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Ptolemy I and Berenice I
Ptolemy I and Berenice I
Source: Bowdoin college website


A replica of the lost
Serapis bust by Bryaxis


Temple of Isis on Phylae
Temple of Isis on Phylae
Photograph by Nicholas Varias



Tomb of Petosiris
Tomb of Petosiris
Source: Bowdoin college website

Tomb of Petosiris
Tomb of Petosiris
Source: Bowdoin college website








Horus temple at Edfu
Horus temple at Edfu


Book of the Dead
Book of the Dead
Source: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago website


Pylon at Karnak; Source: Tulane University website
Pylon at Karnak
Source: Tulane University website

The Ptolemaic Period

332 - Alexander the Great
  • Occupation of Egypt without resistance
  • Foundation of Alexandria. Planned city: It had streets crossing at right angles. Two main avenues, the present-day Fuad and Nebi Daniel streets, were then as they still are today the center of the commercial, cultural, and political life of the city
  • Alexander's consecration as son of Amen.
  • Death of Alexander the Great
  • The Macedonian Ptolemies, installed by Alexander, retain control
  • The grave of Alexander becomes the religious centre of the city.
  • Alexandria becomes the cultural centre of the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cyrenaika added to the kingdom
  • Herophilos, Greek Anatomist, lives in Alexandria
  • Alexandria becomes the centre of Greek science.
305 - Ptolemy I
  • Statue of the god Serapis by Bryaxis
  • Serapis is seen as a fusion of Osiris and Apis, becomes main god.
  • Isis temple on Phylae: Wall paintings
  • Tomb of Petosiris at Hermopolis (mixture of Egyptian and Greek style elements)
  • Serapeion near Saqqara
  • Serapeion near Alexandria.
  • Kleitarchos of Alexandria writes novels about Alexander's campaigns in the Asiatic style.
  • Museion with library founded at Alexandria (contained at its destruction by the Romans in 47 more than 700,000 scrolls.)
  • Scientists receive state stipends.
280 - Ptolemy II (r. 285 - 247)
  • Construction of the lighthouse on the island of Pharos which was later connected to the mainland by an isthmus, called the Heptastadium, enclosing the Port of Pharos, now the East Harbor.
  • Kallimachos (Alexandria): Hymns to the gods, love elegies, epigrams in courtly form, opposed the renewal of the Greek heroic epos by Apollonius. Wrote about 800 books. Catalogue of the Greek classics for the library.
  • Philetas (Poet, Alexandria originally from Kos): Erotic elegies.
  • Manethos, Highpriest at Heliopolis: History of Egypt (3 books in Greek).
  • Ptolemy marries his sister.
  • Oldest Greek translation of the bible (Septuagint).
  • Herophilos (Alexandria, 335-280 BC): Comprehensive anatomy of humans and animals, based on dissection, discerns voluntary and involuntary nerves, the brain is recognized as the centre of the nervous system , pulse used in diagnosis, obstetrics.
  • Eratostenes , Greek savant in Alexandria, from Cyrene, died 195.
  • Erasistratos (310-250 BC), Greek physician in Alexandria, connects cerebral convolutions and intelligence, fever as a phenomenon of diseases, attempts physical explanation of the Theory of the Pneuma, observes lymph carrying fat toward the heart, describes the function of the epiglottis in closing the larynx, identifies the tricuspid valve of the heart, and is able to distinguish sensory nerves from motor nerves. He studies the circulatory system, but, like his predecessors, he holds that the arteries contains air.
  • Aristophanes from Byzantion (died 180 BCE), Greek Philologist in Alexandria
  • Post book for registered express letters
238 - Ptolemy III Euergetes (r. 247-221)
  • Canopus Decree: The solar year is calculated as being 365¼ days long and a leap day is to be added every fourth year, but this knowledge was not applied until Roman times.
  • Temple of the Sun god Horus at Edfu (142 consecrated)
220 - Ptolemy IV (r. 221-205) Philopater
  • Serapion of Alexandria co-founder (with Philinos of Cos) of the empirical school of thought in medicine.
200 - Ptolemy V Epiphanes
  • Golden age of the school of philology at the Alexandrian library.
  • Appolonius of Alexandria calculates pi, writes about cone sections, epicycles, unifies the geocentric (Eudoxos, Aristotle) and the heliocentric (Aristarch) world views (The planets circle the earth, which cycles the sun)
  • Erastothenes (275-195) calculates the earth's circumference (46,000 km) from the sun's altitudes at Alexandria and Asswan.
  • The Art of Eudoxos, astronomical papyrus, one of the few illustrated books of antiquity.
  • The Babylonian zodiac is being used in Egypt.
  • Egypt loses Palestine.
  • The Rosetta Stone: record a decree issued by Ptolemy V, written in two languages, Egyptian and Greek. The Egyptian version is written in both hieroglyphics and demotic scripts. Led to the decipherment of Egyptian by François Champollion in 1822.
145 - Ptolemy VII Physkon
  • Many scholars leave Alexandria because of Ptolemy's despotism.
  • Tabula smaragdina [1], oldest document about alchemy, secret writing attributed to the god Hermes Trismegistos (Thoth)
47 - Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII
  • Burning of the Library of Alexandria, more than half a million books are lost.
  • Didymos of Alexandria, author of 4000 books, comments on Greek poets, writes literary dictionaries.
  • Death of Cleopatra and Marc Anthony
  • Egypt becomes a Roman province (until 395 AD).
  • Egypt serves as Rome's granary (Provides about a third of the city's grain requirements).
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Tabula smaragdina[1] Tabula smaragdina (Rosicrucian Library)

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