was looted, and by the time Admiral Seymour
did land it was impossible for his middies to buy any jam; one of them
has recorded this misfortune, adding that in other ways Alexandria, then
in flames, was “well enough.” Meanwhile the Khedive had returned to his
Palace, and order was slowly restored. It is not known how many lives
were lost in this avoidable disaster.

(iv). _Military Operations._

A large British force was despatched under Lord Wolseley to the Suez
Canal—the force that finally defeated Arabi at Tel-el-Kebir. But, until
it reached Egypt, Alexandria remained in danger, for Arabi might attack
from his camp at Kafr-el-Dawar. So the city had to be defended on the
east. In the middle of July General Alison arrived with a few troops,
including artillery, and occupied the barracks at Mustapha Pacha, the
hill of Abou el Nawatir, and the water works down by the canal. He could
thus watch Arabi’s movements. And he had a second strongly fortified
position at the gates of the Antoniadis Gardens, in case he was attacked
from the south. Here he was able to hold on and to harry the enemy’s
outposts until pressure was relieved. His losses were slight; the
regiments involved are commemorated by tablets in the English church.
Next month Wolseley arrived, and having inspected the position
re-embarked his troops and pretended that he was going to land at
Aboukir. Arabi was deceived and prepared resistance there. Wolseley
steamed past him, and landed at Port Said instead. Arabi then had to
break up his camp, and the danger for Alexandria was over.

    RUE DES SŒURS: p. 170.
    FORT ADDA: p. 132.
    FORT KAIT BEY: p. 133.
    HOWITZER OF ARABI; at Egyptian Government Hospital: p. 163.


Since the bombardment of 1882, the city has known other troubles, but
they will not be here described. Nor will any peroration be attempted,
for the reason that Alexandria is still alive and alters even while one
tries to sum her up. Politically she is now more closely connected with
the rest of Egypt than ever in the past, but the old foreign elements
remain, and it is to the oldest of them, the Greek, that she owes such
modern culture as is to be found in her. Her future like that of other
great commercial cities is dubious. Except in the cases of the Public
Gardens and the Museum, the Municipality has scarcely risen to its
historic responsibilities. The Library is starved for want of funds, the
Art Gallery cannot be alluded to, and links with the past have been
wantonly broken—for example the name of the Rue Rosette has been altered
and the exquisite Covered Bazaar near the Rue de France destroyed.
Material prosperity based on cotton, onions, and eggs, seems assured,
but little progress can be discerned in other directions, and neither
the Pharos of Sostratus nor the Idylls of Theocritus nor the Enneads of
Plotinus are likely to be rivalled in the future. Only the climate only
the north wind and the sea remain as pure as when Menelaus the first
visitor landed upon Ras-el-Tin, three thousand years ago; and at night
the constellation of Berenice’s Hair still shines as brightly as when it
caught the attention of Conon the astronomer.

                        THE GOD ABANDONS ANTONY.

    When at the hour of midnight
    an invisible choir is suddenly heard passing
    with exquisite music, with voices—
    Do not lament your fortune that at last subsides,
    your life’s work that has failed, your schemes that have proved
    But like a man prepared, like a brave man,
    bid farewell to her, to Alexandria who is departing.
    Above all, do not delude yourself, do not say that it is a dream,
    that your ear was mistaken.
    Do not condescend to such empty hopes.
    Like a man for long prepared, like a brave man,
    like to the man who was worthy of such a city,
    go to the window firmly,
    and listen with emotion,
    but not with the prayers and complaints of the coward
    (Ah! supreme rapture!)
    listen to the notes, to the exquisite instruments of the mystic
    and bid farewell to her, to Alexandria whom you are losing.

                                                        C. P. CAVAFY.[6]

Footnote 6:

  The local reference of this exquisite poem is to the omen that
  heralded the defeat of Mark Antony (p. 26). The poet is eminent among
  the contemporary writers of Greece; he and his translator, Mr. George
  Valassopoulo, are both residents of Alexandria.

[Illustration: Alexandria: Historical Map Ancient Sites in CAPITALS
Modern Sites bracketed (...)]


                                PART II.




                               SECTION I.


                  FROM THE SQUARE TO THE Rue Rosette.

ROUTE:—Square, Rue Chérif Pacha, Rue Rosette, leading through the most
modern section of the town. No tram line.

                  *       *       *       *       *

CHIEF POINTS OF INTEREST:—Square and Statue of Mohammed Ali; Banco di
Roma; Mosque of the Prophet Daniel; St. Saba; Greco-Roman Museum.

                              THE SQUARE.

_The Square_ (officially, Place Mohammed Ali; formerly Place des
Consuls; known to cabmen as “Menschieh” from the adjoining Police
Station) was laid out by Mohammed Ali as the centre of his new city.
(About 1830; see p. 92). In Ptolemaic times the ground here was under
the sea. The Square is over 100 yds. broad and nearly 500 long and well
planted, but unworthy buildings surround it. It suffered in the riots of
1882 (p. 95.) everything was then burnt excepting the statue of Mohammed
Ali and the Church of St. Mark.

In the Centre:—_Equestrian Statue of Mohammed Ali_, an impressive
specimen of French Sculpture, by Jacquemart, exhibited in the Salon of
1872. Orthodox Mohammedans were hostile to its erection, and even now
there is no inscription on it. Its presence is the more welcome since it
is one of the few first class objects in the city. It should be studied
from every point of view.

Right as one faces the Statue:—_The Mixed Tribunals_, where, in
accordance with arrangements dating from 1875, civil and commercial
cases between Egyptians and Europeans are tried.

Left:—_The French Gardens_, a pleasant strip, stretching at right angles
from the Square to the New Quays, (p. 140).

Also left:—_Anglican Church of St. Mark_, which with the adjacent St.
Mark’s Buildings was built on land granted to the English by Mohammed
Ali. Looking through the railings of the church-yard is the funny little
bust of General Earle (k. 1885 at Kirbekan in the Soudan). It was
erected by the European Community, and represents their chief incursion
into the realms of art. The Church itself, considering its date (1855),
and its pseudo-Byzantine architecture, is however a tolerable building.
The interior is restful and the stained glass and triptych in the
chancel strike a pleasing note of colour. Historically, its only
associations are with the fighting against Arabi in 1882 (p. 93). The
Regiments it commemorates are the 2nd Bn. Duke of Cornwall’s Light
infantry (on the scroll by the entrance stairs); 2nd. Bn. Derbyshires;
Royal Marine Artillery; 1st. Bn. London Division; Royal Artillery 1st
Bn. Royal West Kents (in the Nave). In the churchyard trees
multitudinous, sparrows gather at sunset, and fill the Square with their

End of the Square:—_The Bourse_, with arcaded exterior and clock. Inside
is the Cotton Exchange, the chief in the Egyptian trade; the howls and
cries that may be heard here of a morning proceed not from a menagerie
but from the wealthy merchants of Alexandria as they buy and sell. At
the other end of the same hall is the Stock Exchange. The whole scene is
well worth a visit (introduction necessary).

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Rue Chérif Pacha_, a smart little street bristling with flag staffs,
leads out of the Square to the left of the Bourse. Here are the best
shops. Towards the end, left, at the entrance of the Rue Toussoum Pacha,
is the _Banco di Roma_, the finest building in the city. Architect,
Gorra. A modified copy of the famous Palazzo Farnese, which Antonio da
San Gallo and Michelangelo built in the 16th cent., at Rome. The
materials are artificial stone and narrow bricks of a charming pale red.
It has two stories as against the Farnese’s three, but there is a sort
of half storey up under the heavy cornice. Each side of the door are
elaborate torch holders of bent iron; over door, the Wolf of Rome. In a
cosmopolitan city like Alexandria, which has never evolved an
architecture of its own, there is nothing incongruous in this copy of
the Italian Renaissance. A little further up Rue Toussoum Pacha is the
_Land Bank of Egypt_, with a good semi-circular portico.

Rue Chérif Pacha then joins the Rue Rosette.

                              Rue Rosette.

This street, despite its modern appearance, is the most ancient in the
city. It runs on the lines of the Canopic Way, the central artery of
Alexander’s town, (p. 10), and under the Ptolemies it was lined from end
to end with marble colonnades. Its full title is “Rue de la Porte
Rosette” from the Rosetta Gate in the old Arab walls through which it
passed out eastwards (p. 81). The Municipality have recently changed its
name to the unmeaning Rue Fouad Premier, thus breaking one of the few
links that bound their city to the past.

At its entrance, right, are:—the Caracol Attarine (British Main Guard);
the Rue de la Gare du Caire, leading to the main railway station; and
the Mohammed Ali Club, the chief in the town—a small temple to Serapis
once stood on its site. Here too is Cook’s office.

100 yds. down it is crossed by the Rue Nebi Daniel and by a tramway.
Here, in ancient times, was the main crossway of the ancient city—one of
the most glorious places in the world (p. 10). Achilles Tatius, a bishop
who in A.D. 400 wrote a somewhat foolish and improper novel called
Clitophon and Leucippe, thus describes it:—

    The first thing one noticed in entering Alexandria by the Gate of
    the Sun (i.e. by the Rosetta Gate) was the beauty of the city. A
    range of columns went from one end of it to the other. Advancing
    down them, I came in time to the place that bears the name of
    Alexander, and there could see the other half of the town, which was
    equally beautiful. For just as the colonnades stretched ahead of me,
    so did other colonnades now appear at right angles to them.

Thus the tramway was also lined with marble once.

Turning to the right, a few yards up the Rue Nebi Daniel, we come
to:—_The Mosque of the Prophet Daniel_ which stands on the site of
Alexander’s tomb—the “Soma” where he and some of the Ptolemies lay,
buried in the Macedonian fashion (p. 19). The cellars have never been
explored, and there is a gossipy story that Alexander still lies in one
of them, intact: a dragoman from the Russian Consulate, probably a liar,
said in 1850 that he saw through a hole in a wooden door “a human body
in a sort of glass cage with a diadem on its head and half bowed on a
sort of elevation or throne. A quantity of books or papyrus were
scattered around.” The present Mosque, though the chief in the city, is
uninteresting; a paved approach, a white washed door, a great interior
supported by four colonnades with slightly pointed arches. The praying
niche faces south instead of the usual east. All has been mercilessly
restored. Stairs lead down to two tombs, assigned to the Prophet Daniel
and to the mythical Lukman the Wise; it is uncertain why or when such a
pair visited our city. The tombs stand in a well-crypt of cruciform
shape, above which is a chapel roofed by a dome and entered from the
mosque through a door. Here and there some decorations struggle through
the whitewash.

In a building to the right of the approach to the Mosque are the _Tombs
of the Khedivial Family_, worth seeing for their queerness; there is
nothing like them in Alexandria. The Mausoleum is cruciform, painted to
imitate marble, and covered with Turkish carpets. Out of the carpet rise
the tombs, of all sizes but of similar design, and all painted white and
gold. A red tarboosh indicates a man, a crown with conventionalised hair
a woman. The most important person buried here is Said Pacha—third tomb
on the right. He was the son of Mohammed Ali and ruled Egypt 1854-1863:
Mohammed Ali himself lies at Cairo.

Between the Mausoleum and the street:—a fountain with eaves and a dome;
Turkish style.

Opposite the Mosque:—some antique columns used as gate posts; perhaps
the facade of the Mouseion stretched along here (p. 17).

Behind the Mosque:—Fort of Kom-el-Dik. View. Site of ancient Paneum or
Park of Pan—the summit of the hill was then carved into a pinecone,
which a spiral path ascended.—In Arab times the walls of the shrunken
city passed to the south of Kom-el-Dik, (p. 81), and a fine stretch of
them still survives, half-way between the base of the Fort and the
railway station; they border the road, but cannot be seen from it, being
sunken; they include a moat.—Beyond the Fort the high ground continues;
the little Arab quarter of Kom-el-Dik is built along its crest, and the
winding lanes, though insignificant, contrast pleasantly with the glare
of the European town.

We return to the Rue Rosette.

A little further down the Rue Rosette a turning on the left leads to the
_Church and Convent of St. Saba_, the seat of the Greek Orthodox
Patriarch. (For history of Patriarchate _see_ p. 211). A church was
founded here in 615, on the site of a Temple of Apollo. The present
group dates from 1687, and has an old world atmosphere that is rare in
Alexandria. In the quiet court of the Convent are three tomb stones of
British soldiers, dating from Napoleonic times: Colonel Arthur Brice of
the Coldstreams, k. in the Battle of Alexandria, 1801 (p. 88) Thomas
Hamilton Scott of the 78th, and Henry Gosle, military apothecary, who
both died during General Frazer’s disastrous “reconnoitering”
expedition, 1807, (p. 89).—From the court, steps descend to the church
which has been odiously restored. In the nave, eight ancient columns of
granite, now smeared with chocolate paint. In the apse of the sanctuary,
fresco of the Virgin and Child. Right—Chapel of St. George with a table
said to be 4th cent., and an interesting picture of the Council of
Nicaea (p. 48); the Emperor Constantine presides with the bishops around
him and the heretic Arius at his feet. Left—Chapel of St. Catherine of
Alexandria, with a block of marble purporting to come from the column
where the saint was martyred.—Hanging outside the church, three fine

At the top of the street, to left, is the Greek Hospital, a pleasant
building that stands in a garden.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The Rue Rosette now passes the Native Courts (left) and reaches the
Municipal Buildings. Behind the latter, a few yards up the Rue du Musée,
is the Municipal Library; go up the steps opposite the entrance gate;
push the door. The Library is good considering its miserable endowment;
the city that once had the greatest Library in the world now cannot
afford more than £300 per annum for the combined purchase and binding of
her books.

Beyond the library is a far more adequate institution—the Greco-Roman

                        THE GRECO-ROMAN MUSEUM.

The collection was not formed until 1891, by which time most of the
antiques in the neighbourhood had passed into private hands. It is
consequently not of the first order and little in it has outstanding
beauty. Used rightly, it is of great value, but the visitor who “goes
through” it will find afterwards that it has gone through him, and that
he is left with nothing but a vague memory of fatigue. The absence of
colour, the numerous small exhibits in terra cotta and limestone, will
tend to depress him, and to give a false impression of a civilization
which, whatever its defects, was not dull. He should not visit the
collection until he has learned or imagined something about the ancient
city, and he should visit certain definite objects, and then come away—a
golden rule indeed in all museums. He may then find that a scrap of the
past has come alive.


The collection is well housed (date of building 1895) and well
catalogued. There is a Guide (in French) by the Director, Professor
Breccia, extracts from which are pasted up about the rooms. On this
scholarly work the following notes are based. They are compiled,
however, from a particular point of view. They attempt to illustrate the
historical section of the book (p. 1), and are connected with it by
cross references.

For arrangement of exhibits, see Plan p. 108.


The Museum mainly illustrates the civilization of Ancient Alexandria.
There are some portraits—not satisfactory—of the Founder (Room 12), and
magnificent coins of the Ptolemies (Room 3); also sculptures of them
(Rooms 4, 12). Their religious policy appears in the statues of Serapis
(Room 16). As for the Roman Emperors, we have besides their coins (Room
2) colossal statues of Marcus Aurelius (Room 12), and of Diocletian (?)
(Room 17); then some gold coins of their Byzantine successors (Room 5).
Meanwhile the career of the private citizen is also being illustrated,
but mainly in his grave. Masses and masses and masses of funerary stuff
(Rooms 6, 13, 14, 15, 17-21), mostly dull, but attaining great beauty in
the terra cotta statuettes of women (Room 18). The “Egyptian Queen”
pottery (Room 17) is more cheerful. In the same room is lovely glass.
With Christianity, the Alexandrian, though still mainly presented to us
through his tombs (Room 1), develops the interesting cult of St. Menas
(Rooms 1, 5, 22, A.).

                  *       *       *       *       *

The Museum also exhibits, though imperfectly, other aspects of Egyptian

(i). PHARAONIC EGYPT:—There are some mummies, etc. from Thebes,
Heliopolis, etc. (Rooms 8 and 10), but they have the air of being here
because not good enough for Cairo; also a collection of small objects
(Room 10), and Rameses statues from Aboukir (Room 9 and North Garden).
The blend of Pharaonic and Hellenistic is shown in Room 11.

(ii). THE FAYOUM:—This is the most important non-Alexandrian section in
the Museum. The Fayoum, an irrigated depression south-west of Cairo, was
developed by Ptolemy II Philadelphus, and, as in Alexandria, Greek and
Egyptian mingled, but with different results. It was barbaric and
provincial. Note especially crocodile worship (North Garden, Rooms 9, 22
A). Mummies of quite a new type (Room 17). Black basalt statues (Room
11). It is a pity that the Fayoum exhibits cannot all be shown together.

(iii). AKHMIN:—An early Christian Necropolis in Upper Egypt. Hence come
the robed mummies (Room 1), and the fragments of tapestry (Rooms 1, 2,
4), whose beauty will linger when many a grandiose statue has been



Note especially (1) Thiersch’s reconstruction of the Pharos and (10)
Photographs of Kait Bey Fort, where the Pharos stood. (p. 16). (8)
Cleopatra’s Needle in situ (p. 161). At the entrance of Room 6 (left) is
a cast of the Rosetta Stone (p. 185) which contains a tri-lingual decree
(Hieroglyph, which was the script of the Ancient Egyptian priests,
Demotic, a running hand-writing evolved from it, and Greek); the decree
was passed by the priests of Memphis, B.C. 196, in honour of Ptolemy V
Epiphanes. The original stone was discovered by the French in 1799 in
the Fort of St. Julien, Rosetta—water-colour of it hangs close by.
General Menou had to surrender it to the English in 1801, and it is now
in the British Museum. Carducci’s fine poem on Alexandria hangs framed
on the adjacent wall.

In the case are stone-age tools from the Fayoum.

From the Vestibule are: right, Room 1 (Christianity); left, Room 6
(Inscriptions); straight ahead, the Verandah leads between the Garden
Courts to Room 17.


RIGHT WALL: Inscriptions. 106 shows a cross with a looped top, directly
derived from the symbol of life (ankh) that the ancient Egyptian gods
carry (p. 69). In the middle of the wall _Case A_: terra cotta dolls,
etc. from St. Menas.

CENTRE OF ROOM: facing door:—magnificent Byzantine capital, supposed to
have been in the church of St. Mark (p. 46). Found in the Rue Ramleh.
_Case K_: Carved ivories and bones, mostly from Alexandrian rubbish
heaps—1979, 2012, 2021, 2025 are good examples. _Case I_: Interlaced
cushion from the Christian necropolis of Antinoe, Upper Egypt. Middle of
room: fine porphyry cover to a sarcophagus, decorated on each side by a
charming head. From the Lebban quarter. Beyond: Christian mummies from
Antinoe, still wearing their fine embroideries. At the end: another
Byzantine capital, found near the Mahmoudieh Canal.

LEFT WALL, centre: _Cases La_ and _M_.: Flasks from St. Menas. They were
filled with water, which must soon have evaporated, and exported all
over the Christian world: usual design—the Saint between camels. Between
the vases interesting fragments from a church to St. Menas at Dekhela;
(p. 171), the bas-relief of the Saint is a clumsy copy of the one that
stood in his shrine in the desert (p. 195). _Cases P._, _Q._, _R._,
_S._: Coptic tapestries from Akhmin and Antinoe—beautiful. Date 3rd
cent. onward. Near _Case N_, two absurd reliefs (Christian era) of Leda
and the swan—in one of them she holds an egg.


Chronological continuation of the Ptolemaic coins in Room 3, which
should be visited first. Illustrate history of Alexandria, and also her
religion, under Rome and afterwards under Constantinople. Series begins
in _Case A_ (further right-hand corner) with Octavian (Augustus) 675;
_Case B_ No. 675 (of Domitian) shows the Pharos (_see_ p. 16). 750 (of
Trajan)—a temple to Isis in Alexandria, with pylons between which the
goddess stands. 771 shows Serapis on his throne. 890-892, the sacred
basket that he sometimes carries on his head. _Case C_,
1363-1366—interviews, very friendly, between the emperor Hadrian and
Alexandria. 1409—interviews between him and the god Serapis. 1450, Isis
as guardian of the Pharos.

ROUND THE ROOM: Four marble capitals from St. Menas.


The collection of Ptolemaic coins begins in _Case Ab_ (right of room)
and continues through _Case C-D_ (left) and _Case E-F_ (entrance). The
coins are numbered consecutively. They are of great historical and
artistic interest, but must not be taken seriously as portraits, since
the ruler is generally approximated to some god (_i.e._ numeral ‘one’
1). Silver four drachma of Alexander the Great, struck by his Viceroy
Cleomenes. 2-45. Ptolemy I as Viceroy. On the obverse is always the head
of Alexander the Great, with horns of the God Ammon. 46-274. Ptolemy I
as King (Soter). A new type gradually appears; on the obverse the head
of the King, on the reverse an eagle (note 14 gold coins—four-drachma
pieces). 275-510. Ptolemy II (Philadelphus) instructive for the domestic
history of his reign (p. 14). At first the King appears alone—_e.g._ on
gold five-drachma. 275-280. Then his formidable sister and wife Arsinoe
is alone—gold coin 342. Then the couple appear together—gold 428-434,
while on the other side of the coins are their predecessors, Ptolemy I
and his wife, to show that the dynasty emanated in pairs. 551-619.
Ptolemy III (Euergetes). 620. Magnificent gold eight-drachma,
representing Euergetes, but struck by Philopator his son; the most
gorgeous coin in the collection. 621. Silver four drachma, with heads of
Serapis and Isis. Ptolemaic coinage now deteriorates; the eagle in the
later issues (_Case D_) becomes formalised and ridiculous. 1059 (_Case
E_) features—what disillusionment!—Cleopatra!



The coins are coppers of the later Roman Emperors. Not beautiful. Of
historical interest to Alexandria. In _Case A-B_ (right) 3884—Aurelian
and Vabatathe. 3896—Zenobia. In _Case C-D_ (left) 4024—Diocletian.

ROUND THE WALLS: 1-8. Tapestries from the Christian cemetery at Akhmin.

BACK WALL: Large and impressive statue of a mourning woman with her
child. Hellenistic. Perhaps represents Berenice wife of Ptolemy III
Euergetes, mourning for her little daughter—the daughter whom the
priests deified in the Decree of Canopus, B.C. 239 (p. 42).

ENTRANCE OF ROOM: Large Christian Jar.


Beautiful Byzantine gold coins. Note especially the Emperor Phocas and
his conqueror Heraclius (p. 53); the latter displays the Exaltation of
the Cross, recovered by him from the Persians.

BACK WALL: Pilaster from the Hospice at St. Menas. The cross has been
erased, probably at the Arab conquest. At each end of it, more St. Menas

_Case A_: Painted masks, from the (pagan) Necropolis of Antinoe. _Case
B_: Christian potteries from Kom es Chogafa.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Return to Vestibule.


This room contains nothing of beauty, but is interesting historically.
The exhibits are not in numerical order.

RIGHT WALL, close to entrance: 42—Inscription on a statue of Antony (p.
26), dedicated on December 24th, B.C. 50 (Found near Ramleh Station,
_i.e._ the site of the Caesareum). 2. Dedication to Ptolemy II
Philadelphus. 1. Dedication to Ptolemy I. 37. Doorway with inscription
to Ptolemy VI; in it is a case containing (59) two bronze plaques
belonging to a Roman Soldier, (Julius Saturninus), inscribed with a
certificate of his good services and privileges. 61_a_, also in the
case, is another military document, a wooden tablet written at
Alexandria, but found in the Fayoum, and also conferring benefits on a
veteran. 94. Base of a statue of the Emperor Valentinian (4th Cent.
A.D.); found in Rue Rosette. 88_b_. Tombstone with the figures of
Isidore and Artemisia, two ladies of Pisidia, found at Hadra. 87_b_.
Tombstone of a lady with her servant.

Then come some painted tombstones protected by glass; they are inferior
to some in the rooms further on. 119 (in corner of room); Tombstone of a
woman expiring between two friends.

LEFT WALL: Inscriptions and tombstones of the Roman period (p. 44). 480.
On a pedestal: Memorial of Aurelius Alexander, a Roman soldier of
Macedonian birth who died aged 31. 252. Another of Aurelius Sabius, a
Syrian soldier, aged 35.

EACH SIDE OF THE ROOM, near entrance door: Two _Cases_ of papyri—the
left hand one containing two interesting inscriptions. 119. Incantation
to the Nile and to the great spirit Sabaoth shewing mixture of Egyptian
and Jewish faiths. 122. Demand of Aurelia, priestess of the crocodile
god, Petesouchos, for certificate of having worshipped the gods. It was
made during the Decian persecution, (p. 46), and suggests that, despite
her position, she had been accused of Christianity. 352_b_. On a
pedestal: Colossal scarab. 35_b_. Fine headless sphinx. 351. Great Apis
bull (restored); period of Hadrian. 350. Sphinx, rather sentimental,
with crossed paws. All these last four were found near Pompey’s Pillar.
(p. 144).


