Nous, sometimes equated to intellect or intelligence, is a term from classical philosophy for the faculty of the human mind necessary for understanding what is true or real. English words such as "understanding" are sometimes used, but three used philosophical terms come directly from classical languages: νοῦς or νόος, intellēctus and intellegentia. To describe the activity of this faculty, the word "intellection" is sometimes used in philosophical contexts, as well as the Greek words noēsis and noeîn; this activity is understood in a similar way to the modern concept of intuition. In philosophy, common English translations include "understanding" and "mind", it is often described as something equivalent to perception except that it works within the mind. It has been suggested that the basic meaning is something like "awareness". In colloquial British English, nous denotes "good sense", close to one everyday meaning it had in Ancient Greece. In Aristotle's influential works, the term was distinguished from sense perception and reason, although these terms are inter-related.
The term was already singled out by earlier philosophers such as Parmenides, whose works are lost. In post-Aristotelian discussions, the exact boundaries between perception, understanding of perception, reasoning have not always agreed with the definitions of Aristotle though his terminology remains influential. In the Aristotelian scheme, nous is the basic understanding or awareness that allows human beings to think rationally. For Aristotle, this was distinct from the processing of sensory perception, including the use of imagination and memory, which other animals can do; this therefore connects discussion of nous to discussion of how the human mind sets definitions in a consistent and communicable way, whether people must be born with some innate potential to understand the same universal categories in the same logical ways. Deriving from this it was sometimes argued in classical and medieval philosophy, that the individual nous must require help of a spiritual and divine type. By this type of account, it came to be argued that the human understanding somehow stems from this cosmic nous, however not just a recipient of order, but a creator of it.
Such explanations were influential in the development of medieval accounts of God, the immortality of the soul, the motions of the stars, in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, amongst both eclectic philosophers and authors representing all the major faiths of their times. In early Greek uses, Homer used nous to signify mental activities of both mortals and immortals, for example what they have on their mind as opposed to what they say aloud, it was one of several words related to thought and perceiving with the mind. In pre-Socratic philosophy, it became distinguished as a source of knowledge and reasoning opposed to mere sense perception or thinking influenced by the body such as emotion. For example, Heraclitus complained that "much learning does not teach nous". Among some Greek authors, a faculty of intelligence known as a "higher mind" came to be considered as a property of the cosmos as a whole; the work of Parmenides set the scene for Greek philosophy to come and the concept of nous was central to his radical proposals.
He claimed that reality as the senses perceive it is not a world of truth at all, because sense perception is so unreliable, what is perceived is so uncertain and changeable. Instead he argued for a dualism wherein nous and related words describe a form of perception, not physical, but intellectual only, distinct from sense perception and the objects of sense perception. Anaxagoras, born about 500 BC, is the first person, known to have explained the concept of a nous, which arranged all other things in the cosmos in their proper order, started them in a rotating motion, continuing to control them to some extent, having an strong connection with living things. Amongst the pre-Socratic philosophers before Anaxagoras, other philosophers had proposed a similar ordering human-like principle causing life and the rotation of the heavens. For example, like Hesiod much earlier, described cosmic order and living things as caused by a cosmic version of love, Pythagoras and Heraclitus, attributed the cosmos with "reason".
According to Anaxagoras the cosmos is made of infinitely divisible matter, every bit of which can inherently become anything, except Mind, matter, but which can only be found separated from this general mixture, or else mixed into living things, or in other words in the Greek terminology of the time, things with a soul. Anaxagoras wrote: All other things partake in a portion of everything, while nous is infinite and self-ruled, is mixed with nothing, but is alone, itself by itself. For if it were not by itself, but were mixed with anything else, it would partake in all things if it were mixed with any. For it is the thinnest of all things and the purest, it has all know
Septimius Udhayna, Latinized as Odaenathus, was the founder king of the Palmyrene Kingdom centered at Palmyra, Syria. He lifted his city from the position of a regional center subordinate to Rome into the supreme power in the East. Odaenathus was born into an aristocratic Palmyrene family that received Roman citizenship in the 190s under the Severan dynasty, he was the son of Hairan the descendant of Nasor. The circumstances surrounding his rise are ambiguous; the defeat and captivity of emperor Valerian at the hands of the Sassanian emperor Shapur I in 260 left the eastern Roman provinces at the mercy of the Persians. Odaenathus stayed on the side of Rome. Odaenathus took the side of emperor Gallienus, the son and successor of Valerian, facing the usurpation of Fulvius Macrianus; the rebel declared his sons emperors, taking the other with him to Europe. Odaenathus quelled the rebellion, he was rewarded many exceptional titles by the emperor who formalized his self-established position in the East.
