Alexander’s City Foundations
CKM 2018-19 / Aziz Yardımlı

 

Alexander’s City Foundations

 

  Alexander’s City Foundations

🎨 Lighthouse of Alexandria (VIRTUAL)

 



Alexander’s City Foundations

Alexander’s City Foundations (L)

📹 Helenic Cities in Central Asia (VİDEO)


 




Alexander
's biographer Plutarch of Chaeronea states that Alexander the Great founded no less than seventy towns, which were important centers of the Greek cultures in the East. By these foundations, the sage of Chaeronea implies, the Macedonian conqueror changed the nature of his oriental subjects from barbarians into civilized people.

This in exaggerated. As far as we know, Alexander founded some twenty towns: the real Greek towns, poleis, which Plutarch must have had in mind, the permanent military garrisons or katoikiai, and the temporary military settlements, phrouria. Other towns were simply repopulated or just renamed.

List of Alexandrias
List of Alexandrias

  1. Alexandrupolis: founded in 340 by the crown prince. This was a really Greek city, built among the Maedians, a tribe on the banks of the Strymon. It must have been somewhere in the neighborhood of modern Sandanski in Bulgaria.
  2. Alexandria in Troas: a town near Troy, founded in the Spring of 334. It may have been founded by one of Alexander's successors.
  3. Alexandria by the Latmus: a town in Caria, maybe founded as a garrison or military settlement in the winter of 333. Probably, it was founded by one of the successors of Alexander, who named it to the former king.
  4. Alexandria near Issus: Probably a permanent garrison where veterans of the battle of Issus could begin a new life, together with local inhabitants. Modern Iskenderun in Turkey.
  5. Tyre: repopulated with Greek emigrants and natives in 332/331, together with a permanent Macedonian garrison.
  6. Gaza: repopulated with European emigrants and natives in 331, together with a permanent Macedonian garrison.
  7. Alexandria: the site was chosen in January 330; the city was founded on 7 April. This was an entirely Graeco-Macedonian city, although there was also a native quarter and a Jewish quarter. The Jews and natives were second-class citizens (text).
  8. Alexandria in Aria: perhaps, the Arian capital Artacoana was repopulated with natives and Macedonian veterans in September 330. It was probably meant as a permanent garrison. Alternatively, this was a completely new town. Modern Herât in Afghanistan.
  9. Prophthasia in Drangiana: the Drangian capital Phrada was just renamed in October 330; "Prophthasia" means "Anticipation". Modern Farâh in Afghanistan.
  10. Alexandria in Arachosia: the Arachosian capital Kapisa was repopulated with natives and Macedonian veterans in the winter of 330/329. It was a permanent garrison. Modern Kandahâr in Afghanistan, which still bears Alexander's name (derived from Iskandariya, theArabic and Persian rendering of "Alexander").
  11. Alexandria in the Caucasus: the Gandarian capital Kapiša-kaniš was repopulated with 4,000 natives and 3,000 Greek and Macedonian veterans in March 329. It was a permanent garrison or a Greek city, although many settlers felt that it was a punitive colony. Modern Chârikâr near Kabul in Afghanistan.
  12. Alexandria Eschatê: founded in the Summer of 329 as a permanent garrison on the Jaxartes (Syrdar'ya). Settled with Macedonian and Greek veterans and native serfs. Modern Khodzent in Tajikistan.
  13. Alexandria on the Oxus: refoundation of a Persian city, settled with Greek and Iranian veterans and native serfs. Probably modern Ai Khanum in Afghanistan. Probably founded in the Spring of 328.
  14. Six cities north of the Oxus. Populated with native prisoners of war who served as serfs for the Macedonian soldiers. Meant as permanent garrisons, together forming a kind of wall against the northern tribes, the Sacae. One of these cities may be identical to modern Termez in Uzbekistan.
  15. Alexandria in Margiana: refoundation of a Persian city in the oasis of Mary in modern Turkmenistan. Settled with Macedonian, Greek and Iranian veterans and native serfs.
  16. Arigaeum: the Aspasian capital was repopulated with natives and Macedonian veterans in the Spring of 326. It was a permanent garrison. Modern Nawagai in Pakistan. In the neighborhood were several temporary military settlements: Bazira, Ora, and Massaga.
  17. Nicaea and Bucephala: twin foundation of permanent garrisons on opposite banks of the Hydaspes (Jhelum), founded in May 326 on the battle field. Settled with Greek, Macedonian, and Iranian veterans and natives. Modern Jhelum in Pakistan? The towns had large dockyards, which suggests that they were meant as a center commerce.
  18. Alexandria on the Hyphasis: founded in July 326 on the eastern border of Alexander's empire. Settled with veterans of unknown origin.
  19. Alexandria on the Indus: founded in February 325 on the confluence of the Indus and the Acesines (Chenab), probably on the site of an older, Persian settlement. Settled with Thracian veterans and natives. Uch in Pakistan. It had large dockyards, which suggests that it was meant as a center commerce.
  20. Another town on the Indus: founded in the Spring of 325 among the Indian Sogdians. Probably a temporary military station north of Rohri.
  21. Patala ("naval base") or Xylinepolis ("wooden city"): temporary military settlement, founded in July 325 at the place of an earlier, Indian town. Vacated after September 325. Modern Bahmanabad, 75 kilometers north-east of Hyderabad.
  22. Rhambacia: a town among the Oreitians that was fortified by Hephaestion and Leonnatus in the Autumn of 325. If it was meant as a permanent garrison, it was soon vacated. Modern Bela in Pakistan.
  23. Alexandria in Carmania: if this city was founded by Alexander (and not by Seleucus), it must have been a permanent garrison founded in January 324. Perhaps modern Golâshkerd in Iran.
  24. Alexandria in Susiana: not far from the mouth of the Tigris. Probably settled with Macedonian, Greek and Iranian veterans and natives. Later known as Spasinou Charax. In the neighborhood of Al Qurnah in Iraq.