These monuments, though mostly found in the Aboukir sites (p. 180), may
have been imported there at some unknown date from Heliopolis or Sais.

1. Statue of a Hyksos Pharaoh (Shepherd King, about B.C. 1800) which has
been appropriated by Rameses II (B.C. 1300); on the shoulder appears
Rameses’ daughter Hout-Ma-Ra, traditionally the princess who found Moses
in the bullrushes.

18. Part of a statue of Rameses II.

_Case C_ (left of room). Two statues of a Ptolemaic official; from the
Temple of Serapis, Alexandria, (p. 146).


Five mummy cases.

_Case B_ (right): The interior is painted—an eerie receptacle. By the
head, a winged serpent; along the sides, a serpent with the sign of Life
(cf. the Coptic Cross, Room 1, No. 106, also p. 69), and genii, mostly
serpent-headed. The mummy lay on the sun-goddess Neith, on a serpent
entwined round a lotus, and on the soul as a bird. The outside of the
case is also painted. From Deir el Bahri, Upper Egypt.

_Case E_ (centre): Richly painted mummy with the goddess Neith on its
breast. Very effective. Date—about B.C. 600.

3 (back wall): Relief from over the door of a tomb. Left the deceased,
enthroned between two bouquets of lotus: to one of them a couple of
ducks are tied. Then comes an old harpist, who is singing, accompanied
by a girl on a drum, and by two others who clap their hands. To the
right, a man preparing drink; then two dancing girls. Beautiful work.
From Heliopolis.


The contents of this room, though not Alexandrian, are Ptolemaic, and
well illustrate that dynasty in its Egyptian aspect. They come from the
Temple of Petesouchos, the crocodile god of the Fayoum. The temple was
adorned by Agathodorus, a Greek official there B.C. 137, in honour of
Ptolemy VII (Physkon) and of his two wives, one his sister, one his
niece, and both called Cleopatra. (For the marriage arrangements of this
unattractive monarch, _see_ tree, p. 12). The temple itself has been in
part brought to the Museum, and well set up in the North Garden (_see_

CENTRE OF ROOM: Wooden stretcher on which is a mummied crocodile. It was
carried thus in procession by the priests, as the water colour below
(copy of a fresco) shows. The stretcher rests on a wooden chest, also
found in the shrine.

BACK WALL: Wooden door of the outer gateway (_see_ North Garden). Greek
inscription. Here are some photographs by which the temple can be

39 (right of the chest): an offering table to the god, ornate and
unpleasing. He lies in a little tank.

LEFT OF THE ENTRANCE DOOR: Relief of a priest adoring the god, who
crawls upon lotus flowers.


IN THE ENTRANCE: Offering table, with basins for the libations.

RIGHT WALL—_Case C_; Statuettes of gods, all named. The most interesting
for the history of Alexandria are 3-25 Osiris, and 26-40 the bull Apis,
with whom he was compounded to make Serapis. (p. 18).

_Case D_: Mummies of a baby, of an eagle, of an ibis.

_Case Aa—Shelf b_ (at the top): winged scarabs in blue enamel. _Shelf k_
(No. 1): statuette of Sekhet, goddess of the heat of the sun—she has the
head of a lioness and holds a gold flower. _Shelf f_: Bast, the cat-god.
No. 39 has a kitten between the paws. 51 gold earrings. _Shelf 1_ has
more statues of Bast. 55 very good.

LEFT WALL: _Case h_ “Canopic” vases of alabaster. Used to hold those
parts of the dead that could not be embalmed. Each dedicated to a son of
Horus. Amset held the stomach; Hapi the intestines; Douamoutef the
lungs; Kebehsenouf the liver. For their connection with the town of
Canopus, _see_ p. 176.

_Case Bb_:—More statuettes—especially _shelf i_.—Harpocrates and Horus,
and _shelf k_. Isis nursing Horus—the artistic origin for the Christian
design of the Madonna and Child. (p. 69). There are some rattles and
vases of the Isis cult.

_Case L_: Little serving figures (Ushabti), which were put in the grave
with the mummy to do the work for it in the underworld.

Also round the wall of the room: six painted mummy cases.

Down the middle: two big tables of scarabs, amulets, gold trinkets, etc.


Objects in which the Greek and Egyptian influences mingle. They are few
in number, and not as interesting as one might expect. No living art was
born from the union.

RIGHT WALL: 18. Dedication to the Egyptian god Anubis with a Greek
inscription. 20. Profile of a Ptolemy—rather charming. 33-40. Serpent
worship—very repulsive. 40. is a curious mixture. The male snake has the
basket of Serapis and the club of Hercules; the female, the disc of Isis
and the sheaf of Ceres. 41. Bad painting, Greek style, of a girl with
Egyptian gods round her. From Gabbari.

END WALL—both sides: 43-53. Clumsy statues from the Fayoum, in which
Greek influence appears.

LEFT WALL—centre: 61. Large fragment of a relief from a temple at Benha;
left, Horus with a falcon’s head; right, a human figure, by whose side
is a Greek inscription. 62. Model of a shrine, mixed style: in the
sanctuary Isis nurses Horus. 69. (in _case A_)—beautiful statue
(headless) of a woman, Egyptian style, but Greek feeling.

Archway between Rooms 11 and 12. ON RIGHT: Portrait of a youth in white
marble (from Kom es Chogafa). LEFT: Pleasing portrait of a child of two
or three years of age.


CENTRE: 30. Dull colossal statue of Marcus Aurelius. The Emperor,
looking bored but benignant, appears as a general: his right arm rests
on a cornucopia. A cross has in Christian times been scratched on the
stomach of the cuirass.—From Rue Rosette.

RIGHT WALL: 8. Exquisite bust of Venus; 16_a_ and 17. Heads, in marble
and granite, of Alexander the Great (p. 8); of no artistic merit; but
found in Alexandria. 18. Head of a young soldier. 20. Marble head of a
goddess; beautiful hair. Found near Pompey’s Pillar. 21. Head, perhaps
of Berenice wife of Euergetes; found in same place.—_Cabinet A_: small
portraits: note as especially fine 15 and 15_a_ Ptolemy Euergetes (?)
and 12 Berenice his wife (?) with elaborate curls; they stand in the
centre of the case on the second shelf. _Cabinet D_: Alleged portrait in
marble of Cleopatra in her declining years. Thin, firmly compressed lips
and general expression of severity discredit the theory. 60. Colossal
granite head of Ptolemy IV Philopator; from Aboukir.

LEFT WALL: 51. Bust of Emperor Hadrian. 52. Head in white marble—noble
features, supposed to be those of Marcus Aurelius in youth. _Cabinet B._
Heads and torsos: No. 27 Centre shelf, Head of a child with radiant
smile—found in Alexandria. 36. Head of Zeus, hirsute countenance—thick
lips. Has been scalped. _Cabinet F._ Various small bronzes; 44.
Life-sized head of woman in marble: has Rosetti-like neck and mouth.


CENTRE: 1. Statue of an Emperor, on which a head of Septimus Severus has
been fixed.

In _Case F_ (right): 2. Smiling face of a Faun. On the top of the case,
a queer relief of a winged griffin and a woman on two wheels.

In _Case H_ (left): 2. Caricature of a Roman senator with a rat’s head.


CENTRE: Mosaic from Gabbari, once displaying a Medusa’s head.

BACK WALL: 1. Marble statue of a Roman Orator. The head does not belong.

LEFT CORNER: 2-4. Delicate architectural details. From Rue Sultan

LEFT WALL: 6. Door of a tomb-niche, blending Greek and Egyptian styles.
The table in front is from the same tomb and was used for funeral
offering. From the Western Necropolis.


    Small fragments, etc., many of them very dainty and showing traces
    of paint.

    RIGHT WALL: 9. Sacrificial altar, imitating a building, with doors
    realistically ajar.

    On a column in the right-hand corner: 2. Capital, well illustrating
    mixture of styles; the general form and the acanthus leaves are
    Greek, the lotus, papyrus, and serpents are Egyptian.

    MIDDLE WALL, behind a curtain: 20. Painted side of a sarcophagus; a
    shallow and pretty design of two game cocks about to fight across a
    festoon of flowers. 2nd Cent. A.D.

        LEFT WALL: 50. Other side of same sarcophagus: buildings in


    RIGHT WALL: 4. Marble torso of a young hero or god; the head and
    arms, which were worked separately, are lost, good work. From
    Alexandria—probably on a temple. 7-8. _On a shelf_—Statuettes,
    headless and insignificant, but interesting for their
    subject:—Alexander the Great as a god with the aegis. From
    Alexandria. 12. On a column—Bust of the composite-goddess
    Demeter-Selene, showing head-dress of Demeter and horns of the moon.
    21-23: Priestesses of Isis, recognisable by the sacred knots into
    which their shawls are tied in front. 28. Large Ionic capital;
    another stands opposite, four others in the garden court. From
    Silsileh, and is probably part of the Ptolemaic Palace. (p. 17) 27.
    Greek funeral relief, as old as 3rd Cent. B.C. Found at Alexandria,
    but probably imported from Athens.

    CENTRE OF ROOM: 31. Fine bath of black stone, decorated with heads
    of lions and of a lynx, through whom the water escaped. Further on
    (37) is another. Both from the Western Necropolis, where they were
    used as tombs. 33. Colossal votive foot, merging above the ankle
    into a bust of Serapis. On the head a Greek dedication, to Serapis
    from two of his worshippers; two serpents above with a child
    (Horus?) between them. From Alexandria. 34. An immense eagle, rather
    cumbersome, and presented by the late Khedive; from the island of
    Thasos. 39. Gigantic forearm, holding a sphere. From Benha.

    LEFT WALL: 40. Big limestone Corinthian capital. 3rd cent. B.C. 47,
    48, 49, 51, and (_on shelf_) 53 and 52_a_: Statues and Heads of
    Serapis. Important (p. 19). 47 is probably a Roman copy of the
    original—ascribed to Bryaxis—in the Temple, and well renders the
    type—half terrible half benign. On its head are the marks where the
    sacred basket was attached. From the Rue Adib. 48. shows Cerberus.
    52 and 52_a_ were found near the actual Serapeum; the blue-black
    colour of the latter recalls the original statue. 50. Priest of
    Serapis (?) headless; robe with seven-rayed stars, scarabs, the
    crescent moon. Apis Bulls and a great serpent. From the Temple. 53.
    Realistic Portrait head. 54. Apollo seated on the Omphalos, or Navel
    of the World at Delphi; a rare subject; probably imported from
    Antioch, Asia Minor. 59-59. Headless statues, Roman, some with rolls
    of papyrus by them. From Sidi Gaber. 62. Entrance of Room 17: Genius
    of Death asleep.


    An interesting room.

    CENTRE: Delightful mosaic of a water party in Upper Egypt; birds,
    frogs, eels, fish, hippopotami and pigmies; in the middle a lady and
    gentleman with their offspring and an attendant recline beneath an
    awning that sways in the wind. Caesar and Cleopatra may have
    disported themselves thus (p. 25). Greek inscription and ornamental

    BACK WALL: Colossal headless porphyry statue of Diocletian (?) on a
    throne. From Rue Attarine.

    IN FRONT OF STATUE: Marble sarcophagus; Dionysus and Ariadne. From
    the Western Necropolis. The type is rare in Alexandria, the
    decorations being generally fruit or flowers.

    PLACED ABOUT THE ROOM: Mummies from the Fayoum (_see_ preliminary
    note); the best (_Case U_) stands against a pillar; it has a
    realistic portrait of the deceased, painted on wood.

    ROUND THE WALLS: _Case A_ Lovely iridescent glass; the Alexandrian
    glass was famous. _Case D_, terra cotta dish for serving poached
    eggs. _Table Rr_: Funerary objects from the Western Necropolis;
    2506, &c., Gnostic Amulets (p. 71). _Case G_ and adjoining _Table
    S_: Fragments of “Egyptian Queen” pottery, a commercial product of
    Ptolemaic times. The type was a green enamel vase on which was a
    relief of a princess sacrificing at an altar with some such
    inscription as “Good luck to Queen Berenice.” These vases were
    bought as ornaments by loyal citizens and tourists. _Case G_:
    Funerary furniture; in the centre a skull, wreathed with artificial
    laurel. 3rd cent. B.C. (From the Chatby Necropolis. p. 164). _Case
    K_: Fine cinerary urns, dated—earliest, 281 B.C.—Right and left of
    the door into the gardens; Marble sarcophagi of the usual
    Alexandrian design. _Cases P_. Glass vases of exquisite hue and
    design; there is more beauty in this little case than in tons of


    The statuettes, of which the best are Hellenistic and Alexandrian,
    were at first connected with funeral rites and later placed in the
    tomb from the sentiment that prompts us to drop flowers, especially
    when the dead person is young. They have mostly been found in the
    tombs of children and women. They are the loveliest things in the

    FACING ENTRANCE, and to right, (_Cases HH_ and _A_): Cinerary urns
    from Alexandria.

    LEFT WALL: _Case F_ (covered with curtain): Here are the
    masterpieces—27 statuettes of women. 1, 4, 7, 8, 12, 13, are the
    most beautiful perhaps—so delicate but so dignified. 1. is crowned
    with ivy and wears tiny earrings; the shape of her arm shown through
    the wrap that covers it. 7. carries her child. 12. with her little
    draped head is curiously impressive. _Case G_: 1. Child on his
    mother’s shoulder. _Case H_: 1. Child on a toy chariot, full of
    grapes and drawn by dogs. _Case I_: Caricatures. _Case L_: Moulds
    for terra cotta. _Case_ in corner, also _FF_: Fragments from
    Naucratis, the Greek predecessor of Alexandria in Egypt.

    RIGHT WALL: Terra cottas from the Fayoum—stupid and vulgar.

    DOWN THE CENTRE OF ROOM: Four mosaics from Canopus (p. 180); they
    probably decorated the Temple of Serapis there.


    IN ENTRANCE: Funerary urn still garlanded with artificial flowers.
    From Chatby. 3rd cent. B.C.

    CENTRE: Mosaic—the best geometrical mosaic in the museum. From

    IN ANGLES OF ROOM: _Cases A, B, C, D_: Terra cottas from Kom es
    Chogafa. Note in _Case C, shelf b_, 1. Model of seven pots and a big
    jar—like doll’s furniture; and in _Case D_ some unamusing

    Also in the angles of the octagon: _Cases I, II, III, IV_. Funerary
    furniture from Hadra. (p. 156). In _Case I_ are two beautiful
    objects; a blue enamel vase decorated with faces of Bes, Egyptian
    god of luck; and (_shelf b_, 2): Terra cotta statuette of a boy, who
    clings, laughing, to a term of Dionysus, and holds an apple in his

    ROOM 20. CHATBY NECROPOLIS. (p. 164).

    Several painted tombstones. The best are protected by tinted glass,
    and better studied in the water-colour copies hanging above.

    LEFT OF ENTRANCE: 1. Isodora, a lady of Cyrene, with her child. 2. A
    young Macedonian officer, riding; his orderly runs behind holding
    the horse’s tail. Date 4th cent. B.C.—_i.e_. shortly after Alexander
    had founded the city. 10231: Boy and child.

    _Cases A and B_: Funerary furniture. In _Case B_ are some pretty
    terra cottas: 1, 2. Ladies sitting. 7, 8, 9. Schoolgirls at lessons.

    _Pedestal V_ (right wall): Tombstone of young man with a foot-stool
    and pet dog.

    CENTRE OF ROOM: Fine marble group, mutilated, of Dionysus and the
    Faun. Found near the demolished Porte Rosette.


_Case_ in entrance: Wreaths of artificial flowers. Ugly really, but one
is impressed by their being so old. Double flute of ivory.

_Case_ in centre: Mummied birds from Aboukir (p. 180).

_Cases D_ and _F_: From Ibrahimieh. _Case D._ Inscription in Aramaic—one
of the few relics of the early Jewish settlement at Alexandria (p. 62);
some more are on the floor. Date 3rd cent. B.C. _Case F_ (right wall)
Cinerary urns. Groups in painted piaster of the phallic Min (whom the
Greeks identified with Pan), Hercules, Horus, etc.

ROOM 22. CANOPUS. (p. 180).

Disappointing; better work than this tenth rate Hellenistic stuff must
have existed at the great shrine.

LEFT WALL: 1-3:. Inscriptions of historical interest: they mention
Serapis and Isis, the deities of the place, and the Ptolemies
Philadelphus and Euergetes.

BACK WALL: in cases, sculptures and terra cottas.

RIGHT WALL: Stucco-coated columns from the Temple of Serapis; others
have been left in place.

CENTRE: Mosaic from Alexandria.


RIGHT OF DOOR: Three pagan frescoes, connected with crocodile worship
(_see_ Room 7 and North Garden). From Temple of Petesouchos, Fayoum.
Date 2nd cent. A.D. Thank offerings to the god from Heron Soubathos, an
officer: 1. He stands. 2. He rides.

REST OF ROOM: Christian frescoes of great interest, from crypt
discovered in the desert beyond Lake Mariout. Date 5th cent. A.D. A
staircase led down to a square room. 1 and 2 are from the ceiling of
this room; from its walls come—3 St. Menas standing between camels—4 and
5 the Annunciation. A passage led to a smaller room; on its vault was 6
Head of Christ. In this smaller room were 7 and 8. Out of it opened a
little niche at the end of which was 9 a saint in prayer among the
scenery of paradise.


IN THE MIDDLE OF THE VERANDAH: Colossal headless statue of Hercules.

NORTH GARDEN: Left—Gateways and shrine of the _Temple of Petesouchos_,
crocodile god of the Fayoum (_see_ Room 9 for further details). The
first gateway is the entrance Pylon, over which is a Greek inscription
dating the temple to B.C. 137. The wooden door in Room 9 belonged here.
On each side of the gateway are lions. It led to a brick courtyard, in
which was a Nilometer. The court was closed by the second gateway, which
is flanked by sphinxes, and led to a second and similar court. Then
comes the third gate, and, closing the perspective, the shrine. The
shrine has three cavities, in each of which lurked a mummied crocodile
upon a wooden stretcher (_see_ Room 9). In the left cavity is the fresco
of a crocodile; in the central the fresco of a god with a crocodile’s
head between two other deities. Over the cavities are several decorative
friezes—one of snakes. The outside of the shrine is also frescoed to
imitate marble. In front of it was found a wooden chest (Room 9).

AT BACK OF GARDEN: Granite group of Rameses II and his
daughter—headless. From Aboukir. Against the wall behind: colossal green
granite head of Antony as Osiris. From near Nouzha (p. 157). The
companion head of Cleopatra as Isis is in Belgium.

SOUTH GARDEN: Two reconstructed tombs from the Chatby Necropolis (p.
164). The first (in the corner) is remarkable. The sarcophagus imitates
a bed with cushions each end. The chamber where it stands was once
preceded by a long vestibule for the mourners (as in the Anfouchi tombs,
p. 126). The date 3rd. cent. B.C. The second tomb has a shell vault
niche (like Kom es Chogafa, p. 148).

                  *       *       *       *       *

The Rue Rosette continues and at last issues from between houses. Here,
ever since its foundation, the city has ended; in Ptolemaic times the
Gate of the Sun or Canopic Gate stood here, in Arab times the Rosetta
Gate. The Public Gardens (left and right) follow the line of the Arab
walls (see p. 81 and Section IV). The tramway to Nouzha crosses the
route. The road continues under another name to Sidi Gaber (Section V),
thence to Ramleh, and to Aboukir (Section VII). It is a good road and
well planted; but terribly straight, like all roads that the Ancients
have planned.

                              SECTION II.


                     FROM THE SQUARE TO RAS-EL-TIN.

ROUTE:—By the Rue de France and Rue Ras-el-Tin to Ras-el-Tin promontory;
returning to the Square by Anfouchi Bay and the Eastern Harbour—the
“Circular” Tram (Green Triangle) runs along the Quays.

CHIEF POINTS OF INTEREST:—Terbana and Chorbagi Mosques; Mosque of Abou
el Abbas; Anfouchi Catacombs; Ras-el-Tin Palace; Prehistoric Harbour;
Fort Kait Bey; New Quays.

We start from the north-west corner of the Square. The Rue de France
traverses the “Turkish Town” (p. 84), which was built in the 17th and
18th cents. on the spit of land that had accreted round the ruined
Ptolemaic dyke (p. 10). Its bazaars and Mosques are on a small scale,
for the city was then at her feeblest. But the district is picturesque
and, especially at evening, full of gentle charm. The best way of seeing
it is to wander aimlessly about.

In the Rue de France:—Right: Rue Pirona. Built into the wall at its
entrance are fragments of Egyptian sculpture, the lion-headed goddess
Sekhet, &c. The road opens into a picturesque little square which
contains a former Native Tribunal, and a building (No. 4) that has a
carved gateway and a tranquil court yard with antique columns.

In the roads to the left of the Rue de France are some Mosques:—

    _Mosque of Sheikh Ibrahim Pacha_, off the south-west corner of the
    Square; big ugly building with red and yellow minaret.

    _Chorbagi Mosque_, in the Rue el Midan. Well worth a visit.
    Date—1757. Plan—similar to the Terbana (_see_ below). Exterior
    spoilt by restoration, but the door from the vestibule into the
    mosque proper has over it a trefoil arch full of brilliant tiles; in
    the centre of the arch is a miniature praying niche (mihrab).—The
    Interior, though mean architecturally, retains its magnificent Tile
    Decoration almost intact. The tiles are grouped round the walls in
    great panels, the design being sometimes geometrical and sometimes a
    pot of flowers. Between the panels are bands of contrasting tiles.
    Colours:—in the panels, yellow, green, and a deep cornflower-blue
    predominate; in the bands, china-blue and white. A few of the panels
    are of polished conglomerate stone. The Prayer Niche—flanked by two
    bizarre twisted columns—has the pot of flowers design. The door of
    the pulpit is handsome; it has duplicated Cufic inscriptions, which
    on the right read from right to left, as is usual, and on the left
    are reversed for the sake of symmetry: a good instance of the
    decorative tendency of Arab Art. Externally the Mosque is flanked by
    arcades; one overlooks the street and is used by the Muezzin, since
    there is no minaret; the other looks into a courtyard of stilted

    _Mosque of Abou Ali._ (Go nearly to the end of the long Rue Bab el
    Akdar; thence, right, into Rue Masguid Ali Bey Guenenah; thence,
    right again). There is nothing to see in this humble little Mosque,
    but it is said to be the oldest in the city. In it are the figures
    677, which, if they record the date A.H., would mean 1278 A.D. The
    natives say that it once stood at the edge of the sea, so that the
    faithful made their ablutions with salt water before praying. The
    tradition may be correct, for the old line of the coast lay here.
    (_see_ map p. 98). The building in its present appearance cannot be
    earlier than the 18th cent.; in it, perched on the summit of the
    pulpit, is the model of a boat.

Continuing from the Rue de France we see ahead the white mass of the
_Terbana Mosque_.

    Well worth visiting, in spite of modern plaster and paint.
    Date—1684. The little doorway on the street is in the “Delta”
    style—bricks painted black and red, with occasional courses of wood
    between them and Cufic inscriptions above: “There is no God but
    God,” and “Mohammed is the Prophet of God”; better examples of the
    style at Rosetta (p. 185). The rest of the ground floor is occupied
    by shops. At the top of the stairs an interesting scene unfolds. To
    the left are two great antique granite columns with Corinthian
    capitals, and through them an open air terrace with an iron trellis
    and barred windows. To the right is the Vestibule of the Mosque,
    once very beautiful; two thirds of the entrance wall are still
    covered with tiles, designed like those in the Chorbagi, and over
    the door is the inscription “Built in 1097 A.H. by Haj Ibrahim
    Terbana,” surmounted by a trefoil arch. More antique columns. The
    Interior is a rectangle, divided up by eight columns, disfigured but
    antique. Good painted ceiling, best seen from the western gallery.
    The Prayer Niche is finely tiled, as is the wall to its right; the
    large tiles with white daisies on them are inferior modern work.
    Lamentable chandeliers.—There is an external gallery with antique
    columns. The Minaret rises above the entrance landing; its topmost
    gallery is tiled.

The main route now takes the name Rue Ras-el-Tin. Here once began the
southern shore of the Island of Pharos. Consequently ancient remains
occur in situ.

Right: Rue Sidi Abou el Abbas leads to the square of that name—the most
considerable in the Turkish Town; here, by evening light, one sometimes
has the illusion of oriental romance; here (1922) is the rallying point
of the Nationalist demonstrations. The road, just before it enters the
square, crosses the site of a temple to Isis Pharia who watched over the
lighthouse. (see coin in Museum, Room 2).

