Ancient History & Civilisation

The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind

The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind

The astonishing story of the ancient city that invented the modern world

Founded by Alexander the Great and built by Greek pharaohs, the city of Alexandria at its height dwarfed both Athens and Rome. It was the marvel of its age, legendary for its vast palaces, safe harbors, and magnificent lighthouse. But it was most famous for the astonishing intellectual fluorescence it fostered and the library it produced. If the European Renaissance was the 'rebirth' of Western culture, then Alexandria, Egypt, was its birthplace.

It was here mankind first discovered that the earth was not flat, originated atomic theory, invented geometry, systematized grammar, translated the Old Testament into Greek, built the steam engine, and passed their discoveries on to future generations via the written word. Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra, Jewish scholars, Greek philosophers, and devout early Christians all play a part in the rise and fall of the city that stood 'at the conjunction of the whole world.' Compulsively readable and sparkling with fresh insights into science, philosophy, culture, and invention, this is an irresistible, eye-opening delight.

INTRODUCTION

Chapter 1. FLOUR AND SAND

Chapter 2. STEALING A GOD

Chapter 3. EGYPT REBORN

Chapter 4. THE LEGACY OF ARISTOTLE

Chapter 5. CITY OF THE MIND

Chapter 6. GREEK PHARAOHS

Chapter 7. THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES

Chapter 8. THE LITTLE O

Chapter 9. THE “EUREKA” FACTOR

Chapter 10. A GREEK TRAGEDY

Chapter 11. THE LAST PHARAOH

Chapter 12. THE CLOCKWORK CITY

Chapter 13. URBI ET ORBI

Chapter 14. DAWN OF THE ICONOCLASTS

Chapter 15. INTO THE SOFT MACHINE

Chapter 16. THE ASCENDANCY OF FAITH

Chapter 17. THE END OF REASON

Chapter 18. HYPATIA

Chapter 19. THE SHIPWRECK OF TIME

EPILOGUE - CHRONOLOGY

APPENDIX

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY