A Study on the Monumental Center of Ancient Alexandria: The Identification of the Ptolemaic Mouseion and the Urban Transformation in Late Antiquity

Theodoros Mavrojannis 1
  • 1 Nikosia, Cyprus


Among the whole burden of the written sources dealing with the urban appearance of Ptolemaic and Roman Alexandria, five or six ancient authors give us precious information which could finally offer a lead to the reconstruction of the monumental center of Alexandria: 1) Strabo, 2) Diodorus, 3) Zenobius, 4) Achilles Tatius, 5) Pseudo-Libanius and 6) Pseudo-Callisthenes. Nowadays, the written testimonia concerning the historical topography of Alexandria are severely withstanding to a hypercritical treatment, to a disapproval instead of a reappraisal.1 Yet, there is no other way to solve the puzzle of the monumental center of Ptolemaic Alexandria, but to explain the thinking behind what the ancient authors, principally Strabo, may have seen in Alexandria as eyewitnesses.



Tkazcow 2013, 687: The reconstruction of the topography of the city in the Ptolemaic and Early Roman Periods was, for a long time, based exclusively on Strabo's description (sometimes supplemented with information provided by Diodorus, Polybius and Caesar); the critic is moved against Adriani 1966 and Fraser 1972, 13–34; McKenzie 2007.

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Klio is one the oldest journal in the German Altertumswissenschaften. It publishes articles on the history of ancient Greece and Rome, including their relations to the ancient Near East, and also covers specialist areas such as epigraphy, papyrology, archaeology, and numismatics. Brief book reviews provide an overview of the latest publications in the field.