These were the towns that were founded by Alexander. Most of them are military settlements, where Macedonian and Greek veterans were left. They were not happy, so far from the Mediterranean, and on at least two occasions - both after a report of Alexander's death - the homesick veterans decided to go home.


This page was created in 2001; last modified on 1 November 2018.
(Livius.org)


 



 
   

Alexandria in Egypt

Alexandria in Egypt (L)


The Lighthouse of Alexandria

A fort is all that remains of the Lighthouse


Alexandria:
town founded by Alexander the Great, capital of the Ptolemaic Empire.

Alexandria has been called Alexander's most lasting legacy

Hellenistic History

 

Roman History
  • c. 8 CE: Two legions at Alexandria: III Cyrenaica and XXII Deiotariana
  • 38 CE: Pogrom
  • Ministery of Mark?
  • 68: Another pogrom
  • 69: Vespasian proclaimed emperor
  • 115-117: Anti-Jewish riots (more...)
  • 125: III Cyrenaica replaced by II Traiana Fortis
  • 130: Hadrian visits the city
  • Ptolemy of Alexandria, Appian of Alexandria
  • 175: Marcus Aurelius visits the city
  • After 200: increasing Christian influence; Clement of Alexandria
  • 215: Visit by Caracalla
  • 252: Origen banished
  • 269/270: Captured by the Palmyrene troops
  • Sacked by Aureliannote
  • 298: Sacked by Diocletian; legion III Diocletiana added to the garrison
  • 328-335: Athanasius bishop
  • 346-356: Athanasius bishop for the second time
  • 357-358 Georgios bishop of Alexandria; the relics of Andrew and Luke brought to Constantinople
  • 363: Visit by Julianus Apostata
  • 365: Earthquake
  • 366-373: Athanasius bishop for the third time
  • 389: All pagan monuments in Alexandria, including the Museum, destroyed
  • 391: Destruction of the Serapeum
  • 414: The last leader of the philosophical school, Hypatia, is lynched by a Christian mob
  • 541 Plague
  • 608-610: during the war between the emperors Phocas and Heraclius; the southern harbor is destroyed
  • 619: The Sasanian king Khusrau sacks the city
  • 642: Replaced as capital of Egypt by Cairo
  • 645-646: Reoccupied by the Byzantine commander Manuel
  • Alexandria has been called Alexander's most lasting legacy

 
The Alexandrian Library — at the time of the Ptolemies.

 



 

Ai Khanum (Alexandria on the Oxus)

Ai Khanum (Alexandria on the Oxus) (L) (LINK)


From literary sources, we can deduce that an Alexandria on the Oxus (or: in Oxiana) was founded, probably by Hephaestion, during Alexander the Great's campaigns in Bactria and Sogdia (329-327). Possibly, this was a refoundation of an older, Persian city, and was settled with Greek and Iranian veterans, together with native serfs: this was, in any case, the normal way to found a European city in the Far East.