In reality, the emperor could have done little but to accept the declared nominal loyalty of Odaenathus. In a series of rapid and successful campaigns starting in 262, he crossed the Euphrates and recovered Carrhae and Nisibis, he took the offensive to the heartland of Persia, arrived at the walls of its capital Ctesiphon. The city withstood the short siege but Odaenathus reclaimed the entirety of Roman lands occupied by the Persians since the beginning of their invasions in 252. Odaenathus celebrated his victories and declared himself King of Kings, crowning his son Hairan I as co-king. By 263, Odaenathus was in effective control of the Levant and Anatolia's eastern region. Odaenathus observed all due formalities towards the emperor, but in practice ruled as an independent monarch. In 266, the king launched a second invasion of Persia but had to abandon the campaign and head north to Bithynia to repel the attacks of Germanic riders besieging the city of Heraclea Pontica, he was assassinated in 267 during or after the Anatolian campaign, together with Hairan.
The identities of the perpetrator or the instigator are unknown and many stories and speculations exist in ancient sources. He was succeeded by his son Vaballathus under the regency of his widow Zenobia, who used the power established by Odaenathus to forge the Palmyrene Empire in 270. In the Temple of Bel at Palmyra, a stone block with a sepulchral inscription was found mentioning the building of a tomb and recording the genealogy of the builder: Odaenathus, son of Hairan, son of Wahb Allat, son of Nasor; the king appears to be of mixed Aramean descent. Nasor might not have been the great-grandfather of Odaenathus but rather a distant ancestor; this led some scholars, such as Lisbeth Soss Fried and Javier Teixidor, to consider the origin of the family to be Aramean. Byzantine historians of the sixth century, such as Procopius, referred to him as "King of the Saracens ". Zosimus asserted that Odaenathus descended from "illustrious forebears", but the position of the family in Palmyra is debated.
Alternatively, the family may have belonged to the tribal leadership which amassed a fortune as landowners and patrons of the Palmyrene caravans. In Dura-Europos, a relief dated to 159 was commissioned by Hairan son of Maliko son of Nasor. According to Brown, it is plausible, based on the occurrence of the name Nasor in Dura-Europos and Palmyra, that Odaenathus and Hairan son of Maliko belonged to the same family."Odaenathus" is the Greek version of the king's name. 220. Written in Palmyrene as Sptmyws'Dynt. "Septimius" was the family's gentilicium adopted as an expression of loyalty to the Roman Severan dynasty, whose emperor Septimius Severus granted the family Roman citizenship in the late second century. Traditional scholarship, based on the sepulchral inscription from Odaenathus' tomb, believed the builder to be an ancestor of the king and he was given the designation "Odaenathus I". In an inscription dated to 251, the name of the "Ras" of Palmyra, son of Odaenathus, is written, he was thought to be the son of Odaenathus I.
Prior to the 1980s, the earliest known inscription attesting king Odaenathus was dated to 257, leading traditional scholarship to believe that Hairan, Ras of Palmyra, was the father of the king and that Odaenathus I was his grandfather. However, an inscription published in 1985 by archaeologist Michael Gawlikowski and dated to 252 mentions king Odaenathus as a "Ras" and records the same genealogy found in the sepulchral inscription, confirming the name of king Odaenathus' grandfather as Wahb Allat. Therefor, it is certain that king Odaenathus is the builder of the tomb, ruling out the existence of "Odaenathus I". The
Theory of forms
The theory of Forms or theory of Ideas is a philosophical theory, concept, or world-view, attributed to Plato, that the physical world is not as real or true as timeless, unchangeable ideas. According to this theory, ideas in this sense capitalized and translated as "Ideas" or "Forms", are the non-physical essences of all things, of which objects and matter in the physical world are imitations. Plato speaks of these entities only through the characters of his dialogues who sometimes suggest that these Forms are the only objects of study that can provide knowledge; the theory itself is contested from within Plato's dialogues, it is a general point of controversy in philosophy. Whether the theory represents Plato's own views is held in doubt by modern scholarship. However, the theory is considered a classical solution to the problem of universals; the early Greek concept of form precedes attested philosophical usage and is represented by a number of words having to do with vision and appearance.
