An original, authoritative and lively cultural history of the first modern city, from pre-Homeric times to the present day
My dad had always told me about our city’s magnificence, and as I looked at the new library in Alexandria it finally hit home. This is no ordinary library, I reflected. And this is no ordinary city.
Combining rigorous research with myth and folklore, Alexandria is an authoritative history of a city that has shaped our modern world. Soon after being founded by Alexander the Great, Alexandria became the crucible of cultural exchange between East and West for millennia and the undisputed global capital of knowledge. It was at the forefront of human progress, but it also witnessed brutal natural disasters, plagues, crusades and violence.
Major empires fought over Alexandria, from the Greeks and Romans to the Arabs, Ottomans, French and British. Key figures shaped the city from its eponymous founder to Aristotle, Cleopatra, Saint Mark the Evangelist, Napoleon Bonaparte and many others, each putting their own stamp on its identity and its fortunes. And millions of people have lived in this bustling seaport on the Mediterranean. From its humble origins to its dizzy heights and its latest incarnation, Islam Issa tells us the rich and gripping story of a city that changed the world.