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

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9780670037971: 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.

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About the Author:

Justin Pollard has worked for BBC, ITV, Channel Four, National Geographic, PBS, A&E, and Discovery. He has also worked closely in developing feature films for directors including Gillies MacKinnon, Sam Mendes, Shekhar Kapur, Neil Jordan, and Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice).

Howard Reid worked for the BBC from 1979 to 1991 on many major documentary series including the EMMY-winning The Story of English presented by Robin McNeil, and has worked with PBS, A&E, Discovery, National Geographic, BBC, Channel Four, Channel Five, and SKY. He has written five previous books including The Way of the Warrior co-authored with Michael Croucher.

From Publishers Weekly:

Ancient Alexandria was first and foremost a Greek city. Its history, however, is framed by two religious events that were alien to Greek intellectual traditions: Ptolemy's creation of the cult of Serapis, which helped him establish rule, and the Christian riots that massacred the pagan philosopher Hypatia in A.D. 415. Between these two events is an unmatched record of intellectual achievement, elegantly chronicled by documentary makers Pollard and Reid. Among the many scientific advances they cover, from Euclid and Archimedes to Claudius Ptolemy, perhaps the most illustrative of the city's cosmopolitanism is human anatomy, the Greeks' limited understanding of which was tremendously aided by contact with Egyptian mummification. Throughout, the authors are eager, at times overly eager, to demonstrate ancient Alexandria's modernity. So it is curious that little is said about the famous feud between Callimachus, poet and cataloguer of the great library, and his former pupil Apollonius. The ingredients of the feud—plagiarism, obscenity, professional envy—are strangely contemporary. The authors also paint an incomplete picture of the city's literary culture and its museum, which functioned like a modern university. These criticisms aside, most readers, especially those interested in the history of science, will find this a nourishing account. (Oct. 23)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Justin Pollard, Howard Reid
Editorial: Viking Adult (2006)
ISBN 10: 0670037974 ISBN 13: 9780670037971
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Pollard, Justin & Reid, Howard
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Descripción Viking, U.S.A., 2006. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st US Edition. 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. 329p. bibliography. index. Nº de ref. de la librería 31207

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Descripción Viking Adult, 2006. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Brand New. first edition edition. 352 pages. 9.00x6.25x1.00 inches. In Stock. Nº de ref. de la librería zk0670037974

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