Perhaps, this city was identical to Ai Khanum in Afghanistan. (A more likely candidate is Kampyr Tepe in Uzbekistan.) “Ai Khanum” means “Lady Moon” in Uzbek (an alternative translation is "Face in the Moon," because people over there recognize a female face on the moon.)


(LINK) (LINK 2: Ai-Khanoum: The Forgotten Alexandria | Eurasia (2 of 8))
Ai Khanum

  • Ai Khanum, disk with Cybele (ca. 328 BCE–ca. 135 BCE)
  • Ai Khanum, Corinthian capital (328 BCE–ca. 135 BCE)


(LINK — Livius.org) From literary sources, we can deduce that an Alexandria on the Oxus (or: in Oxiana) was founded, probably by Hephaestion, during Alexander the Great's campaigns in Bactria and Sogdia (329-327). Possibly, this was a refoundation of an older, Persian city, and was settled with Greek and Iranian veterans, together with native serfs: this was, in any case, the normal way to found a European city in the Far East.

Perhaps, this city was identical to Ai Khanum in Afghanistan. (A more likely candidate is Kampyr Tepe in Uzbekistan.) "Ai Khanum" means "Lady Moon" in Uzbek (an alternative translation is "Face in the Moon", because people over there recognize a female face on the moon.)

Among the Greek settlers in Ai Khanum were Thessalian cavalrymen, which appears to be confirmed by the following inscription:

These wise words of ancient men are set up,
utterances of famous men, in holy Delphi.
Clearchus copied them carefully and set them up,
shining from afar, in the sanctuary of Cineas:

As a child, be orderly,
As a youth, be self-controlled,
As an adult, be just,
As an old man, be of good counsel,
When dying, be without sorrow.

The Cineas mentioned has a Thessalian name. As the city's official founder (ktistes), he received a sanctuary on the market (a heroön).

Ai Khanum is about 2 km long and 600 m wide and was excavated by French archaeologists. Parts of it look surprisingly like a Greek city, including temples, a heroön, an administrative palace, colonnaded courts, a main street, a city wall, a gymnasium (sport school), houses, Corinthian columns, several free-standing statues, and a theater with 5,000 seats. Other parts are more native in nature. The citadel in the south, which is on a 60 m high loess-covered natural mound, has not been investigated yet, although it must have had massive walls and high towers.

Among the finds are Greek and Indian coins, several inscriptions, sundials, jewelry, a famous silver disk showing the Phrygian goddess Cybele, the Greek god Helios, and an Iranian fire altar.

Ai Khanum is situated on the confluence of the mighty Amudar'ya (the ancient Oxus) and the Kokcha rivers. Across the valley is a spectacular wall of steep rocks. The city became rich because it controlled the trade in lapis lazuli, but it was also situated on the Silk road. One of the Bactrian kings, Eucratides I (c.170-c.145) honored the city by calling it after himself, Eucratidia. The city's wealth attracted enemies, and it was sacked by Sacae nomads in c.135 BCE, and later by the Yuezhi nomads (who later founded the Kushan empire in the Punjab).

📹 Ai Khanoum / Virtual (VİDEO)

(LINK)

 



 



 

Alexandria in Troas

Alexandria in Troas (L)

Alexandria in Troas (Ἀλεξáνδρεια ἡ Τρωάς): Greek town, not far from Troy, named after Alexander the Great; modern Dalyan.
Alexandria in Troas


A sarcophagus in Troas
 
   

Alexandria Troas, modern Dalyanköy in Turkey, was almost certainly founded in 306 BC by Antigonus Monophthalmus, who forced the population of at least six villages, together with the island of Tenedos, to settle in a new city that had until then been called Sigia. Its original name was Antigonia, but it was rebaptized and adorned by Lysimachusafter the Battle of Ipsus (301). It measured about 2500x1700 meters and was one of the most successful foundations of the early Hellenistic period, and belonged to the Seleucid Empire after the Battle of Corupedium (281).

When the Romans had defeated the Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great in the Syrian War, Alexandria Troas was declared "free and autonomous" (188). After all, it was very close to Troy, the town that was believed to have been the mother-city of Rome. It became wealthier, as is indicated by the building of the temple of Apollo Smintheus. (A dedication mentions a Quintilia who acted as prophetes.) More favors were to come. Julius Caesar gave Alexandria the privileges of a colonia. Under Augustus, it kept the right to strike its own coins. The apostle Paul visited the town. [Acts 16.8-11]

Constantine I the Great toyed with the idea to make this city the new capital of the Roman empire, before eventually preferring Byzantium, which became known as Constantinople and eclipsed Alexandria Troas. The city went into decline. Today, there are many ruins, which include an aqueduct, a basilica, a bathhouse (built by Herodes Atticus), temples, a theater, an odeon, and city walls.