Plato uses these aspects of sight and appearance from the early Greek concept of the form in his dialogues to explain the Forms and the Good. The meaning of the term εἶδος, "visible form", related terms μορφή, "shape", φαινόμενα, "appearances", from φαίνω, "shine", Indo-European *bʰeh₂- or *bhā- remained stable over the centuries until the beginning of philosophy, when they became equivocal, acquiring additional specialized philosophic meanings; the pre-Socratic philosophers, starting with Thales, noted that appearances change, began to ask what the thing that changes "really" is. The answer was substance, which stands under the changes and is the existing thing being seen; the status of appearances now came into question. What is the form and how is that related to substance? The Forms are expounded upon in Plato's dialogues and general speech, in that every object or quality in reality has a form: dogs, human beings, colors, courage and goodness. Form answers the question, "What is that?" Plato was asking what Form itself is.
He supposed that the object was or "really" the Form and that the phenomena were mere shadows mimicking the Form. The problem of universals – how can one thing in general be many things in particular – was solved by presuming that Form was a distinct singular thing but caused plural representations of itself in particular objects. For example, in the dialogue Parmenides, Socrates states: "Nor, again, if a person were to show that all is one by partaking of one, at the same time many by partaking of many, would that be astonishing, but if he were to show me that the absolute one was many, or the absolute many one, I should be amazed." Matter is considered particular in itself. For Plato, such as beauty, are more real than any objects that imitate them. Though the forms are timeless and unchanging, physical things are in a constant change of existence. Where forms are unqualified perfection, physical things are qualified and conditioned; these Forms are the essences of various objects: they are that without which a thing would not be the kind of thing it is.
For example, there are countless tables in the world but the Form of tableness is at the core. Plato's Socrates held that the world of Forms is transcendent to our own world and is the essential basis of reality. Super-ordinate to matter, Forms are the most pure of all things. Furthermore, he believed that true knowledge/intelligence is the ability to grasp the world of Forms with one's mind. A Form is atemporal. Atemporal means that it does not exist within any time period, rather it provides the formal basis for time, it therefore formally grounds beginning and ending. It is neither eternal in the sense of existing forever, nor mortal, of limited duration, it exists transcendent to time altogether. Forms are aspatial in that they have no spatial dimensions, thus no orientation in space, nor do they have a location, they are non-physical. Forms are extra-mental. A Form is an objective "blueprint" of perfection; the Forms are unchanging representations of objects and qualities. For example the Form of beauty or the Form of a triangle.
For the form of a triangle say. A triangle is a polygon with 3 sides; the triangle as it is on the blackboard is far from perfect. However, it is only the intelligibility of the Form "triangle" that allows us to know the drawing on the chalkboard is a triangle, the Form "triangle" is perfect and unchanging, it is the same whenever anyone chooses to consider it. It follows that the same attributes would exist for all Forms; the words, εἶδος and ἰδέα come from the Indo-European root *weyd- or *weid- "see". Eidos is attested in texts of the Homeric era, the earliest Greek literature; this transliteration and the translation tradition of German and Latin lead to the expression "theory of Ideas." The word is however not the English "idea,", a mental concept only. The theory of matter and form started with Plato and germinal in some of the presocratic writings; the forms were considered as being "in" something else. The latter seemed as carved "wood", ὕλη in Greek, corresponding to m
Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, as being the first moral philosopher, of the Western ethical tradition of thought. An enigmatic figure, he made no writings, is known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers writing after his lifetime his students Plato and Xenophon. Other sources include the contemporaneous Antisthenes and Aeschines of Sphettos. Aristophanes, a playwright, is the only source to have written during his lifetime. Plato's dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity, though it is unclear the degree to which Socrates himself is "hidden behind his'best disciple'". Through his portrayal in Plato's dialogues, Socrates has become renowned for his contribution to the fields of ethics and epistemology, it is this Platonic Socrates who lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method, or elenchus. Socrates exerted a strong influence on philosophers in antiquity and in the modern era.
