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Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt, located on the Meditteranean Ocean. It was a major city in the later days of the Ancient Egyptians, and of the ancient Roman Empire. Parts of the ancient city are sunk underneath the sea.
People Born in Alexandria
Alexandria in People's Lives
Gustave Flaubert: I traveled here in 1849, at the age of 27, and fell further in love with Egypt.
Herodotus: I visited here around 455 BC or later, with an Athenian fleet.
Julius Caesar: I traveled here in 48 BC, pursuing my fleeing rival Pompey, who had fled Greece after my victories in battle, seeking sanctuary in Egypt. Upon reaching this city, I found that Pompey had been executed as a sign of good faith toward me by the Egyptian pharaoh. When I arrived, I was presented with Pompey's head, and wept. Though we had been locked in a war against each other, Pompey had once been my closest friend and ally, and I still grieved his death. While in this city, I became fascinated with the sister and co-regent queen of the pharaoh, Cleopatra. I soon began to shift my alliance and focus on her, and offered her support in overthrowing the pharaoh and making her sole ruler of Egypt. Though already entangled in a civil war of my own, I fought for Cleopatra in a series of skirmishes during the power struggle, and defended the queen during the Siege of Alexandria. In the Battle of the Nile in 47 BC, I defeated the former pharaoh's armies and officially made Cleopatra the queen and ruler of Egypt. As a victory celebration, Cleopatra and I sailed down the Nile in a triumphant display of power and wealth, housed on a royal barge trailed by a fan of 400 ships. I became enamored with the Egyptian lifestyle of extravagence, and also with Cleopatra herself. We had become passionate lovers. We let the world know of our union, and though it was never officially recognized as a marriage, I considered it to be so. Cleopatra had a son by me, Caesarion, in June of 47 BC. I left this city, and my beautiful queen, around this time, in 47 BC, to return to Rome.
Lawrence Durrell: After the fall of Greece during World War II, I fled my home of Corfu to seek sanctuary here, in 1942. Originally, I had left Greece with my wife Nancy and our infant daughter Penelope, but our already strained marriage had suffered for the worse through this ordeal, and we had seperated. I settled into this city and began writing a book about Corfu, which I missed deeply, though I came to love this city as well. I got a job as a press attache to the British Embassy, frequently working in Cairo as well. Around 1943, I met a Jewish Egyptian woman named Eva in a fashionable bar, who became my muse, my model for the character of Justine in my future masterpiece Alexandria Quartet, and, within time, my lover. When I was given a writing post in Rhodes in 1945, I accepted, and took Eva with me. I returned to this city over a decade later, in 1956, now a famous writer who had since married, had a daughter with, and divorced Eva. I moved here after political tensions in Nicosia, Cyprus made it unsafe for me to live there. Here, I spent my time writing, and married a second Jewish woman from Alexandria, Claude-Marie, in 1961. I began publishing books of the Alexandria Quartet, which rocketed me to literary recognition and earned me a nomination for the 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature, which I lost to John Steinbeck. I was thrown into depression when Claude-Marie died of cancer in 1967, and decided to move to Sommieres, France. Despite having lived here for many years and been greatly influenced by this city, writing often about it, I would later claim to have disliked Egypt.
Marc Antony: The first time that I traveled here was in 55 BC, on a military campaign following through with Rome's pledge to keep Egypt safe in return for becoming part of the Roman Empire. During diplomacies with Ptolemy XII, I was introduced for the first time to the 14 year old young Cleopatra, whom I was charmed by. Years later, after a cursory diplomatic meeting in Tarsus, I ended up accompanying Cleopatra - now a sophisticated and dazzling 28 year old queen - back to this city in 41 BC, where we spent a blissful summer as lovers. In 40 BC, Cleopatra and I gave birth to twins. I gave the kingdom of Cyprus to Cleopatra as a gift. While here, I fell completely in love with my Egyptian lover and with this city itself. I also continued to rule as governor of the Roman Greek colonies, now making this city my seat of power. I raised money, reorganized the armies, and secured alliances. I styled myself as a Hellenistic ruler reminiscent of Alexander the Great, earning me even greater favor with my Greek subjects. However, back in Rome, this earned me criticism from my rival Augustus. I lived in a luxurious Egyptian palace with Cleopatra, until I was forced to travel to confront a rebellion in Tyre. I expected to be gone from Cleopatra for a few weeks or months, but this turned into years as I was forced to return to Rome with Augustus threatening to start a civil war against my wife and brother. I remained in Rome making political maneuvers, and after the death of my legal Roman wife, I married the sister of Augustus in order to solidify our alliance. I returned to this city two years after my departure, in 38 BC, and reunited with Cleopatra. Though I had married another Roman wife, I assured her that she was my only true love. She loaned me the money I needed to invade and capture Jerusalem in 37 BC. Back in Rome, however, I was being painted as a villain by Augustus, who told the public that I had left my faithful wife to be with the promiscuous Egyptian queen, and that I was now loyal to Egypt, rather than to Rome. I was summoned by Augustus to Rome at least several times during this period, but remained in Alexandria. Shortly afterward, I ended my alliance with Augustus, and took steps to make Egypt an independent nation once again, apart from the Roman Empire. In 33 BC, I sent out a divorce to Augustus' sister back in Rome. I proclaimed Cleopatra's son, Caesarion, born from her former affair with Julius Caesar, to be King of Egypt and - even more controversially - to be Caesar's true heir, rather than Augustus, who was not of Caesar's blood but rather adopted. Together, Cleopatra and I began a war against Rome, and I fought fiercely for Egypt, my new homeland. However, we lost many battles at sea, and in August of 30 BC, Egypt was invaded. Recieving word that Cleopatra had committed suicide, I decided to follow her in death, and stabbed myself. However, I was then told that Cleopatra was in fact alive, and I requested that I be brought to her in her temple, where she was hiding. I died in her arms.
Napoleon Bonaparte: I set out on an ambitious campaign to conquer Egypt in 1798, and landed with my fleet in this city, though we had originally planned to first land elsewhere. After landing, I gave a speech to my troops, encouraging them to respect the Muslim religion and customs. I admonished the customary way of invaders looting conquered cities, and reminded my army that we wanted the Egyptians as our friends. During my time here, I saw myself as following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, a hero of mine. Shortly after successfully taking over both this city and Cairo, my British nemesis Horatio Nelson managed to slip into one of this city's bays and attack us from both sides, in what was to be the Battle of the Nile. Many of our ships were commandeered or destoryed, and the French forces lost the battle. I was not personally present, but when news reached me, I shrugged it off and quipped with bravado "Well! We'll have to stay here, or leave as great men just as the ancients did." My men responded well to this reaction, but our loss encouraged the Egyptians to fight back harder against our occupation.
Roald Dahl: After getting in a plane crash, I was taken to a Royal Navy hospital here in 1940. Directly after the accident, I was injured, shaken, and blind. To my relief, I regained my sight completely. I also fell in love with a nurse named Mary.
Zenobia: I conquered this city, along with the rest of Egypt, in 269 AD. I had always felt a strong connection with this city, and wrote letters in which I addressed it as my "ancestral home," following the possibility that I was a descendant of Cleopatra.