Athens Local New
Alexander the Great
Alexander's influenced lasted long after his death. As he invaded new territories, he introduced Greek political, economic, and cultural institutions. These ideas blended with local culture but remained distinctively Greek. He founded 70 new cities, most named Alexandria, with the most famous being that established on the Mediterranean coast near the mouth of the Nile. The Egyptian city of Alexandria was known for its lighthouse, which was estimated to be 370 feet tall. The lighthouse was a testament to the power of Greek trading and commerce throughout the Mediterranean Sea. Alexander also ordered the construction of a library with more than 500,000 papyrus scrolls. It is said that the library possessed the knowledge and secrets of the ancient world, which were burned sometime before the 6th century B.C. The exact cause of the fire is disputed by scholars.
In addition to spreading Greek culture, Alexander also ordered his writers to keep records of all new plants, animals, weather patterns, and geographic features they encountered. These scientific explorations led to the founding of many libraries and laid the foundation of scientific inquiry. The following individuals made lasting contribution during the Hellenistic Age.
Euclid [YOO-klihd] established an academy dedicated to the study of geometry near the library of Alexandria. He wrote many works but his most important was the Elements. In this work he logically organized the findings of Greek geometry. This work was used in the Islamic and European worlds as a standard until the 20th century.