Depictions of Socrates in art and popular culture have made him one of the most known figures in the Western philosophical tradition. As Socrates did not write down any of his teachings, secondary sources provide the only information on his life and thought; the sometimes contradictory nature of these sources is known as the Socratic problem, or the Socratic question. Plato and Xenophon's dialogues provide the main source of information on Socrates's life and thought; these writings are the Sokratikoi logoi, or Socratic dialogues, which consist of reports of conversations involving Socrates. As for discovering the real-life Socrates, the difficulty is that ancient sources are philosophical or dramatic texts, apart from Xenophon. There are no straightforward histories, contemporary with Socrates, that dealt with his own time and place. A corollary of this is that sources that do mention Socrates do not claim to be accurate, are partisan. For instance, those who prosecuted and convicted Socrates have left no testament.
Historians therefore face the challenge of reconciling the various evidence from the extant texts in order to attempt an accurate and consistent account of Socrates's life and work. The result of such an effort is not realistic if consistent. Two factors emerge from all sources pertaining to the character of Socrates: that he was ugly, had a brilliant intellect, he lived within ancient Athens, he made no writings, he was executed by drinking hemlock. The character of Socrates as exhibited in Apology, Crito and Symposium concurs with other sources to an extent to which it seems possible to rely on the Platonic Socrates, as demonstrated in the dialogues, as a representation of the actual Socrates as he lived in history. At the same time, many scholars believe that in some works, being a literary artist, pushed his avowedly brightened-up version of "Socrates" far beyond anything the historical Socrates was to have done or said. Xenophon, being a historian, is a more reliable witness to the historical Socrates.
It is a matter of much debate over which Socrates it is who Plato is describing at any given point—the historical figure, or Plato's fictionalization. As British philosopher Martin Cohen has put it, "Plato, the idealist, offers an idol, a master figure, for philosophy. A Saint, a prophet of'the Sun-God', a teacher condemned for his teachings as a heretic."It is clear from other writings and historical artefacts, that Socrates was not a character, nor an invention, of Plato. The testimony of Xenophon and Aristotle, alongside some of Aristophanes's work, is useful in fleshing out a perception of Socrates beyond Plato's work. According to one source, the name Σωκρᾰ́της, has the meaning "whole, safe" and "power"; the problem with discerning Socrates's philosophical views stems from the perception of contradictions in statements made by the Socrates in the different dialogues of Plato. These contradictions produce doubt as to the actual philosophical doctrines of Socrates, within his milieu and as recorded by other individuals.
Aristotle, in his Magna Moralia, refers to Socrates in words which make it patent that the doctrine virtue is knowledge was held by Socrates. Within the Metaphysics, he states Socrates was occupied with the search for moral virtues, being the "first to search for universal definitions for them"; the problem of understanding Socrates as a philosopher is shown in the following: In Xenophon's Symposium, Socrates is reported as saying he devotes himself only to what he regards as the most important art or occupation, that of discussing philosophy. However, in The Clouds, Aristophanes portrays Socrates as accepting payment for teaching and running a Sophist school with Chaerephon. In Plato's Apology and Symposium, as well as in Xenophon's accounts, Socrates explicitly denies accepting payment for teaching. More in the Apology, Socrates cites his poverty as proof that he is not a teacher. Two fragments are extant of the writings by Timon of Phlius pertaining to Socrates, although Timon is known to have written to ridicule and lampoon philosophy.
