Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Drangiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Aristotle’s Lyceum opens after more than two thousand years!

Isn’t it amazing that in a big city like Athens, archeologists have been able to pinpoint the site of Aristotle’s Lyceum, his school of philosophy, amidst the old gymnasium where the hoplites and riders were trained in the art of war. It was founded in 335 BC, after Aristotle ended teaching his most famous pupil, Alexander the Great and his companions.

 
Set in a very lush suburb of ancient Athens, the Lyceum was named after the Sanctuary of Lycian Apollo. The gymnasium itself was located on the banks of the River Ilissos (now running underground) and covered a quarter of a hectare. It consisted of a large internal courtyard measuring 23 x 26 meters surrounded by a colonnade behind which lied the rooms where the young men would be trained, including baths, dressing rooms and other facilities. It is here that they would learn how to become proper citizens. The entire construction was used until the fourth century AD, after which the Byzantines still used the premises for other purposes.

The remains of the Lyceum and the Palaistra (wrestling school) will open to the general public this summer. The perimeter has been enhanced by the presence of plants and trees that were part of the landscape in Aristotle’s time. There will be herbs like lavender, mint, sage, thyme and oregano, while the indigenous trees are pomegranates, olives, laurel, cypresses and acacias. Otherwise the grounds will be covered with grass, inviting the visitor to hang around and to get really in touch with things. Sounds lovely.

This summer, Athens will host the 23rd World Congress of Philosophy from August 4 to 10, 2013, and this is of course a unique opportunity to establish the link with Aristotles Lyceum.

At the same time, the adjacent Byzantine Museum has been updating its premises and has created a lush garden with walkways and monuments. The idea is to provide a breath of fresh air by providing a pretty garden that will host outdoor exhibitions. This garden will be connected to the adjacent Lyceum with an impressive gate. The design will reflect the Byzantine concept of beauty, harmony and public space in which water is to play a central role being tied to their ideal of paradise and symbolism of the afterlife. An old water tank will serve to illustrate irrigation techniques in Athens at that time.

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