Dominating the square is the great white _Mosque of Abou el Abbas
Moursi_, built 1767 by Algerians, some of whom still live in the
neighbourhood; the tomb of the saint (d. 1288) is under a low dome; the
other side of the Mosque (reached by a winding passage to the right) has
an unrestored brick entrance in the “Delta” style, with pendentives,
tiles, and a Cufic inscription.—At the end of the Square:—little _Mosque
of Sidi Daoud_, with tomb of the saint, from whose precinct two tall
palm trees rise.—Just off south side of square is a typical street tomb
(Sidi Abou el Fath), enclosed in its green lattice; of the houses close
to it No. 31 has good carved “Mashrabieh” work, No. 33 a carved lintel,
with door posts of alternate courses of limestone and wood. All this
tangle of lanes preserves the atmosphere of the 18th cent. East. Between
the Abou el Abbas Mosque and the sea is a large modern Mosque—the
Bouseiri—where the Sultan usually makes his Friday prayer; a little up
the street is a stone fragment, covered with hieroglyphs, and now used
upside down as a seat.

The Rue Ras-el-Tin is now joined by the “Circular” tram line. To the
right is a large piece of waste ground. In the corner of this, close to
the road, are some dilapidated glass roofs; these protect the Anfouchi
Tombs; the custodian lives close by.

                          THE ANFOUCHI TOMBS.

I. Vestibule with scribblings
II. Vestibule with chessboard decorations
III. Vestibule with benches
IV. Vestibule with Roman additions]

Though inferior to the Kom es Chougafa Catacombs, (p. 148), these tomb
groups are interesting for their decoration scheme. Their entrances
adjoin, their plan is similar:—a staircase, cut through the limestone,
leads down to a square hall out of which the tomb-chambers open. The
decoration is of stucco painted to imitate marble blocks and tiles. It
is shoddy, and sometimes recalls the imitation wall papers of Victorian
England. Archaeologists know it as the First Pompeian style.
Date:—Ptolemaic with Roman additions. Name of occupants: unknown.

    RIGHT-HAND TOMB GROUP. (_see_ plan p. 127).

    At the first turn of the stairs, protected by a cloth, is a good
    picture. Subject:—Purification of the Dead by water (?); Horus, with
    a falcon’s head, points with one hand to the land of death, and with
    the other tries to draw the dead man towards it; Osiris holds out a
    lustral vase; Isis is behind.—At the second turn of the stairs is
    another picture, half destroyed;—Osiris sits on a throne as king of
    the Dead with the dog-god Anubis behind him; before him, just
    discernable, stands Horus introducing the dead man.

    Thus the staircase reminded visitors of the difficulties through
    which the dead must pass, and honoured Osiris, Isis, and their son
    Horus—a trinity whose worship was popular in Ptolemaic times and
    often connected with the worship of Serapis. The walls imitate
    alabaster &c.; on the vault, geometric designs.

    The Hall is open to the air. It gives access to two tomb chambers,
    each of which has a vestibule for mourners. That to the right (i) is
    undecorated, but the scribblings on the vestibule walls are most
    amusing; they were made over 2,000 years ago by a visitor or
    workman, and help us to reconstruct the life of the Greco-Egyptian
    city. The inscriptions are in Greek. On the left wall Diodorus has
    immortalised Antiphiles, his friend. Further on is a sailing ship.
    Right wall, a battle ship with a turret for fighting, such as might
    have accompanied Cleopatra to Actium.

    The vestibule in front (ii) is quite charming. It was decorated in
    the same style as the staircase—traces of this remain on the inside
    of its entrance wall—but soon after a fresh coat of stucco was
    applied, and painted like the first to imitate marble, but in better
    taste. Below, is a dado of “alabaster” above it an effective design
    of black and white squares arranged chess board fashion and divided
    by alabaster bands. In the chess board are mythological scenes, now
    defaced. The ceiling, being purely geometric, probably belongs to
    the earlier scheme.

    At the end of the vestibule is the entrance to the tomb chamber,
    with the disc of the Sun (Ra) carved above it, and, on either side,
    little sleeping sphinxes upon pedestals. A door once closed it;
    holes for the bolt remain. The tomb chamber itself is decorated in
    the same pretty style. An altar once stood in the middle. In the
    back wall is a tiny shrine, closing the vista. The general effect is
    good, but dainty rather than solemn; the terrors of ancient Egypt
    are on the wane.


    The vestibule in front, as one enters the Hall, is very long, and
    low benches on which the mourners sat run up it on each side. (iii).
    In the tomb chamber is an enormous sarcophagus of rose coloured
    granite from Assouan.

    The vestibule and tomb chamber to the left (iv) were excavated and
    decorated on the usual plan. But in the Roman period they were much
    pulled about, and brick work introduced, together with three new

                  *       *       *       *       *

There are traces of other tombs over the waste ground, which covers the
cemetery of the ancient Island of Pharos. We are now in the centre of
the Island, and about to visit its western extremity.

Straight ahead, up a rise, is _Ras-el-Tin Palace_, the summer residence
of the Sultan, who makes his state entry every June. It was built by
Mohammed Ali (p. 88), who had here the stormy interview with Sir Charles
Napier, that ended his loftier ambitions (p. 89); Ismail restored it;
Tewfik was here during some of the troubles of 1882 (p. 95). It is not
ugly, as palaces go; the grandiose classical portico is rather
impressive. To the right are the barracks.

The peninsula narrows. The road leads on to the Yacht Club (left), and
terminates at the Military Hospital which is beautifully situated on the
rocky point of Ras-el-Tin (the “Cape of Figs”); splendid views of the
Western Harbour and the sea; a Temple of Neptune once stood here, and
there are ruins of tombs all along the northern shore. A modern
lighthouse stands in the Hospital enclosure, and marks the entrance to
the harbour. The Breakwater (constructed 1870-74) starts below, makes
towards the isolated rock of Abou Bakr, then bends to the left. Over the
water are the island of Marabout and the headland of Agame, which are
part of the same limestone chain as Ras-el-Tin, and connected with it by
submarine reefs.

The sea west and north of the point is full of remains of the
Prehistoric Harbour.

                          PREHISTORIC HARBOUR.

    For details of this important and mysterious work see “Les Ports
    submergés de l’ancienne Isle de Pharos” by M. Jondet, the
    discoverer. Possibly it may be the harbour alluded to in the Odyssey
    (_see_ p. 6), but no historian mentions it. Theosophists, with more
    zeal than probability, have annexed it to the vanished civilisation
    of Atlantis; M. Jondet inclines to the theory that it may be
    Minoan—built by the maritime power of Crete. If Egyptian in origin,
    perhaps the work of Rameses II (B.C. 1300); statues of his reign
    have been found on Rhakotis (p. 7), and we know that he was attacked
    by “peoples of the West,” and built defences against them. It cannot
    be as late as Alexander the Great or we should have records. It is
    the oldest work in the district and also the most romantic, for to
    its antiquity is added the mystery of the sea.

    Long and narrow, the Harbour stretched from the rock of Abou Bakr on
    the west to an eastern barrier that touched the shore beyond the
    Tour de la Mission d’Egypt. These two points are joined up by a
    series of breakwaters on the north. The entrance was from an
    unexpected direction, the south. Having rounded Abou Bakr, ships
    turned north under the Ras-el-Tin promontory, where there is deep
    water. To their left were solid quays, stretching to Abou Bakr, and
    recently utilised in the foundation of the modern breakwater. To
    their right was another quay. Having entered, they were well in the
    middle of the main harbour, with a subsidiary harbour to the north.

The visit to the Harbour is best made by boat, since most of the remains
now lie from 4 to 25 feet under the sea. They have, like all the coast
line, subsided, because the Nile deposits on which they stand are apt to
compress, and even to slide towards deeper water. They are built of
limestone blocks from the quarries of Mex and Dekhela, but the
construction, necessarily simple, gives no hint as to nationality or
date. The modern breakwater, being built across the entrance, makes the
scheme rather difficult to follow. (_see_ Plan p. 131.).

_Modern work shown thus_ .......
_Ancient work shown thus_ ________]

The Small Quay (_a_) is in perfect condition, and not four feet under
water. Length: 70 yards, breadth, 15; the surface curves slightly
towards the south. The blocks, measuring about a yard each, are cut to
fit one another roughly, small stones filling up the joints. The
Ras-el-Tin jetty crosses the end of this Quay; the point of intersection
is near the red hut on the jetty.—At the north end of the Quay is an
extension (_b_) that protected the harbour entrance.

Further north, well inside the harbour, is an islet (_c_) covered with
remains. Some are tombs, and of later date; submerged, are the
foundations of a rectangular building (30 yds. by 15) reached on the
south by steps, and connected by little channels with the sea on the
north. This islet may have contained the harbour offices.

From the modern breakwater the Great Quays (_d_) show here and there as
ochreous lines below the waves. They are 700 yds. long, and constructed
like the Small Quay, but from larger stones. They connect with the rock
of Abou Bakr (_e_), the western bastion of the Prehistoric Harbour; it
is a solid mass over 200 yds. square; most is on the sea level, but a
part juts up; it is marked all over with foundation cuts and the remains
of masonry. West of Abou Bakr is a double breakwater (_f_) further
protecting the works from the sea and the prevalent wind; and on it
hinges the huge northern breakwater (_g_) also double in parts, which
runs with interruptions till it reaches the eastern barrier (_h_). The
rock is named after the first Caliph of Islam.

The outer harbour (_i_) has not yet been fully explored.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Having returned as far as Ras-el-Tin Palace, we bear to the left, and
follow the tram line along the shore of Anfouchi Bay. The Bay is very
shallow and the entrance is protected by reefs. Pirates used it once.
Native boat builders work along its beach and are pleasant to watch. In
the corner is Anfouchi Pier, with a bathing establishment; beyond, on a
small promontory, stands all that is left of Fort Adda; Arabi had his
powder stored here in 1882, and the English blew it up (p. 94). Now the
tram turns a sharp corner, and a second Fort swings into view—Fort Kait

                     FORT KAIT BEY (THE “PHAROS”).

This battered and neglected little peninsula is perhaps the most
interesting spot in Alexandria, for here, rising to an incredible
height, once stood the Pharos Lighthouse, the wonder of the world.
Contrary to general belief, some fragments of the Pharos still remain.
But before visiting them and the Arab fort in which they are imbedded,
some knowledge of history is desirable. The fortunes of the peninsula
were complicated, and the labours of scholars have only lately made them


    (1). THE ORIGINAL BUILDING. (_see_ also 16).

    The lighthouse took its name from Pharos Island (hence the French
    “phare” and the Italian “faro”). No doubt it entered into Alexander
    the Great’s scheme for his maritime capital, but the work was not
    done till the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus. Probable date of
    dedication: B.C. 279, when the king held a festival to commemorate
    his parents. Architect: Sostratus, an Asiatic Greek. The sensation
    it caused was tremendous. It appealed both to the sense of beauty
    and to the taste for science—an appeal typical of the age. Poets and
    engineers combined to praise it. Just as the Parthenon had been
    identified with Athens and St. Peter’s was to be identified with
    Rome, so, to the imagination of contemporaries, the Pharos became
    Alexandria and Alexandria became the Pharos. Never, in the history
    of architecture, has a secular building been thus worshipped and
    taken on a spiritual life of its own. It beaconed to the
    imagination, not only to ships at sea, and long after its light was
    extinguished memories of it glowed in the minds of men.

    It stood in a colonnaded court. (Plan II p. 135). There were four
    stories. (Plan I, Fig. i). The square bottom storey was pierced with
    many windows and contained the rooms, estimated at 300, where the
    mechanics and attendants were housed. There was a spiral
    ascent—probably a double spiral—and in the centre there may have
    been hydraulic machinery for raising fuel to the top; otherwise we
    must imagine a procession of donkeys who cease not night and day to
    go up and down the spirals with loads of wood on their backs. The
    storey ended in a square platform and a cornice and figures of
    Tritons. Here too, in great letters of lead, was the Greek
    inscription; “Sostratus of Cnidos, son of Dexiphanes: to the Saviour
    Gods: for sailors”—an inscription which, despite its simplicity,
    bore a double meaning. The “Saviour Gods” are of course Castor and
    Pollux who protect mariners, but a courtly observer could refer them
    to Ptolemy Soter and Berenice, whose worship their son was

[Illustration: KAIT BEY PLAN I
Fig I The Pharos as built by Sostratus
Fig II The Pharos in the Arab Period
Fig III The Castle before 1882]

[Illustration: KAIT BEY PLAN II]

    The second storey was octagonal and entirely filled by the spiral
    ascent. Above that was the circular third story, and above that the
    lantern. The lighting arrangements are uncertain. Visitors speak of
    a mysterious “mirror” on the summit, which was even more wonderful
    than the building itself. What was this “mirror”? Was it a polished
    steel reflector for the fire at night or for heliography by day?
    Some accounts describe it as made of finely wrought glass or
    transparent stone, and declare that a man sitting under it could see
    ships at sea that were invisible to the naked eye. A telescope? Is
    it possible that the great Alexandrian school of mathematics
    discovered the lens, and that their discovery was lost and forgotten
    when the Pharos fell? It is possible. It is certain that the
    lighthouse was fitted with every scientific improvement known to the
    age, that the antique world never surpassed it, and that the
    mediaeval world regarded it as the work of Jinns.

    Standing on the lantern was a statue of Poseidon. This terminated
    the tower, whose complete height certainly exceeded 400 feet and
    possibly touched 500.


    We must now follow this masterpiece of engineering into ages of myth
    and oblivion. It retained its form and functions unimpaired up to
    the Arab Conquest (A.D. 641). The first, and irreparable, disaster
    was the fall of the lantern (about 700), entailing the loss of
    scientific apparatus that could not be replaced. There is a legend
    that the disaster was planned by the Byzantine Emperor, who could
    not attack Egypt owing to the magic “Mirror,” which detected or
    destroyed his ships. He sent an agent who gained the Caliph’s
    confidence and told him that beneath the Pharos the treasure of
    Alexander the Great lay buried. The Caliph commenced demolition, and
    before the inhabitants of Alexandria, who knew better, could
    intervene, the two upper stories had fallen into the sea. Henceforth
    the Pharos is only a stump with a bonfire on the top.

    There were restorations under Ibn Touloun (880), and also about 980,
    but they were unsubstantial additions to the Octagon which the wind
    could blow away. Structural repairs were neglected, and about 1100
    the second disaster occurred—the fall of the Octagon itself through
    an earthquake. The square bottom story survived, but only as a
    watchtower on the top of which was run up a small square Mosque.
    (_see_ Plan I, Fig. ii, which illustrates this state of the Pharos.
    The level of the ground has risen owing to the debris from the
    octagon, and the lower story has been buttressed). Then came the
    final earthquake (14th cent.) and the slow dissolution was over.

        Though unable to preserve the Pharos the Arabs admired it, and
        speak, with their love of the marvellous, of a statue on it
        whose finger followed the diurnal course of the sun, of a second
        statue who gave out with varying and melodious voices the
        various hours of the day, and of a third who shouted an alarm as
        soon as a hostile flotilla set sail,. The first two statues may
        have existed; the Alexandrians loved such toys. And there is an
        element of truth in another Arab legend—that the building rested
        upon a “glass crab.” Some vitrious composition probably did form
        the foundation, and we know that “Cleopatra’s Needle” actually
        did rest on crabs of metal (p. 162); the oriental mind has
        confused the two monuments. The legend culminates in the visit
        to the Pharos of a cavalcade of horsemen who lose their way in
        the 300 rooms, and inadvertently riding into a crack in the
        glass crab’s back fall into the sea! But sometimes the
        lighthouse sheltered pleasanter adventures. The poet El Deraoui,
        for example, writes:

              A lofty platform guides the voyager by night, guides
            him with its light when the darkness of evening falls.

              Thither have I borne a garment of perfect pleasure
            among my friends, a garment adorned with the memory of
            beloved companions.

              On its height a dome enshadowed me, and thence I saw
            my friends like stars.

              I thought that the sea below me was a cloud, and that
            I had set up my tent in the midst of the heavens.

        Moreover “El Manarah,” as the Arabs called it, gave the name to,
        and became the model for, the “minaret.” There is no minaret in
        Alexandria that closely follows the Pharos, but at Cairo (e.g.
        at the Tombs of the Mamelukes) one can still see the square
        bottom story, the Octagon, the Round and the Summit that exactly
        reproduce the four-stage design of Sostratus.

        (3). FORT KAIT BEY.

        For a hundred years ruins cumbered the peninsula. Then (1480)
        the Mameluke Sultan Kait Bey fortified it as part of his coast
        defence against the Turks, who had taken Constantinople and were
        threatening Egypt. (p. 81). Kait Bey is a great figure at Cairo,
        where mosques commemorate his glorious reign. Here he only
        builds a fort, but like all his work it is architecturally fine,
        and even in decay its outlines are harmonious. The scheme was a
        pentagon (Plan II) and in the enclosed area, on the exact site
        of the Pharos, stood a square castle or keep with a mosque
        embedded in it. (Plan I, Fig. iii, which shows the castle before
        it was ruined, the minaret sticking up inside it). The Turks
        effected their conquest in 1517, and when their power in its
        turn declined, Mohammed Ali (1805-1848) modernised the defences.
        No visitors were admitted, and the Fort gained the reputation of
        an impregnable and mysterious place. Its career ended with the
        English bombardment of 1882. Though it did not suffer as much as
        its neighbour Fort Adda, damage enough was done. The castle was
        shattered, the minaret snapped, and the desolation and squalor
        re-established that brood there to-day.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    We can now examine the existing remains. (_See_ Plans I & II pp. 134
    & 135).

    The connecting spit of land only formed in the 9th cent. Previously
    there was shallow water, spanned by a bridge. Right, as we approach,
    is anchorage for an Italian fishing fleet; the men come from Bari in
    the Adriatic.—The road leads by the side of the fort to the new
    breakwater, built to protect the Eastern Harbour and the Sea wall.
    The Breakwater is a noble work, and it is a pity it is approached
    through a gateway that suggests an English provincial Jail; the
    embellishments of modern Alexandria are unduly lugubrious.

    The blocked up _Gateway_ to the Fort is flanked by round towers;
    inside it are several rooms with 15th cent. vaulting.—To its left,
    built into the masonry of Kait Bey’s wall or lying on the beach, are
    about thirty _broken columns_ of red Assouan granite; also two or
    three pieces of fine speckled granite and one piece of marble. These
    are survivals from the Pharos, and may have stood in the colonnade
    of its surrounding court; the sea wall of that court probably
    diverged here from the line of Kait Bey’s wall; there are traces of
    cutting among the rocks.

    The interior of the Fort (best entered from the right) is now a bare
    enclosure with a few coast-guard huts. The isolated lump of building
    at the end is the remains of Kait Bey’s _Castle_, occupying the
    ground plan of the Pharos and utilising in part its foundations.
    Some of these foundations can be seen in the passage immediately to
    the right of the Castle. The orientation of the Castle and the
    Pharos was not exactly the same, since the Castle had to be adjusted
    to the points of the compass on account of the mosque that it
    contained.—The modern buildings to the right of the passage also
    rest on old foundations; it is thought that here stood the
    reservoir, filled with fresh water from the mainland and that on the
    other side (left of present Castle) stood another edifice with the
    mechanical statues to balance the design. But this is all

    The _Mosque_ in the Castle is notable for two reasons:
    architecturally it is the oldest in the city, and in style it is
    essentially Cairene. It was built by the central government in the
    course of their coast defence scheme, and so does not resemble the
    ordinary mosque of the Delta. The entrance, with its five monoliths
    of Assouan granite, taken from the Pharos, is almost druidical in
    effect, but the arch above them and the flanking towers faintly
    recall the glories of Kait Bey’s work at Cairo. In the vestibule are
    remains of stucco on the ceiling and marble on the floor.—The actual
    Mosque is of the “school” type—a square with an arched recess
    opening out of each side, each recess being assigned to one of the
    four orthodox sects of Islam; the Mosque of Sultan Hassan at Cairo
    is a famous example of this type. The square, and the step leading
    up to each recess are inlaid with marble. Light enters through
    carved woodwork above.

    Over the Mosque are vaulted rooms. From the summit of the mass is a
    _View_ of Alexandria, not beautiful but instructive. From right to
    left are:—Fort Adda, Ras-el-Tin lighthouse (background); minarets of
    Abou el Abbas and Bouseiri Mosques (foreground); Kom-el-Nadur Fort;
    Terbana Mosque (foreground); Pompey’s Pillar (back); Kom-el-Dik
    Fort; the long line of Eastern suburbs; beyond them the distant
    minaret of Sidi Bishr; the coast ends in the wooded promontory of
    Montazah. Close beneath is the modern Breakwater stretching towards
    the opposing promontory of Silsileh; and left, awash with waves, the
    Diamond Rock.—And now let the visitor (if the effort is not beyond
    him) elevate himself 400 feet higher into the air. Let him replace
    the Ras-el-Tin lighthouse by a Temple to Poseidon; let him delete
    the mosques and the ground they stand on, and imagine in their place
    an expanse of water crossed by a Dyke; let him add to “Pompey’s
    Pillar” the Temple of Serapis and Isis and the vast buttressed walls
    of the Library; let him turn Kom-el-Dik into a gorgeous and
    fantastic park, with the Tomb of Alexander at its feet; and the
    Eastern Suburbs into gardens; and finally let him suppose that it is
    not Silsileh that stretches towards him but the peak of the
    Ptolemaic Palace, sheltering to its right the ships of the royal
    fleet and flanked on the landward side by the tiers of the theatre
    and the groves of the Mouseion.—Then he may have some conception of
    what Ancient Alexandria looked like from the summit of the
    Pharos—what she looked like when the Arabs entered in the autumn of

    Beneath the Batteries on the north of the Fort, and almost level
    with the beach, is a long gallery in which lie some shells that were
    fired by the English in 1882.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    The tram now follows the curve of the _Eastern Harbour_, a
    beautifully shaped basin. It was the main harbour of the ancients,
    but Mohammed Ali when he planned the modern city, developed the
    Western instead (p. 91). There is a sea wall in two stages, to break
    the waves which dash right on to the road in rough weather; and
    there is a very fine promenade—the New Quays—which stretches all the
    way from Kait Bey to Silsileh. A walk along it can be delightful,
    though occasionally marred by bad smells.—We pass, right, the
    Bouseiri Mosque (_see_ above) and finally come to the French
    Gardens, that connect with the Square, whence we started.

    Left of the French Gardens are: the French Consulate—an isolated
    building; the General Post Office—entered from the road behind; and
    the Church of St. Andrews—Church of Scotland. To the right, down Rue
    de l’Eglise Maronite, is the Maronite Church, an inoffensive
    building; (for the Maronites _see_ pp. 77, 213).

                              SECTION III.



    ROUTE:—By the Place St. Catherine and Pompey’s Pillar to the
    Mahmoudieh Canal, taking the Karmous Tram (Green Lozenge). The
    Ragheb Pasha Tram (Red Crescent) and the Moharrem Bey tram (Red
    Circle) also go from the Square to the Canal. There is also the
    “Circular” Tram (Green Triangle) which crosses the three lines just
    mentioned, on its course from Cairo Railway Station to the Docks.
    There is a carriage road along the Canal.

    CHIEF POINTS OF INTEREST:—Pompey’s Pillar, Kom es Chogafa Catacombs,
    the Canal.

    The Southern Quarters are neither smart nor picturesque. But they
    include the site of Rhakotis, the nucleus of ancient Alexandria, and
    preserve some remarkable antiquities (_see_ pp. 7, 18). Here too are
    the churches and schools of the various religious and political
    bodies (_see_ p. 211).

    We start from the south side of the Square, and immediately reach
    the _Place St. Catherine_, a triangular green. Here is the
    traditional site of St. Catherine’s martyrdom, whence she was
    transported to Mount Sinai by angels. But the legend only dates from
    the 9th cent. and it is unlikely that the saint ever existed (_see_
    p. 46). Franciscans settled here in the 15th cent. and built a
    church that has disappeared. In 1832 Mohammed Ali granted land to
    the Roman Catholics, and the present _Cathedral Church of St.
    Catherine_ was begun. It fell down while it was being put up, but
    undeterred by the omen the builders persisted, and here is the
    result. Gaunt without and tawdry within, the Cathedral makes no
    attempt to commemorate the exquisite legend round which so much that
    is beautiful has gathered in the West; St. Catherine of Alexandria
    is without grace in her own city. The approach to the church has
    however a certain ecclesiastic calm.—Behind (entered from Rue Sidi
    el Metwalli) is the Catholic Archbishop’s Palace; the wayside tomb
    of the Mohammedan Saint Sidi el Metwalli, a prior arrival, abuts
    into his Grace’s garden.