Details about the life of Socrates are derived from both contemporary sources, ancient period sources. Of the contemporary sources, the greater extent of information is taken from the dialogues of Plato and Xenophon (both devotees of
Syria was an early Roman province, annexed to the Roman Republic in 64 BC by Pompey in the Third Mithridatic War, following the defeat of Armenian King Tigranes the Great. Following the partition of the Herodian Kingdom into tetrarchies in 6 AD, it was absorbed into Roman provinces, with Roman Syria annexing Iturea and Trachonitis. Syria was an early Roman province, annexed to the Roman Republic in 64 BC by Pompey in the Third Mithridatic War, following the defeat of Armenian King Tigranes the Great. During the early empire, the Roman army in Syria accounted for three legions with auxiliaries, they defended the border with Parthia. Following the partition of the Herodian Kingdom into tetrarchies in 6 AD, it was absorbed into Roman provinces, with Roman Syria annexing Iturea and Trachonitis around 34 AD. Syrian province forces were directly engaged in the Great Jewish Revolt of 66–70 AD. In 66 AD, Cestius Gallus, the legate of Syria, brought the Syrian army, based on XII Fulminata, reinforced by auxiliary troops, to restore order in Judaea and quell the revolt.
The legion, was ambushed and destroyed by Jewish rebels at the Battle of Beth Horon, a result that shocked the Roman leadership. The future emperor Vespasian was put in charge of subduing the Jewish revolt. In the summer of 69, with the Syrian units supporting him, launched his bid to become Roman emperor, he defeated his rival Vitellius and ruled as emperor for ten years when he was succeeded by his son Titus. Based on an inscription recovered from Dor in 1948, Gargilius Antiquus was known to have been the governor of a province in the eastern part of the Empire Syria, between his consulate and governing Asia. In November 2016, an inscription in Greek was recovered off the coast of Dor by Haifa University underwater archaeologists, which attests that Antiquus was governor of the province of Judea between 120 and 130 prior to the Bar Kokhba revolt. Syria Palæstina was established by the merger of Roman Syria and Roman Judea, following the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135; the Syria-based legion took part in the quelling of the revolt in 132–136, in the aftermath, the emperor Hadrian added the depopulated province of Judea to the province of Syria thus forming Syria-Palaestina.
The governor of Syria retained the civil administration of the whole large province undiminished, held for long alone in all Asia a command of the first rank. It was only in the course of the second century that a diminution of his prerogatives occurred, when Hadrian took one of the four legions from the governor of Syria and handed it over to the governor of Palestine, it was Severus who at length withdrew the first place in the Roman military hierarchy from the Syrian governor. After having subdued the province amidst resistance from the capital Antioch in particular, he ordained its partition into a northern and a southern half, gave to the governor of the former, called Coele-Syria, two legions, to the governor of the latter, the province of Syro-Phoenicia, one legion; the emperor Septimius Severus divided up Roman Syria in the fashion it would remain until the rule of the Tetrarchs. Under his reign it was divided into three parts, Coele Syria in the north with Antioch as its provincial capital, Syria Phoenice with Tyre as the provincial capital and in the south Syria Palestina with Caesarea Maritima as the provincial capital.
From the 2nd century, the Roman Senate included several notable Syrians, including Claudius Pompeianus and Avidius Cassius. Syria was of crucial strategic importance during the Crisis of the Third Century. In 244 AD, Rome was ruled by a native Syrian from Philippopolis in the province of Arabia Petraea; the emperor was Marcus Iulius Philippus, more known as Philip the Arab. Philip became the 33rd emperor of Rome upon its millennial celebration. Roman Syria was invaded in 252/253 after a Roman field army was destroyed in the battle of Barbalissos by the King of Persia Shapur I which left the Euphrates river unguarded and the region was pillaged by the Persians. In 259/260 a similar event happened when Shapur I again defeated a Roman field army and captured the Roman emperor, alive at the battle of Edessa. Again Roman Syria suffered as cities were captured and pillaged. From 268 to 273, Syria was part of the breakaway Palmyrene Empire. Following the reforms of Diocletian, Syria Coele became part of the Diocese of Oriens.
