Conquest of the Persian Empire
Expedition into India
The location of the tomb of Alexander the Great is an enduring mystery. Shortly after Alexander's death in Babylon, the possession of his body became a subject of negotiations between Perdiccas, Ptolemy I Soter, and Seleucus I Nicator.According to Nicholas J. Saunders, while Babylon was the "obvious site" for Alexander's resting place, some favored interring the ruler in the Argead burial at Aegae, modern Vergina. Aegae was one of the two originally proposed resting places, according to Saunders, the other being Siwa Oasis and in 321 BC Perdiccas presumably chose Aegae. The body, however, was hijacked en route by Ptolemy I Soter. According to Pausanias and the contemporary Parian Chronicle records for the years 321–320 BC, Ptolemy initially buried Alexander in Memphis. In the late 4th or early 3rd century BC, during the early Ptolemaic dynasty, Alexander's body was transferred from Memphis to Alexandria, where it was reburied.
The so-called Alexander Sarcophagus, unrelated to Alexander's body and once thought to be the sarcophagus of Abdalonymus, is now believed to be that of Mazaeus, a Persian governor of Babylon.
According to Quintus Curtius Rufus and Justin, Alexander asked shortly before his death to be interred in the temple of Zeus Ammon at Siwah Oasis.Alexander, who requested to be referred to and perceived as the son of Zeus Ammon, did not wish to be buried alongside his actual father at Aegae. Alexander's body was placed in a coffin of "hammered gold", according to Diodorus, which was "fitted to the body". The coffin is also mentioned by Strabo and Curtius Rufus (subsequently, in 89–90 BC the golden coffin was melted down and replaced with that of glass or crystal ).
Alexander's wish to be interred in Siwa was not honored. In 321 BC, on its way back to Macedonia, the funerary cart with Alexander's body was hijacked in Syria by one of Alexander's generals, Ptolemy I Soter. In late 322 or early 321 BC Ptolemy diverted the body to Egypt where it was interred in Memphis, the center of Alexander's government in Egypt. While Ptolemy was in possession of Alexander's body, Perdiccas and Eumenes had Alexander's armor, diadem and royal scepter.
According to Plutarch, who visited Alexandria, Python of Catana and Seleucus were sent to a serapeum to ask the oracle whether Alexander's body should be sent to Alexandria and the oracle answered positively. 280 BC, according to Pausanias). Later Ptolemy Philopator placed Alexander's body in Alexandria's communal mausoleum. The mausoleum was called the Soma or Sema, which means "body" in Greek. By 274 BC Alexander was already entombed in Alexandria. The Tomb of Alexander became the focal point for the Ptolemaic cult of Alexander the Great.In the late 4th or early 3rd century BC Alexander's body was transferred from the Memphis tomb to Alexandria for reburial (by Ptolemy Philadelphus in c.
In 48 BC Alexander's tomb was visited by Caesar.To finance her war against Octavian, Cleopatra took gold from the tomb. Shortly after the death of Cleopatra, Alexander's resting place was visited by Octavian, who is said to have placed flowers on the tomb and a golden diadem upon Alexander's head. According to Suetonius, Alexander's tomb was then partially looted by Caligula, who reportedly removed his breastplate. In AD 199 Alexander's tomb was sealed up by Septimius Severus during his visit to Alexandria. Later, in 215 some items from Alexander's tomb were relocated by Caracalla. According to chronicler John of Antioch, Caracalla removed Alexander's tunic, his ring, his belt with some other precious items and deposited them on the coffin.
When John Chrysostom visited Alexandria in AD 400, he asked to see Alexander's tomb and remarked, "his tomb even his own people know not".Later authors, such as Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam (b. AD 803), Al-Masudi (b. AD 896) and Leo the African (b. 1494), report having seen Alexander's tomb. Leo the African, who visited Alexandria as a young man, wrote: "In the midst of the ruins of Alexandria, there still remains a small edifice, built like a chapel, worthy of notice on account of a remarkable tomb held in high honor by the Mahometans; in which sepulchre, they assert, is preserved the body of Alexander the Great... An immense crowd of strangers come thither, even from distant countries, for the sake of worshipping and doing homage to the tomb, on which they likewise frequently bestow considerable donations". George Sandys, who visited Alexandria in 1611, was reportedly shown a sepulchre there, venerated as the resting place of Alexander.