    Left of the Cathedral is another in equally bad taste—the Cathedral
    of the Greek Community (Greek Orthodox) dedicated to the
    Annunciation. The Schools of the Community are close to it.

    Left, after leaving the Place St. Catherine:—Rue Sidi el Metwalli,
    following the line of the ancient Canopic Way; it leads past the
    _Attarine Mosque_, which is worth looking at. In the past, buildings
    of greater importance stood on this commanding site. Here was a
    church to St. Athanasius, dedicated soon after his death (4th
    cent.). In the Arab Conquest (7th cent.) the church was adapted into
    a great mosque, square in shape like the Mosque of Ibn Touloun at
    Cairo, and stretching some way to the north of the present building;
    travellers mistook it for the tomb or the palace of Alexander the
    Great. In it stood an ancient sarcophagus, weighing nearly seven
    tons. The English, informed that Alexander had once lain here, took
    the sarcophagus away when they occupied Alexandria in 1801. (_see_
    p. 88). The French protested, and the sheikhs of the Mosque, deeply
    moved, came down to the boat to bid the relic farewell. The
    sarcophagus is now in the British Museum, and has proved to belong
    to the native Pharaoh Nekht Heru Hebt. B.C. 378.—The present Mosque
    is wedge shaped with a minaret at the point; a good little specimen
    of modern Mohammedan architecture. It has a second facade in the Rue
    Attarine, (Scent Bazaar) whence its name. Inside is the Tomb of Said
    Mohammed (13th cent.), a friend of Abou el Abbas (p. 126).—Beyond it
    the road becomes the Rue Rosette (_see_ Section I); right is the
    American Mission Church and the Cairo Station.

    Right after leaving the Place:—district inhabited by the Armenian
    community (_see_ p. 212). Their church is simple and rather
    attractive, and has the projecting western vestibule characteristic
    of Armenian architecture, e.g. of the Metropolitan Cathedral of
    Etchmiadzine. In the grave yard are monuments of Nubar Pasha by
    Puech (_see_ p. 155), and of Takvor Pasha. In the grounds of the
    school, a black basalt sphinx.

    Straight ahead after leaving the Place: is the Rue Abou el Dardaa.
    In a turning out of it to the right (Rue Prince Moneim) in the
    grounds of a florist named Mousny, are some remains of the _Old
    Protestant Cemetery_.—The burials are of a later date than those at
    St. Saba (p. 106). The most interesting is the Tomb of Henry Salt.
    Salt, a vigorous but rather shady Englishman with an artistic
    temperament, first came to these parts in 1809, when he was sent on
    a mission to Abyssinia. Six years later he became Consul General and
    fell in with the financial plans of Mohammed Ali (p. 90), and
    acquiesced in his illegal monopolies. He was an ardent archaeologist
    of the commercial type and got concessions for excavating in Upper
    Egypt, offering the results, at exorbitant rates, to the British
    Museum. After much haggling the Museum bought his collection in
    1823. He died near Alexandria in 1827. The quaint inscription on his
    tomb says:—

        His ready genius explored and elucidated the Hieroglypics (sic)
        and other antiquities of this country. His faithful and rapid
        pencil and the nervous originality of his untutored senses
        conveyed to the world vivid ideas of the scenes that had
        delighted himself.

    Some of the tombs are hidden among plants and ferns. The Cemetery
    was once much larger; the road has cut through it.

    At the end of the Rue Abou el Dardaa, where the tram turns, is the
    _Mosque of Amr_. Here probably stood the Mosque of Mercy which the
    conqueror Amr ordered to be built where he had sheathed his sword
    after the recapture of the city in 643 (_see_ p. 57).

    We turn right for a few yards, along a road that follows the line of
    the vanished Arab Walls (p. 81). Then to the left by the big Italian
    schools. The tram has now entered the ancient district of Rhakotis.

              “POMPEY’S PILLAR” and the TEMPLE OF SERAPIS.

    [Illustration: Pompey’s Pillar etc.]

    As often happens in Alexandria, history and archaeology fail to
    support one another. Ancient writers do not mention “Pompey’s
    Pillar,” but they tell us a great deal about the buildings that
    stood in its neighbourhood and have now disappeared. This shapeless
    hill was from early times covered with temples and houses. Long
    before Alexander came it was the citadel of Rhakotis (p. 7). Osiris
    was worshipped here. Then with Ptolemy Soter it leaps into fame.
    Osiris is modified into Serapis (p. 18), and the hill, encased in
    great bastions of masonry was built up into an acropolis on whose
    summit rose the God’s temple. Under Cleopatra it gained additional
    splendour. The great library of Alexandria had been burnt in the
    Caesarian war, and the queen began a new collection which she
    attached to the Serapeum. Here for four hundred years was the most
    learned spot on the earth. The Christians wiped it out. In 391 the
    Patriarch Theophilus (p. 50) led a mob against the temple, sacked
    it, and broke the statue of the God. It is impossible that the books
    should not have perished at the same time: they were arranged in the
    cloisters that surrounded the temple (_see_ below) so that the mob
    had to pass them to reach its central prey. The monks now swarmed
    over the hill and built a church to St. John the Baptist in the
    gutted shrine. Here were the head quarters of Theophilus’ nephew,
    Cyril (p. 51) and hence his supporters issued to murder Hypatia at
    the other end of the town (415). With the invasion of the Arabs the
    darkness increases. The library had already disappeared (the legend
    accusing them of burning it has the flimsiest foundations), but they
    did plenty of harm in other ways: one of the Arab governors threw a
    quantity of columns into the sea in the hope of obstructing a
    hostile fleet. When the Crusaders visited Egypt (15th cent.) the
    original scheme of the Acropolis had vanished, and their attention
    was caught by this solitary pillar. The Crusaders were no scholars
    but they had heard of Pompey, so they called the pillar after him,
    and said that his head was enclosed in a ball on the top. (_see_
    Belon’s View p. 83). The error has been perpetuated and the visitor
    must remember, firstly that the pillar has nothing to do with Pompey
    and secondly that it is a subordinate monument that the accident of
    time has preserved: it is a part and a small one of the splendours
    of the Temple of Serapis.

    The following remains can be visited (_see_ Plan 144).

    (i). _“Pompey’s Pillar.”_ 84 feet high and about 7 thick; made of
    red granite from Assouan. An imposing but ungraceful object.
    Architecture has evolved nothing more absurd than the monumental
    column; there is no reason that it should ever stop nor much that it
    should begin, and this specimen is not even well proportioned. The
    substructure is interesting. It is made up of blocks that have been
    taken from older buildings. On the eastern face (nearest turnstile)
    is a block of green granite with an inscription in Greek in honour
    of Arsinoe, the sister and wife of Ptolemy Philadelphus (p. 14). On
    the opposite face (upside down in a recess) is the figure and
    hieroglyph of Seti I (B.C. 1350), suggesting the great age of the
    settlement on Rhakotis.

    Why and when was the pillar put up?

    Probably to the Emperor Diocletian, about A.D. 297. There is a four
    line Greek inscription to him on the granite base on the western
    side, about 10 feet up. It is illegible and indeed invisible from
    the ground. Generations of scholars have worked at it with the
    following result:—

        “To the most just Emperor, the tutelary God of Alexandria,
        Diocletian the invincible: Postumus, prefect of Egypt.”

    The formidable Emperor (p. 46) had crushed a rebellion here and was
    a god to be propitiated; the pillar, erected in the precincts of
    Serapis, would celebrate his power and clemency and presumably bore
    his statue on the top.—There is another theory: that the column was
    dedicated after the triumph of the Christians in 391 and glorifies
    the new religion; if this is so it must itself have previously been
    pagan, for by this date the Alexandrians had not the means or the
    power to erect a new monument of such a size.

    (ii). _The Temple of Serapis._ West of the Pillar, reached by a
    staircase, are long subterranean galleries, excavated in the rock
    and lined with limestone. These were probably part of the
    Serapeum—basements of some sort—and enthusiastic visitors have even
    identified them with the library where the books were kept; in them
    are some small semi-circular niches of unknown use. Some marble
    columns stand on the ground above.—South of the Pillar, near the
    Sphinxes, are more passages, lined with cement; these too may have
    been part of the temple. All is conjectural, and the plan of the
    Serapeum, as we gather it from classical writers, can in no way be
    fitted in with existing remains. According to them, it was
    rectangular, and stood in the middle of a cloister, with each of
    whose sides it was connected by a cross-colonnade. The temple
    consisted of a great hall and an inner shrine. The architecture was
    probably Greek; certainly the statue was—made of blue-black marble
    (p. 19), the work of Bryaxis.

    (iii). _The Temple of Isis._ Isis, wife of Osiris, was equally
    united to his successor Serapis, and had in Ptolemaic times her
    temple on the plateau. North of the Pillar are some excavations that
    have been identified with it.

    (iv). _Two Sphinxes._ Found in the enclosure and set up south of the
    Pillar. Of Assouan granite.

    (v). _Fragments of a Frieze._ These, magnificently worked in
    granite, lie on the slope east of the Pillar; we pass them on the
    way up. Date:—about 1st cent. A.D. They may have belonged to the
    great entrance gate of the temple enclosure. He who meditates on
    them for a little may recapture some idea of the shrine. Note the
    Pillar itself so suggests vanished glory and solidity.

    This concludes the remains. They are disappointing for so famous a
    site, but there is one satisfaction: this is the actual spot. Long
    in doubt, it has been identified by the statues and inscriptions
    that have been found here; they are now in the Museum; _see_ Rooms
    6, 12, and 16.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    Just beyond the enclosure of Pompey’s Pillar we leave the tram route
    and turn to the right, reaching in ten minutes the Kom es Chogafa

                      CATACOMBS OF KOM ES CHOGAFA.

    Through the turnstile (5 piastres) is modern asphalt laid down to
    preserve the subterraneans from wet. Left, four fine sarcophagi of
    purplish granite. Above, the original level of the hill, which has
    been cut down by quarrying and excavations; in its slopes are some
    cemented passages, antique but uninteresting. On the top of the
    hill, a mosaic of black and white stones, much broken away. The
    entrance to the catacombs is down the larger of the two glassed

    The Catacombs of Kom es Chogafa (“Hill of Tiles”) are the most
    important in the city and unique anywhere: nothing quite like them
    has been discovered. They are unique both for their plan and for
    their decorations which so curiously blend classical and Egyptian
    designs; only in Alexandria could such a blend occur. Their size,
    their picturesque vistas, their eerie sculptures, are most
    impressive, especially on a first visit. Afterwards their spell
    fades for they are odd rather than beautiful, and they express
    religiosity rather than religion. Date—about the 2nd cent., A.D.
    when the old faiths began to merge and melt. Name of
    occupants—unknown. There is a theory that they began as a family
    vault which was developed by a burial syndicate. They were only
    discovered in 1900.

    The scheme should be grasped before descending; there are three
    stories, the lowest is under water. (_See_ Plan p. 148).

    [Illustration: KOM ES CHOGAFA - Plan of Chief Chambers
      First Story .............
      Second Story _________
    A Well Staircase
    B Vestibule
    C Rotunda
    D Banquet Hall
    E Staircase
    F Vestibule
    G i ii iii Central Tomb
    H Passage
    I Tomb Chamber
    J Gallery
    K Square Well
    L Hall of Caracalla
    M Gallery of Painted Tomb]

    The Staircase (A) is lit from a well, down which the dead bodies
    were lowered by ropes.—It ends at the Vestibule (B). Here are two
    semi-circular niches, each fitted with a bench and elegantly vaulted
    with a shell—a classical motive unknown to the art of ancient Egypt.
    Close by is the Rotunda (C): in its centre is a well, upon whose
    parapet stand 8 pillars, supporting a domed roof. A circular passage
    runs round the well.—Left from the Rotunda is the Banquet Hall (D),
    where the friends and relatives ate ceremonially in memory of the
    dead. It is a gloomy scene. Here, cut out of the limestone, are the
    three couches where they reclined upon mattresses; the table in the
    middle has disappeared; it was probably of wood. Pillars support the
    roof.—From the Rotunda a Staircase (E) goes down to the second
    story; the amazing Central Tomb is now revealed; weird effects can
    be got by adjusting the electric lights. The Staircase is roofed by
    a shell ornament; half-way down, it divides on each side a thing
    that looks like a prompter’s box; this masks yet another staircase
    that descends to the third story, now under water.


    In the Vestibule (F) the Egyptian note predominates. In front, two
    fine columns with ornate capitals and two pilaster with square
    papyrus capitals—the four supporting a cornice adorned with the
    winged Sun (Ra), and guardian falcons. Inside the Vestibule, to
    right and left, are white limestone statues of a man and woman—the
    proprietor and his wife, perhaps. On the further wall the religious
    and artistic confusion increases. Two terrific bearded serpents
    guard the entrance to the Tomb Chamber, and each not only enfolds
    the pine-cone of Dionysus and the serpent-wand of Hermes, but also
    wears the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. Above each serpent
    is a Medusa in a round shield. Over the lintel of the inner door is
    the winged Sun and a frieze of snakes.

    The Tomb Chamber (G) contains three large sarcophagi, all cut out of
    the rock. They are classical in style—decorated with festoons of
    fruit or flowers, Medusa Heads, Ox skulls, &c. The lids do not take
    off; the mummies would have been pushed in from the passage behind
    (_see_ below). But as a matter of fact none of three sarcophagi have
    ever been occupied; it is part of the queerness of Kom es Chogafa
    that its vast and elaborate apparatus for mourning should culminate
    in a void.

    In the niche over each sarcophagus are bas reliefs, Egyptian in
    style but executed with imperfect understanding.

    Centre niche (G.i). A mummy on a lion shaped bier: the lion wears
    the crown of Osiris and has at its feet the feather of Maat, goddess
    of truth. Behind the bier, Anubis as the god of embalming; at its
    head Thoth with the symbol of immortality; at its foot, Horus;
    beneath it three “Canopic” deities—vases for the intestines—there
    ought to be four.—Lateral relief: Left, a man with a priest, right a
    woman with a priest.

    Right-hand niche (G.ii). Graceful design of a prince, who wears the
    double crown of Egypt, offering a collar to the Apis Bull, who, with
    the Sun between his horns stands on a pedestal. Behind Apis, Isis,
    holding the feather of truth and stretching out her protective wings
    with good decorative effect.—Lateral reliefs: Left, a king before a
    god (Chons?); right, two “Canopic” deities, one ape headed, one a

    Left-hand niche (G.iii).—Similar to right hand, except that on the
    right lateral wall one of the “Canopic” deities has the head of a

    On either side of the entrance door stands an uncanny figure. Right,
    (as one goes out) is Anubis, with a dog’s head, but dressed up as a
    Roman soldier, with cuirass short sword lance and shield complete.
    Left, the god Sebek, who though mainly a crocodile is also crushed
    into military costume with cloak and spear. Perhaps the queer couple
    were meant to guard the tomb, but one must not read too much into
    them or into anything here; the workmen employed were only concerned
    to turn out a room that should look suitable for death, and judged
    by this standard they have succeeded.

    Surrounding the central tomb is a broad Passage (HHH) lined with
    cavities in two rows that provided accommodation for nearly 300
    mummies. Where the passage passes behind the central tomb one can
    see the apertures through which the three grand sarcophagi were
    hollowed out, and through which the mummies would have been
    introduced. Leading out of this passage is another tomb chamber (I)
    and, to the left, a big Gallery (JJJJ), fitted up with receptacles
    in the usual style.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    All the above chambers form part of a single scheme. We now return
    to the Rotunda (C), and enter, through a breach in the rock, an
    entirely distinct set of tombs. They are lighted by a square Well
    (K) and were reached by a separate staircase now ruinous. The Hall
    (L) is fancifully called the Hall of Caracalla because that emperor
    massacred many Alexandrian youths whom he had summoned to a review,
    and because many bones of men and horses have been found
    intermingled on its floors; it is lined with tomb cavities on the
    usual plan.—The Gallery (M) contains rather a charming tomb: it was
    once covered with white stucco and delicately painted. In the niche
    above the sarcophagus are Isis and her sister Nephtys, spreading
    their wings over the mummy of Osiris. More figures on the lateral
    walls. Above, on the inner wall, the soul as a bird. Above the
    entrance, the Sun and golden Vase on either side of which is a
    sphinx with her paw on a wheel.

    We now ascend the staircase (A). View of Mariout. Those who are not
    tired of empty tombs will find plenty more to the right, down a
    stairway cut in the rock.

Immediately below Kom es Chogafa flows the _Mahmoudieh Canal_, made by
Mohammed Ali (for the circumstances _see_ p. 91). There is a road along
it which leads, right, into the region of cotton warehouses. (Section
VI).—To the left one can walk or drive all the way to Nouzha (Section
IV). The route is partly pleasant partly not. It crosses, at Moharrem
Bey, the Farkha Canal, which leaves the Mahmoudieh Canal at right angles
and which went all the way to the sea.—Further on, there is a shady
tract called the “Champs Elysées” it resembles, neither for good or
evil, its Parisian original.


                              SECTION IV.


                       FROM THE SQUARE TO NOUZHA.

ROUTE:—Take Nouzha Tram (green trefoil) at the lower end of the
Boulevard Ramleh, just off the Square. The Rond Point Tram (white star)
passes through the Square, but does not go further than the Water
Works—about half-way to Nouzha.

CHIEF POINTS OF INTEREST:—Municipal Gardens; Nouzha and Antoniadis

For the Boulevard Ramleh _see_ Section V. Having traversed it, the tram
bears to the right and passes the Alhambra Theatre, the only one in the
town—not a bad building.—Just beyond the Theatre a road leads left, to
the Cathedral of the _Coptic Catholic Patriarchate_, (p. 212) or Church
of the Resurrection. The building is not remarkable, but of interest to
all who would explore the ecclesiastical ramifications of Alexandria. It
was dedicated in 1902 by the Patriarch Cyril II and endowed by the
Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria, as an inscription by the entrance
(shortly to be removed) states; the alternative date—1618—reckons by the
Coptic Calendar, which begins not with the birth of Christ but with the
persecutions of the 3rd cent. (p. 47). The facade of the church imitates
that of St. John Lateran, Rome. Beyond the church are the British
Consulate and the Egyptian Government Hospital (Section V).

The Tram turns left, along the Rue Sultan Hussein, still popularly known
as the Rue d’Allemagne, and passes between the Menasce Schools (Jewish)
and Cromer Park, a small fenced garden reserved for ladies and
babies.—_Place Said_, a round space in the midst of which is a large
Ptolemaic Column, erected in memory of the retaking of Khartoum, Sept.
2nd, 1898; on each side of the column, statues of the lion-headed
goddess, Sekhet. The native women who sometimes sit in masses in the
Place are professional mourners and await a funeral out of the Egyptian
Government Hospital behind. Roads go from the Place: left, to Mazarita
Station on the Ramleh tram line (Section V); right, to the Rue Rosette.
(Section I).

Left, the _Municipal Gardens_, small but admirably planned; the
designer, M. Monfront, has shown real genius in his treatment of the
area. The gardens follow the line of the Arab Walls (p. 81) and also
cross the course of the old Farkha Canal that once connected the
Mahmoudieh Canal and the sea (p. 152). Both these features have been
utilised; the fortifications have turned into picturesque hillocks or
survive as masses of masonry, which, though of little merit in
themselves, have been cleverly grouped and look mediaeval by moonlight;
while the water of the canal has been preserved in an artificial pool,
the abode of ducks. The gardens should be thoroughly explored. In
them—visible from tram—is a _Statue of Nubar Pasha_, by Puech; the
tarboosh is too large but the general effect dignified; the left hand
rests on a tablet inscribed “La justice est la base de tout
Gouvernment,” and the same maxim appears on the pedestal. Nubar was an
Armenian—a politician whose honesty is variously estimated, though there
is no question as to his ability. He became minister under the Khedive
Ismail (1878) and tried to regulate his finance, also serving under
Tewfik. He was, as his favourite motto suggests, cautious in
temperament. He is buried outside the Armenian Church, (p. 143).

The tram touches the end of the Rue Rosette (Section I) and passes
through the belt of the gardens: they continue on the right, still
following the course of the vanished Arab walls and utilising the
acclivities, and are to be continued still further, as far as the
railway station; they will then form a great horseshoe.—Left are the
Roman Catholic Cemeteries, and in the second of these, at the end of the
main walk, is a fine _Antique Tomb_, which should be seen. It lies in a
hole; great walls of alabaster have fallen and exposed their shining
surfaces. The shrine (Heroon) of Pompey stood near here, and it has been
suggested that this was the actual place where his head was deposited
after his murderers had brought it to Julius Caesar; this is pure
conjecture, but the tomb may well date from the period (B.C. 48) for the
work is very good.—To the right, in the new part of the cemetery are
other ancient tombs, also a cemented shaft with foot holds cut on its

Almost opposite the entrance to the Cemetery is the War Memorial to
French Soldiers, a truncated obelisk of Carrara marble, designed as a
labour of love in memory of his fallen comrades by Mons. V. Erlanger,
the French architect of Alexandria and unveiled April 23, 1921 by Lord

The scroll facing the main thoroughfare bears the following inscription:

    “In memory of French Soldiers fallen during the Great War and
    offered by members of the British Community to the French Colony to
    Commemorate the glorious deeds of arms, performed by the French
    Armies 1914-1918.”

Now the tram turns, right, by the Rosetta Gate Police Station,
surmounted by a turret clock in commemoration of King Edward VII, and
comes to the Rond Point, where are the Waterworks, and up the rise Hadra
Prison; then crosses the railway, the ancient Hadra cemetery (_see_
Museum Room 19) and Hadra village, and reaches its terminus at Nouzha,
close to Nouzha railway station and to the Mahmoudieh Canal.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Nouzha_ was in Ptolemaic times the suburb of Eleusis. Here lived
Callimachus the poet (p. 30); here (B.C. 168) Popillius the Roman
general checked the King of Syria who was about to seize Alexandria,
and, drawing a circle round him in the sand, obliged him to decide
forthwith between peace and war. Here (A.D. 640), were quartered the
cavalry of Amr (p. 55), before he entered the town.—The Gardens are
across the railway. They have been developed by the Municipality out of
a small park of Ismail’s, and are most beautiful; if one could judge
Alexandria by her gardens one would do nothing but praise. Some are
formalised, others free; those who like pelicans will find them in a
pond to the right; the zoological garden, a bandstand, and a restaurant,
are straight ahead; view from over the top over Lake Hadra towards Abou
el Nawatir (Section V).—Right of the bandstand is an enclosure entered
by payment; this too should be visited as the trees and flowers are
fine; glasshouses also.

Above the pelican pond a small gate leads from the Nouzha Gardens into
the _Antoniadis Gardens_ (entrance charge; varying according to the day
of week). These too belong to the Municipality of Alexandria. They are
full of modern statues, which, though of no merit, make a pleasant
formal effect. The trees and creepers are fine, and there is a beautiful
lawn at the back of the house. Here, until recently, lived the
Antoniadis family, wealthy Greeks.

In the field behind the Antoniadis Gardens is an antique _Tomb_. It is
easiest reached through the back gate, which a gardener will sometimes
unlock; otherwise one must return to the Nouzha Gardens, pass out, and
follow the canal for a little way, finally turning to the left. The tomb
is behind an absurd spiral of rockwork. It is reached down a flight of
steps and the hall is often under water. Same plan as at Anfouchi (p.
126); a sunken hall, out of which three tomb chambers open.

The road beyond the Gardens, along the edge of the Canal, is pretty, and
probably follows the course of the ancient Canal to Canopus, whither the
Alexandrians used to go out in barges, to enjoy themselves and to
worship Serapis. In one place it skirts the waters of Hadra.

The other way (west) the Canal flows into the city (Section II) finally
entering the Harbour.—(For history of the Canal _see_ p. 91).

There is a road direct from Nouzha to Sidi Gaber (Section V) by the side
of the lake. It passes, left, the place where two colossal statues were
discovered: Antony as Osiris, and Cleopatra as Isis: Antony is in the
Museum (Garden Court, p. 120).


                               SECTION V.


                       FROM THE SQUARE TO RAMLEH.

ROUTE:—By the Boulevard Ramleh to the Tram Line terminus—10 min. walk.
Then take tram with red label to Bulkeley, San Stefano, and Victoria.
Tram with blue label goes to San Stefano only, _via_ Bacos. The service
is fair.

CHIEF POINTS OF INTEREST:—The Sea; the view from Abou el Nawatir;
private gardens; the Spouting Rocks.

We start at the north-east corner of the Square, and take the Rue de
l’Ancienne Bourse, in which are, right, the Union Club frequented by
British, and, left, the former Bourse—the latter not a bad building,
with a portico of marble columns and a vaulted interior; it is now the
offices of the Lloyd Triestino. The street leads into the Boulevard
Ramleh—turn to right.