Sometime between 330 and 350, the province of Euphratensis was created out of the territory of Syria Coele along the western bank of the Euphrates and the former realm of Commagene, with Hierapolis as its capital. After c. 415 Syria Coele was further subdivided into Syria I, with the capital remaining at Antioch, Syria II or Syria Salutaris, with capital at Apamea on the Orontes. In 528, Justinian I carved out the small coastal province Theodorias out of territory from both provinces; the region remained one of the most important provinces of the Byzantine Empire. It was occupied by the Sassanids between 609 and 628 recovered by the emperor Heraclius, but lost again to the advancing Muslims after the battle of Yarmouk and the fall of Antioch; the city of Antioch was recovered by Nikephorus Phocas in 963 AD, along with other parts of the country, at that time under the Hamdanids, although still under the official suzerainty of the Abbasid caliphs and claimed by the Fatimid caliphs. After emperor John Kurkuas's failed to recover Syria up to Jerusalem a Muslim "reconquest" of Syria followed in the late 970s undertaken by the Fatimid caliphate which resulted in the o
Porphyry of Tyre was a Neoplatonic philosopher, born in Tyre, in the Roman Empire. He published the Enneads, the only collection of the work of his teacher Plotinus, his commentary on Euclid's Elements was used as a source by Pappus of Alexandria. He wrote many works himself on a wide variety of topics, his Isagoge, or Introduction, is an introduction to logic and philosophy, in the Latin and Arabic translations it was the standard textbook on logic throughout the Middle Ages. In addition, through several of his works, most notably Philosophy from Oracles and Against the Christians, banned by emperor Constantine the Great, he was involved in a controversy with a number of early Christians. Porphyry was born in Tyre, his parents named him Malchus but his teacher in Athens, Cassius Longinus, gave him the name Porphyrius a reference to his Phoenician heritage, or a punning allusion to his name and the color of royal robes. Under Longinus he studied rhetoric. In 262 he went to Rome, attracted by the reputation of Plotinus, for six years devoted himself to the practice of Neoplatonism, during which time he modified his diet.
At one point he became suicidal. On the advice of Plotinus he went to live in Sicily for five years to recover his mental health. On returning to Rome, he lectured on philosophy and completed an edition of the writings of Plotinus together with a biography of his teacher. Iamblichus is mentioned in ancient Neoplatonic writings as his pupil, but this most means only that he was the dominant figure in the next generation of philosophers; the two men differed publicly on the issue of theurgy. In his years, he married Marcella, a widow with seven children and an enthusiastic student of philosophy. Little more is known of his life, the date of his death is uncertain. Porphyry is best known for his contributions to philosophy. Apart from writing the Aids to the Study of the Intelligibles, a basic summary of Neoplatonism, he is appreciated for his Introduction to Categories, a short work considered to be a commentary on Aristotle's Categories, hence the title. According to Barnes, the correct title is Introduction, the book is an introduction not to the Categories in particular, but to logic in general, comprising as it does the theories of predication and proof.
The Introduction describes how qualities attributed to things may be classified, famously breaking down the philosophical concept of substance into the five components genus, difference, accident. As Porphyry's most influential contribution to philosophy, the Introduction to Categories incorporated Aristotle's logic into Neoplatonism, in particular the doctrine of the categories of being interpreted in terms of entities. Boethius' Isagoge, a Latin translation of Porphyry's "Introduction", became a standard medieval textbook in European schools and universities, which set the stage for medieval philosophical-theological developments of logic and the problem of universals. In medieval textbooks, the all-important Arbor porphyriana illustrates his logical classification of substance. To this day, taxonomy benefits in classifying living organisms; the Introduction was translated into Arabic by Abd-Allāh Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ from a Syriac version. With the Arabicized name Isāghūjī it long remained the standard introductory logic text in the Muslim world and influenced the study of theology, philosophy and jurisprudence.
