Ptolemaic, Roman, and Byzantine Egypt, 332 B.C.-A.D. 642
The Persian occupation of Egypt ended when Alexander the Great defeated the Persians at the Battle of Issus (near presentday Iskenderun in Turkey) in November 333 B.C. The Egyptians, who despised the monotheistic Persians and chafed under Persian rule, welcomed Alexander as a deliverer. In the autumn of 332 B.C., Alexander entered Memphis, where, like a true Hellene, he paid homage to the native gods and was apparently accepted without question as king of Egypt. Also like a true Hellene, he celebrated the occasion with competitive games and a drama and music festival at which some of the leading artists of Greece were present. From Memphis, Alexander marched down the western arm of the Nile and founded the city of Alexandria. Then he went to the oasis of Siwa (present-day Siwah) to consult the oracle at the Temple of Amun, the Egyptian god whom the Greeks identified with their own Zeus.
|Country Studies main page | Egypt Country Studies main page|