Arabic Language Blog

Alexandria الإسكندرية /Al-iskandariya/ (Part 2) Posted by on Jul 29, 2011 in Arabic Language, Culture, Vocabulary

      Alexandria passed formally under Roman jurisdiction in 80 BC and after it had been under Roman influence for more than a hundred years. It was captured by Julius Caesar in 47 BC during a Roman intervention in the domestic civil war حرب أهلية between king Ptolemy XIII and his advisers, and the fabled queen Cleopatra VII كليوباترا . It was finally captured by Octavian, future emperor Augustus on 1 August 30 BC, with the name of the month later being changed to August to commemorate his victory نصر .

       In AD 115, large parts of Alexandriawere destroyed during the Kitos War, which gave Hadrian هادريان and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. On 21 July 365, Alexandria was devastated by a tsunami (365 Crete earthquake زلزال), an event still  annually commemorated 17 hundred years later as a “day of horror يوم الرعب .” In the late 4th century, persecution of pagans by newly Christian Romans had reached new levels of intensity. In 391, the Patriarch Theophilus destroyed all pagan temples in Alexandria under orders from Emperor Theodosius I. The Pharos and Heptastadium quarters, however, remained populous and were left intact.

       In 619, Alexandria fell to the Sassanid Persians. Although the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recovered it in 629, in641 the Arabs under the general Amr Ibn Al-Aas عمرو بن العاص captured it during the Muslim conquest of Egypt, after a siege that lasted 14 months.

       Alexandria figured prominently in the military operations of Napoleon’s expedition حملة نابليون to Egypt in 1798. French troops stormed the town on 2 July 1798, and it remained in their hands until the arrival of a British expedition الحملة الانجليزية in 1801. The British won a considerable victory over the French at the Battle of Alexandria معركة الإسكندرية on 21 March 1801, following which they besieged the town, which fell to them on 2 September 1801. Mohammed Ali, the Ottoman Governor of Egypt, began rebuilding and redevelopment around 1810, and by 1850, Alexandria  had returned to something akin to its former glory مجد . In July 1882, the city came under bombardment from British naval forces and was occupied. In July 1954, the city was a target of an Israeli bombing campaign that later became known as the Lavon Affair. On October 26, 1954, Alexandria’s Mansheyya Square ميدان المنشية was the site of a failed assassination اغتيال attempt on Gamal Abdel Nasser.

        Due to the constant presence of war in Alexandrian ancient times, very little of the ancient city has survived into the present day. Much of the royal and civic quarters sank beneath the harbor due to earthquake subsidence, and the rest has been built over in modern times.


To be continued ….

* The article was adapted and translated from wikipedia     


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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL.


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