Besides the adaptations and epitomes of this work, many independent works on logic by Muslim philosophers have been entitled Isāghūjī. Porphyry's discussion of accident sparked a long-running debate on the application of accident and essence. Porphyry is known as an opponent of Christianity and defender of Paganism. There is debate as to whether it was written in his youth or closer in time to the persecutions of Christians under Diocletian and Galerius. Whether or not Porphyry was the pagan philosopher opponent in Lactantius' Divine Institutes, written at the time of the persecutions, has long been discussed; the fragments of the Philosophy from Oracles are only quoted by Christians Eusebius, Theodoret and John Philoponus. The fragments contain oracles identifying proper sacrificial procedure, the nature of astrological fate, other topics relevant for Greek and Roman religion in the third century. Whether this work contradicts his treatise defending vegetarianism, which warned the philosopher to avoid animal sacrifice, is disputed among scholars.
During his retirement in Sicily, Porphyry wrote Against the Christians which consisted of fifteen books. Some thirty Christian apologists, such as Methodius, Apollinaris, Jerome, etc. responded to his challenge. In fact, everything known about Porphyry's arguments is found in these refutations because Theodosius II ordered every copy burned in A. D. 435 and again in 448. Porphyry became one of the most able pagan adversaries of Christianity of his day, his aim was not to di
Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is a popular tourist destination. Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town c. 332 BC by Alexander the Great, king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. Alexandria became an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat. Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Alexandria was at one time the second most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome.
Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, during the Ptolemaic dynasty. From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton. Alexandria is believed to have been founded by Alexander the Great in April 331 BC as Ἀλεξάνδρεια. Alexander's chief architect for the project was Dinocrates. Alexandria was intended to supersede Naucratis as a Hellenistic center in Egypt, to be the link between Greece and the rich Nile valley. Although it has long been believed only a small village there, recent radiocarbon dating of seashell fragments and lead contamination show significant human activity at the location for two millennia preceding Alexandria's founding.
Alexandria was the cultural center of the ancient world for some time. The city and its museum attracted many of the greatest scholars, including Greeks and Syrians; the city was plundered and lost its significance. In the early Christian Church, the city was the center of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, one of the major centers of early Christianity in the Eastern Roman Empire. In the modern world, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria both lay claim to this ancient heritage. Just east of Alexandria, there was in ancient times marshland and several islands; as early as the 7th century BC, there existed important port cities of Heracleion. The latter was rediscovered under water. An Egyptian city, Rhakotis existed on the shore and gave its name to Alexandria in the Egyptian language, it continued to exist as the Egyptian quarter of the city. A few months after the foundation, Alexander never returned to his city. After Alexander's departure, his viceroy, continued the expansion.
Following a struggle with the other successors of Alexander, his general Ptolemy Lagides succeeded in bringing Alexander's body to Alexandria, though it was lost after being separated from its burial site there. Although Cleomenes was in charge of overseeing Alexandria's continuous development, the Heptastadion and the mainland quarters seem to have been Ptolemaic work. Inheriting the trade of ruined Tyre and becoming the center of the new commerce between Europe and the Arabian and Indian East, the city grew in less than a generation to be larger than Carthage. In a century, Alexandria had become the largest city in the world and, for some centuries more, was second only to Rome, it became Egypt's main Greek city, with Greek people from diverse backgrounds. Alexandria was not only a center of Hellenism, but was home to the largest urban Jewish community in the world; the Septuagint, a Greek version of the Tanakh, was produced there. The early Ptolemies kept it in order and fostered the development of its museum into the leading Hellenistic center of learning, but were careful to maintain the distinction of its population's three largest ethnicities: Greek and Egyptian.
By the time of Augustus, the city walls encompassed an area of 5.34 km2, the total population in Roman times was around 500-600,000. According to Philo of Alexandria, in the year 38 of the Common era, disturbances erupted between Jews and Greek citizens of Alexandria during a visit paid by the Jewish king Agrippa I to Alexandria, principally over the respect paid by the Jewish nation to the Roman emperor, which escalated to open affronts and violence between the two ethnic groups and the desecration of Alexandrian synagogues; the violence was quelled after Caligula intervened and had the Roman governor, removed from the city. In AD 115, large parts of Alexandria were destroyed during the Kitos War, which gave Hadrian and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. In 215, the emperor Caracalla visited the city and, because of some insulting satires that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. On 21 July