The Boulevard (officially Rue de la Gare de Ramleh) is a busy shabby
thoroughfare, full of people who are escaping to or from the tram

Right from Boulevard, in Rue Debbane, is a Greek and Syrian Catholic
Church, dedicated to St. Peter. (p. 213). It was built by Count Debbane,
a Syrian under Brazilian protection who received his title from the
Pope. His family vault extends along the whole length of the Chancel.
The scene is of no interest, but typical of the complexities of religion
and race at Alexandria.

Left from Boulevard, at end of Rue Averoff, is the church of the
Armenian Catholics (p. 213).

Right from Boulevard, in Rue de l’Eglise Copte, is the _Cathedral of the
Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate_ (p. 212) dedicated to St. Mark. Those who
have never seen a Coptic Church should look in. It is fatuously ugly. On
the screen that divides nave from sanctuary are several pictures—among
them St. Damiana with her wheel; she is the native Egyptian Saint who
was probably the origin of St. Catherine of Alexandria: round her are
the forty maidens who shared her martyrdom. In the sanctuary are some
pictures of St. Mark, whose primitive church is wrongly supposed to have
stood on this site (p. 46); he is shown writing his Gospel or standing
between Cleopatra’s Needle and Pompey’s Pillar. Outside the Church are
the Schools, ineptly adorned with a Lion of St. Mark of the Venetian

Right from Boulevard, the Rue Nebi Daniel leads past the chief Jewish
Synagogue to the Rue Rosette (Section I).

The Boulevard reaches the tram terminus. To the right is the road to
Nouzha (Section IV), to the left the sea and the New Quays (Section II).

                  *       *       *       *       *

On this featureless spot once arose a stupendous temple, the Caesareum,
and a pair of obelisks, _Cleopatra’s Needles_.

    (i). HISTORY OF THE CAESAREUM.—Cleopatra began it in honour of
    Antony (p. 26). After their suicide Octavian finished it in honour
    of himself. (B.C. 13). He was worshipped there as Caesar Augustus,
    and the temple remained an imperial possession until Christian
    times. Constantius II (A.D. 354) intended to present it to the
    Church, but before the transference could be effected St.
    Athanasius, who was always energetic, had held an Easter Service
    inside it. The Emperor was offended. Two years later his troops
    nearly killed Athanasius inside the building, and gave it to the
    Arians. Arians and Orthodox continued to fight for and in it and
    smashed it to pieces. (p. 49). Athanasius, just back from his final
    exile, built on the ruins a church which was dedicated to St.
    Michael but usually retained the famous title Caesareum. It became
    the Cathedral of Alexandria, superseding St. Theonas (p. 189). Here
    in 416 Hypatia was torn to pieces by tiles (p. 51). Here in 640 the
    Patriarch Cyrus held a solemn service before betraying the city to
    the Arabs (p. 55). Date of final destruction—912.

    (ii). APPEARANCE. Nothing is known of the architecture of the
    temple, but the Jewish philosopher Philo (p. 63) thus writes of it
    in the day of its glory:

        “It is a piece incomparably above all others. It stands by a
        most commodious harbour: wonderful high and large in proportion;
        an eminent sea-mark: full of choice paintings and statues with
        donatives and oblatives in abundance; and then it is beautiful
        all over with gold and silver; the model curious and regular in
        the disposition of the parts, as galleries, libraries, porches,
        courts, halls, walks, and consecrated groves, as glorious as
        expense and art could make them, and everything in the proper
        place; besides that, the hope and comfort of seafaring men,
        either coming in or going out.”

    (iii). THE OBELISKS. In front of the Caesareum (between present tram
    terminus and sea) stood “Cleopatra’s Needles” of which one is now in
    the Central Park, New York, and the other on the Embankment, London,
    They had nothing to do with Cleopatra till after her death. They
    were cut in the granite quarries of Assouan for Thothmes III (B.C.
    1500), and set up by him at Heliopolis near Cairo, before the temple
    of the Rising Sun. In B.C. 13 they were transferred here by the
    engineer Pontius. They rested not directly on their bases but each
    on four huge metal crabs, one of which has been recovered. Statues
    of Hermes or of Victory tipped them. In the Arab period, when all
    around decayed, they became the chief marvel of the city. One fell.
    They remained in situ until the 19th cent., when they were parted
    and took their last journey, the fallen one to England in 1877, the
    other to the United States two years later.

The walls of the Arab city used to reach the sea at this point (cf.
Belon’s View, p. 83).; they ended in a tower that was swept away for the
New Quays. We now take the tram.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The first half mile of the tram lines traverses ground of immense
historical fame. Every inch was once sacred or royal. On the football
fields to the left were the Ptolemaic Palaces (p. 17) stretching down to
the sea and projecting into it at the Promontory of Lochias (present
Silsileh). There was also an island palace on a rock that has
disappeared. The walls of the Mouseion, too, are said to have extended
into the area, but we know no details and can only be certain that the
Ancient World never surpassed the splendour of the scene. On the right,
from the higher ground, the Theatre overlooked it, and the dramas of
Aeschylus and Euripides could be performed against the background of a
newer and a greater Greece. No eye will see that achievement again, no
mind can imagine it. Grit and gravel have taken its place to-day.

Right of the line on leaving:—The British Consulate, an imposing pile.
Next to it, the _Egyptian Government Hospital_ probably on the site of
the Ancient Theatre, so a visit should be made. In the garden is the
tomb of Dr. Schiess a former Director; an early Christian sarcophagus
has been used, and on each side of it are impressive Christian columns,
probably from the church of St. Theonas (p. 46) and each carved with a
cross in a little shrine. In the spiral ascent above the tomb are other
antiquities and a howitzer of Arabi’s: on the summit, an antique marble
column, erected in memory of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.

                  *       *       *       *       *

MAZARITA STA.—A road leads, right, to the Public Gardens (Section IV)
and, left, to the Promontory of Silsileh (see above). The promontory,
like the rest of the coast, has subsided; in classical times it was
broader and longer than now, and extended in breakwaters towards the
Pharos (Fort Kait Bey), thus almost closing the entrance to the Eastern
Harbour. The private port of the Ptolemies lay immediately to its left.
A beacon, the Pharillon, was at its point in Arab times. The original
Church of St. Mark, where the evangelist was buried, must have stood on
the shore to its right. There is nothing to see to-day except a
coast-guard station and the exit of the main drain.

                  *       *       *       *       *

CHATBY STA.—The tram has now pierced the ancient royal city and enters
the region of the dead, where owing to the dryness of the ground the
cemeteries both ancient and modern have been dug. Right, the modern
cemeteries, Jewish nearest the tram line, behind them English, then
Greek and Armenian, then Catholic, opening into the Aboukir road
(Section I). Close to the sta. are the spacious schools of the Greek
Community, and the Orwa el Woska schools. Left of the station, is the
Sultanian Institute of Hydrobiology, containing a small but interesting
aquarium and an extensive and valuable technical library, also models of
fishing craft, nets and marine instruments. Visit by arrangement with
the Director, Prof. Pachundaki. In the enclosure in front of the
Institute some ancient Mosaics have been recently (1921) discovered;
they are said to be of fine period and in good condition, but are not on
exhibition yet; it is to be hoped that they will be accessible shortly.
Traces of ancient roads and drains have also been found here.

                  *       *       *       *       *

CHATBY-LES-BAINS STA.—Turn left, as far as the fire station, then turn
right. Here, in the waste to the left of the road, is the great Chatby
Necropolis, the oldest in the Ptolemaic city (_see_ Museum, particularly
Room 20 and Garden Court). Little remains. There is a tomb group close
to the road of the Anfouchi type (p. 126) _i.e._ a sunken court out of
which the burial places open; at the end of the tombs is a double
sarcophagus of the shape of a bed, with cushions of stone.—Right of the
tram line, other burial places, Ptolemaic and Roman, can be found all
the way to the canal.—The tram goes through a cutting; right is the fine
French Lycée, subsidized by the French Government.

                  *       *       *       *       *

CAMP DE CÉSAR STA.—Caesar never camped here. An unattractive suburb,
anciently Eleusis by the Sea.

                  *       *       *       *       *

IBRAHIMIEH STA.—Then to the right flat fertile land appears. This,
geologically, is delta deposit, which has been silted up against the
narrow spur of limestone on which Alexandria stands (p. 5). In the
foreground, the green turf of the Sporting Club; further, the trees of
Nouzha and the waters of Hadra. Traces of ancient Cemeteries continue on
the dry ground on the left.

                  *       *       *       *       *

SPORTING CLUB STA.—Close to the Grand Stand of the Race Course. Bathing
beach left.

                  *       *       *       *       *

CLEOPATRA STA.—Cleopatra never lived here. Right begin the famous fig
trees of Sidi Gaber, reputed the best in Egypt. Also broad leaved
bananas, maize, &c. A pleasant road leads across the railway and by the
side of the lake to Nouzha Gardens (Section IV); it can be beautiful
here in the evening.—Left from the sta., at the base of a cliff by the
edge of the sea, is a Ptolemaic tomb with painted walls, but even while
one describes such things they are being destroyed. The reefs by this
tomb form the pretty little “Friars’ pool.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

SIDI GABER STA.—Close to the main-line railway sta. where all the Cairo
expresses stop.—Left, a road leads between fine trees to the
_Abercrombie Monument_, a poor affair, but interesting to Englishmen, as
it commemorates our exploits in 1801 (p. 88). It is a three-sided column
of white marble, surmounted by a flaming urn. Inscription:

    “To the memory of Sir Ralph Abercrombie K.B. & C. and the Officers
    and Men who fell at the battle of Alexandria, March 21st, 1801....
    As his life was honourable so was his death glorious. His memory
    will be recorded in the annals of his country—will be sacred to
    every British soldier—and embalmed in the recollection of a grateful

Close to the Monument is the modern Mosque of Sidi Gaber, a beneficent
local saint, who flies about at night, looks after children, &c.

                  *       *       *       *       *

MUSTAPHA PACHA STA.—Right, up the road, is the hill of Abou el Nawatir,
the highest near Alexandria, overlooking the lakes of Hadra and Mariout;
exquisite view, especially by evening light. The square enclosure at the
top belongs to the reservoir; to its S.E. half-way between it and the
railway, a _Gun_ lies in the sand. This is a relic of the fighting of
July 1882. General Alison placed most of his artillery up here (p. 96),
and the gun still points to the Mahmoudieh Canal, in the direction of
Arabi’s camp.—Left of Mustapha Pacha Sta. on the rise, are the British
Barracks, occupying the site of the Roman; history repeats herself, just
as she has done in the Cemeteries. Octavian’s town of Nicopolis, which
he founded in B.C. 30 to overawe Alexandria (p. 44), began here. Among
the Roman Units here quartered were the 2nd Trajana Fortis and the 3rd
Cyrenaic; the British are too numerous to record.

                  *       *       *       *       *

CARLTON STA.—The big Villa up the hill to the right was built by a
German in the Greek style, regardless of expense or taste.

                  *       *       *       *       *

BULKELEY STA.—We are now in the heart of Ramleh (“Sand”) the struggling
suburb where the British and other foreigners reside. Lovely private
gardens, the best in Egypt. Left of the sta. is Stanley Bay, a fine bit
of coast scenery and a favourite bathing place: also the Anglican Church
of All Saints’. (p. 213).

The tramline here divides into two branches that reunite at San Stefano.
The left branch—more direct—goes by Saba Pacha (pretty cove in coast),
Glymenopoulo, Mazloum, Zizinia—all bathing places. The right branch,
through pretty palm gloves, via Fleming, Bacos, Seffer, Schutz,
Gianaclis (left is the fine new Mosque of Ahmed Pacha Yehia, the
statesman, with provision for his tomb).

                  *       *       *       *       *

SAN STEFANO STA.—Close to the Casino, a fashionable summer hotel, by the
side of a sea that seems especially fresh and blue. There are Symphony
concerts here in the season. The audience however comes not to listen
but to talk; their noise is so great that from a little distance the
orchestra appears to be performing in dumb show.

The tram goes on by St. George, Laurens and Palais stations to Sidi
Bishr, on the edge of a desert coast. Fine walk or ride past Sidi Bishr
Mosque to the _Spouting Rocks_. These are most remarkable. Masses of
limestone project into the sea, which penetrates beneath them and spouts
up through blow holes and cracks. Some of the vents have been
artificially squared, and the Ancient Alexandrians, who loved scientific
toys, may have fitted them up with musical horns or mechanical
mills.—The expedition may be continued along the coast to the woods of
Montazah (Section VII).

                  *       *       *       *       *

VICTORIA STA. The terminus. Here is a Ry. sta. for the Aboukir and
Rosetta lines (Section VII), also Victoria College, a huge building. It
offers an education on English Public School lines to residents in
Egypt, whatever their creed or race, and was much approved by Lord
Cromer, who founded a scholarship here.

The coast walk from Alexandria to Ramleh is rarely taken but is
charming—low crumbly cliffs, sandy beaches, flat rocks, and vestiges of
ancient houses and tombs that help one to realise how the whole site of
the city has sunk. There is no road east of Silsileh. The scheme for a
grandiose “Corniche” drive has fortunately failed, and the scenery has
escaped the standardised dulness that environs most big towns.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Ramleh can also be reached by the Aboukir Road, an extension of the Rue
Rosette (Section I).


                              SECTION VI.


                        FROM THE SQUARE TO MEX.

ROUTE:—By the Rue des Soeurs and Gabbari, taking the Mex Tram (White
Star). The journey is uncomfortable and uninspiring, but Mex is

We start from the south side of the Square, down the long Rue des
Soeurs, which takes its name from the Roman Catholic Convent and School
near its entrance. The surroundings become squalid.

Right of Rue des Soeurs:—Rue Behari Bey leads to the mound of
_Kom-el-Nadoura_, which rises abruptly out of mean streets. Its history
before the arrival of Napoleon (1798 p. 86) is unknown. His engineer
Cafarelli fortified it for him, and it held back the British advance in
1801, (p. 88). The entrance is on the south side, through a doorway by a
winding path fringed with prickly pear and pepper trees. The summit—104
feet above the sea—is now used as a signalling station and observatory
under the Ports and Lights Administration. Interesting set of
instruments, and fine view of harbour and city. At the N.N.W. corner are
some remains of Cafarelli’s masonry.—Outside the Fort, in the Rue
Babel-Akhdar (Section II) is the Gold and Silver Bazaar.

Left of Rue des Soeurs is the Genenah, a curious rabbit warren.

The tram passes down Rue Ibrahim Premier. To the right, close to the
docks, in the Rue Karam, is a Franciscan church and school. They are
modern and of no interest, but stand on a site that was important
historically. Here was the _Church of St. Theonas_ (p. 46) and the early
palace of the bishops. Here St. Athanasius was brought up. The Arabs
(641) incorporated what they found into a fine Mosque, called the Mosque
of the Seventy (from some fallacious connection with the Septuagint) or
the Mosque of the 1000 Columns. It was on the lines of the Mosque of Ibn
Touloun at Cairo; the Rue Karam bisects its area; its prayer niche faced
south west. It was standing in a ruined condition when the French came,
and was turned into artillery barracks.

Just before the tram reaches the Canal we pass, right, the cotton
exchange of Minet-el-Bassal. A visit—introduction necessary—is
interesting. The Exchange is round a pleasant courtyard, with a fountain
in the midst. Samples are exhibited. The whole neighbourhood is given up
to this, the main industry, of Alexandria; warehouses; picturesque
wooded machinery for cleaning the cotton and pressing it into bales; in
the season, the streets are slippery with greasy fluff.

The Mahmoudieh Canal (p. 91) is now crossed. The banks have here their
original stone casings and double descents, recalling the commercial
enterprise of Mohammed Ali. A walk along the banks to the left is dirty
but attractive; it can terminate at the Kom es Chogafa Catacombs
(Section III). Right, the Canal enters the Western Harbour.

Then comes the district of Gabbari, called after a sheikh of that name.
Here was the Western Cemetery of the Ancient City; the finds have been
taken to the Museum (Room 14). Nothing interesting until Mex.

_Mex_, once a fishing village, might have become a prosperous suburb of
Alexandria, like Ramleh. But the intervening slums have choked access to
it. It lies midway on the big curve of the Western Harbour, the waters
of Lake Mariout being close behind. There is a good pier, with a wooden
causeway that leads on to a distant rock. The little sea front has
rather a Neapolitan air.

Beyond Mex are the limestone quarries that provided the stone for the
ancient and the modern towns. They are cut in the ridge that here
separates lake and sea.

The village of Dekhela lies further along the beach. Fine walk from it
to Amrieh (Section VIII). Beyond it the desert begins, strewn with
fragments of antique pottery.

Beyond Dekhela, at the western point of the Harbour: _Fort Agame_. A
strategic point in Napoleonic times (p. 86) and in the Bombardment of
Alexandria (p. 94). Magnificent bathing. Just off the Fort is _Marabout
Island_, so called from the tomb of a local saint which stands here,
adorned with votive models of boats. Makrizi (writing in the 14th cent.)
says that men lived longer on Marabout Island than any where else in the
world, but no one at all lives here now. From it extends the chain of
reefs that close the entrance of the Western Harbour (p. 6).—It is easy
to visit this district from Alexandria by sailing boat, but not easy to
get back again in the evening when the wind drops.


                              SECTION VII.


                          ABOUKIR AND ROSETTA.

ROUTE:—By train from the Main (Cairo) sta., or from Sidi Gaber, where
all trains stop, and which is also a sta. for the Ramleh tram (Section

CHIEF POINTS OF INTEREST:—Montazah; Canopus; Aboukir Bay; Rosetta.


At Sidi Gaber sta. is a view of Lake Hadra on the right.—Five stations
on:—Victoria, close to the College and tram terminus.—The train passes
over sand and through a palm oasis, which is carpeted with flowers in

                  *       *       *       *       *

MANDARAH STA.—One of the houses in the village is painted outside in
commemoration of the inmates pilgrimage to Mecca—pictures of things that
he saw or would like to have seen, such as a railway train, a tiger, a
siren, and a very large melon.

                  *       *       *       *       *

MONTAZAH STA.—Close to the station is the _Summer Resort_ of the
ex-Khedive Abbas II, now (1922) being restored and refurnished by King
Fouad. Permission to enter should be obtained if possible, for the
scenery is unique in Egypt and of the greatest beauty. The road leads by
roses, oleanders and pepper trees. From it a road turns, right, up the
hill to the Selamlik (men’s quarters), built by the Khedive in a style
that was likely to please his Austrian mistress; on the terrace in front
is a sun dial and some guns. From the terrace, _View_ of the circular
bay with its fantastic promontories and breakwaters; the coast to the
right is visible as far as Aboukir, whose minaret peeps over a distant
headland; to the left are the Montazah woods; beneath, down precipitous
steps, a curved parade. Beautiful walks in every direction, and perfect
bathing. On the promontory to the right is a kiosk, and at its point are
some remains of buildings or baths—fragments of the ancient Taposiris
Parva that once stood here; some of them form natural fishponds. The
woods are Pines Maritimes, imported by the Khedive from Europe, and in
the western section, beyond the Pigeon House, the trees have grown high.
Various buildings are in the estate; in one corner are the foundations
of an enormous mosque. During the recent war (1914-1919) Montazah became
a Red Cross Hospital; thousands of convalescent soldiers passed through
it and will never forget the beauty and the comfort that they found

                  *       *       *       *       *

MAMOURAH STA.: The low ground to the right is on the site of the Aboukir
Lake (p. 87), drained in the 19th cent. Here the Aboukir and Rosetta
railways part.


ROUTE:—Aboukir Station is the terminus. Walk or take donkey. Turn
sharply to the left to Canopus, 1 mile, then follow coast all the way
round by Fort Kait Bey to Fort Ramleh; return to Aboukir Village.


Aboukir, though intimately connected with Alexandria, has a history of
its own. Three main periods.

    (i). ANCIENT (_see_ also p. 7).

    Geologically, this is the end of the long limestone spur that
    projects from the Lybian desert (p. 5). The Nile had to round it to
    reach the sea, and it is to the Nile that its early fame is due. The
    river poured out just to the east, through the “Canopic” Mouth,
    which has now dried up, and there were settlements here centuries
    before Alexandria was founded. On the left bank of the Nile (south
    of the present Fort Ramleh) Herodotus (B.C. 450) saw a temple to
    Heracles, and was told that Paris and Helen had sought shelter here
    on their flight to Troy—shelter that was refused by the local
    authorities, who disapproved of their irregular union. There was a
    second settlement at Menouthis (Fort Ramleh itself), and a third and
    most famous at _Canopus_ (present Fort Tewfikieh), from which the
    whole district took its name.

    Canopus, according to Greek legend, was a pilot of Menelaus who was
    bitten here by a serpent as they returned from Troy, and, dying,
    became the tutelary God. The legend, like that of Paris and Helen,
    shows how interested were the Greeks in the district, but has no
    further importance. There is also a legend that Canopus was an
    Egyptian God whose body was an earthenware jar: this too may be
    discredited. With the foundation of Alexandria (B.C. 331) the
    district lost much of its trade, but became a great fashionable and
    religious resort. There was a canal from Alexandria, probably
    connecting with the Nile just where it entered the sea, and the
    Alexandrians glided along it in barges, singing and crowned with
    flowers. In connection with his new cult of Serapis (p. 18) Ptolemy
    Soter built a temple here (_see_ below) whose fame spread over the
    world and whose rites made the Romans blush with shame or pale with
    envy; here originated the idea, still so widely held in the west,
    that Egypt is a land of licentiousness and mystery. The district
    decayed as soon as Christianity was established; it had not, like
    Alexandria, a solid basis for its existence in trade. But Paganism
    lingered here, and as late as the end of the 5th century twenty
    camel-loads of idols were found secreted in a house and were carried
    away to make a bonfire at Alexandria. Demons gave trouble even in
    later times.

    (ii). CHRISTIAN.

    The Patriarch Cyril (p. 51) having destroyed the cults of Serapis
    and Isis in the district (A.D. 389) sent out the relics of St. Cyr
    to take their place. The relics were so intermingled with those of
    another martyr, St. John, that St. John had to be brought too, and a
    church to them both arose just to the south of the present Fort Kait
    Bey. The two Saints remained quiet for 200 years, but then began to
    disentangle themselves and work miracles, and recovered for the
    district some of its ancient popularity; indeed many of their cures
    are exactly parallel to those effected in the temple of Serapis.
    With the Arab invasion their church vanishes, but St. Cyr has given
    his name to modern Aboukir (“Father Cyr.”) In the 9th century the
    Canopic branch of the Nile dried up. The Turks built some forts here
    for coastal defence, but history does not recommence until the
    arrival of Nelson.

    (iii). MODERN.

    In Napoleonic times Aboukir saw two great battles.

        (_a_). _“Battle of the Nile._”

        For the event that led to this engagement _see_ p. 86. Brueys,
        Napoleon’s admiral, brought his fleet into the bay for safety,
        and anchored them in a long line, about two miles from the
        coast. He had 13 Men-of-War, 4 Frigates, 1182 canons, and 8000
        men. To the north was “Nelson’s Island,” as it is now called,
        which he had fortified and upon which his line was supposed to
        rest. His flagship, the _Orient_, was midway in the line. He
        took up this position on July 7th, 1798.

        On August 1st Nelson arrived in pursuit, with 14 Men-of-War,
        1012 canons and 8068 men. The wind was N.W., a usual direction
        in summer. Half his fleet, including his flagship the
        _Vanguard_, attacked Brueys from the expected quarter, the east.
        The other half, led by the _Goliath_, executed the brilliant
        manœuvre that brought us victory. It gave Brueys a double
        surprise: in the first place it passed between the head of his
        line and “Nelson Island” where he thought there was no room; in
        the second place it took up a position to his west, between him
        and the shore, where he thought the water was too shallow. Thus
        he was caught between two fires—attacked by the whole British
        Fleet with the exception of the _Culloden_, which, sailing too
        near Nelson Island, stranded.

        The engagement began at 6.00 p.m. At 7.00 Brueys was killed, at
        9.30 the _Orient_ caught fire and blew up shortly afterwards;
        the explosion was tremendous and terminated the first act of the
        battle; an interval of appalled silence ensued. Casabianca was
        sailing the _Orient_, and it was on her “burning deck” that the
        boy of Mrs. Hemans’ poem stood. The fighting recommenced,
        continuing through the night, and ending at midday on the 2nd
        with the complete victory of Nelson. The French fleet had been
        annihilated; only two Men-of-War and two Frigates escaped, and
        Napoleon had lost for ever his command of the Mediterranean.
        Nelson accordingly signalled the following message:—

            Almighty God having blessed His Majesty’s arms with victory,
            the Admiral intends returning public thanksgiving for the
            same at two o’clock this day, and he recommends every ship
            doing the same as soon as convenient.