The Egyptian Supreme Council for Antiquities has officially recognized over 140 search attempts for Alexander's tomb.Mahmoud el-Falaki (1815–1885), who compiled the map of ancient Alexandria, believed Alexander's tomb is in the center of Alexandria, at the intersection of the Via Canopica (modern Horreya Avenue) and the ancient street labeled R5. Since then several other scholars such as Tasos Neroutsos, Heinrich Kiepert and Ernst von Sieglin placed the tomb in the same area. In 1850 Ambroise Schilizzi announced the discovery of alleged Alexander's mummy and tomb inside the Nabi Daniel Mosque in Alexandria. Later, in 1879 a stone worker accidentally broke through the vaulted chamber inside the basement of that mosque. Some granite monuments with an angular summit were discerned there, but the entrance was then walled up and the stone worker was asked not to disclose the incident. (The image on a Roman lamp in the National Museum of Poznań and others at the British Museum and the Hermitage Museum are interpreted by some scholars as showing Alexandria with the Soma Mausoleum pictured as a building with a pyramidal roof.) In 1888 Heinrich Schliemann attempted to locate Alexander's tomb within the Nabi Daniel Mosque, but he was denied permission to excavate.
In 1993, Triantafyllos Papazois developed the theory that it is not Philip II of Macedon who is buried in the royal tomb II at Vergina, Greece, but it is Alexander the Great together with his wife Roxanne, while his son Alexander IV is buried in tomb III.Also based on the ancient historical sources he came to the conclusion that the breastplate, the shield, the helmet and the sword found in tomb II, belong to the armor of Alexander the Great.
In 1995, Greek archaeologist Liana Souvaltzi announced that she identified one alleged tomb in Siwah with that of Alexander. The claim was put in doubt by the then general secretary of the Greek Ministry of Culture, George Thomas, who said that it was unclear whether or not the excavated structure is even a tomb.Thomas and members of his team said that the style of the excavated object was not, as Souvaltzi contended, Macedonian, and that the fragments of tablets they were shown did not support any of the translations provided by Souvaltzi as proof of her finding.
According to one legend, the body lies in a crypt beneath an early Christian church.
In a 2011 episode of the National Geographic Channel television series Mystery Files , Andrew Chugg claimed that Alexander the Great's body was stolen from Alexandria, Egypt, by Venetian merchants who believed it to be that of Saint Mark the Evangelist. They smuggled the remains to Venice, where they were then venerated as Saint Mark the Evangelist in the Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco.In an article in the Egyptology Journal, Kmt (Fall 2020), Chugg showed that a 3rd century BCE fragment of a high status Macedonian tomb found embedded in the foundations of St Mark's Basilica in Venice in 1960 is an exact fit as part of a tomb-casing for the sarcophagus in the British Museum, which was long venerated in Alexandria as Alexander's tomb.
The 2014 discovery of a large Alexander-era tomb at Kasta Tomb in Amphipolis in the region of Macedonia, Greece,has once again led to speculation about Alexander's final resting place. Some have speculated that it was built for Alexander but never used due to Ptolemy I Soter having seized the funeral cortege. They suggest that the Roman Emperor Caracalla, a great admirer of Alexander, may have had him re-interred in Amphipolis in the late second century AD. However, only future excavation at Amphipolis will reveal if there is any truth in the suggestion. In November 2014, a skeleton was discovered within the tomb, and its full examination is expected to last a few months in order to determine the characteristics of the deceased person in the effort to identify it. However, the excavation team, based on findings unearthed at the site, argued that the tomb was a memorial dedicated to the close friend of Alexander the Great, Hephaestion.
In 2019, a marble statue of Alexander was found by a Greek archaeologist, Calliope Limneos-Papakosta, who has been excavating for 14 years in the Shallalat Gardens, which occupies the ancient royal quarter in Alexandria.