 


This page was created in 2006; last modified on 23 November 2018.


(Livius.org)


 



 

Alexandria in the Caucasus (near Begram)

Alexandria in the Caucasus (near Begram) (L)

Alexandria in the Caucasus: town founded by Alexander the Great, near Begram, north of Kabul in Afghanistan.
Alexandria in the Caucasus (near Begram)


Aphrodite with the apple of discord (329 BCE–ca. 200 CE). Kabul, National Museum of Aghanistan
 
   

In the late winter, early spring of 329 BCE, the army of Alexander the Great, trying to attack the last Achaemenid king of Persia, Artaxerxes V Bessus, from an unexpected direction, made a detour through what is now called Afghanistan, and reached Gandara, the valley of the river Cophen (Kabul). This was an important crossroad: arriving from the southwest, a traveler could go to the east, to India, to the northwest across the Hindu Kush to Bactra, and to the northeast, through the Panjshir Valley, across the Hindu Kush, to Drapsaca. Bactra and Drapsaca were situated in fertile Bactria, a key satrapy in the Achaemenid empire.

Alexander needed a strong base for his crossing of the Hindu Kush, and founded a city, which, as usual, was called Alexandria. The city was in fact a refoundation of an Achaemenid settlement called Kapisa. About 4,000 native inhabitants were allowed to stay, and 3,000 Macedonian and Greek veterans were added. Later, more people were settled in the city, which must have been seen as a punitive colony by the Europeans who were left there. Still, the waters of the Kabul, Panjshir, and Khorband rivers created a fertile alluvial plain, and the city was to become very prosperous.


Portrait of a man
 
   

Alexandria-Kapisa has been identified and partly excavated on a hill near Begram - or to be more precise, east of Charikar -, 65 km north of modern Kabul. Not many finds date back to the age of Alexander, but the identification is uncontested.

A brief description of Kapisa is offered by the Chinese traveler Xuan Zang (603-664), a Buddhist pilgrim who visited the area much later, but before the rise of Islam changed everything. He saw the city well built by the Macedonians (3 km long) and mentioned that the country produced all kinds of fruit, wheat, and other cereals. Xuan Zang also mentions to the high, snow-covered mountains.

The Macedonians and Greeks had called them the Caucasus, the name they gave to the large mountain range that divided Asia into a northern and a southern half. According to their myths, the supreme god Zeus had punished the demi-god Prometheus, who had stolen fire from heaven and given it to humankind, by chaining him to a rock in the Caucasus. Every day, they believed, Zeus' eagle had come to devour Prometheus' liver, which miraculously was recreated every night. It is interesting to note that the ancient Iranian sacred book, the Avesta, calls this area Upari-Sena, "too high for the divine eagle", and that Xuan Zang also tells a myth about the divine eagle (more...).

After the death of Alexander in 323, Alexandria remained an important city, but in 303, one of Alexander's Successors, Seleucus I Nicator, gave it to the Indian king Chandragupta Maurya as part of a bargain in which he received 500 elephants. The city, which called itself Kapisa again, now belonged to the Mauryan Empire, but when it fell apart, it was captured by a Graeco-Bactrian army (184 BCE), and included in a new, Indo-Greek kingdom.

This was a multi-ethnic state, in which Greeks, Bactrians, western Iranians and Indians lived together. Greek religious practices, Iranian cults, Hinduism and Buddhism are all known from second-century Gandara. Coins were modeled on the drachmas of Athens, although they often had Indian legends.

After c.125, an invasion of the Sacae, nomads from Central Asia, led to a new dynasty, but the multicultural society remained as it had always been. It also absorbed the Parthians, who became interested in the region in the first century BCE, and the Kushans, whose great leader Kanishka appears to have lived in the first half of the second century CE.

Among the archaeological finds from Charikar are carved ivory plaques, statues of Buddha, Greek-style busts, a painted glass vase showing a Roman gladiator (from Syria or Egypt).

 


This page was created in 2006; last modified on 23 November 2018.


(Livius.org)

 



 








 


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