        The French expected an attack on Alexandria, but Nelson had
        suffered too much himself to attempt this; having rested for a
        little, he dispersed his fleet, leaving only a few ships behind
        to watch the coast. In his despatches home he stated that the
        engagement had taken place not far from the (Rosetta) mouth of
        the Nile; hence the official “Battle of the Nile” instead of the
        more accurate “Naval Battle of Aboukir.”

        (_b_). _Land Battle of Aboukir._

        Less important than its predecessor, but the strategy is
        interesting, and Napoleon himself was present. For the events
        that led up to it _see_ p. 87; Turkey, at the instigation of
        England, had declared war on France, and in July 1799 the Turks
        occupied Aboukir Bay and landed 15,000 men. Their left rested on
        the present Fort Ramleh, their right on the present Fort
        Tewfikieh, their camp was in the narrow extremity of the
        peninsula, between the redoubt and the Fort at the very tip.
        They were supported on three sides by their fleet, which was
        stationed in the Mediterranean, in the Bay of Aboukir, and in
        the (vanished) Lake of Aboukir. From this stronghold they
        proposed to overrun Egypt.

        On receiving the news, Napoleon hurried down from Cairo and
        arrived (July 25th) with only 10,000 men, mostly cavalry. Murat
        and Kléber accompanied him. He began by clearing the Turkish gun
        boats out of Lake Aboukir; then his force attacked Forts Ramleh
        and Tewfikieh, while his cavalry under Murat, advancing over the
        level ground between them, drove the flying defenders of each
        into the Mediterranean and the Bay respectively. 5,400 Turks
        were drowned. The tip of the peninsula remained and resisted
        vigorously, but Napoleon managed to mount some of his guns on
        the hard spit of sand that still extends along the shore of the
        Bay, and thus to cannonade the Turkish Camp, which was finally
        taken by storm.


The ruins (_see_ above) lie round Fort Tewfikieh which is seen to the
left as the train runs into the station. They were once of interest, but
have been almost entirely destroyed by the military authorities, who use
the limestone blocks for road making, and allow treasure hunting to go
on. The remains are not easy to find, as the area is pitted with
excavations. Consult map.

    (_a_) About 50 yds. from the gateway of the fort, in a hollow to the
    left of the road, are two huge _Fragments_ of a granite temple. Here
    were found the busts of Rameses II in the Museum (Room 7) and the
    colossi of the same King and his daughter (Museum, Court). Date of
    statues:—B.C. 1300.

    (_b_) Further to the left, round the Fort, is the site of the
    _Temple of Serapis_, the most famous building on the peninsula, and
    celebrated throughout the antique world. It was dedicated by Ptolemy
    III Euergetes (p. 15) and his wife Berenice. A few years later (B.C.
    238) their baby daughter died, and the priests met here in conclave
    to make her a goddess, and incidentally to endorse some reforms in
    the Calendar that the King, who had a scientific mind, was pressing.
    The pronouncement has been preserved in the “Decree of Canopus,” now
    one of the chief documents for Ptolemaic history. As for miracles,
    the temple even outstripped the original Temple of Serapis at
    Alexandria: invalids who slept here even by proxy discovered next
    day that they were well. It was also the abode of magic and
    licentiousness according to its enemies, and of philosophy according
    to its friends. Christianity attacked it. Just before its
    destruction (A.D. 289) Antoninus, an able pagan reactionary, settled
    here, and tried to revive the cult. “Often he told his disciples
    that after his time there would be no temple, and that the great and
    venerable sanctuary would remain only as an unmeaning mass of ruins,
    forgotten by all.” (Eunapius, life of Edesius). Antoninus was right.

    In ancient time the Temple probably stood on the highest ground, but
    with the general rising of level the site is now in a deep
    depression and must be hunted for patiently. An oblong space has
    been cleared and some columns and capitals from the excavations have
    been ranged round it, but it is impossible to reconstruct the
    original plan, and much has yet to be unearthed. Indeed it is not
    quite certain that this is the right temple; an inscription has been
    discovered dedicating it not to Serapis but to Osiris—with whom
    however Serapis was often identified. The columns are of granite or
    of stucco-coated limestone. Beneath the broken tin shelter was once
    a pretty mosaic. The finest object is a stupendous fluted column of
    red granite that lies in a pit close by; no use for it has yet
    occurred to the military authorities. To the south and east of the
    Temple were the houses of the priests, showing fine cemented
    passages; these have been destroyed.

    The canal by which revellers and worshippers approached this shrine
    ran to the south, through the low land by the railway; its course is
    uncertain; its exit was either into the (vanished) Nile, or into
    Aboukir Bay.

    (_c_) _The Upper Baths._ These lie about 100 yds. nearer the sea, on
    the slope just above the corner of the great bay that stretches to
    Montazah (p. 175). When excavated a few years ago they were almost
    perfect. The swimming bath—lined with the hard pink cement that
    indicates Ptolemaic or Roman work—had at the top a double step for
    the bathers. All round its sides were inserted large earthenware
    pots, their mouths level with the surface. Of this unique building a
    small fragment now survives. The brick central cistern and the hot
    baths can also still be traced.

    (_d_). _The Lower Baths and Broken Colossus._—Continuing to round
    Fort Tewfikieh we reach the coast and follow it N.E. Awash with the
    sea are the foundations of some large baths, showing the entrance
    channels which were probably closed with sluices, also some grooves
    of unknown use. On the shore above are the hot baths of the same
    establishment, retaining traces of pink cement. In the surf to the
    left lie blocks of granite: closely inspected, they resolve into
    fragments of a Colossus (Rameses II?) and a sphinx.

    (_e_). _Catacombs._—Fifty yards on, at a point about half-way
    between the coast and the fort are a couple of catacombs, lying each
    of them in a hollow. One has a subterranean room, the other a
    sarcophagus slide. Traces of tombs and tunnels all over the area and
    along the low cliff by the shore.

    This completes our survey of Canopus, once so enchanting a spot. Of
    its ancient delights only the air and the sea remain.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Continue to follow the coast. Perfect bathing. To the right, half-way
between the coast and the railway sta. in some rising ground, are
catacombs that have been filled in. Then comes the end of the
promontory, which is fine. There are two forts:—Fort Saba, closing the
neck, where the French resisted when the Turks landed in 1799 (_see_
above); and Fort Kait Bey, on the extremity, founded in the 15th cent.
by the Sultan of that name as part of his defence scheme against the
Turks (cf. Fort Kait Bey at Alexandria, p. 81). The views are good, with
the Mediterranean on one side and the tranquil semi-circle of Aboukir
Bay on the other, and from here or from Fort Ramleh the scene of the
“Battle of the Nile” can be surveyed, and Nelson’s great manoeuvre
appreciated; “Nelson’s Island” from which the French line depended and
where the Culloden was wrecked lies straight ahead. (_see_ above.) The
promontory was anciently called Zephyrium, because it caught the cool
zephyr winds; here stood a little temple to Aphrodite and when the great
queen Arsinoe, died in B.C. 270, one of the court admirals had the happy
idea of associating her with the elder goddess so that mariners might
render thanks to both. The shrine then became fashionable and Queen
Berenice hung up her hair here in 244 as a thank-offering for her
husband’s safe return; in the following year the hair was snatched up to
heaven, where it may still be observed on any fine night as the
constellation of Coma Berenice. The temple was less fortunate, and all
that remains of it is the base of a column, down among the rocks.—In
Christian times the Church of St. Cyr and St. John (_see_ above) stood
here, on the side of Aboukir Bay.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Aboukir Bay._—The shore is airless and there are palm trees, the waters
shallow. From a boat one can look down on the mud in which the Orient,
Brueys’ flagship, has disappeared with all her treasure; attempts have
been made to locate her, but in vain. Good sailing. Turtle fishing. On
the projecting spit to which Napoleon dragged his guns (_see_ above) is
the landing enclosure for the fishing boats; many of the fishermen are
Sicilians; they have lived at Aboukir for generations and form a
community by themselves. Here (site uncertain) once stood Menouthis.

Fort Ramleh.—Topped by the waterworks. Magnificent view. The flat ground
to the south marks the Canopic Mouth of the Nile, through which
Herodotus entered Egypt; here Heracleum stood (_see_ above).

About quarter mile S.W. of Fort Ramleh, and close to a small modern
pumping tower, are the so-called _Baths of Cleopatra_. She had nothing
to do with them, but they are worth seeing. The western outer wall, of
limestone blocks, is well preserved. Steps lead up through it. Within
are pavements of pebble mosaic, fragments of stucco, a stone with a
drain groove, &c. In a chamber to the left, is an oblong bath nearly six
feet deep; steps lead down to it and in the centre of its pebbled floor
is a little depression; in the edge of the brim and on the wall opposite
are niches, as if to support beams, and provision for the entrance and
exit of the water can also be seen. Further on, past a small stucco
cistern, is an entrance to a small room which contains an oblong bath to
lie down in, quite modern and suburban in appearance; close to it, under
a niche, is a footbath—the bather sat on a seat which has disappeared
but whose supports can be seen.—These baths are all in the western part
of the enclosure; the rest contains other and larger chambers but is in
worse preservation. It is much to be wished that these baths, which have
been recently excavated, could be protected properly; otherwise they
will share the fate of the other antiquities within the military zone.

_Aboukir Village_, to which we return through palm trees, contains
nothing of note.

                  *       *       *       *       *

On leaving Mamourah Junction (p. 176) the railway to Rosetta bears to
the right, and crosses the salt marshy ground over which the Canopic
branch of the Nile once flowed to the sea. Rural Egypt can be seen at
last. Beyond El Tarh station the train crosses a bit of Lake Edku; view
of the village to the left.

_Edku_ (no hotel or café) stands on a high mound between the lake and
the Mediterranean. The houses in its steep streets are of red brick
strengthened with courses of palm and other woods; they anticipate the
more complicated architecture of Rosetta; there are some carved doors,
Italianate in style. Mosques, unimportant. On the top of the ridge are
some eight sailed windmills; they grind corn. Fine date palms grow on
the sand dunes towards the sea, for there is fresh water just beneath
the surface. There is an interesting local weaving industry, chiefly of
silk, imported in its rough state from China. The work rooms are
generally on the upper floors of the houses, and reached by an outside
staircase. Quiet pleasant places; on the walls of some are Cufic
inscriptions, inlaid in brick. The weavers sit to their looms in small
oval pits; they have the hands of craftsmen and produce on their simple
wooden machinery fabrics that are both durable and beautiful.

Fish are caught in Lake Edku. Some of the fishermen wade far into
shallow waters; there is also a fleet of boats which moor to the long
wooden jetty by the station. Occasional flamingoes.

The railway continues between lake and sea, finally bending northward
and curving round great groves of palm trees, behind which lie the town
of Rosetta and the river Nile.


Rosetta and Alexandria are rivals; when one rises the other declines.
Rosetta, situated on the Nile, would have dominated but for an
overwhelming drawback: she has, and can have, no sea-harbour, because
the coast in this part of Egypt is mere delta; the limestone ridges that
created the two harbours of Alexandria do not continue eastward of
Aboukir. Alexandria required organising by human science, but once
organised she was irresistible. It is only in an unscientific age that
Rosetta has been important. Let us briefly examine the birth and death,
rebirth and decay, of civilisation here.

    (i). In Pharaonic times the town and river-port of _Bolbitiné_ were
    built hereabouts—probably a little up stream, beyond the present
    mosque of Abou Mandour. Nothing is known of the history of
    Bolbitiné. When Alexandria was founded (B.C. 331) traffic deserted
    the “Bolbitiné” mouth of the Nile for the “Canopic” and for the
    Alexandrian harbours, and the town decayed consequently. Its chief
    memorial is the so-called “Rosetta Stone,” a basalt inscription now
    in the British Museum. The inscription enumerates the merits of King
    Ptolemy V Epiphanes (B.C. 196; see genealogical tree p. 12). It is a
    dull document, a copy of the original decree which was set up at
    Memphis and reproduced broadcast over the country. But it is
    important because it is written in three scripts—Hieroglyphic,
    Demotic and Greek—and thus led to the deciphering of the ancient
    Egyptian language. The antique columns &c. that may be seen in
    Rosetta to-day also probably came from Bolbitiné. But it was never
    important, and the sands have now covered it.

    (ii). _Rosetta_ itself was founded in A.D. 870 by El Motaouakel, one
    of the Abbaside Caliphs of Egypt. The date is most significant. By
    870 the Canopic mouth of the Nile had dried up, and isolated
    Alexandria from the Egyptian water system. Shipping passed back to
    the Bolbitiné mouth, and frequented it again for nearly a thousand
    years. “El Raschid” as the Arabs named the new settlement, became
    the western port of Egypt, Damietta being the eastern. It was
    important in the Crusades; St. Louis of France (1049) knew it as
    “Rexi.” In the 17th and 18th centuries it was practically rebuilt in
    its present form; the mosques, dwelling houses, cisterns, the great
    warehouses for grain that line the river bank, all date from this
    period, it evolved an architectural style, suitable to the locality.
    The chief material is brick, made from the Nile mud, and coloured
    red or black, there was no limestone to hand, such as supplied
    Alexandria: with the bricks are introduced courses of palm wood,
    antique columns &c. and a certain amount of mashrabiyeh work and
    faience. The style is picturesque rather than noble and may be
    compared with the brick style of the North German Hansa towns.
    Examples of it are to be found throughout the Delta and even in
    Alexandria herself (p. 125), but Rosetta is its head quarters. In
    architecture, as in other matters, the town kept in touch with
    Cairo; an Oriental town, scarcely westernised even to-day. So long
    as Alexandria lay dormant, it flourished; at the beginning of the
    19th century its population was 35,000, that of Alexandria 5,000.

    In 1798 Napoleon’s troops took Rosetta, in 1801 the British and
    Turks retook it, in 1807 the reconnoitring expedition of General
    Frazer (p. 89) was here repulsed. These events, unimportant in
    themselves, were the prelude to an irreparable disaster: the revival
    of Alexandria, on scientific lines, by Mohammed Ali. As soon as he
    developed the harbours there and restored the connection with the
    Nile water systems by cutting the Mahmoudieh Canal, (p. 91), Rosetta
    began to decay exactly as Bolbitiné had decayed two thousand years
    before. The population now is 14,000 as against Alexandria’s
    400,000, and it has become wizen and puny through inbreeding. The
    warehouses and mosques are falling down, the costly private
    dwellings of the merchants have been gutted, and the sand, advancing
    from the south and from the west, invades a little farther every
    year through the palm groves and into the streets. One can wander
    aimlessly for hours (it is best thus to wander) and can see nothing
    that is modern, nor anything more exciting than the arrival of the
    fishing fleet with sardines. It is the East at last, but the East
    outwitted by science, and in the last stages of exhaustion.

The main street of Rosetta starts from the Railway Station and runs due
south, parallel to the river, so it is easy to find one’s way. In it is
the only hotel, kept by a Greek; those who are not fastidious can sleep
here: the rest must manage to see the sights between trains. The hotel
has a pleasant garden, overlooked by the minaret of a mosque.

In the main street, to the right;—_Mosque of Ali-el-Mehalli_, built
1721, but containing the tomb of the Saint, who died in the 16th
century. A large but uninteresting building, with an entrance porch in
the “Delta” style—bricks arranged in patterns, pendentives, &c.

Further down, to the left, by the covered bazaars: Entrance with old
doors to a large ruined building, probably once an “okel” or courtyard
for travellers and their animals; one can walk through it and come out
the other side through a fine portal, in the direction of the river. All
this part of the town is most picturesque. The houses are four or five
stories high, and have antique columns fantastically disposed among
their brickwork. The best and oldest example of this domestic
architecture is the _House of Ali-el-Fatairi_, in the Haret el-Ghazl,
with inscriptions above its lintels that date it 1620: its external
staircase leads to two doors, those of the men’s and women’s apartments
respectively. Other fine houses are those of:—Cheikh Hassan el Khabbaz
in Rue Dahliz el Molk; Osman Agha, at some cross roads,—carved wood
inside, date 1808; Ahmed Agha in the Chareh el Ghabachi to the west of
the town, invaded by sand.

At the end of the main street is the most important building in the
town, the _Mosque of Zagloul_. It really consists of two mosques: the
western was founded about 1600 by Zagloul, the Mamaluke or body-servant
of Said Hassan; the other and more ruinous section is the mosque of El
Diouai. There is a courtyard with fountain in centre. The entire mass
measures about 80 by 100 yds. All is brick except the two stone
minarets; the ruined one was “cut with scissors” according to local
opinion, but according to archaeology fell in the early 19th cent. The
sanctuary of the Mosque of Zagloul proper is a stupendous hall; over 300
columns, many of them antique, are arranged in six parallel rows, there
are four praying niches, three of them elaborately decorated, there is
the tomb of the ex-body-servant himself, now worshipped as a saint and
wooed by votive offerings of boats, and, in the tomb, his former master,
the Said Hassan, lies with him, and shares his honours. The sanctuary is
ruinous and carelessly built, but its perspective effects, especially
from the south wall, near the tomb, are very fine and rival those of the
Mosque of El Azhar at Cairo. Light enters through openings in the roof.

East of the Mosque of Zagloul and close to the river is the Mosque of
_Mohammed el Abbas_, date 1809, of superior construction but on the same
style; it has, unlike the other mosques of Rosetta, a fine dome,
covering the tomb of the saint.

Other Mosques:—Toumaksis Mosque, built by Saleh Agha Toumaksis in 1694;
it is reached up steps; fine iron work round the key holes; there is a
good pulpit inside, also tiles, and the prayer niche retains its
original geometrical decoration of hexagons and “Solomon’s
seals.”—Mosque of Cheikh Toka, which stands in an angle of the Chareh
Souk el Samak el Kadim; portal in “Delta” style with rosace over its
arches; inside, pulpit dated 1727.

About a mile to the south of the town, best reached by boat, is the
_Mosque of Abou Mandour_, a showy modern building, well placed on the
bend of the river bank, and backed by huge sand hills that threaten to
bury it, as they have buried Bolbitiné.

North of the town, and half-way between it and the sea, is the site of
Fort St. Julien, which Napoleon’s soldiers built, and where they
discovered the Rosetta Stone. The Fort has disappeared; there is a
sketch of it in the Alexandria Museum (Vestibule).

Sailing on the Nile: delightful.


                             SECTION VIII.


                           THE LIBYAN DESERT.

ROUTES:—By the Mariout Railway to Bahig for Abousir and for St. Menas;
each expedition takes a day.

By Railway _via_ Tel-el-Baroud and Khatatbeh to the Wady Natrun; 2 or 3

Alexandria, though so cosmopolitan, lies on the verge of civilisation.
Westward begins an enormous desert of limestone that stretches into the
heart of Africa. The very existence of this desert is forgotten by most
of the dwellers in the city, but it has played a great part in her
history, especially in Christian times, and no one who would understand
her career can ignore it.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The Mariout Railway was originally the property of the ex-Khedive. The
line starts from the central station and diverges from the main line at
Hadra. Having passed Nouzha station (Section IV) it crosses the
Mahmoudieh Canal (p. 91) then bends westward along the edge of Lake
Mariout. Just before Gabbari Garden station is a fishing village built
on a tiny creek and quite Japanese in appearance. It is worth going down
here when there has been a catch: the lake fish are uncanny monsters.
The neighbourhood is very fertile—palms bananas and vegetable gardens.
But it does not make pleasant walking owing to the smells.

                  *       *       *       *       *

MEX STATION. (Section VI). The train crosses the western or Mellaha arm
of Mariout. Right, are the salt pans that turn dull purple and red in
the summer beyond them the white spur of limestone that divides lake
from sea.

                  *       *       *       *       *

ABD EL KADER STATION. Now we approach the Libyan desert. The scenery and
the people change. From the hill to the right, by the tomb, is a fine
view, and wonderful colour effects in the evening.

                  *       *       *       *       *

AMRIEH STATION. This large village was formerly head of the Eastern
district of the Western Desert Province, but the Administration is
transferring to Burg el Arab. Bedouins come to the train, bigger and
wirier than the Egyptians, and more graceful; they wear rough white
robes and soft dark red tarbooshes.—There is a fine walk from Amrieh to
Mex—the best day’s tramp near Alexandria. The path leads north from the
station, by the communal gardens, then makes for a ridge where limestone
is quarried. View from the top over the western arm of Mariout. Take the
causeway that crosses the lake and on the further bank turn to the
right, finally crossing the coastal ridge to Dekhela (Section VI) and so
to Mex by the sea shore.

                  *       *       *       *       *

IKINGI MARIOUT STATION. (Ikingi is Turkish for “second.”)—A good centre
for the wild flowers of February and March. Go northward towards the
lake, and keep to the lower ground; the local flora is one of the finest
in the world.

                  *       *       *       *       *

BAHIG STATION.—Centre for two fine expeditions—Abousir on the coast, and
St. Menas inland.


The ruins of Abousir lie 5½ miles N.W. from Bahig station. They can be
found without a guide. (_see_ map). There is a good road as far as Bahig
village (¾ mile). Just above the village is a big quarry, worked in
ancient times and very picturesque. A path crosses the ridge rather to
the left of this quarry, after which the ruins are in sight all the way.
The end of Mariout has to be crossed, so the expedition should not be
made in winter on account of the mud. The last half hour of the journey
is magnificent. The Temple and the Tower stand out on the height, which
is golden with marigolds in spring time; and near the top of the ascent
the sea appears through a gap, deep blue, and beating against a beach of
snowy sand. The flowers can be amazing, colouring the earth in every
direction. The ruins are supposed by the Bedouins to be the palace of
Abou Zeit; they really mark the Ptolemaic city of Taposiris, whose name
is preserved in the modern Abousir.

_Taposiris_ must have been built soon after Alexandria (about 300 B.C.),
and it is instructive to compare the two towns. They stand on the same
spur—Taposiris at its base, where it has emerged from the mass of the
desert. The lake is to their south, the sea to their north, so each
commanded two harbours, to the advantage of their trade. Each has a
lighthouse, each worshipped Osiris. Little is known of the history of
Taposiris—called the “Great” to distinguish it from “Little” Taposiris
at Montazah (p. 175). Its immediate trade was with the lake, its
sea-harbour being ½ mile below, at the vanished port of Plinthinus. The
Arabs turned the Temple of Osiris into a fortress, and in modern times
coast guards have been installed here.


The Chief remains are:—

    (i). _Temple of Osiris._ The eastern, and main, entrance adjoins the
    coast-guard station. At first sight it looks no more than a hole in
    a ruined wall, but it can easily be reconstructed. Each side of the
    entrance were Gate-towers (Pylons) like those of Edfu or Kom Ombo in
    Upper Egypt. Their bases project from the main wall, and up the face
    of each are two grooves for flag staffs, from whose tops crimson
    streamers floated. Staircases, reached from the inside, ascend each
    tower, and there are also two square rooms in the base of each.

    The enclosure—about 100 yards square—is in a terrible mess. The
    actual temple has disappeared. There must have been a colonnaded
    court with an altar in the middle, and beyond it the temple facade:
    on north and south of temple would have been other courts. The
    arrangements were Egyptian, but some of the workman were Greek;
    mason marks with Greek letters (e.g. Alpha Kappa Rho) have been
    found on the stone in the boundary wall.

    The north boundary wall of the enclosure is very fine; it projects
    over the slope of the hill and rests on substructures: in it is a
    gate for the descent to the sea. Note the projections in the
    masonry. In the north west corner are some architectural fragments,
    piled up by the Arabs. (ii). _Lighthouse._ The ruined tower on the
    hill to the east of the temple was once mistaken for a tomb, since
    it stands in the ancient cemetery. It is really the Ptolemaic
    lighthouse of Taposiris, first of a chain that stretched from the
    Pharos at Alexandria all down the North African coast to Cyrene. It
    has, like the Pharos, three stages: a square basement, an octagonal
    central stage and a cylindrical top. On the north, where the outer
    wall of the octagon has fallen, one can see the marks of the
    staircase by which the wood was carried to the top—a simpler version
    of the double spiral that ascended the huge Alexandrian building.
    There can be no doubt that the Taposiris lighthouse was modelled on
    its gigantic contemporary—scale about ⅒th—and it is thus of great
    importance to archaeologists and historians. (_see_ throughout p.

    There are tombs close to the lighthouse, and tombs and houses all
    along the slope to the south of the temple.

