Free ePUB The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern MindAuthor Justin Pollard –

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

10 thoughts on “The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind

  1. says:

    Between the time of Athens and the time of Rome, the ancient world had a third city that served as a center for culture and progressive thought The Rise and Fall of Alexandria Birthplace of the Modern Mind by Justin Pollard and Howard Reid celebrates Alexandria as a planned metropolis, chosen by the whim of Alexander but grown and flourished under the will of Ptolemy Ptolemy would convert the Egyptian satrapy of Alexander into the last dynastic family of Egypt, culminating in the Roman intrigue surrounding the reign of Cleopatra The book details the scientific and philosophical growth of the city and its famous citizens like Euclid, Archimedes, Philo and Hero As a home to intellectual thought as well as a world renowned library and a famous lighthouse ancient Alexandrians conceived of ideas hundreds of years before they were made famous by later Arabs and Europeans Finally, the authors detail the city s effect on the birth and growth of Christianity An erudite historical record, well researched and well written, this work entertains and educates.

  2. says:

    I learned so much from this book about not only Alexandria but of Egypt and the Mediterranean The book covered the economy, history and existing knowledge of the ancient era I guess if you think of the library and museum of Alexandria in modern day terms, it would be called a university, a think tank as well as a library I did note that Alexandrea was a diverse city of Egyptians, Jews, Greeks, Romans and people from neighboring countries It is amazing to realize the city was designed to have a sewer system, running water, as well as the city was laid out with streets and buildings.The book was well written and meticulously researched I found the section about Hypatia 350 370 415 A.D to be most interesting The way the author told the story has triggered me to want to learn about Hypatia She was a mathematician and philosopher in the later days of Alexandria and was considered a great teacher I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible It is eleven and a half hours Simon Vance does an excellent job narrating the book Vance is a well known award winning audiobook narrator.

  3. says:

    This is a brief overview of a city that is often overlooked as being one of the greatest of the ancient world It starts by detailing how Alexandria was founded by her namesake, Alexander the Great himself, and how later generals and kings strategically built it up to be a center for thought and enlightenment, with the famed lost library at its heart We are also introduced to various scholars and philosophers that made the city their homesome well known, some not so muchand we are shown how they influenced the ancient world and how some of them are still influencing our world today Finally, we see how the great amount of knowledge that accumulated there ultimately proved to be its downfall, as various extremists sought to destroy anything that they felt conflicted with their own way of thinking It is a truly riveting tale that has implications for our day as well, if you go by the theory that history repeats itself.I found this book fascinating I didn t really know that much about Alexandria, other than having heard countless references to the library, which is its main claim to fame It is written in a style that is both informative and interesting, and I can truly say that I learned a lot from this book This is a chapter in history that clearly should not be overlooked That being said, I definitely found the first half of the book to be far interesting than the second After the situation in Alexandria began to decline, the great thinkers all but disappeared and the history from then on mostly consists of various factions of Christianity and other religions fighting each other over who gets spiritual influence over the city, and I found it sort of boring The fact that I didn t like this part of the book as much is not because the quality of the actual writing was not as good, I just didn t find the subject matter as interesting Anyway, this is a good book to have in your library if you are interested in ancient history, and I plan to be keeping it in mine.

  4. says:

    This is a good book, full of fascinating glimpses into a largely forgotten place and time in history I had a hard time staying riveted to the book, but I m not sure why It was always interesting I think it was just me.

  5. says:

    Interesting and informative.

  6. says:

    This was an absolutely fantastic book I knew bits and pieces about Alexandria, here and there, such as scenes from the lives of Caesar and Cleopatra and the fate of Archimedes, but I never really had a sense of the extent to which the city was the intellectual center of the West.This was just the perfect sort of history for me It has a chronological structure, and you get your fill of Ptolemaic kings, but at each point, the narrative breaks off into intellectual history that is philosophical, mathematical, economic or whatever is most apt These sub themes take on the greater importance than the geographical limitation that the title implies For instance, in describing the influence of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, the narrative follows them and their students wherever that might require.I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in the ancient world If you have a typical American background, this is quite probably another blind spot in your appreciation of ancient history like the Byzantine Empire probably is and it is an exciting and rich one.