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Western Asia and Northeastern Africa, and by the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires in history, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.
This article concerns the period 329 BC – 320 BC.
The denomination 322 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, architecture and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the 4th century AD. A practitioner of the discipline is an "Egyptologist". In Europe, particularly on the Continent, Egyptology is primarily regarded as being a philological discipline, while in North America it is often regarded as a branch of archaeology.
Ptolemy I Soter was a companion and historian of Alexander the Great of the Kingdom of Macedon in northern Greece who became ruler of Egypt, part of Alexander's former empire. Ptolemy was pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 305/304 BC to his death. He was the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty which ruled Egypt until the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC, turning the country into a Hellenistic kingdom and Alexandria into a center of Greek culture.
Seleucus I Nicator was a Greek general and one of the Diadochi, the rival generals, relatives, and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death. Having previously served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, he eventually assumed the title of basileus (king) and established the Seleucid Empire, one of the major powers of the Hellenistic world, which controlled most of Asia Minor, Syria, Mesopotamia, and the Iranian Plateau until overcome by the Roman Republic and Parthian Empire in the late second and early first centuries BC.
Perdiccas became a general in Alexander the Great's army and participated in Alexander's campaign against Achaemenid Persia. Following Alexander's death, he rose to become supreme commander of the imperial army and regent for Alexander's half brother and intellectually disabled successor, Philip Arridaeus.
Alexander IV, sometimes erroneously called Aegus in modern times, was the son of Alexander the Great and Princess Roxana of Bactria.
Perdiccas III was king of Macedonia from 365 BC to 360 BC, succeeding his brother Alexander II.
Dinocrates of Rhodes was a Greek architect and technical adviser for Alexander the Great. He is known for his plan for the city of Alexandria, the monumental funeral pyre for Hephaestion and the reconstruction of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, as well as other works.
The Wars of the Diadochi, or Wars of Alexander's Successors, were a series of conflicts fought between Alexander the Great's generals over the rule of his vast empire after his death. They occurred between 322 and 281 BC.
The Ptolemaic Kingdom was an ancient Hellenistic state based in Egypt. It was founded in 305 BC by Ptolemy I Soter, a companion of Alexander the Great, and lasted until the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BC. Ruling for nearly three centuries, the Ptolemies were the longest and final Egyptian dynasty of ancient origin.
The Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan is a department forming an historic part of the British Museum, with Its more than 100,000 pieces making it the largest and most comprehensive collection of Egyptian antiquities outside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
The history of Alexandria dates back to the city's founding, by Alexander the Great, in 331 BC. Yet, before that, there were some big port cities just east of Alexandria, at the western edge of what is now Abu Qir Bay. The Canopic (westernmost) branch of the Nile Delta still existed at that time, and was widely used for shipping.
Eurydice was the Queen of Macedon, wife of Philip III daughter of Amyntas IV, son of Perdiccas III, and Cynane, daughter of Philip II and his first wife Audata. She was a significant person in the immediate aftermath of the death of Alexander the Great and the First and Second Wars of the Diadochi.
The Argead dynasty was an ancient Macedonian royal house of Dorian Greek provenance. They were the founders and the ruling dynasty of the kingdom of Macedon from about 700 to 310 BC.
The death of Alexander the Great and subsequent related events have been the subjects of debates. According to a Babylonian astronomical diary, Alexander died between the evening of June 10 and the evening of June 11, 323 BC, at the age of thirty-two. This happened in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II in Babylon.
The Ptolemaic cult of Alexander the Great was an imperial cult in ancient Egypt in the Hellenistic period, promoted by the Ptolemaic dynasty. The core of the cult was the worship of the deified conqueror-king Alexander the Great, which eventually formed the basis for the ruler cult of the Ptolemies themselves. The head priest of the cult was the chief priest in the Ptolemaic Kingdom, and years were dated after the incumbents.
Aegae or Aigai, also Aegeae or Aigeai (Αἰγέαι) was the original capital of the Macedonians, an ancient kingdom in Emathia in northern Greece.