    (iii). _Causeway._ South of the town, in the bed of the lake, are
    traces of the embankment that connected with the desert. It was
    doubtless pierced with arches like the Heptastadion at Alexandria,
    to allow boats to go through.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The other point of interest in the district is _Burg el Arab_ (Modern
Bahig). It lies some miles west of Bahig village (_see_ above) but is
easily located by the tower of the new carpet factory. Here is to be the
capital of the Eastern District of the Western Desert Province Frontier
Districts Administration; it is being planned and executed with great
taste, thanks mainly to the genius of the Officer Commanding, W. E.
Jennings Bramly, M.C. The factory consists of a great cloister and of
two halls, one each side of the big tower. Fragments of antique
sculpture and architecture have been cleverly introduced. The carpets
are woven from camels’ and goats’ hair by Bedouin and Senussi women—the
industry was started at Amrieh, during the late war. Specimens can be
had in the Alexandrian shops. Further to the west other buildings are
rising, including a small walled town. It is all most interesting, and
one of the few pieces of modern creative work to be seen in these parts.

                               ST. MENAS.

Seven and a half miles south of Bahig Station, in the loneliness of the
desert, lie the ruins of a great Christian city. They can be visited
between trains on a good horse, but it is better to camp out. The track
passes over gently undulating expanses of limestone. The scenery grows
less interesting, the flora scarcer, as the coast is left behind. At
last the monotony is broken by the square hut where the excavators used
to live. The ancient name of the place is preserved in the

[Illustration: ST. MENAS - PLAN I.
The Sanctuary Group_
Subterranean work thus .........]

Menas, a young Egyptian officer, was martyred during his service in Asia
Minor because he would not abandon Christ (A.D. 296). When the army
moved back into Egypt his friends brought his ashes with them, and at
the entrance of the Lybian Desert a miracle took place: the camel that
was carrying the burden refused to go further. The saint was buried and
forgotten. But a shepherd observed that a sick lamb that crossed the
spot became well. He tried successfully with another lamb. Then a sick
princess was healed. The remains were exhumed, and a church built over
the grave.

This church can still be traced. It is the Basilica of the Crypt (Plan I
p. 196) date 350, to which, at the end of the century, an immense
extension was added by the Emperor Arcadius. What caused so rapid a
growth? Water. There were springs in the limestone that have since dried
up, and that must have had curative powers. Baths were built, some of
them opening out of a church (Plan II). Little flasks, stamped with the
Saint’s image, were filled from the sacred source by his tomb. The
environs were irrigated, houses, walls, cemeteries built, until in the
pure air a sacred city sprang up, where religion was combined with
hygiene. Nor did the saint only protect invalids. He was also the patron
of the caravans that passed by him from Alexandria to the Wady Natrun,
the Siwan Oasis, and Tripoli, and so he is always seen between two
camels, who crouch in adoration because he guides them aright. By the
6th century he had become god of the Lybian Desert, then less deserted
than now, and his fame, like that of his predecessor Serapis, had
travelled all round the Mediterranean, and procured him worshippers as
far as Rome and France.

Islam checked the cult. But as late as the year 1,000, an Arab traveller
saw the great double basilica still standing. Lights burned in the
shrine night and day, and there was still left a little trickle of “the
beautiful water of St. Menas that drives away pain.”

The site, entirely forgotten, was discovered in 1905. It has been
carefully excavated. Little more than the ground plans of the buildings
remain, but they are most interesting, and the marble decorations

[Illustration: ST. MENAS – PLAN II.
The Sacred Baths]

_The Sanctuary Group._ This lies a little to the south of the
excavators’ huts. Combined length, nearly 400 ft. In the centre is the
original church covering the tomb. To its east is the impressive
addition of Arcadius; to its west a baptistery. On its north side a
monastery. The best view of the group is from a mound outside the
baptistery. The general arrangement is quite clear. (Plan I, p. 196).
Taken in detail:—

    (i). _Church of Arcadius._—Length nearly 200 feet. A cruciform
    basilica with a nave and two aisles, and aisled transepts. Over the
    intersection was a dome, beneath which, now much ruined by its fall,
    is the High Altar. Behind the altar are curved steps that supported
    the ecclesiastical throne. Both altar and throne are in a square
    enclosure where the priests and singers stood; a narrow alley
    connects it with the nave. The eastern apse has been used for

    The Nave is paved with white marble from the Greek archipelago.
    Green and purple marbles (verde antico and porphyry) were also used.
    From its south aisle, three doors open into a fine atrium. This was
    the principal approach to the church. The north aisle opens—at its
    east end—on to a staircase that ascended to the roof of the church;
    the other doors to the monks’ apartments and hospice (_see_ below).
    The west end of the nave is irregular, because the apse of the
    primitive church impinges.

    (ii). _Primitive Church._ A small, three-aisled basilica, not well
    preserved, but with interesting crypt. The descent to this is by a
    marble staircase that starts in the Arcadian church, passes by a
    portico with a vaulted roof of brick, and then, after a little,
    turns to the south into an oblong subterranean chamber. Here, amid
    rich decorations, the ashes of the young saint once lay, is a tomb
    that was probably visible from the church above. A bas-relief of him
    was fixed to the south wall; the place for the marble slab can still
    be seen there. The ugly bas-relief in the Alexandria Museum (Room I)
    is a copy. Attached to the crypt is a chapel once vaulted with gold
    mosaic; the well in it was made by treasure-hunters.

    On the west of the church runs the sacred water course from which
    the sanctuary derived its fame. It is a subterranean cistern, over
    80 yards long; a shaft was sunk into it from the nave. Passing, as
    it did, so near to the saint’s remains, it had special sanctity. The
    water was used to fill flasks, and also in the adjacent Baptistery.

    (iii). _The Baptistery_ is square without and octagonal within. In
    its centre, down steps, is the chief font, which had an over-flow
    canal; we do not know how it was filled. The floor was richly inlaid
    with serpentine, porphyry and other marbles. There was a dome. On
    its south side is an atrium. On its western exterior, niches for

    A Baptistery of this type—separate from the rest of the church—is
    common enough in the West. But in the East it is unique. Only at St.
    Menas, where water was so prominent in the worship, does it occur.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Immediately to the north of the Sanctuary Group are the _Monastery
Buildings and Hospice_, a confused labyrinth. Best is a hall paved with
marble and one supported by eight columns. It lies 40 yards due north
from the gate of the Primitive Church. These buildings, together with
the Sanctuary Group that they served, cover an area of over 40,000
square yards.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_The Sacred Baths_ (Plan II). About 80 yards from the Monastery
Buildings. Best located by the fine circular cistern of well-cut
limestone blocks. The main building has a heating apparatus and three
baths. Also a small but finely finished church; basilica type; apses at
each end; three aisles. Two baths open straight out of its south aisles,
and in its nave are two marble fountains that were probably filled from
the source in the central sanctuary (_see_ above). Throughout the
arrangements are significant. The line between the hygienic and the
miraculous is nowhere clearly drawn; heating apparatus and church have
each to play their parts. Date of the group, probably 5th century.
Another group lies beyond.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_Northern Cemetery._—This, the most important in the city, is some way
from the groups above described. Indeed the visitor from Bahig leaves it
to his left on his way to the hut. There is a good view of it from a
mound. The main object is a church (150 ft. long), with three aisles, a
square apse and numerous mortuary chapels where the more prominent
invalids were buried. Others lie outside. Late date—7th-9th cent.

This by no means catalogues the ruins of St. Menas. There is a Southern
Cemetery, private houses, wine presses, a kiln where the terra cotta
flasks were made. All the desert around shows remains of the curious
cult, which in some ways anticipated the methods of Lourdes.

Half a day over the desert southward brings a rider to the Wady Natrun.

                            THE WADY NATRUN.

The Wady is best visited by arrangement with the Egyptian Salt and Soda
Company, who have the concession for developing that section of it where
the Lakes and the Monasteries lie. The Company’s private railway starts
at Khatatbeh, on the branch line between Cairo and Tel-el-Baroud (_see_
Map. p. 174). The train curves up the desert to Bir Victoria, where it
waters beneath a solitary tree. Then it leaves civilisation, and for
three hours nothing is seen except an occasional gazelle. At the end of
that time the ground falls away to the left, and the monastery of St.
Macarius appears far off. Then is seen the chain of the lakes, and
across them, often in mirage, the monasteries of St. Pschoi and The
Syrians. The train descends to the terminus of Bir Hooker, close to the
Company’s factory and rest house.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The Wady Natrun (_i.e_. Natron, Soda) is a curious valley that begins
near Cairo, and slopes north-westward into the heart of the Lybian
Desert. It may have once been an outlet of the Nile, though it is barred
now from the sea by coastal hills. Its upper and lower reaches are both
barren, but in the central section—that which the railway taps—water
survives in the form of a chain of mineral lakes.

The deposits were worked from antiquity, but with the rise of
monasticism the Wady took a new importance, owing to its discomfort. As
early as A.D 150 St. Fronto retreated here from Alexandria. St. Ammon
followed in 270; St. Macarius or Mercury a hundred years later. The more
moderate ascetics extracted soda with the assistance of laymen; the
extremists sought a waterless stretch called Scetis—probably the
southern portion of the valley where the monastery to St. Macarius still
stands. There were soon 5,000 monks. It is natural that so remote a
community should lose touch with the theological niceties of the
capital, and in 399 the Patriarch Theophilus was obliged to rebuke the
monks for minimising the divine element in the Second Person. Their
reply was startling. They crossed the desert, stormed Alexandria, and
made the Patriarch apologise. A few years later he led an army into the
Wady to punish them, but by now, oddly enough, they had veered to the
opposite error; they minimised the human element. The truth is they
represented native Egypt, the Patriarch the Hellenising coast. (_see_ p.
51). The quarrel was racial rather than theological, and when in the 6th
century it came to a head, the Wady became the natural stronghold of the
national or Monophysite party who, under the name of Copts, worship
there to this day.

With the 19th century came a new colony—the industrial. It is the
factory chimney of the Salt and Soda Company that now dominates the
scene. The lakes are dredged for their deposits. The chief product is
caustic soda which is poured red hot into metal drums, and exported all
over the east. Ordinary soda (natron) is also produced. The factory is
interesting. It, and the surrounding settlement, are due in their
present form to Mr. A. H. Hooker, after whom the settlement is named.

More than eighty different species of birds have been identified in the
marshes surrounding Bir Hooker.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_The Mineral Lakes._

These lie between the factory and the monasteries. Some of them are
squalid, others are indescribably beautiful, especially in summer. The
deposits form at the bottom. As they reach the top, the lake seems to be
covered with white and crimson ice, in the midst of which are pools of
blue and green water, and trickling streams of claret, and tracts that
blush like a rose. When the scene is in mirage, its strangeness passes
belief. A bird looks as big as a man, and the lump of salt it perches on
shows like a boat of snow. The finest of these lakes is just to the left
of Bir Hooker.


[Illustration: THE NATRUN MONASTERIES—PLAN II Convent of the
Syrians—Church of the Virgin.]

                  *       *       *       *       *

_The Monasteries._

Four of these survive, and there are the ruins of many others. They are
all of the same type, and to avoid repetitions it may be thus

                  *       *       *       *       *

Exterior:—an enclosure of stone laid in the middle of the desert,
covering about an acre. Palm trees and buildings show over its walls.
The walls are blank except for one high arch, which indicates the
position of a little door, the only entrance. The black-robed monks,
when the bell has been rung, look down from the parapet, then unbar the
door, and take the traveller to the Guest House for coffee and lemonade.
They are dirty and ignorant, but most courteous and hospitable. All
payment is refused.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In the enclosure:—two or three churches, normally consisting of nave,
choir, and sanctuary (kaikal). Refectory. Sleeping cells for the monks.
Mill for grinding corn. Oven, where is baked the hard brown bread, and
also the “isbodikon” (somatikon, sacrament), a cake of fine flour
beautifully stamped with a cross and used for the Eucharist. Olive
press. Granary. Garden of palm trees, bananas, capsicums, etc. Keep
(kasr) for final retreat when attacked; reached only by a drawbridge
from the parapet of the wall; contains library, dungeons, chapels;
usually dedicated to St. Michael.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Date: general appearance and arrangement are of the 6th century. Most of
the details are later.

Extract from the Thanksgiving offered at the arrival of a distinguished

    He who visits these mansions with firm faith, fervent desire, true
    repentance and good works, shall have all his sins forgiven. Then, O
    my reverend fathers and my beloved brethren, come that we may pray
    for these our dear and honourable brethren, who are come upon this
    visit and have reached these habitations, let us pray that Jesus
    Christ, who was with his servants in every time and every place, may
    now be with them, and may deliver them from all sins and iniquities.
    May he grant them the best of gifts and full reward, recompensing
    them for all that they have endured through toil and peril and the
    weariness of the journey as they travelled hither; giving them
    abundance of blessing; bring them back to their homes in safety; and
    after long life transport them to the brightness of Paradise and the
    life of bliss, through the intercession of Our Lady the Virgin, and
    of all our holy fathers. Amen.[7]

Footnote 7:

      From A. J. Butler’s Ancient Coptic Churches.

                  *       *       *       *       *


    (A). _Convent of St. Pschoi_ (Deir Abou Bishoi). About an hour’s
    ride from Bir Hooker. Dedicated to St. Pschoi or Besa. “B” is the
    Coptic article, so the saint’s name is ultimately “Isa” _i.e._
    Isaiah. Little is known about him.

    The convent enclosure contains:

        (i). _The Church of St. Pschoi_ (Plan I, p. 202). 6th-11th
        cents. with later additions. A spacious entrance porch leads to
        the dark but impressive interior. There are three divisions:
        Nave, Choir and Sanctuary.

        The Nave has an arched vault; massive piers with pointed arches
        divide it from its aisles. In it is an Ambon (lectern for
        reading the Gospel), and a small marble basin level with the
        floor, where the priest washes the feet of the people on Maundy
        Thursday in commemoration of the action of Christ. Many of the
        Nave arches have been blocked up to strengthen the building.
        High and narrow folding doors—recalling a Japanese screen—close
        the lofty arch that leads from the Nave into the Choir; they are
        set with fine carved panels, enclosed in ivory borders. Other
        doors lead from the aisles.

        The Choir too has vaulting, but it is at right angles to that of
        the Nave. At each side of the Choir are chapels, probably of
        later date. Left—Chapel of the Virgin, with a chest containing
        the relics of St. Pschoi, whom the monks state remains intact.
        Right—Chapel of St. Ischyrion; off it is the Baptistery. The
        entrance into the Sanctuary is through ancient carved doors;
        over them is a triumphant arch.

        The Sanctuary has, behind the altar, a fine tribune of six
        steps—three straight and three curved. In the centre was the
        throne of the Abbot. It has gone, and the marble decorations of
        the steps are ruined. Above the throne is a marble mosaic. In
        the centre of the eastern dome is a Cross.

        (ii). _The Refectory._—This solemn room contains the immense
        stone table, narrow and low, at which the monks break their
        yearly fast. They do not eat here usually, and use the table as
        a drying place for onions, bread, etc., while cakes of salt are
        stacked against the wall. At the head of the table is the
        Abbot’s seat. The place is rough and indescribably untidy. But
        one could scarcely find a more striking relic of primitive

    (B). _Convent of the Syrians_ (Deir es Suriani).—Close to the
    Convent of St. Pschoi. Founded by monks from Syria. Dedicated to the
    Virgin. Here Robert Curzon (1833) discovered in the oil cellar
    priceless Syrian, Coptic, and Abyssinian MSS., now in the British
    Museum. He describes his find in “Monasteries of the Levant”: it was
    facilitated by plying the Abbot with liqueurs. More were brought
    away by Archdeacon Tattam, and nothing valuable remains now.

    The enclosure contains:—

        (i). _Church of the Virgin_ (Plan II, p. 203)—A fine building 40
        ft. by 90, probably the model for the church in St.
        Pschoi—_i.e_. originating in the 6th century.

        The Nave has piers with high pointed arches, and lofty vaulting,
        slightly pointed. In the middle, the basin for the Maundy feet
        washing, a marble slab with a circular depression. In the
        western semi-dome, fine fresco of the Ascension. Precious
        folding doors between nave and choir, inlaid with ivory panels
        of Christ in the nimbus of the Cross, the Virgin, St. Peter and
        St. Mark; round their posts and lintels a Syriac inscription,
        dating them back to the 7th century.

        The Choir—North semi-dome; fresco of the Death of the Virgin.
        South semi-dome; fresco of the Annunciation and Nativity.
        Admirable work. More ancient doors between Choir and Sanctuary;
        ivory panel representing Dioscurus (Patriarch of Alexandria 450
        and founder of Monophysism _see_ p. 51), Mark, Emmanuel, the
        Virgin, Ignatius, and Severus (512). Syriac inscriptions of
        rather later type—8th century.

        Sanctuary. Skilful and effective plaster frieze with a border
        below and panels of conventional trees and vines above. Above
        the eastern niche a panel of crosses. This unique decoration
        should be studied closely.

        (ii). _Smaller Church of the Virgin._ Over its entrance to the
        south-west a marble cross in low relief. Inside, another cross
        in black marble. Probably dedication crosses. Pulpit in the

        (iii). _Tamarind tree under the enclosing wall._ St. Ephraim the
        Syrian (date 373) inadvertently, so they say, laid his staff
        down, and it took root at once. But it is unlikely that St.
        Ephraim ever visited Egypt.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    (C). Convent of St. Baramus (Deir el Baramus). About two hours ride
    from Bir Hooker. Dedicated to an unknown saint (Romaios?).

    In the enclosure are:—

        (i). _Church of the Virgin._ The piers of the nave are built
        round antique marble columns. There are ten dedication crosses,
        marking places signed with holy oil at the consecration of the
        church—six in the nave and four in the choir. Fine carvings on
        the sanctuary screen. In the reliquary lie the brothers S.S.
        Maximus and Domitius from whose mouths, when they prayed, fiery
        ropes ascended to Heaven. Attached to this church are two
        smaller ones—St. George (Mari Girgis) now used as a granary; it
        has an ornamented dome—and St. Theodore (Al Amir Tadrus).

        (ii). _Church of Baramus_, ruined by restoration.

        (iii). _The Refectory_—similar to that at St. Pschoi. Date 5th
        or 6th century. At this entrance is a great book-rest of stone.

        (iv). _Keep_, with chapel to St. Michael.

    (D). _Convent of St. Macarius_ (Deir Abou Makar).

    This monastery is the least accessible of the four, being ten miles
    from Bir Hooker.

    St. Macarius, or Mercury, the founder, was an Alexandrian who was
    seen by another saint in a vision killing the apostate Emperor
    Julian (d. 363). He is also celebrated for a bunch of grapes that he
    refused to eat, and for a mosquito that he killed. Overcome with
    remorse at its death, he retired naked to the marshes near, and at
    the end of six months was so distended by stings that the brethren
    could only recognise him by his voice. He selected this site for his
    monastery on account of the badness of the communications and water
    supply. It was repaired in 880. Of its later history nothing is

    The monastery enclosure is on the usual plan. It contains:—

        (i). _Church of Macarius._ Byzantine in character; three
        sanctuaries, a choir, and an irregular western end. The central
        sanctuary is roofed by a fine brick dome, once covered with
        frescoes, and still showing traces of its ancient windows, with
        their stucco partitions and tiny panels of coloured glass. There
        were also frescoes in the eastern niche, and paintings upon the
        entrance arch. The sanctuary doors are well carved.

        Left of Sanctuary: Chapel of St. John, with a double screen. The
        outer screen is set with exquisitely carved panels—probably 8th
        century. Frame later. The plaster of the dome has fallen; it too
        was once coloured. St. Macarius lies in the Reliquary.

        (ii). _Church of the Elders_ (Al Shiulah), marked by a detached
        bell-tower. A small building of similar plan. One of its columns
        has a late classical capital.

        (iii). _Church of St. Ischyrion_ (Abou Iskharun)—one of the
        martyrs whom Alexandria, in the past, so freely produced. A
        magnificent low-pitched dome almost covers both choir and nave.
        It is made of bricks that must have been carried on camels from
        the Delta.

        (iv). _The Keep_ (Kasr), reached by a flight of steps and a
        drawbridge. On its first floor are three chapels dedicated to:—

        St. Michael—Corinthian and Doric capitals in the nave; the
        Sanctuary Screen has ivory inlay; in the Sanctuary are the
        bodies of sixteen patriarchs, each in a plain deal box: St.
        Anthony—three ancient frescoed figures: and St. Suah, with more
        frescoes. On the ground floor, a chapel to the Virgin, with a
        triple altar containing depressions of unknown use.


                              APPENDIX I.


The ecclesiastical life of Alexandria is not as intense to-day as in the
days of St. Athanasius, but it is even more complicated. The city is the
seat of four patriarchates, and many other religious bodies are
represented in her. The complications are partly due to the activity of
Roman Catholicism, which, in order to win oriental schismatics back to
the fold, has in each case created a counter church that shall
approximate as nearly as possible to the conditions and ritual that are
familiar—_e.g._ an Armenian Catholic Church for the Armenians, a Coptic
Catholic for the Copts. And further complications proceed from the
modern, commercial communities who tend to regard religion as an
expression of nationality rather than of dogma.

The following list of the Churches may indicate the unsuspected vastness
of the subject:—

GREEK PATRIARCHATE: “Orthodox Greek,” or “Melchite” church (from Melek,
Arabic for King). Present Patriarch, Photius I. His position is curious.
He is a subject neither to the Kingdom of Greece, nor to the Patriarch
of Constantinople, but holds, or rather held, his position from the
Sultan of Turkey direct. Thus ecclesiastically he is independent. His
title is “Patriarch of Alexandria, Lybia, Pentapolis, Ethiopia, and all
Egypt,” but his patriarchate does not extend beyond Egypt, which he
administers through four bishops. Historically he represents the church
that kept loyal to Byzantium and to the Emperor at the Council of
Chalcedon (A.D. 451) when the rest of Egypt began to drift away over the
Monophysite question. After the Arab Conquest the Greek Patriarch
resided in Cairo, but came back to Alexandria about sixty years ago to
the Convent and Church of St. Saba. (p. 106). As for dogma, the Greek
Orthodox chiefly differs from the Roman Catholic and the Protestants
over the “Filioque” clause in the Nicene creed. It holds that the Holy
Ghost proceeded not from the Father and the Son, but through the Son.
This is the point over which the East and West split, and failed to
reunite in 1459.

                  *       *       *       *       *

CHURCHES OF THE GREEK COMMUNITY: These too are Greek Orthodox in faith.
But they do not recognise the Patriarch. Indeed their relations with him
during the late war were of the liveliest. They are the churches of a
body of business men who only owe allegiance to the Kingdom of Greece.
They are self-administering, and choose their own priests. The Patriarch
however, has the right of examining those priests’ credential, and of
giving them permission to officiate. The Community has a Cathedral (The
Annunciation) near the Place St. Catherine (p. 142); also three churches
in Ramleh,—St. Stefano, St. Nicolas, and the Prophet Elias.

                  *       *       *       *       *

SYRIAN GREEK ORTHODOX: The Church of those members of the Syrian
Community who hold the Greek Orthodox faith. Independent of the
Patriarch. Under an archimandrite. Services in Arabic. Church—“Dormition
de la Sainte Vierge” in the Rue el Kaid Gohar.

This completes the Greek Orthodox Churches.

                  *       *       *       *       *

COPTIC PATRIARCHATE: The Copts are Monophysites—_i.e._ believe that
after the Incarnation the Divine and the Human in Christ were united
into a single nature. (p. 76). This severs them from the rest of
Christendom. Historically the Patriarchate is the opponent of the Greek
Orthodox Patriarchate, from whom it split at the Council of Chalcedon,
and it claims to represent Egyptian Christianity. In 960 the Patriarch
went to reside at Cairo, and the custom has continued, though the title
of “Patriarch of Alexandria” was retained: Besides his powers in Egypt,
the Patriarch consecrates the Metropolitan of Abyssinia. Alexandria has
a resident archbishop. Cathedral—in the Rue de l’Eglise Copte. (p. 160).

                  *       *       *       *       *

ARMENIAN CHURCH: Founded by St. Gregory the Illuminator in the 4th
Century, and, like the Coptic, Monophysite. Its head is a “Catholicos”
at Etchmiadzin, Armenia. The Alexandrian community has a church, SS.
Peter and Paul, Rue Abou el Dardaa. (p. 143).

                  *       *       *       *       *

We now come to the group of churches that are in communion with Rome.
Dogma, identical. Rite, differing.

LATIN PATRIARCHATE: Founded after the Crusades—13th century. The
Patriarch does not reside but lives at Rome, and governs through an
Apostolic Vicar who lives at Alexandria. Chief Church—Cathedral of St.
Catherine (Place St. Catherine). (p. 142).

                  *       *       *       *       *

COPTIC PATRIARCHATE: Organised in 1895, with title of “Patriarchate of
Alexandria and of all the Preaching of St. Mark.” The Patriarch resides
at Alexandria, and administers Egypt through the suffragan bishops of
Hermopolis Magna and Thebes. Cathedral—Rue de l’Hôpital Indigène. (p.