  7. says:

    This is based upon the audio download from by Simon VanceThis was the history of knowledge in Alexandria Listening to the book was like watching a History Channel documentary very well done Century by century all the famous citizens of Alexandria are portrayed There was a great quote at the end of the book that summarizes the demise of Alexandria s famous library and its importance in world affairs The author states that, Knowledge is the enemy of extremism and it was this fear that ultimately lead invaders to destroy the infamous library Given today s world affairs, it s scary to consider how history may be trying to repeat itself.

  8. says:

    Alexandria is one of the great success stories of the ancient world, being founded by Alexander the Great, and then spending the next several centuries as one of the great trading ports of the Mediterranean, as well as a center of learning So a history of the city has a lot of appeal.Sadly, this isn t really a history of the city It does start with Alexander s initial choosing of the site, and laying out the basics, and talks a little bit about the initial building But past that, the book becomes almost entirely dedicated to the great minds that were at or may have spent time at the great library of Alexandria So the bulk of the book is of a who s who of ancient philosophy That still makes for good reading, but the authors are too enthusiastic, and make a number of statements that are problematic or error prone.The most startling mistake is a statement that the Julian calendar correctly identified as being borrowed from Eratosthenes is accurate to one day in 1,461 years If that were true, there d hardly be any need for the Gregorian calendar, as they d only differ by a day or so, instead of 13 days They also imply in the Eratosthenes chapter again that Columbus would have trouble convincing the King of Spain that the world was round, when the real trouble was convincing the court that he could make it, as the distance was too great for any amount of carried supplies a conclusion that Columbus would have come to if he d used Eratosthenes figure for the size of the Earth, instead of a much smaller estimate.On the other hand, there s an interesting note that an early draft of Copernicus De revolutionibus references Aristarchus heliocentric theory Presumably they re referring to the Commentariolus, and it s an interesting connection that I hadn t heard about before Though looking it up on Wikipedia shows that the authors perpetuate a translation induced misconception of Aristarchus theory being considered impious at the time This is a lighter, less technical, book than I was expecting, and for the lighter side of non fiction, fairly well written as long as you remember some of the wider ranging pronouncements are problematic.

  9. says:

    Because it was all discovered thousands of years ago The ancient Alexandrians, a mix of Egyptian, Greek, Jewish, and Roman cultures, created in their city the world s first empire of the mind The Great Library contained 400,000 scrolls many stolen from ships visiting the port The Musuem boasted visits by the greatest minds of the age including Eratosthenes, Archimedes, and Geminus , and the Pharos Lighthouse, almost 400 feet tall the Statue of Liberty is only 150 feet tall had a fire lighting a convex bronze mirror that reflected the light up to 30 miles out to sea brooded over a city of marble paved, colonnaded streets, intricate sewer systems, running water, clean and comfortable public baths, and a Jewish population at the time of Christ that rivaled in number the population of Jerusalem

  10. says:

    Michelangelo, Da Vinci et al in Italy during the Renaissance Newton, Leibowitz et al in London coffeehouses at the dawn of the industrial and scientific age Hemingway, Stein et al in Paris salons in the 1920s The current tech boom in Silicon Valley The pattern many of humanity s great leaps forward in knowledge and art come from time and place where great minds come together.This book documents the history of the city of Alexandria, the very first of such centers of knowledge, learning, and innovation.The city s site was chosen by Alexander the Great and named for him but it was built by his successor, Ptolemy Ptolemy s vision was to combine the Hellenistic traditions of logic and philosophy with the Egyptian agricultural wealth and religion.It was here that the first university was founded, and the first museum, and the first great library We take these things for granted today, but they were huge innovations two eons ago.The number of great figures in Alexandria s history is staggering It was here that Plato, Socrates, Euclid, Aristotle, and many others did their thing Inventions such as the clock, entirely new fields of science such as geography Alexandrian cartographers created the first attempted map of the world, used 1500 years later by Columbus in his search for the New World , and artifacts like the Rosetta Stone and the Antikythera Mechanism all come from Alexandria.There is no shortage of dramatic historical moments, either It was here that Pompey was murdered as he sought to escape from Julius Caesar It was here that Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt, ruled her kingdom, conceived Caesar s child, conducted her love affair with Marc Antony, and finally committed suicide.Alexandria crumbled into ruins after a thousand years, its great lighthouse one of the wonders of the world gone, its great library burned or scattered to the winds no one knows exactly what the fate of the greatest trove of knowledge in the ancient world actually was But its impact on human knowledge, culture, and advancement is massive.