                  *       *       *       *       *

GREEK CATHOLIC CHURCH: Under the Patriarch of Antioch who now lives at
Damascus and governs Alexandria through a Vicar General. Church: St.
Pierre, Rue Debbane. (p 160.). The priests generally officiate in
Arabic, though the ecclesiastical language is Greek.

                  *       *       *       *       *

MARONITE CHURCH: Founded in the 5th century by St. Maro, and at one time
adhering to the Monothelite heresy. This was a fainter version of the
Monophysite, and asserted that though Christ might have two natures, He
only had one will. (p. 77). The Catholic view is that Christ had two
wills, human and divine, which were exercised in unison, and in the 18th
century the Maronite Community subscribed to this, and is consequently
in communion with Rome. Patriarch at Antioch. Ecclesiastical
language—Syrian. Church at Alexandria in the Rue de l’Eglise Maronite.
(p. 140).

                  *       *       *       *       *

ARMENIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH: Under the Patriarchate of Cilicia, formed in
the 18th century. There is a Bishop of Alexandria, but he lives at
Cairo. Church—Rue Averoff. (p. 160).

                  *       *       *       *       *

CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH: Under the Patriarchate of Babylon, formed
1843, to counteract the Nestorian heresy. The Chaldeans of Alexandria,
100 strong, are said to be looking for a plot of ground on which to
build a church.

                  *       *       *       *       *

This concludes the Catholic group. As regards the Protestants:

Protestants belong to this body. It is attached to the American Mission,
which proselytizes mainly among the Copts. Church—Rue Tewfik I.

                  *       *       *       *       *

CHURCH OF ENGLAND: Alexandria is in the diocese of Egypt and the Sudan.
The official church of the British community is St. Marks in the Square,
built on land given to the community by Mohammed Ali. (p. 102). There is
another Anglican church at Ramleh (All Saints) built by some residents
there. Its living, after some heart-burnings, has been placed in the
hands of the Bishop of London. (p. 166).

                  *       *       *       *       *

CHURCH OF SCOTLAND: St. Andrew’s, in the French Gardens.


                              APPENDIX II.

                         THE DEATH OF CLEOPATRA

                                (p. 27).

The death of Cleopatra as described by Plutarch took hold of the
imagination of posterity, and was dramatised by Shakespeare and by

    (i). PLUTARCH. (in North’s Translation which Shakespeare used).

    Her death was very sodain. For those whom Caesar sent unto her ran
    thither in all haste possible, and found the soldiers standing at
    the gate, mistrusting nothing, nor understanding of her death. But
    when they had opened the doors, they found Cleopatra stark dead,
    laid upon a bed of gold, attired and arrayed in her royal robes, and
    one of her two women, which was called Iras, dead at her feet: and
    her other woman called Charmian half dead, and trembling, trimming
    the diadem which Cleopatra wore upon her head. One of the soldiers
    seeing her, angrily said to her: Is that well done, Charmian? Very
    well said she again, and meet for a princess descended of so many
    royal kings. She said no more, but fell down dead hard by the bed.

    (ii). SHAKESPEARE. (Antony and Cleopatra, Act V, Scene 2)

           _Cleopatra._ Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have
        Immortal longings in me; now no more
        The juice of Egypt’s grape shall moist this lip.
        Yare, yare, good Iras; quick. Methinks I hear
        Antony call; I see him rouse himself
        To praise my noble act; I hear him mock
        The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men
        To excuse their after wrath: husband, I come:
        Now to that name my courage prove my title!
        I am fire and air; my other elements
        I give to baser life. So; have you done?
        Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.
        Farewell, kind Charmian; Iras, long farewell.
                                       (kisses them. Iras falls and dies).
        Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
        If thou and nature can so gently part,
        The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch,
        Which hurts and is desired. Dost thou lie still?
        If thus thou vanishest, thou tell’st the world
        It is not worth leave-taking.

           _Charmian._ Dissolve thick cloud and rain; that I may say
        The gods themselves do weep.

           _Cleopatra._                   This proves me base:
        If she meet first the curled Antony
        He’ll make demand of her, and spend that kiss
        Which is my heaven to have. Come thou mortal wretch
                             (to the asp, which she applies to her breast)
        With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
        Of life at once untie; poor venomous fool,
        Be angry, and despatch. O! couldst thou speak,
        That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass

           _Charmian._   O eastern star!

           _Cleopatra._                  Peace, peace!
        Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
        That sucks the nurse asleep?

           _Charmian._                    O, break! O, break!

           _Cleopatra._ As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle—
        O Antony!—Nay, I will take thee too.
                                         (applying another asp to her arm)
        What should I stay—      (dies).

           _Charmian._ In this vile world? So, fare thee well.
        Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies
        A lass unparallel’d. Downy windows, close;
        And golden Phœbus never be beheld
        Of eyes again so royal! Your crown’s awry;
        I’ll mend it, and then play.
                                             (enter the Guard, rushing in)

           _First Guard._ Where is the queen?

           _Charmian._ Speak softly, wake her not.

           _First Guard._ Caesar hath sent—

           _Charmian._                           Too slow a messenger.
                                                          (applies an asp)

        O! come apace, dispatch; I partly feel thee.

           _First Guard._ Approach, ho! All’s not well; Caesar’s

           _Second Guard._ There’s Dolabella sent from Caesar; call him.

           _First Guard._ What work is this? Charmian, is this well

           _Charmian._ It is well done and fitting for a princess
        Descended of so many royal kings.
        Ah! Soldier.

    (iii). DRYDEN. (All for Love, Act. V Scene I).

           _Charmian._                              To what end
        These ensigns of your Pomp and Royalty?

           _Cleopatra._ Dull that thou art! why, ’tis to meet my Love;
        As when I saw him first, on Cydno’s bank,
        All sparkling, like a goddess; so adorned,
        I’ll find him, once again: my second spousals
        Shall match my first in glory. Haste, haste, both,
        And dress the bride of Antony.

           _Charmian._                      ’Tis done.

          _Cleopatra._ Now set me by my lord. I claim this place:
        For I must conquer Caesar too, like him,
        And win my share o’ th’ world. Hail, you dear relics
        Of my immortal love!
          O let no impious hand remove you hence;
        But rest for ever here. Let Egypt give
        His death that peace, which it denied his life.
        Reach me the casket.

           _Iras._                Underneath the fruit
        The aspic lies.

                        Welcome, thou kind deceiver!

                                              (putting aside the leaves)

        Thou best of thieves; who, with an easy key,
        Dost open life, and, unperceived by us,
        Ev’n steal us from ourselves; discharging so
        Death’s dreadful office, better than himself,
        Touching our limbs so gently into slumber,
        That Death stands by, deceived by his own image,
        And thinks himself but sleep.

           _Serapion_ (within).            The Queen, where is she?
        The town is yielded, Caesar’s at the gates.

           _Cleopatra._ He comes too late t’invade the rights of death.
        Haste, bare my arm, and rouse the serpent’s fury.
                                  (holds out her arm, and draws it back)

        Coward flesh—
        Would’st thou conspire with Caesar to betray me,
        As thou wert none of mine? I’ll force thee to it
        And not be sent by him,
        But bring myself my soul to Antony.
                            (turns aside, and then shows her arm bloody)

        Take hence; the work is done.

           _Serapion_ (within).             Break ope the door
        And guard the traitor well.

           _Charmian._                   The next is ours.

           _Iras._ Now, Charmian, be too worthy
        Of our great queen and mistress.
                                                 (they apply the aspics)

           _Cleopatra._ Already, death, I feel thee in my veins;
        I go with such a will to find my lord,
        That we shall quickly meet.
        A heavy numbness creeps through every limb,
        And now ’tis at my head: my eyelids fail
        And my dear love is vanished in a mist.
        Where shall I find him, where? O turn me to him,
        And lay me on his breast—Caesar, thy worst;
        Now part us if thou canst.
                            (Dies. Iras sinks down at her feet and dies;
                            Charmian stands behind her chair as dressing
                           her head. Enter Serapion, two priests, Alexas
                                                      bound, Egyptians).

           _Two Priests._ Behold, Serapion, what havoc death hath made.

           _Serapion._ ’Twas what I feared. Charmian, is this well done?

           _Charmian._ Yes, ’tis well done, and like a queen, the last
        Of her great race: I follow her.
                                                     (sinks down; dies).


                             APPENDIX III.


                                (p. 73).


    The Lord said unto Salome, who asked how long death would prevail,
    “As long as ye women bear children. I have come to undo the work of
    woman.” And Salome said “Then have I done well in that I have not
    born children.” The Lord answered and said “Eat every plant, but
    that which has bitterness eat not.” When Salome asked when would be
    known the things about which he spake (_i.e._ the Last Judgement)
    the Lord said “Whenever ye put off the garment of shame, when the
    two become one, and the male with the female, there being neither
    male nor female.”


    Jesus saith:—“Let not him who seeks cease until he find and when he
    finds he shall be astonished; astonished, he shall reach the
    Kingdom, and having reached the Kingdom he shall rest.”

    (iii). FROM UNCERTAIN SOURCES (about 200 A.D.)

    Jesus saith:—“Except ye fast to the world, ye shall in no wise find
    the Kingdom of God; and except ye make the sabbath a real sabbath,
    ye shall not see the Father.”

    Jesus saith:—“Wherever there are two, they are not without God, and
    when ever there is one alone, I say, I am with him. Raise the stone
    and there thou shalt find me; cleave the wood, and there am I.”


                              APPENDIX IV.

                           THE NICENE CREED.

                            (pp. 49 and 75).

Here is the text as originally passed by the Council, including the
paragraph against the Arians; additions to the original texts are
enclosed within brackets.

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things, both
visible and invisible.

And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father
(only begotten, that is to say of the substance of the Father) God of
God and Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being
of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made (both
things in Heaven and things on Earth); who for us men and for our
salvation came down and was made flesh, made man, suffered and rose
again on the third day, went up into the heavens and is to come again to
judge the quick and the dead;

And in the Holy Ghost;

But the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematises those who say
that there was a time when the Son of God was not, and that he was not
before he was begotten, and that he was made from that which did not
exist; or who assert that he is of other substance or essence than the
Father, or is susceptible of change.



                           OF MAIN REFERENCES

 Abercrombie, General, 87, 165

 Abou, Bakr, Rock, 132

 Abou el Nawatir, Hill, 96, 165

 Aboukir, 176-184
   battle of, 87, 179
   lake of, 87
   _see_ Canopus

 Abousir, 191-192

 Aboumna, 195
   _see_ St. Menas

 Abyssinians, 76

 Achilles Tatius, bishop and novelist, 104

 Actium, Battle, 26

 Adonis—Festival, 32-33

 Akhmin Tapestries, 110, 112

 Alexander the Great, 8-9, 27, 115

 Alexandria, _passim_

 Alexandrian Year
   _see_ Calendar

 Alison, General, 95-96, 165

 Allenby, General, 156

 Ammon, St., 50

 Ammonius Saccas, philosopher 65

 Amr, 54-57

 Amrieh, 190-191

 Anfouchi Catacombs, 126-129

 Annianus, St., 45

 Antirrhodus, island, 17

 Antoniadis Villa, 92, 96, 157

 Antoninus, philosopher, 180

 Antony, Mark, 25-27

 Antony, St., 50

 Apis, 18

 Apollonius of Perga, mathematician, 37

 Apollonius of Rhodes, poet, 30-31

 Arab Conquest, 52-59
   town, 80-81
   walls, 81, 106, 155

 Arabi Pacha, 93-96

 Arcadius, Emperor, 195

 Aristarchus of Samos, astronomer, 41

 Arius and Arianism, 48-49, 75-76

 Arsinoe, wife of Ptolemy II, 12, 14, 21

 Art under Ptolemies, 35

 Astronomy under Ptolemies, 41

 Athanasius, St., 48-49, 75

   _see_ Octavian

 Bahig, 191

 Banco di Roma, 103

 Baramus, St., 207

 Basilides, gnostic, 71

 Bathing, 132, 166, 175, 182

 “Battle of the Nile,” 87, 177

 Belon, Pierre, (old map), 83

 Berenice wife of Ptolemy I, 136

 Berenice wife of Ptolemy III, and her Hair, 15, 28, 30, 41

 Bir Hooker, 201

 Birds, 201

 Bolbitinè, 185

 Bombardment of Alexandria, 93-96

 Bourse, 103

 Breakwater, Eastern, 138
   Western, 129

 Breccia, E. Professor, iv, 107

 Bruey’s, Admiral, 86-87, 177-179

 Bryaxis, sculptor, 19

 Burg el Arab, 194

 Butler, A. J., 205

 Caesar, Julius, 23-25

   _see_ Temples, Churches

 Caesarion, 26

 Calendar, 41-42

 Callimachus, poet, 30-31, 156

 Canopus, 7, 113, 120, 176-177, 180, 182
   Decree of, 42, 182
   Canopic Mouth of Nile, 25, 80
   Canopic Street, Alexandria, 10, 49, 80, 104-115
   Canopic Vases, 115
   _see_ Aboukir

 Carpocrates, gnostic, 71

 Catechetical School, 46, 73

 Catherine of Alexandria, St., 46, 106, 142
   _see_ Churches

 Cavafy, C. P., poet, V., 98

 Cemeteries, Ancient, 119, 129, 156, 163
   Modern, 143, 163
   _see_ Tombs

 Cerinthus, gnostic, 71

 Chalcedon, Council of, 52, 76

 Champs Elysées, 152

 Charmian, 27, 214

 Chatby, 163-164

 Chérif Pacha, Rue, 103

 Christianity, Early, 45-52, 69-77
   Contemporary, 211-213
   remains in Museum, 110, 120
   _see_ Churches

   (i) Ancient:
     St. Athanasius, 143; _see_ Mosque, Attarine
     SS. Cyr and John, Aboukir, 183, 177
     St. Mark, 46, 48, 160, 163
     St. Menas (remains), 195-200
     St. Michael, 161: _see_ Temple Caesareum
     St. Theonas 46, 49, 170
   (ii) Existing:
     All Saints: Anglican, 166
     Armenian, 143, 155
     Cathedral, Coptic Catholic, 154
     Cathedral, Coptic Orthodox, 160-161
     Cathedral, Greek Community, 142
     Maronite, 140
     St. Catherine’s Catholic Cathedral, 142
     St. Mark’s, Anglican, 102
     St. Saba, Greek Patriarchate, 106
     Wady Natrun Churches, 204-209
     _see also_ 211-213

 Clement of Alexandria, Hestogian, 46, 73

 Cleopatra, 23-27, 214-216
   “Baths”, 183
   “Needles”, 26, 90, 137, 161-162

 Coins, Ancient, 111-112

 Constantine, Emperor, 47-49

 Constantinople, 47

 Constantius, Emperor 49

 Copts, 51-52, 76, 201

 Crusaders, 145, 186

 Curzon’s “Monasteries of the Levant,” 206

 Cyril, Patriarch, 51

 Cyrus, Patriarch, 54-56

 Damiana, St., 160

 De Cerisy, 91

 Decius, Emperor, 46

 Dekhela, 171

 Demetrius Phalerus, philosopher, 17

 Demiurge, 71-72

 De Monconys (old map), 84

 Dinocrates, architect, 8, 20

 Diocletian, Emperor, 46, 146

 Dioscurus, Patriarch, 51

 Dryden’s “All for Love” 215-216.

 Earle, General, 102

 Edku, 184-185

 Egypt _passim_

 Egyptian Government Hospital, 162

 El Deraoui, poet, 137

 Ennaton Monastery, 50

 Ephraim, St., 207

 “Era of Martyrs”, 47

 Erasistratus, physiologist, 42

 Eratosthenes, astronomer, 37, 37, 40, 41

 Euclid, mathematician, 37

 Farkha Canal, 152, 155

 Fay, Mrs. Eliza, visitor, 84

 Fayoum, 110, 113, 114, 118, 120

   Adda, 94, 132
   Agame, 6, 171
   Kait Bey, 81, 94, 133-140: _see_ Pharos
   Kait Bey, Aboukir, 182
   Kom-el-Dik 106
   Kom-el-Nadoura (Cafarelli), 170
   Ramleh, Aboukir, 183
   Saba, Aboukir, 182
   St. Julien, Rosetta, 188
   Tewfikieh, Aboukir, 180

 Foxe, John, visitor, 82

 Frazer, General, 89, 106

   _see_ Napoleon

 French War Memorial, 156

 Furness, R. A., v, 30, 68

 Gabbari, 171

   Antoniadis, 157
   Cromer Park, 154
   French, 102
   Municipal, 154
   Nouzha, 156
   Private, 166

 Gate of the Moon, 53

 Gate of the Sun (Rosetta Gate), 121

 Gelal ed Din ben Mokram, poet, vi

 Geography, Ptolemaic, 37

 Geology of District, 5-6

 Gnosticism, 71-72

   St. Mark’s, 72
   according to the Egyptians, 73, 217
   according to the Hebrews, 73, 217
   uncertain sources, 217

 Grammar, Greek, 34

 Greeks _passim_

 Hadra, 156

 Hadrian, Emperor, 45

   Eastern, Ancient “Great Harbour,” 5, 10, 140
   Western, Ancient “Eunostos,” 10, 91, 129
   Prehistoric, 130-132

 Heptastadion, Dyke, 10, 20, 24, 80

 Hercules, 26, 98

 Heraclius, Emperor, 52-54

 Hooker, A. H. 201

 Hutchinson, General, 88

 Hydrobiologyl, Institute of, 163

 Hypatia, philosopher and martyr, 37, 51, 68

 Hypsicles, mathematician, 37

 Iras, 27, 214

 Islam, 53, 77-78

 Jennings Bramly, W. E., 194

 Jews, 62

 Jondet, E., 130

 Julian, Emperor, 49

 Kait Bey, Sultan, 137-139

 Kom es Chogafa Catacombs, 148-151

 Lang, Andrew, 32

   “Daughter,” 19, 50, 145, 147
   “Mother,” 18, 24
   Modern, 107

 Literature, Ptolemaic, 29-34

 Logos, 63-64

 Ludolf, G. H., v

 Macarius, St., 201, 208

 Mahmoudieh Canal, 91, 151, 171

 Marabout Island, 171, 172

 Mariout, Lake, 5, 87, 88, 190, 191

 Mark St., 45, 81

 Maronites, 140

 Mathematics, Ptolemaic, 37

 McKenna, S. 67

 Medicine, Ptolemaic, 37

 Menas, St., 46, 195

 Menelaus, 7

 Mex, 92, 171

 Minet-el-Bassal, 170-171

 Modern Alexandria, 90-93

 Modern Religious Communities, 211-213

 Mohammed, 53

 Mohammed Ali, 88-93, 102

 Monks, 50-51

 Monophysism, 51-52, 76-77

 Monothelism, 76-77

 Montazah, 175

 Mosques at Alexandria:
   Abou Ali, 125
   Abou el Abbas Moursi, 126
   Amr, 57, 144
   Attarine, 49, 81, 143
   Bouseiri, 126
   Chorbagi, 124
   Ibrahim Pacha, 124
   Kait Bey, 139
   Prophet Daniel, 81, 104
   Sidi Bishr, 166
   Sidi Daoud, 126
   Sidi Gaber, 165
   Terbana, 125
   Thousand Columns, 81, 170
   Yehia, 166

 Mosques at Rosetta:
   Abou Mandour, 188
   Mohammed el Abbas, 188
   Toumaksis, 188
   Zagloul, 187

 Mouseion, 17, 28-29, 105

   _see_ Cyrus

 Mummies, 113, 118

 Museum, Greco-Roman, 107-121
   under Ptolemies: _see_ Mouseion

 Mustapha Pacha, 96, 165

 Napier, Sir C., 89-90

 Napoleon, 86-87, 179-180

 Natrun Monasteries, 202-209

 Nelson, 86-87, 177-178
   Island, 177, 179, 182

 Neo-Platonism, 64-68

 New Quays, 140

 Nicaea, Council of, 48, 106

 Nicene Creed, 49, 218

 Nicopolis, 44, 165

 Nile, 5., 188

 Norden, Captain, 82, 84

 Nouzha, 156-157

 Nubar Pacha, 143, 155

 Octavian, Emperor, 25-27, 44

 Ophites, 71

 Origen, Theologian, 46, 73-74

 Osiris, 18
   _see_ Temples

 Palace, Ptolemaic, 23, 24, 28, 29, 162
   Ras-el-Tin, 129

 Paneum, 106

 Paris and Helen, 176

 Patriarchates, 52

 Persians, 8, 53

 Pharos Island, 6, 24, 80
   Lighthouse, 16, 133-140: _see_ Fort Kait Bey

 Philo 63, 64, 66

 Philosophy under Ptolemies, 36
   Jewish, 62
   Neo-Platonic, 64-68

 Place Mohammed Ali
   _see_ Square

 Place Said, 154

 Place St. Catherine, 142

 Plato, 64

 Plotinus, 65-68

 Plutarch, 214

 Pocock, R., visitor, 84

 Pompey, 23
   “Pillar,” 46, 145-146
   “Tomb,” 155

 Porphyry, philosopher, 68

 Proteus, 7

 Pschoi, St., 205

 Ptolemies, 11-27
   Civilisation under, 16-21, 27-42
   Genealogical Tree, 12-13

 Ptolemy I, 11
   II, 14, 36
   III, 15, 185
   IV, 21
   VII, 21
   XIII, 22,
   XIV, 23-25
   XV, 25
   XVI, (Caesarion) 26
   Claudius, the astronomer, 39, 40, 41

 Ramleh, 87, 92, 166

 Ras-el-Tin Peninsula, 6, 80, 129
   Palace, 89, 91, 129

   Alexandrian, 19, 70
   Ancient Egyptian, 18, 69
   Early Christian, 70-78
   Jewish, 62
   Mohammedan, 77-78
   Modern, 211-213

 Rhakotis, 7, 145

 Rome, 21-22, 44-45

 Rosetta, 185-188
   Stone, 185

 Rosette, Rue, 104, 107-121

 Salt, Henry, consul, 90, 144

 Sandys, John, visitor, 82

 San Stefano, 166

 Scholarship, Ptolemaic, 34-35

 Science, Ptolemaic, 36-42

 Septuagint, 62

 Serapis,, 18, 45, 117
   _see_ Temples

 Seymour, Admiral, 94-96

 Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra,” 214-215

 Sidi Gaber, 165

 Silsileh, 6, 162, 163

 Soma, Street of, 10
   Tomb, 19, 105: _see_ Mosque, Prophet Daniel

 Sostratus, engineer, 133

 Sporting Club, 164

 Spouting Rocks, 166

 Square (Place, Mohammed Ali), 102

 Stanley Bay, 166

 Statuettes, Terra Cotta, 118

 Stratonice, 28

 Synagogue, Chief, 161

 Taposiris Magna
   _see_ Abousir

 Taposiris Parva, 175

   Aphrodite on Zephyrium, 182
   Apollo, 106
   Caesareum, 49, 161
   Isis Pharia, 126
   Isis near Serapeum, 147
   Isis on Silsileh, 20
   Osiris, Abousir, 192
   Petesouchos Fayoum, 114, 120
   Poseidon, 136
   Serapis, Rhakotis, 146: _see_ Pompey’s Pillar
   Serapis, Canopus, 181
   Serapis, small, 144

 Theatre, Ancient, 20, 24, 162
   Modern, 154

 Theocritus, XVth Idyll, 31-34

 Theon, mathematician, 37, 68

 Theonas, St., 46

 Theophilus, patriarch, 50

   Alexander the Great (Soma) 19, 105
   Anfouchi Catacombs, 126-129
   Antique, near Antoniadis’ Gardens, 157
   Antique, Chatby, 164
   Antique (Pompey’s?), 155
   Brice, Colonel, 106
   Cleopatra, 20
   Khedivial Family, 105
   Kom es Chogafa Catacombs, 148
   Nubar Pacha, 143
   Said Mohammed, 143
   Salt, Henry, 144
   Sidi Abou el Fath, 126
   Sidi et Metwalli, 142
   Zagloul and Said Hassan, Rosetta, 187

 Town-planning, Ancient, 9-11, 16-20
   Modern, 90-93

 Turkey, 81-82, 179

 Turkish Town, 124-126

 Valens, Emperor, 49

 Valentinus, gnostic, 71-72

 Venetians, 81

 Victoria College, 166

 Wady Natrun, 200-209

 Water system, 5, 9-10, 80, 87, 91

 Wildflowers, 191

 “Wisdom of Solomon,” 62-63

 Wolseley, General, 96

 Zenodotus, scholar and poet, 34

 Zephyrium, promontory, 182


[Illustration: PLAN OF ALEXANDRIA]


 ● Transcriber’s Notes:
    ○ Missing or obscured punctuation was corrected.
    ○ Unbalanced quotation marks were left as the author intended.
    ○ Typographical errors were silently corrected.
    ○ Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation were made consistent only
      when a predominant form was found in this book.
    ○ Text that was in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

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